Things I've Learned

Monday Musings
  • Monday Musings

    My head is stuck in a strange place today. In the last thirteen months my life has taken quite a few big twists. Each one has scared the crap out of me and each one has taken me to a better place in my life. Most days I can see that it's all worth it. 

    Today I need to find a way to remind myself that there is good ahead. I don't know if it's a Rainy Day and Monday sort of thing, or just that I am overtired and wondering if the ability to turn the bad into good has been all used up and I am going to have to deal with that moving forward. All I know is that I'm focusing on everything that isn't working for me today and feel like a curtain has been drawn over the light at the end of the tunnel. 

    I know for a fact that this is not a feeling that is unique to me. I know that - especially for people who venture out on their own and put themselves out there - self-doubt is something that must occaisionally be battled. I've worked with enough authors to know that it hits even the best (the stories I could tell about some of your favorite authors deleting whole manuscripts because they think they're crap, or missing deadlines as they struggle to believe that what they have written is worthy to be sent in).

    I'd like to tell you that this is going to be a well written piece on how to overcome these feelings, alas, I am stuck in the midst of it right now and am having trouble believing I will overcome at this precise moment. So instead I will tell you that I'm going to pour myself a glass of wine, I'm going to watch some guilty pleasure reality television and I'm going to bed tonight with my mother's voice in my head, "This too shall pass."

  • Monday Musings

    It's so funny how some things we loved from our past really don't hold up to the test of time. In August I posted a wedding picture for my 27th Anniversary. My daughters are still picking on my hat (it was very cool in 1986 when I was getting married).

     Likewise, I've recently read a couple of books that i loved 15-20 years ago. It's so funny the little things that seem so strange now. Whether it was looking for a pay phone, or having a manuscript mailed or any of a myriad of other technical details that were perfectly up to date when written, but which brought a chuck to me today. 

    More and more authors are re-releasing their older works as ebooks. Should they update them when they do, or should books be left as is? I'm really curious because I can honestly see both sides of the issue. For the sake of new readers, why put them off by being so dated. For the traditionalist, do we really want to see Gatsby with a cell phone. OK, that might be overselling the issue, but I'm curious. What do you think?

    About the book thing. Please don't ridicule the hat. It seemed like a good idea at the time...
  • Monday Musings

    • I've been reading a lot of e-books and I have to say this. Sometimes I feel like I've paid too much for a book, even if I got it for free. Seriously. Just because you can publish, it doesn't always mean you should publish. The sad part to me is that the problems are avoidable. If you are publishing a book that was previously published in print and you've had it scanned. READ IT!!! OCR translators are simply a computer program trying to read your work and create sense out of it. Things will be missed. It would take forever to tell you just how many things will be missed, just trust me, they will. And if you have an original work that you've finished up. Don't rush to hit the upload button. You need to give it a break for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and then read through it again. And you REALLY need to have someone else read it. Someone who will be tough with you and help you to put out the best work you can. Make your work worth your readers time and money and they will be back for more!
    • The DH and I are doing a renovation on a great little apartment that is part of a friend's property. I should say that at this point the DH, two boyfriends of our daughters and eldest daughter are doing most of the down and dirty work. I'm picking out flooring and paint colors and Pinteresting lots of great decorating idea for little spaces. i am so excited about getting to the picture in my head but for right now i would settle for a working bathroom so we could move in and get out of temporary housing. It's going to happen. Especially when the help is willing to get this dirty...
    • I had a great revitalization this weekend. Eldest daughter and I went to see the Miami Children's Theatre's production of In The Heights. I love theater and, though I've only been here for a little over two months, I am already missing it a lot. At intermission, eldest daughter told me to buck up and stop getting teary. Can't help it. Theater feeds my soul and then I feel overcome with creativity and want to do more. What feeds your soul and inspires you?
  • Five Question Friday

    I have been a long time fan of Inside the Actor's Studio, and my favorite part has always been the questionaire at the end. That is my vision for Five Question Friday. I have come up with a list of five questions, and I will have different guests answer them each week. As a new idea, you might see some tweaking - at least at first - as I try to come up with the right formula. Your input is greatly appreciated.

    Today, my friend, and author, Beth Ciotta has answered my five questions. Beth is extremely talented - and quite prolific these days - as author of The Cupcake Lovers series for St. Martins Press, has published two incredible steampunk novels (Her Sky Cowboy, His Clockwork Canary) and so much more. Visit her webpage to see it all! In addition, Beth is a part of a really exciting Christmas Anthology (The Keepers: Christmas in Salem) with Heather Graham, Kathleen Pickering and Deborah LeBlanc that is out today.

    That being said, here are Beth's responses to DRE&MS Five Friday Questions...

    1. What are you reading? Sizzle by Julie Garwood

    2. What do you do for relaxation? Walk my dogs

    3. What is playing on your iPod? Various movie scores

    4. What is your current guilty pleasure? Caramel popcorn

    5. What do you want to share? Stories that make a positive difference. Right now I'm focused on my Cupcake Lovers novels. A small town contemporary series with a big heart.

    Please check out Beth and all her great work and stop back next week for another Five Question Friday!

  • Monday Musings

    • I've been a little stressed lately as we are working on what will be our new home and we have had to stay in temporary accomodations a little longer than we had originally planned. But it has helped me to remember that life is as good as bad as we allow it to be. I could waste time being stressed or I could remember what my mother always tells me, "This too shall pass," and focus on what good lies ahead. It's all about the choice.
    • I decided to practice what I preach today so I packed up the laptop and the pup and took a walk to a local coffee shop (much easier getting a seat than last week). I sat there for a little over an hour, never tapped in to their wifi, and was amazed by the amount of work I got done. Besides that, it's nice to remember that afternoons like this were one of the reasons I wanted to move to Miami in the first place.

    • I've been thinking about what I can do to build my business and I keep getting emails from a printer in the area. I'm thinking about getting postcard sized handouts, but I am afraid it is a waste of money. I know I often toss things like that when I'm at conferences. What could I hand out that people would actually keep and, better yet, might help people contact me about working for them. 
    • Every day is a little better with some coffee ice cream. :)

    • Oh well, back to work...
  • Monday Musings

    Monday's seem like the perfect time to get some things off my brain and start the week off right. So it's time to share my musings, and hear what might be on your mind.

    • Maybe I've been watching too many cop shows on tv lately, but I'm thinking that i want one of those giant boards they use to keep track of timeline and suspects and whatnot. Seriously, I think all writers should have one of these in their homes to keep track of everything as they move along in their work.
    • I just paid for the first time to "Boost Post" on my Facebook page ( and according to their stats over 3,000 people saw my post on Friday and Saturday. That's all fine and dandy but let's see if they do any more then jsut look at my post. Will it increase traffic to my website? Am I better off doing a Boost Post, or a general Ad? I have refused to pay for a long time - on principal (or cheapness) - and now I want to see if it really makes a difference.
    • While talking about Facebook, I get so frustrated at the lengths some pages will go to increase their Likes. Call me crazy, but I want you to do more than Like my page. I want you to come to it every day to see what my new tip is that day. I want you to be out with friends and when they're talking about needing help on a project, want you to say, "Hey, I know just the person who can help you. You should check out DRE&MS. I follow them on Facebook." Numbers don't mean anything to me. Results do.
    • I moved down to Miami about a month and a half ago from Rochester, NY. It's been a big change. Never more noticeable than yesterday, when my DH and I went to watch his Buffalo Bills play the Miami Dolphins with our daughters and Eldest Daughters boyfriend. No blankets, or sweatshirts or hot cocoa were packed for this trip. We packed sunscreen and prayed for the clouds to move faster to cover the sun. But the Bills won, so the threat of heatstroke was worth it. Today's sunburn on the other hand...

    • I was genuinely bothered today when I went for a walk with the pup to a coffeehouse I enjoy, ordered my Iced Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte only to find all the outdoor tables filled. All by people without drinks! What is the rule on this? How long can one take up a table without partaking of any of the establishments product. I can nurse a bevarage for well over an hour, but once it's gone, I start feeling bad if the place is busy. Now if it's dead...that's another story all together. 
    • Monday's are goal days, and maybe by sharing I'll feel the pressure to meet them, so here we go. This week I'm going to take out one Facebook ad and start to monitor to see if it actually does anything for my business. This week I will begin my daily blogging again and get back in the swing of it. This week I am going to walk every day. And by that I mean longer than getting the dog outside in the morning to do his business. -- I think that's good for week one. Better to set myself up for success. What are some of your goals?