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Monday, November 25, 2013

A Holiday Hiatus for the Mule

To all my friends in the US, an early Happy Thanksgiving! I've decided to take another week off to finish what I started. Right now, I'm worried it might finish me off too. LOL!

The past week has been a GRUELING week of of 18 hours days. I don't think I ever worked so hard in my life. Everything hurts on me. 

For those of you who don't know, hubby lives 300 miles away. We're trying to get his house ready to put on the market for next year so he can retire and we can live like normal people. What is normal anyway?

Most of my chores at Casa South involved cleaning or throwing stuff out. You cannot imagine what you can accumulate in nearly 40 years of marriage. (I see a massive garage sale in our future.)

Then came the painting. Lots of painting.

I'm still not done. Lots more to do inside and out, but I think I got the extra-hard stuff out of the way. Now it's a matter of fixing anything that's broken, painting the outside of the house, and clearing five acres of overgrown woods.

I'm hoping I can finish everything in three more trips.

We took the weekend off and we've been vegging on the couch and catching up on movies we'd missed. But Monday starts another week of endless chores. (I swear, if I'm ever rich, I will never scrub another floor or wall again!)

How have you been? If you're in the US, are you traveling or planning Thanksgiving at home? How about all you NaNo-ites? How did the writing go? I'll have more internet access this week so I'll be able to catch up on your blogs.

I will be back on December 2nd with harrowing tales of BBQ, (the goat) and other (more delicious) stories about smoking our first turkey.

It's a bit chilly here in north Texas so I'm battening down the hatches and putting out more hay for the animals. Me? I'm experimenting with cranberry margaritas. It warms you right up. :o)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Off to Work Even Harder

This will be my last post for a couple of weeks. Later this week I'll be heading south. Sadly, it's not for sun and fun, but to my house in east Texas where Greg lives. It's time to start prepping the house to sell next year.

There's a lot to do to get it ready. Cleaning, painting, brush-clearing, house-leveling (it's on piers). I plan to be busy from the moment I arrive to the moment I leave.

My biggest concern are all the animals here at Casa North. Fortunately, a friend of mine has graciously offered to homestead-sit while I'm away. She'll be feeding critters and unhooking stuck goat-heads from the fence as necessary.

I'm trying to set it up so she has very little to do while she's here. It can be a full time job taking care of this place, but I just need her to do only the most necessary chores to keep everyone fed and safe.

Her most important job will be looking after two of my four dogs. I'm taking the two trouble-makers with me. It eases my mind to no end that my friend is one of the most conscientious people I know.

To prove the point, Greg and I once went on vacation to DC. We left Tank and Chelly at a pet hotel. I had every assurance that my kids would be safe there. Three days into our trip I got a call from the pet hotel people telling me that Chelly absolutely refuses to eat. They'd tried every food on their shelves.

I was upset but not too surprised. Chelly was elderly by that time and even though she was sharing a room with Tank, she didn't like the change in her routine. 

I contacted my friend and had her make Chelly her favorite dish--liver and rice. The hotel people offered to take the meal and feed Chelly, but my friend steadfastly refused. No, she said. I see her eat or I won't leave. 

She was so adamant they had to submit to her demands. It broke all their rules, but they led her to a private room where she could spend time with my baby and feed her by hand.

Now that's a true friend!

Do you have a friend like that?

Will you miss me? :grin:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Promotions That Sizzled and Fizzled

I seem to be seeing less book promotion lately, probably a side-effect of NaNo and the upcoming holidays. For this I'm grateful. If promo was sugar, I'd be in a promo-induced coma.

I don't blame authors. In the over-saturated world of publishing, you need to call attention to your book, but I wonder if the blitzing and blogging has jaded the general public. It's gotten to the point that if I don't already know you (as in people who visit or comment here regularly) I delete promo posts without a glance.

This begs the question, does blasting your message work? Is there any particular promo you'd gladly do without?

I really dislike book signings. For me, at least, I'm too far away from any sizable bookstore. Worse, I'm uncomfortable around strangers who are equally uncomfortable walking in to find yet another author pitching her book.

My favorite method of promotion is a blog tour, but only if all my posts are original and upbeat. I was very proud of my Indie Road Show tour that I did a couple of years ago. I forget now how many stops I made, but every post was unique and got a lot of mileage. They were some of my best posts.

On the other hand, I will never do another cover reveal spree unless it's strictly a reviewer blog where readers congregate to see what's new.

For my cover design business, Book Cover Diva, the Facebook event I did in early 2013 with Gwen Gardner was surprisingly fun and effective. I was a nervous Nelly, but having a partner in crime took the edge off. It was a great relief to see so many people show up too. I was stunned at the response.

So how about you? Is there any promotion you'd rather not do--or see from others? Is there anything you particularly enjoyed?