Thursday, Already? What?

So this week has gotten away from me. Yes, those critical ‘absolutely have to do’ items have been done and checked off the list. However, some of the more fun, really wanted to do things, well, they haven’t happened. Yet.

Some of those have been pushed off to the next opportunity around the things that have to be done next week. The end of this year isn’t going nearly as smoothly as I like. (Meaning I haven’t slept in anywhere as much as I had thought when I was looking ahead to December and the holidays.)

I had hopes of working down my list of things to do for the next book to the point I would be ready to start editing and rewriting the first of next year. Instead of making that list smaller, it seems to be morphing and growing at rate that is starting to intimidate me a bit.

But then I see the scar on my right forearm from the bicycle accident and realize, nah, I can do this. I just need to look at today and let tomorrow worry about its own self. One of those things that can be done today is check-in with you, that’s a fun thing. You are brightening my day.

Today and tomorrow some serious behind the scenes work has to be completed. There is more to being an indie writer than just sitting down and writing on the story. There is some drudgery work, administrative in nature, as well as some of the more everyday type things that we all do. Like yesterday, I cleaned the bathroom, you know the whole bathroom, not just wiping down a counter and picking up a towel. (Shudder)

Hoping before bedtime to finish my list who and what to do for list before Christmas gets here, and wondering who won’t mind if their gift is late. You know, finding the loose end that needs to be tied up. Oh, and getting ready for the audio release of the children’s book, Snowball, that I won’t know has been dropped until it already has, I think.

Yeah, that kind of stuff.

I can’t really complain too much or too loudly because I am learning so so much in all this. Maybe in another ten years I will be getting the hang of it all. Looking forward to the day that my writing skill and business management all converge at a critical point that might be loosely called ‘success’ by others.

Right now I am feeling pretty successful. Two books out, and an audio version about to drop. I call that a success! Still going, maybe even stronger in someways than that first day in July 2014 when Snowball was available as an ebook.

Thanks for your support. Keep reading!

Love ya,

Julie

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So, I thought I flubbed this! BUT I DIDN’T!

I found a contest that I could enter to help pay for some software I could use. But. I think I flubbed it.  I didn’t enter the right email and then I see “pending review” so I “backed” out of it and re-entered.  But  I may get disqualified, because it they both may go through and that would be WRONG.

Any way.  Here is the entry and the website. Please go vote for me.

Look for ‘byjuliekolb’ and vote for me!

CLICK AND VOTE HERE – JULIE KOLB’s BOHO BERRY SMALL BUSINESS ENTRY CLICK HERE!

The website – www.bohoberry.com/

My entry is I believe – #169834309   – THIS HAS BEEN UPDATED SEE THE LINK IN BLUE ABOVE ! contest entry

Here is the entry – note the contest entry doesn’t allow much space – the entries are very compact so this was written to give the reader space and time to think.

I am a writer, . . . and novice artist, and everything else. Under my belt are two children stories, which are part of a five book promise for my grandchildren. This coming year a story for grownups is the work in progress.
My beloved wheel of life Hub and I formed our business in 2014 to publish my first book, an easy early chapter book, Snowball, a story written for my granddaughter.
When I was working on Snowball, I drew rough images to show a real artist for chapter illustrations. My granddaughter served as an editor and got to see them before I sought out real artists who could do the ideas justice. Those drawings were edited with a sweet critique telling me what I could do to make those scratches look better. I realized then that she would expect to see those from me! The whole book was for her, with all my work alone. That was a big deal! I did make those tweaks to my scribblings and we published July 2014.
This past October, we published a picture book, Bad Dream. Why a two year break in publishing? Well, I am an adventurous grandma and was trying to hop tree roots on a mountain bicycle, and found I don’t do that well. I broke both bones of my forearm!
Did I mention I am in my fifties? I am. The break required a surgical repair. Now not only do I have people wondering what that woman is doing now, (Wonder Woman, get it?), but I am also a bit bionic as well, at least in one forearm!
The accident happened when I was beginning to learn how to draw, so I had to restart learning to draw with my non-dominant hand while going through physical therapy to regain use of my dominant hand. It set me back a year.
Bad Dream was published this past October 2017. Currently my work in progress is for grown-ups, a story I started writing as a Halloween post back in 2012 for my blog.
Why do I need to win this contest? I need to purchase a lot of things, software to make creating books easier, especially being able to create my own covers. Advertising, because not many people know who I am or what I do. Also, research, always research – research to become a better writer, to check story facts and build this still fledgling business!
Because I write for both children and adults, I make it easy to know what tales are appropriate for youngins, “By Julie Kolb,” and what is a story for a more mature audience, “J.Kolb.” I want to know what and who I am buying, don’t you?
If you have stayed with me through this short essay, I want to leave you with links to find my written work and check me out. So, here goes. For By Julie Kolb: blog, http://www.byjuliekolb.com; Facebook @kolbjulie; Twitter, @byjuliekolb. For J. Kolb: blog, http://www.j-kolb.com; Facebook, @ReadJKolb; Twitter, @jdotkolb. Thanks for reading! Love you! Julie

Social Media Madness

Just woke up early to listen to rain on the window. Sounding like a sleep in Sunday morning. Thoughts drifting from one thing to the next. Pow! A detail of the WIP pops into my mind. Luckily the hubs wasn’t sleeping either. It’s nice when a detail that needs checking can be researched by a simple, “Hey, babe . . .”

But that isn’t the topic. Just what’s filling my brain in the wee hours of the morning. Deciding to write, and writing are only part of what you have to do to become a writer. Research it for yourself.

One thing they all have in common, besides having the ability to put more than two words together in an interest grabbing fashion, is social media. Getting your writing name out there, mulitplying upon that, by gaining a fan base. Possibly the two most important words in this business-‘fan base.’

Quite frankly, that hasn’t been a priority for me. Working on the putting words together and coming up with story ideas that I want to write about have. More on that at another time.

What this is about is, me, telling you, I just don’t. I am struggling with building that fan base.Struggling with getting followers and likes. One big obstical is myself. I don’t ask for help easily. I don’t ask others very often or very well for the matter to help by reblogging or reposting or sharing.

Like telling you, my reader that I have

Facebook -@ReadJKolb

Twitter @jdotkolb

Instagram j.kolbstorywriter

Pinterest, Tumbler, and Google+ are on the list of social sites as well. And, and, and, I have two at each. The grownup – J.Kolb and the children’s appropriate By Julie Kolb brand. Yes, I do. BUT, and that is a rather huge b-u-t, I don’t utilize them to the max. I don’t ask often for follows and likes. I don’t even push sales of my children’s books very well either.

So, this is a one big time push to say- please support my efforts by liking, sharing and following. Sharing would be a huge help. Thanks.

And you have a great day!

Julie

PANIC MODE!

After coffee and breakfast, contemplating the day, I rubbed my chin. Caught between my finger and thumb was . . . A RANDOM CHIN HAIR!!!!!!!!! Menopause!

A thin scrawny chin hair that I hadn’t seen in the mirror (I have to start wearing glasses and using that 10x mirror) reflection in the four months this thing had grown. (Basing on its length and the estimation of a half an inch a month growth.) I let go in my panic and stroked my chin again to be sure it wasn’t just my imagination.

Nope. This time when I caught it tenderly between thumb and forefinger, I could pull my chin skin out from bone. EEK! It is real!

I am proud of my containment. I didn’t screech nor scream. Sadly, social media has gotten to me and I reached for my phone to take a close up picture of this new aging phenomenon. Before I could get a snapshot, the little wisp broke. Thankfully there is still enough collagen in my chin that the skin snapped back in place. Thankful for small mercies.

My husband is now in charge of unwanted hair growth on my face. His response? “It’s like checking you for ticks, got it.” Imagine the sound of a male parental voice exasperated at what else a mischievous child has yet again gotten into, rather than any sexy southern drawl.

Thanks for reading!

J

Artists And Art

Ever viewed the show Abstract? I hadn’t until recently. Only two shows thus far, but the second hit me like a ton of bricks.

It was all about shoes. Athletic shoes. Tinker Hatfield. I came away with a couple of quotes. No, you have to go watch it on your own and find your own takeaway quote.

Still reading the Legend of Drizzt by R.A. Salvatore and finished some regional (to me) authors of the midwest. A couple recently finished- a Maggie Adams and an Amy Hale. (Check them out on Amazon.)

As much as the need to actually sit down to write, there is also the need for encouragement. No one works exactly like anyone else. Honor your own method. That is still a bugger for me at times, like this spring.

Spring is upon us.

The improved weather and sunshine aren’t conducive to sitting in front of a screen or at a drawing table. My mind is drifting to finding ways to work outside for the couple of months before the real heat of summer sets in.

Knowing that other writers have mastered how to craft their stories and manage their time is both encouraging and discouraging at the same time. I know that life has gotten in their way at times, yet they have not let it stop them. They just adjusted and got back to it, otherwise their work wouldn’t be available to read today.

Once upon a time I was comfortable with my writing style, but then I got all caught up in improving and just got completely lost in all the advice. As a writing instructor told me, just write.

There is a lot of advice out there, some is very good, some is questionable and some is scam. Be careful dear writers. Weigh the advice carefully and consider the source. Research! It pays off. And above all stay true to your voice.

Ego Be Damned

So, another thing I did this fall was take an online writing course. I was very challenged and outside my comfort zone. Through the course there were discussion questions, these were divided into two groups.

The first group was where I thought I belonged — beginners, first time writers. I participated in some discussions there. The second group’s questions intrigued me more, they were questions for seasoned, experienced writers. A group I didn’t identify with at all, but am now considering.

I have, after all, published my writing in one blog form or the other since about 2003. I have self published one book, and am included in an anthology as well. I am not a novice anymore. Maybe, I am now an intermediate?

One of the questions in the last week of the course discussed art, specifically the art of writing, touching upon this idea of validation of a writer’s work. Something new to me, not just regarding confidence but ego-wise; not only am I a writer, but my work is art.

Knock me over with a feather! I am getting there.

I am behind my schedule of what I should have published and where I should be as a writer. My dream plan path is off track. It is going to take some work and dedication to get back on. The one key element is that I have to have respect for my work.

Respecting my own work, more than anyone else’s opinion, matters most.

I think that struggling to not only create, but follow the path that is my own journey is one many others struggle to follow as well.

As I look forward to next year, I am thinking what will the focus be for 2017? If 2016 was all about seeing possibility, what will my priority of perspective next year?

Fall Cleaning

A long time ago, when my children were little, instead of major “Spring Cleaning,” I chose to do all the major annual cleaning in the Fall. This ritual ensured the house was clean and ready for the holidays. Holiday decorating, unannounced family visits, as well as planned get togethers were so much easier to maneuver through with a good cleaning under the belt, so to speak.

This yearly thorough cleaning idea came from reading the Sidetracked Home Executives by Pam Young and Peggy Jones. Two sisters who created a card file cleaning system that worked well for me and my family back in the day. Now I have come around full circle to looking for a copy of that original book.

This is the first year in a long time, I reverted back to that former routine. We have filled the trash bin now for several weeks while downsizing to a home where only grandchildren visit occasionally and our offspring are now adults. I am enjoying this pared down lifestyle and realized that cleaning still boggles my brain, especially when I could be writing!

The old stand mixer began leaving metal flakes from the gears in my dough several years ago, but now that we found a replacement, I can make some holiday cookies this year. I think the garbage guys that have been picking up my castoffs and overstuffed garbage deserve some treats for their assistance.

It is easier to get into the holiday spirit when the house looks good and no drastic cleaning has to occur. Just unbox and sort through the decorations, set them up and turn ‘em on. Maybe next year, if we do a really good job this year, when the hubs is cleaning out gutters he can be enticed to hang some Christmas lights at the same time? Of course that would mean they would be up there until Spring, when he cleans them out again, but I am just fine with that.

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