Mind Over Matter

MINDS ARE SUCH FICKLE THINGS … I’VE picked up my “digital” pen so many times this week, only to put it down again. Even now … cohesive thoughts elude me. Already over half way through the week with nothing inspiring having trickled out of my grey cells can create a wee bit of panic.

There are plenty of mundane things to write about, but I really don’t want to put you to sleep … really I don’t. Honest. It’s weeks like this that I want to go back to random posts–you know … only when a good idea pops. But I know consistency is important to grow a reader base. Sigh.

And on top of that, Friday is going to be a very busy day. My writing cohort, Joyce Oroz and I will be having a late lunch up at Jardines in San Juan Bautista and chatting with the manager to see if we can use their location for a book signing … then I zip back down, and over to the Peninsula for Open Ground Studios fourth annual celebration–it’s hard to believe it’s been that long. Four years of creating art and nurturing friendships with some amazing people. A perfectly wonderful home away from home for me.

So, (even though this is awfully short) now I’m going to sign off and get this little gem posted before I forget! Have a wonderfully blessed Friday and upcoming week. This is Memorial Day weekend for those of us in the States. Please take a moment to remember all those that served  to protect us.

 

At It Again … Book Signings and Art

I’M OF THE OPINION THAT MANY EVENT planners conspire against us humble vendors. Back-to-back weekends with a few events on Thursday and Friday, just prior to one of the weekend events can certainly be daunting.

Joyce and I have survived two years of that (or has it been more?), Joyce Oroz and dj jameson smithworking together in the fall/winter with all of the holiday events (Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas—am I forgetting any?). As we drag our way through the last few events of the year, we keep saying (every year) that we need to spread out our events more evenly throughout the year (adding to what we have), so that we can pick and choose which ones we do in the latter part of the year.

Teehee … Joyce managed to find a couple events for the new year already, so we’re already at it again. We finished our first event on 6May (a Saturday)—new to us … and absolutely great for a mystery writer, but apparently not so much for a fantasy writer. The winery seemed like such a great venue to catch people as they came out of their wine tasting and as the headed into the craft/vendor area. Guglielmo Winery Book SigningWe were placed in what should have been a prime location, but we found people skirting around us, not wanting to connect. Those that did connect bought Joyce’s mystery books, but not mine—I chatted with a quite a few people and did sell a few, so it wasn’t a complete loss. Some would listen to our spiel and say they’d think about it … and if they had money left over, they’d stop back and buy—but didn’t. Guess they spent their money elsewhere in the vendor’s fair.

The “background” music did not help. It truly was difficult to carry on conversations with those that did stop, whether their stopping was out of curiosity or an honest desire to purchase. It didn’t help that both Joyce and I no longer have strong voices to talk over the music. And my not having two of my three books on Amazon further damaged my ability to sell. I really need to get those two books republished with Inknbeans Press—soooon!

All of that aside, our next two events were literally back-to-back two-day, then one-day events. First up was the low-key and delightful craft event at Watsonville Watsonville Hospital Book Signing (and Art)Hospital in their conference room, from 10am-4pm on Thursday and Friday, 11-12 May. I had both Painterly and Writerly hats donned for that.

Next (and the finale for the very busy, long weekend) was the Aromas Hills Artisan’s event, Aromas Country Garden Tour on Saturday, 13 May from 10am-4pm. Attendees began at the Aromas Grange to pick up the Garden Tour map, then meander to the homes to admire the rich variety of gardens … and find AHA members displaying their Aromas Country Garden Tour/Book Signingwares—Joyce Oroz and I scored a prime setting to display and hawk our books. An amazing 2.5acre garden. We Scored A Fantastic GardenWe relished every sale, but knew people were there for the gardens, so it was more to get the word out … a PR day, so to speak—and to thoroughly enjoy the glorious day, as well.

We’ve had a quiet spell for a wee bit—time to spend with family on Mother’s Day before I begin chatting with a few business managers these next couple weeks to see if they’d be open to having two authors cluttering up their space for a few hours. We’re going to chat with the proprietor of Jardines de San Juan in San Juan Bautista—after we have a lovely lunch—to see if we can do a Restaurant Garden Delights Beautiful Garden at Jardines Jardines de San Juan's gardensigning in their beautiful garden … and check on a few other businesses in the town, also—especially since one of Joyce’s mysteries is set in San Juan Bautista. Slowly but surely, we will have events scattered throughout the year. And hopefully we’ll be able to keep them on the schedule for years to come.

In the meantime, I certainly hope those mothers, mothers-to-be—and those with a seed of an idea to become a motherHappy Mothers Day—amongst my readers had a memorable Mother’s Day. Though belated, Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!

I’ve been hunkered down working on the edit for the book that started the whole thing … Secrets Beyond Scymaria. Editing ... ... And More EditingThere may be a few changes, but it will not change the direction of the story. I can hardly wait to get it back into print. But please know that you can get both paperback and hardbound copies of the original printing via my SquareMarket store and I’ve decided to extended the sale for all three—if purchased as a trio, whether two hardbound and one paperback or all three paperback.

So, my dear readers … may this Friday and the week to come be one filled with delight, surprise and cheer …

 

 

It’s Just One of Those Days …

HAVE YOU EVER HAD ONE of those days … you know, the ones that start off with you struggling to get out of bed? Days where you welcome the overcast skies because it’s not jarring your senses. Days where you drag your feet—literally—across the floor because there’s no energy for quick or crisp steps. Days where even after your “wake-up!” beverage and breakfast all you can think about is returning to a horizontal position. In bed, under the covers … hiding from the world. And, in my case, trying to escape pain. It’s not horribly bad like some of my friends deal with, but it’s there. All. The. Time. Nagging at me.

For me, hiding out in bed doesn’t really work—it’s one of those dreaded catch 22 things. Going forward in my day may sort the pains out … but trigger new ones. By staying in bed, old pains are relieved, but new ones creep in due to inactivity. Like I said … it’s a no-win scenario. I just have to decide which way I want to deal with it.

I can lessen the pain by taking medications, but because my body is not fond of it, I don’t take the meds unless I’m really hurting and I can only manage the meds for a couple days. I used to be a morning person—popping out from under the covers at 7am to start my day. Now, not so much. I still wake up at the same time … it just takes a whole lot longer to get my engines working. A whole lot longer.

I’m not trying to be a whinging ninny here. I’m simply trying to make a point. I count my blessings that my pain levels are relatively mild compared so many. I am able to get up and get moving—unassisted. I am able to walk—carefully—downstairs to make my own breakfast. My knees and ankles may sound like a creaky ol’ house in the process of descending the stairs, but I can do it.

My inactivity of late has triggered a weight gain, which is another catch 22—the more weight, the more stress/pain in the body, but movement and exercise cause pain, so I am less active, causing weight gain. And, it seems recently, pain apparently has become a trigger for me to seek comfort food (aka: major carb intake!!). Groan! I’m trying to fix that bad habit!

So … what am I trying to say here? There will always be “one of those days” or perhaps a string of them for you or for someone you know—or maybe it’s the complete stranger standing next to you. What do I do? I lean on God more heavily on those days … and it helps me get through the day. If it’s not you, please do not be the one to tell those that are having difficulties that it’s all in their head; that they can work it out (physically); or to shun them because they cannot keep up with you or are impeding your plans. Ask how you can help. Quietly and deliberately slow your pace (mentally and/or physically) so conversations can happen when your together. Understand where they are coming from … if you don’t understand fully, perhaps ask about the underlying illness causing the issue. Be educated. Just be there. Engage with them.  Be considerate. Smile (a genuine smile, please) and send up a prayer for them. There are so many ways—these are only a few of them.

Life is getting a wee bit hectic (I’ll explain later), so I probably will not be doing a blog next week (it will be a miracle if it happens)—as it is I almost forgot today’s! (insert very red face here …)

Have a blessed day and week—no, make that two weeks. The days are getting more and more beautiful, which makes me happy. Here’s to the upcoming summer! Cheers!