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Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Sales...

Okay, so I am nearing the 100 book sale mark for "Jordan's Return".  So exciting!!!  While I had hoped for bigger numbers, I know that it's not possible without marketing and I just have not had the time to do it.  I long for the day when I find someone who knows how to do and would volunteer their time for me!

So, just a reminder, you can get your copy right now for only .99 cents on Amazon's Kindle or in paperback for $11.99.  You can find it on Barnes and Noble's Nook for $1.99 (it wouldn't let me change the price!), or in paperback for $8.63 (I didn't know they were offering it until just now!).  I would love to hit the 100 mark for it's 3 month release date.  

Can you help me, please???  

And on an exciting note, I am featured today on "Cafe of Dreams: Book Reviews" site today.  Click HERE to check it out!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Highs and Lows...

So...Frank finally got a job.  YEAH!!!  He'll be working with a commercial painting and wallpaper company and the money isn't great and it's kind of far away but it is WORK.  Praise GOD!  He starts on Monday and you know what's gone on here since he got the job?  He's getting calls for work on his own.  I HATE when that happens.  So he's torn between working the new job for someone else or staying on his own and I told him that he needs to just take the job with the commercial people and perhaps start booking jobs maybe 2-3 months out from now.  This way, we start getting an income again and he can see if he fits in with this job or if it's everything they said it was going to be.

As for me, working, working, working.  I've been spending a lot of time thinking about just life in general and going through a "life decluttering" phase; hence the defriending post the other day.  I officially left my church and have been visiting some other local ones and I have to tell you, this is not a fun or easy thing to do.  There is no perfect church, and I get that, but it's been nice to feel that lightness and job on a Sunday morning again.

I had some let downs at work; I had asked about coming on full-time but was turned down.  Not permanently, mind you, just not right now.  I was really bummed because I love my job and want to be able to support my family as best as I can - even though that job alone wouldn't cut it, but it would be a start.

So for now it's just us plugging along; work, school, housework...you know, the fun stuff.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Do you "Defriend"?

So I read an interesting little article on BlogHer today titled "Defriending on Facebook".  I was instantly interested because lately there has been someone that I wanted to "defriend" but I think that there could be ramifications if I do.

In the article, the writer talks about defriending a  Facebook friend because though they were close friends at one time, now when she sees this person actually "in" person, they don't acknowledge her.  Interesting.  I think Facebook is a great way to reconnect with people that you really are interested in being friends with from your past but I think we can get caught up in friend requesting people that we are only sort of interested in or because we are just plain curious as to what they turned out to be like in life.

I have numerous Facebook friends that fall in to that category.


So back to my defriending.  I am FB friends with someone who was a good friend for a time, but we've not talked in more than a year, didn't part on the best of terms and to be honest, the pictures that she posts sort of creep me out.  Seriously, when I see one of her pictures, I tend to refresh my page or do whatever possible to get it out of my field of vision.  So why don't I just do it?  Because we have mutual friends.


I certainly don't want to be in one of those awkward conversations where someone will say, "So, you defriended so-and-so...".  Don't think it will happen?  Trust me, it does.  I've had several conversations with people who have been in similar situations and have been questioned (or interrogated) about their defriending.  I really don't want to deal with that but then again, this woman's pictures creep me out.  They're a weird family and I feel better just not associating with them.


So...do you defriend or grin and bear it?

 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quality customer service...

So I got a new Kindle Touch for Christmas.  It was one of those gifts that I really didn't think that I wanted but now that I have it, I totally love it.  So I've put a bunch of books on it and it took almost a whole month of serious ready before I had to re-charge.  

So I plug it in to the computer to charge it and this morning I go to start it up and do some reading and it froze on my library page.  Okay, fine, I reboot it.  It does the same thing - it starts but freezes on the library page.  I go to the computer and research all of the troubleshooting issues for the Touch.  I find nothing about what it specifically going on with me.

Okay, fine, now I have to chat with an Amazon Kindle person.  I'm not fond of the online chat but I had things to do and not a lot of time so I figured this was the way to go.  I started the chat at 9:45 a.m. and did not get done until almost 11:00 a.m.  During that entire chat time, I not only worked on my Kindle with a super nice guy named Luis, but I did two loads of laundry, took a shower, did my hair and make up, put in my contacts and made lunch.  Luis was very understanding of every time I had to walk away from the computer for those 5 minute tasks.  The five minute shower was a new personal record!

So after I deal with all of my stuff and try everything that sweet little Luis offered, it turns out that my Kindle is defective!  Can you believe it?  Not even a full-month old and it's a bust!  I was a little freaked but Luis assured me that this was not a problem and promptly shipped out a NEW Kindle to me - using next day shipping - and I have to ship my broken one back.  I almost hated to ask what this was going to cost me because I don't have a receipt for the Kindle (Frank didn't save it) and now they upgraded me to the next day shipping and you know what?  

IT WAS ALL FREE!

Now, all I have to do is wait for my new Kindle to arrive, box up the old one and voila!  Done!  BIG round of applause to Amazon customer support.  You guys totally rock!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

When your child doesn't take a good picture...

I have two sons.  They are both the greatest things that ever happened to me.  I love them more than I ever thought humanly possible.  They are opposite in every imaginable way even down to their looks.  Nick is brown hair, brown eyes, olive complexion whereas Michael is blonde, blue eyed and fair skinned.

Nick takes an amazing picture; he is VERY photogenic.  I honestly, in his 20 years of life, have rarely seen a bad picture of him.  Michael is not so fortunate.  He is clearly uncomfortable having his picture taken - and yes, he gets that from his father - but it's gotten to the point where we just don't know what to do about it and he has become aware of it as well.

Last week at school the Ident-a-Kid program came to do ID cards.  We needed one for him and so we signed up and ordered them.  Tonight they texted it to me (I'm not quite sure why...I thought we were getting ACTUAL cards).  Anyway, the picture on this ID rivals Nick Nolte's mug shot.  

I only wish I were kidding.

My beautiful curly headed boy, my sweet little bean, takes horrendous pictures!  I don't understand how such an adorable child can photograph so badly!  He has one eye open, one eye closed in this shot!  How does that even happen???  Getting Christmas card pictures became painful and don't even get me started on school pictures; I had to stop buying them because they won't re-take them the amount of times it takes to get him relaxed enough to get a good shot!  

It's not that his clothes are bad or anything fixable like that.  His curly hair is unruly so what looks fine when he leaves the house is normally out of control by picture time and then...it's his expressions.  All you have to do is glance at one of these shots to see that he feels like he is being sent to his execution.

My poor baby.  Someday he is going to relax enough to let us get some good pictures of him and then I am going to post them all over the place.  Hopefully.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

WRAL Sucks!

You know, I have so few things these days that bring me joy.  I have all of three TV shows that I watch that make me happy.  On Monday it is "How I Met Your Mother", Wednesday it is "Modern Family" and on Thursday it is "The Big Bang Theory".  Tonight was to be the 100th episode (all new, might I add) and so at 8:00 I turned on the TV, tuned in to CBS and what did I find?  

College basketball.

Do you know when my show will be aired?  1:37 AM.  

Needless to say I am NOT amused.

So I commented on WRAL's Facebook wall the following:  Not everyone cares about basketball, WRAL! It shows a lack of respect toward your viewers to not air an all-new prime time show in favor of a college event. 

To which they responded:   WRAL is the long-time ACC basketball affiliate in this market, and each season we must carry a certain number of games in primetime. Some are great games - others are not. We must take them all.
Our standard practice is to move the affected network programs overnight so 100% of our viewers at least have the opportunity to record the shows. We could put those shows on a digital channel - but less than 50% of the households in our viewing area have access to that channel, and we don't think that's a good tradeoff.
We understand the frustration that these conflicts cause, but we always try to make the programs available in some fashion. Many of the network shows are available for viewing online the next day at cbs.com, so that is another option.


While it was nice to have them respond, I'm curious as to when I missed the FREE DVR giveaway in which enabled 100% of their viewers the opportunity to record the show.  Seriously?  Um...I don't have DVR.  I barely have cable so this statement angered me even MORE.

Sporting events should be broadcast on separate channels or maybe they should be aired overnight.  I don't see why MILLIONS of viewers who tune in for a network TV show need to be inconvenienced for the thousands who MIGHT (and I'm being generous here with that audience) tune in to watch a college event.


I was always a fan of WRAL but as of now, they have lost a viewer.  I will watch my CBS shows on-line from now on and take every opportunity I have to tell the masses how much WRAL SUCKS.

Monday, January 16, 2012

.99 Cent Kindle Download!

That's right!  My book, Jordan's Return is now only .99 on Kindle this week!  Go and check it out!  Click HERE to go directly to Amazon's page. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Do you ever just get tired?

I know I've shared this a lot but Frank's being out of work is exhausting to me.  It's not just the extra work and pressure on me that is tiring, it's more.  For years I tried to help him with the business - I'd offer to type up the estimates, come up with advertising ideas, etc.  What I've learned in the process is that we are indeed opposites and sometimes that is a really, really bad thing.

When I would offer to type the estimates, he would wait until I was climbing in to bed to ask "Oh, aren't you going to type this for me?" after I had been sitting next to him for HOURS with no idea that an estimate needed to be typed.  All of my ideas for expanding the business, getting the word out there about the business - basically any input I gave was shot down.

Now here we are.  Two months without work.  Again.  I am now working three part time jobs to help pay the bills and we are still painfully short on making it and guess who wants my help?

Kill me now.

I have helped him compose some emails, I've gone on to Vistaprint and helped create all kinds of free merchandising/advertising material for him and I have tried to be encouraging.  Today?  I was just plain DONE with the whole thing.  I'm tired of writing emails.  I'm tired of helping with the applications.  I'm tired of having to stop what I'm doing to help him find a job.  I know that it sounds stupid because maybe if I help him, something will come through and by not helping him, perhaps I am spiting myself.  But at the same time, I am just TIRED.  

When I was out of work for two years, did he help me find a job?  No.  When I'm trying to find an agent or a publisher, does he help?  No.  When I am freaking out because I don't want to live on the damn street, does he take any job available to help us out.  No.  Maybe I'm trying to justify my screaming like a lunatic until my voice was raw but I am beyond frustrated and tired of having to help him.

Sigh...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bank hacking, dieting and other things that stink!

I've been negative lately.  I'm sorry.  Just know that today isn't any different.  This morning I get a message on the answering machine from our bank saying that there is an issue with our card and we need to call.  So I call the number and it's an automated service and some of the questions just didn't seem "right".  So I hung up and actually went to the bank's website and called them directly.  Apparently, my instincts were correct.  Someone had hacked my bank card number and had made several purchases and that phone call was one of those fishing things.  They were hoping to get more of my personal information so that they could get more of my financials.  

Really?

I think I am one of the poorest people I know.  I have less that $200 in the bank and you have to hack MY account?  How sucky is that???


Now I'm finishing up the first week of my diet and let me just say, that sucks too.  I was doing a 'jump start' kind of thing and have been really strict with myself and have a good support system around me to encourage me.  

I hate them.

Not really, but when I am losing my mind with hunger, when the thought of another bowl of vegetable soup makes me want to throw up, the last thing I want is a cheering squad around me!  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't like I was going to opt for a Big Mac or a pepperoni pizza, but to choose some grilled chicken instead of another banana or another bowl of the stupid soup was NOT a choice that was going to kill the diet.  I'm hungry and I'm cranky and I hate that weight loss is so damn hard!

That's not too much to ask, is it???

Friday, January 13, 2012

The End of Online Advertising?

Okay, so those of you on Entrecard probably also use Adgitize.  Well, by now everyone knows that Adgitize went bye-bye.  I never made anything on it so I wasn't too devastated except how it affected my Entrecard life.

For those of you who do neither of these things, I apologize for the foreign language!

You see, ever since I upgraded my internet browser, I can no longer use the Entrecard toolbar.  That sucked.  What I used to be able to do in 55 minutes now takes closer to 90.  I am NOT happy with that.  Having the Adgitize widgets available speeded up the process a little.

Not anymore.

Plus, it seems to me that Entrecard has no interest in upgrading their services.  Does that mean that they are just going to phase out?  I don't know.  But I'm kind of curious as to what is going to happen.  I've contacted them several times and have gotten no response.

Anyone out there in the know?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Are the days getting shorter???

I don't know about you, but lately it seems (even more so) that there is less time in the day.  Nothing in my schedule has changed; I'm still working the same amount of hours and yet I am getting less and less done.  How is that possible?

I have not written here like I have wanted to.  I have three books in various stages that I have not touched/written/edited as they need.  I am getting ready to submit SOMETHING (I still don't know what) to Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award and to top it off, this stupid diet that I started this week is starting to make me a little crazy.  I'm halfway through this 7-day "jump start" and to be honest, I cheated a little last night.  I had three teaspoons of mac & cheese.  I'm so ashamed!


So where's all my time going?  Is the stress of life really eating away at me that much?  Am I just so tired from the stress that I'm not staying awake as much because I just want the days to end?  I don't know.  All I do know is that I am ready for another writing retreat/escape.

I just wish it could be someplace tropical...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

So how's your New Year going so far?

So...it's 2012.  Whoop-dee-do.  Actually, I do have high hopes for this year but so far I am severely unimpressed.  Frank is still not working (we're at a month since his last short job) and I am getting to that point where I am getting to be "not nice" to him.  I don't like getting that way but my frustration level is at its breaking point.

Nick turned 20 yesterday.  I meant to blog about it but I was sort of a wreck about it.  I am no longer the mother of a teenager.  He is out of his teen years.  I have been a parent for 20 years.  That is a very long time.  I don't feel old enough to have a 20 year old and I certainly don't want to think that I LOOK like the mother of a 20 year old.  It was very upsetting.

Since last Thursday I have been to the doctor twice and I have an appointment for a mammogram on Monday.  Apparently I am trying to be healthy in the new year.  

I have organized a "Biggest Loser" challenge in my office.  We start that on Monday.  I think it's going to be fun but I am finding it hard to get psyched up about it when I'm at home when all that is going on here basically sucks right now.  It's hard to find time to exercise when you have a depressed husband moping on the couch staring at you.  It's worse than the creepy guy at the gym!

I have decided that it's time to change churches.  I've had issues for a while and I am finding that they aren't getting any better and so if I want to go to church and actually focus on worshiping God, then I need to be in a place where I respect the leaders.  It wasn't an easy decision and it was rough to tell my small group leader that I was leaving but I am hopeful that this is the year that we find a church home that fits our family and where we feel welcomed.

So here we are; 2012.  My hope is that things get better all around for all of us.  Anyone have any big goals for this year?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Why would they do this???

I have worked for companies that have had to close their doors in the past.  In retail, you sell off everything that you can and then you donate the rest.  It just makes sense.  In this economy, particularly now with so many people in need of just about everything, how can a company explain such blatant disregard of merchandise?

 Have you seen this?  A bridal shop in Minnesota closed/went out of business and destroyed all of these gowns!  You cannot tell me that they couldn't sell these at drastically reduced prices to regain some of their costs or donate them to military future-brides or something!  I think it's a disgrace.  

Now before someone starts yelling, I get it; it is their merchandise to do with as they please but when so many people are struggling, was this truly the best option for anyone?  Were they so bitter about closing that this was their way of flipping people off?  

Bad business.  Maybe THAT'S why they closed their doors...sucky attitudes.