| Tuesday, July 31, 2007
| Cyber Chocolate - 100 Important Things About Me
|Recently, I got a message from a friend telling me 100 things about her, and I thought it was kind of fun. So, here goes:
1. I have four children.
2. I'm a grandma.
3. I absolutely love dark esspresso chocolate.
3. I can't buy esspresso chocolate anywhere in my home town.
4. I enjoy driving mini-vans.
5. I love wildflowers and I have a field of them in my front yard.
6. My neighbor keeps calling my wildflowers weeds.
7. I prefer to dress in comfy slacks and pretty blouses.
8. I wear the same size I did in high school.
9. I wasn't very skinny in high school.
10. I love wearing lip gloss.
11. I don't really like make up.
12. I like wearing mineral face powder.
13. I love watching the sunrise from my office.
14. I can't see the sunset from my house.
15. I miss watching sunsets.
16. My favorite summer drink is iced white chocolate mocha with caramel.
17. I love decorating my home in old country florals.
18. My home is more modern than old country.
19. I have three address books.
20. I still remember my first boyfriend's birthdate.
21. I love to cook in large streamlined kitchens.
22. My favorite food is strawberry freezes.
23. I like the smell of English Leather Men's Cologne.
24. I love rosehip tea and oatmeal crumpets.
25. If I ever buy a sports car, it will be a Thunderbird.
26. I like my steak medium rare with extra salt and pepper.
27. I love baked potatoes smothered in butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper.
28. I like salad with crunchies and real bacon bits.
29. My favorite desert is Purgatory Pie and the only place you can get it is Bent's Old Fort Inn on the Arkansas River Bridge north of Las Animas.
30. I enjoy promoting my community (http://lamarco.us).
31. I have a HUGE collection of Webshots on my screensaver.
32. I'm part Cherokee Indian.
33. I'm mostly Irish and English.
34. I'm 100% American.
35. I love Pizza - any kind, any time, any place.
36. My favorite flower arrangement is yellow roses, purple statis, and baby's breath.
37. My favorite flowers are yellow roses.
38. I like eating raspberry filled white powdered donuts because they give me a powder mustache.
39. I love to write adventure stories for children.
40. My kids inspire my adventure stories.
41. I love chocolate almonds.
42. Listening to the locust brings pleasant childhood memories.
43. My cousin and I really did eat a whole gallon of strawberry icecream and recover the tank, so it looked full.
44. We weren't hiding in the chicken house, we were at my house reading books under the air conditioner.
45. When I started college, I didn't want a career, I wanted to get married.
46. After I got married, I wished I'd gone to law school.
47. I had terrible tastes in men.
48. I have a great boyfriend now.
49. I love visiting with old people.
50. My favorite music includes river dancing.
51. I can't river dance.
52. I love to polka.
53. No matter how hard I try, I can't keep the polka beat.
54. I love to sing gospel hymns.
55. I always wanted to play the piano.
56. I love folk music.
57. I can't swim.
58. My kids think I hate water.
59. I don't hate water, I just can't swim.
60. I admire Lorri Morgan-Ferrero.
61. If I had the money, I'd be a professional student.
62. I love to learn.
63. My favorite painting is Two Buttes.
64. I'm the artist.
65. One of my paintings once sold for $368,000.00.
66. I didn't own it when it sold.
67. I painted that painting when I was in high school.
68. I gave it as a housewarming gift to an Art Collector.
69. Somebody famous bought my painting.
70. I read really fast.
71. I usually read about two books a week.
72. Now, I often read ebooks instead of real books.
73. I prefer snow to sunshine.
74. I really like the rain.
75. I love to drive in the rain.
76. My favorite salad is fresh pasta with fresh tomato and basil tossed with olive oil.
77. I graduated in 1977 and 7 is my favorite number.
78. I like fried eggs and whole wheat toast for breakfast.
79. My favorite color is a shade of red just darker than scarlet.
80. I always wanted to visit Vermont in September.
81. I love Spring in Michigan.
82. My favorite view is the Rocky Mountains.
83. I love to hear the doves coo in the morning.
84. My best friend is a guy.
85. I home school my kids.
86. I love home schooling my kids.
87. I hated school.
88. I loved college.
89. Marvin was my favorite boss.
90. I hated the job.
91. I designed wedding gowns.
92. I love decorating.
93. I love designing.
94. I like chocolate almond caramel Ice Cream.
95. I prefer brownies with walnuts.
96. I like nuts on almost everything.
97. I used to do Chinese Fire Drills and never got caught.
98. I once changed clothes 14 times before I was ready to go on a date.
99. I prefer my cola with real lime in it.
100. I could listen to Sam all night long and all day and all night and all day...
Labels: 100 things, chocolate, cyber chocolate, love
|posted by Jan Verhoeff @ 6:34 PM
| Sunday, July 29, 2007
| Chocolate Elephants & other indulgences...
| Regaled by stories of yesteryear, the elephant resumed it's rightful place among the living, and the day was good...
I'm certain there are those among us who view the elephant differently than I, but I have my reasons. When I was about twelve, I received my first elephant, a delightful gray beast of burden with pink accents that I carried with me for about seven years, gathering all manner of autographs. Loretta Lynn signed my Elephant's right front leg. TG Sheppard signed his trunk. Tanya Tucker signed his butt (we were the same age and thought it was risque)! President Nixon laughted about the signature on my elephant's butt and signed the left side shoulder. President Jerry Ford signed the pink portion of his right ear. And Jerry Lewis signed his left front leg. Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash signed my elephant's back right leg. And he became a treasure I wasn't likely to misplace.
Elephants have long been a treasure for me to collect, and this particular elephant is no different. I had to have him - since he was chocolate, so here he is.
Labels: autograhs, chocolate, treasures
|posted by Jan Verhoeff @ 3:52 AM
| Thursday, July 19, 2007
| Don't Quit Your Day Job - Sandy Lender
|Sandy Lender Doesn't Recommend Quitting Your Day Job
Or...the joy and insanity of being a writer
By Sandy Lender, fantasy author
Northeast Missouri State University, now Truman University, prides itself on offering a liberal arts education to graduates. I got out in four years with a degree in English and a liberal arts education that has garnered me a 15-year career in magazine publishing and public relations/marketing, but my true passion, the "career" I've nurtured since I was about six years old, is writing. And I don't mean journalism. Yes, journalism and editing are what have paid the bills the past 15 years (and will continue to do so), but fiction writing...oh...fiction writing is what has kept me alive.
It's probably going to be the death of me.
Let me explain. If you're visiting this site, you've probably been drawn here by an interest in books or authors or a writer's lifestyle or something along those lines. Let me give it to you straight. All writers have a touch of insanity about us (this is normal). We usually carry a muse around with us, but this is not always by choice. We complain about characters fighting for their rights, refusing to conform to our wishes in a scene. We go on writing binges that keep us up until 3 a.m. before collapsing next to our computers just to get up and start typing again when the sun blazes in to wake us around 7, skipping meals, showers, potty breaks and phone calls until some aspect of reality forces us out of the writing cocoon. We will tear a room to shreds looking for a pen if an idea has just struck us. And woe to the fool who gets between us and a piece of paper when we get hold of that pen...
Because I've experienced the insanity described above, I've been lifted up by hearing stories of people who have enjoyed my first published novel, Choices Meant for Gods. Now I get to read comments on my Amazon.com page of people claiming Nigel Taiman is "by far" their favorite character, or "I want to be just like Chariss when I grow up," and I feel this lump of pride in my darlings rise in my throat.
That's the joy and insanity of being a writer. You pour your heart and soul into the work; and pray that someone out there likes it, too. Now here's the hard part. People have to read it to like it. They have to know it exists to read it. So you have to get it to them.
Enter the marketing and promoting aspect of the new author's job. I attended the ArcheBooks Publishing's Professional Novelist Workshop about two weeks before receiving my contract for Choices Meant for Gods, and had attended the Naples Press Club Writers Workshop the week before that, so I thought I had a pretty good idea of the marketing nightmare new authors faced. I was ready. Lay it on me, I thought.
Now I'm on the last day of a two-month online book tour I organized myself, contemplating repeating a moderately successful instore book signing at the local Barnes & Noble that I organized myself, and managing six blogs (including www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com) for the promotion of my fantasy novel that I've organized myself, preparing a spate of press releases I've written myself that I'll spew forth like water from an erupting sprinkler next week, etc. Do you see a trend there?
New authors are on their own. Unless you have the few thousand dollars it takes to hire a publicity firm/PR agency to send out press releases for you, you're on your own. I don't have a few thousand stray dollars and I don't trust people who charge less than professional rates to do a professional job.
I take hope in the fact that even J.K. Rowling was once in the same boat I'm in now. She was down to her last food stamp as the story goes when that fateful call came: Her little story about a boy named Harry Potter had been picked up. I've already had my call. Choices Meant for Gods is published and out there. Now I need my lottery winning event to propel me into J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter status, but, for right now, I'm going to just keep writing deep into the night and reading those fabulous e-mails that praise Nigel and Chariss. Because making a living at this would be nice, but, truly, the writing binges that result in someone singing Chariss's praises are the real joy and insanity of being a writer.
I'd like to thank my host today for posting this guest blog article. And I'd like to thank everyone who made the CMFG Online Book Tour the raging success it's been. You know that paragraph above where I said new authors are one their own? I'd like to correct that. We actually have each other. Without each of you, the name Sandy Lender wouldn't be all over the internet right now, and readers wouldn't be one click away from http://www.amazon.com/Choices-Meant-Gods-Sandy-Lender/dp/1595071652/ref=dp_return_1/104-9089752-5140754?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books&qid=1175821346&sr=8-1 to pick up my epic fantasy novel. And new author Sandy Lender is grateful to every one of you.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
Tags: sandy lender, fantasy author, northeast missouri state university, truman university, liberal arts, journalism, fiction writing, writer's life, muse, choices meant for gods, nigel taiman, marketing and promotion, archebooks publishing, professional novelist workshop, naples press club, online book tour, today the dragon wins, fantasy novel, j.k. rowling, harry potter
Labels: author, fantasy writer, sandy lender
|posted by Jan Verhoeff @ 9:26 PM