Tactical Tuesday

Another cloudy, chilly fall day at the Home Office/Studio in Gretna, Nebraska. In about ten minutes, I’m going to join a zoom class/meeting about the author side of the app Goodreads. It’s supposed to be easy to do, yet, I can’t find anywhere in what I’ve looked at to enter the author side. This should tell me what I need to know. It’s a relatively cheap way to get your books in front of the public. It adds to the excitement the next couple months hold for me.

November will be a very busy month for me; working towards my dream of publishing a book. There is a lot of work; a lot to learn; and a big learning curve, too. The talk was quite good about Goodreads. One more thing to coordinate. Even though I could have spent years finding an agent, getting a publisher to be interested in me, and earn pennies for the writing, I thought it would be much better to become an independent publisher. I get total control over my projects. I’m taking all the blame for when things go wrong, and all the credit when they go right. Cool!

The other evening, the Babe and I were watching a show we love on Netflix (Heartland). One of the characters was reading a book to their baby girl. The Babe looked at me and said, “Someday, that will be your book being read.” How sweet. Sometimes I wonder what we would have accomplished if we would have met years earlier? The trouble with that is we wouldn’t be who we’ve become now. We might not have learned all the hard lessons life teaches. The wonderful thing is what a gift it is to have this wonderful man encouraging me. I’m a lucky woman. And he’s a lucky man, too.

Planning, executing, and achieving is all worth it. I’m steps closer to gaining an audience (both as Grandma Kathy and as Kathy Raabe, Author), and I marvel at the people willing to share their knowledge. It seems to be a thing now to create courses for fellow authors, publishers, etc. I don’t need more things to “do” than all the learning and writing I’m plotting out now. It’s interesting to follow some of these authors and see what they do.

In the meantime, I’ll blog, study, read, and enjoy being inside on these chilly days. I have several months of work ahead of me. I’m looking forward to it, too. Fall, Winter, and early Spring are perfect times for this. Stay with me, and we’ll learn a lot together. Remember, my 70’s will be my most productive decade. And at the end, we’ll have some books to sell. It’s going to be fun. thank you for reading again today, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Frozen Friday

The perfect balance to yesterday with Mom? An hour with Cartney McGuigan (I keep wanting to call her Cartney McCartney). We visited over our book and planned dates for completing our tasks. It was cool. She just gets it, you know? Her energy? Contagious, in a good way.

She had some brilliant suggestions for depicting characters, and I am impressed with her creativity on the fly. We will text, e-mail, and share a google doc, and meet in person in April. I’m glad now we have a plan. I’m reflecting on what it is like to be 17. You are grown-up in most ways. Having experience takes a while longer, although some folks never learn. Embarking in this world today is not for the faint of heart.

It was blustery this morning, and it’s currently ZERO degrees. Yes, Zero. With more snow. Nowhere to go and just planning on taking it easy the rest of the weekend. I need to get tax info together the rest of the weekend. It has a deadline. Nothing else does. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, and a nap will be good, too. And back at everything next week again.

Planning backwards is what we did today. I need to do the same thing with my novel, since I’d also like to publish it this year. It may take longer than I expect. Until I choose a completion date, Fall may have to be a target for it, too. So much to consider and think about. It’s enjoyable, though.

So as Cartney works on her thumbnail drawing, and I work on reducing the words used to tell the story, we both hope you have a good evening and weekend. It’s freezing out, so please be careful out there. Keep warm and safe. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Happy July First!

Good morning from the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. It was a rainy night last night, and all the lawn chairs, cushioned or not, are soaking wet this morning. And, much like any other humid July in Nebraska, well, you know the rest. It will probably be this way until school starts again, in about five weeks.

I feel badly for parents when school begins again. Blended families, families with students in different levels of education, working parents, and parents who work at home, are all in for another round of, “Will my child really benefit from the education he or she will receive during the next phase of the pandemic?” One can only hope and pray. I really don’t know what the answer is. I am leaning towards masks for all, then sanitizing to beat the devil.

I’m making a bootleg calendar for my next couple of months. Trying to carefully measure out what is possible while meeting deadlines and Zoom schedules. We all need a little structure in our lives. At times Ihen wonder if I need as much as when we were younger? No, I think no. Retirement is supposed to be about spending time whatever way you feel like. That said, I believe we should still be contributing something to others, to still shine our lights out in the world. The Babe has his Quartermaster duties at the VFW. I love to watch the kids, and yet, there needs to be more than that. You can’t count on having enough grandkids to spend your time that way.

That’s probably a lot of the why I decided to write. I’ve always wanted to write Children’s Books. My daughter encouraged me over and over, until finally, I decided, “Why Not?” In the nearly two years since that revelation, I’ve worked on a novel, started another, and have outlines for several children’s stories. One is about the loss of a family pet based on our experience last summer, losing our Roxie. I think it could do some good for kids.

I had a very loose outline when I began my novel. I definitely see now where I could have made an easier time of it to have a better outline before. Those who never outline are called “pantsters,” who write by the seat of their pants. The planners are “outliners,” who know exactly what they will write. I suppose each writer learns what works for them, then proceeds. What a learning process!

I’m going to organize all my information in a sectioned binder, so everything is organized and together. I hope this works. Time will tell, won’t it? I have the “Personality Isn’t Permanent” book to finish, too. It will help describe the transition my character experiences through her life.

Reading is a Joy!

I just printed countless photos of all our dogs who have known Gavin. I want to have a themed book for him about all of his doggies. He loves the stories he has in his mind, and I want to preserve those for him. It’s neat to listen to him talk about his doggies. What a good thing we can share with him.

The school district our grandchildren hasn’t announced yet how they will handle the school year yet. Three districts in the area will do full time, every day for everyone. Two others will have a split schedule, 3/2 and every other week they switch who has 3 and who is the 2 group. Too complicated for me. It has to be hard for working parents, single parents, and those with no one to help them out. I think we’re all a few cases away from home schooling again and stay at home suggestions again.

We have to dig in, be positive, wear masks, and think of others than ourselves. I know, that’s what we have been doing. It is going to take all of us. It is going to take a very long time for the danger to subside enough for us to abandon our efforts. Our generations have never had to make a sacrifice for a national cause, for a unified effort. Most wars in my lifetime have been undeclared (Korea, Vietnam), and lack of national support deeply affected the veterans and the outcome. Lack of national support in this pandemic is affecting us and will affect the outcome.

Let’s put our pride aside, and our sense of entitlement, and wear a mask. Always in public. Shopping, in the stores, and if we go to eat. Remove it while you eat and drink. Be vigilant. Be on your guard. Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer. Clean frequently used items such as your phone; all the remote controls, the controls on your stove, oven, and microwave, and your refrigerator handles. Door knobs and handles. Yes, it’s not fun, it’s necessary. It’s boring, but it’s necessary.

Make sure you are around to attend all the postponed weddings, graduations, and family events. Make sure your grandparents are, too. Let’s take better care of each other. Thanks for reading today. I appreciate it a lot, and am now going to do some more cleanup on Chapter 1 of “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons.” I’ll see you back here tomorrow. Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful.