Morning Coffee: Cover Reveal

The moment has arrived for the big cover reveal.

Stay tuned for a release date in February.

mary-bishop-final-small

Morning Coffee: One Step Closer

RevisionsEvery day I get a step or two closer to publishing “Mary Bishop”. I have a cover! It’s currently being refined, and it’s beautiful. All I imagined and then some.

Headway’s being made on proof-reading. My biggest lesson learned, it’s a good idea to periodically review the basics. In this case, the use of commas. Not that this is news to me, but it’s become more obvious as I re-read my manuscript with a critical eye. Afterall, we’re talking about my professional reputation. I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, and nothing bugs me more than finding mistakes when I’m reading.

I’m researching the indie-publishing process. I need to apply for a state tax ID#. Yes, the government is going to want their share of my sales. I need to set up a designated bank account. It’s always a good idea to keep business finances separate from personal . . . and this is a business.

bookworm_imageThe work isn’t done when the book goes live. Then I need to be ready to promote. PR, selling myself and my book, will become top priority. That means more research. All this while working on my next book. The assumption is, once people read my first book, they’re going to want to read more.

Thankfully, I have a great network of published writer friends who can help me navigate the ins and outs of the indie publishing world. Friends who can help me avoid the mistakes they may have already made themselves. Then, one day I can help someone else.

Coming soon: The big cover reveal and a release date. Don’t miss it!

Morning Coffee: Happy New Year!

Healing Heart2020 is going to be a great new year! It’s the year I achieve my life goal of becoming a published author. I’m both excited and nervous.

After finishing my second round of edits, I forwarded the manuscript to my sister for proofreading. It’s amazing what a fresh pair of eyes can find.

In the meantime, my cover work has begun. I bought a period outfit from Etsy and last month spent an evening with a photographer friend who took various shots to find just the right one. The plan is to be my own cover model. Our choice was forwarded to a cover artist who will put together something amazing. Watch for the big reveal later in January!

Then it’s time to download everything to Amazon’s indie publishing program. My goal is to have “Mary Bishop” available on Amazon by the end of January, or beginning of February.

What’s going to make your 2020 the best year yet? Whatever it is, I wish you luck and good fortune.

champagne

Morning Coffee: Merry Christmas!

ChristmasChristmas is next week. I can’t wait! I get to spend it with family in sunny Florida. Maybe I should say “warm” and sunny Florida. It’s sunny here in northwest Wisconsin, but it’s not warm.

The holidays aren’t only about looking forward. They’re also about looking back. It’s a season filled with reflection. We remember those who are no longer with us, and make telephone calls to those who live far away.

It’s a time for traditions. We bring out the ornaments, each with its own story. We listen to our favorite music, watch the old (and new) holiday movies. We fix all the foods and drinks our parents and grandparents prepared every year. Maybe it’s your aunt’s pecan pie, your mother’s fudge, your grandfather’s egg nog he always made far too strong and boozy for the children.

School concerts, church pageants, caroling, and visiting Santa Claus at the mall. Snowmen, snow angels, and snowball fights.

No matter what, where, or how, you celebrate—I wish you and yours the merriest of holiday seasons and the happiest new year!

Christmas Candle

Morning Coffee: What I’m Thankful For

fallIt’s Thanksgiving, the day we gather with family and friends to eat too much turkey, and toast the things we’re most thankful for with too much wine. This year I’m most thankful for my external hard drive.

Wait! What did she just say? She’s thankful for her external hard drive? Yes, you heard right.

A week and a half ago, my much loved Toshiba laptop, after 10+ years of devoted service, crashed. We knew it was coming. There’d been talk of replacing it, but, of course, we put it off. Now I go back and forth between working on my husband’s desk top for the printer connection, and my daughter’s old laptop where I have an email connection. Meanwhile, the search is on for the best option for my new laptop in the Black Friday tech sales. Another thing to be thankful for, Black Friday! Never thought I’d ever say that.

Here’s where my one great saving grace comes into play. My external hard drive. I had backed up my files and pics before shutting down for a trip a couple weeks before, so all I lost were a couple reports I had emailed to others, allowing me to retrieve them.

This could have been a catastrophe. Instead, it’s merely an inconvenience. I’m thankful that I learned after my last hard drive crash that I need to have something larger than a memory stick. And, I need to do more frequent back-ups.

Computers are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they make our work lives more productive. On the other, going paperless is a daily risk of losing everything. Even back-up systems can fail. (I keep copies of my writing on the external hard drive, a memory stick, AND hard copies!)

Of course, I’m also thankful for friends and family. I’m thankful for good health, a roof over my head, and food in my cupboard. But, right now, the writer in me is very thankful for her external hard drive.

Thanksgiving-free-clipart

Morning Coffee: Winter is Coming!

halloweenAnyone familiar with Game Of Thrones knows this warning. I read several of the books, but have not seen the HBO series. It’s a warning of bleak, dark, dangerous times ahead. That pretty much sums up what I think of a Midwest winter.

When I was a child, I wasn’t fond of the cold but it didn’t matter as much. If it was a weekend, or a snow day, we’d bundle up and go sledding without much thought. There were snowmen, snowballs, and snow angels to consider. But now…well…all I know now is it’s going to be cold, and if I fall on the ice I’m liable to break a hip.

This is a list on how I know winter is coming.

  • Temperature’s dropping
  • Leaves are falling
  • Golf course has closed
  • Ski resort is making snow
  • Soups and stews are becoming the dinner of choice
  • Hunting season is upon us
  • Rutting deer make night driving scary
  • Next week is our annual lefse making day
  • Today is Halloween, yet Christmas has been making an appearance for weeks
  • Hallmark and Lifetime are playing their Countdown to Christmas movies
  • Facebook posts are reminding us we need to be thinking Christmas shopping/decorating
  • I’m beginning to panic about Christmas!!
  • I’m beginning to dream more and more about Florida

Yes, winter is coming and there’s nothing we can do to stop it, so I’m going to have to find a way to make the best of it. It is a good time to tackle the to-be-read books stacked in my bedroom.

Here’s an exciting thought about something great to look forward to this winter. “Mary Bishop” is in the final stages of publication preparations. I returned my revisions to my editor after her first round of notes and she is now reading. (Word is, she’s pretty happy with what I sent.) And I’ve begun talking to a photographer and graphic artist about my cover. My plan is to have it ready for publication late January or early February 2020. Stay tuned!

Morning Coffee: The Negativity Virus

halloweenIt’s the time of year when we start talking about the current flu vaccine. Have you had your shot yet? There are vaccines for almost everything: pneumonia, measles, chicken pox, hepatitis, mumps, you name it. What we don’t have is a vaccine for the negativity virus.

What is the negativity virus? It’s a nasty little fast-spreading bug and, thanks to social media, it’s infecting all of us. One negative comment by one person and soon people world-wide are griping, grumbling, hollering even. Before you can stop it, this little one-celled creature has grown and mutated into anything and everything that’s been lingering at the back of your mind since you were old enough to remember. There is no vaccine, but there are plenty of natural remedies.

Did you have to cancel your tee time because it’s pouring rain? (I know this one well.) There’s nothing you can do to change the weather so why complain about it? Curl up with that book you’ve heard so much about. Pour yourself a coffee, tea, or glass of wine. Better yet, call your golf buddy(ies) and arrange to meet for lunch or a movie, instead.

Were you bullied in school? (Another personal gripe.) Well, if this just happened yesterday, fight it. But if you’re 60 years old, I suggest you start by going to your next class reunion. I’d be willing to bet those people have changed, too, and now you might even be friends. In the meantime, use your own experience to protect the current generation of victims.

You don’t like your current state or federal representative? (This one is a big pet peeve of mine.) Campaign for the person you do like, and then vote! You can’t complain if you didn’t bother to vote. Forget about the mean or silly memes and tweets. They don’t change anything, and they are the fastest way to spread the virus.

You see a pattern here? If you can do something about it, then go for it. If you can’t, then let it go. We’re all carriers, but we don’t have to spread it to others.

The best way to fight off the negativity virus is to not get involved in the first place. Smile and change the subject, or, if need be, walk away. You’ve heard the old saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well, here’s a toast to plenty of lemonade in our future.