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Archive for the ‘beach’ Category

beach-writer

Lots of people think authors live a glamorous life; sitting in a beach chair, toes in the sand, large floppy hat, cool beverage with little umbrella in the glass with a laptop or tablet on their lap, just tap, tap, tapping away on the keys until – BAM – 90,000 words later, a best-selling masterpiece appears. The next day someone slaps a gorgeous glossy cover on it and plasters it all over the Barnes & Noble front window.

bookstore-window

Then, after several hours of tap, tap, tapping, said author dons oversized dark glasses and some sparkly flip flop sandals, gets into their luxury sports car and dashes off to some posh restaurant for lunch with their editor, agent, and some movie producer from Hollywood to discuss the details of turning your latest masterpiece into a Hollywood blockbuster.

power-lunch

Spoiler alert – that NEVER happens. Oh sure, JK Rowling probably does that NOW, but not when she first started. Steven King is a household name and James Patterson’s name gets tossed around a lot on movie sets and such, but seriously, that didn’t happen overnight.

So, how did it happen? I’ll tell you – I have no idea. Believe me, I wish I did. I wish I knew what secret, besides hard work and perseverance would shoot me straight up that ladder to the beach chair in the sun because God knows I would love love to dig my toesies into some white sand right about now. Not to mention that little umbrella drink.

Here’s what I do know, those people spent many, many long days and sleepless nights fussing over the right words, the parts they deleted and maybe shouldn’t have, the opening scenes that should work but for some reason don’t, a reviewers harsh comment, hours of endless re-writing.

working-woman

In other words, they worked hard and they didn’t quit. They didn’t let disappointment ruin their vision.

And, despite how it seems to authors most days, they didn’t reach a certain level of fame alone. What? You’re saying others helped along the way? Absolutely. A lot of people probably helped and didn’t even know they helped. Strangers can help strangers. Readers can help writers. Here’s how:

helping-hand

Buy books, read books, talk about awesome books.

A great way to take it up a notch, is to leave a review. It’s easy, it’s free, it doesn’t take that long, and it goes a long way in helping authors’ careers. Here’s a few places where you can leave a review: https://www.goodreads.com/https://www.amazon.com/; or http://allreaders.com/.

Go to book signings if you can and BUY THE BOOK, even if you gift it to someone else.

Spread the word on social media. A “like,” a “share,” a comment, helps boost that author’s visibility. It seems trivial, but like election time, every vote matters. (Please don’t make this political people. God knows we don’t want to go there again.)

book-with-bowGift a book. A great way to help authors is to buy books for someone else. Especially in this day and age of electronic gadgets, almost everyone has an e-reader of some fashion. If not, you can download a free app to most smart phones. Heck, you can read books on your home computer. What better gift for a person who has everything or no longer wishes to “collect things?” Again, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive. Some e-books are less than a dollar. Gifting an e-book is super easy through Amazon or other on-line e-book retailers. All you need is the recipient’s e-mail address. What a lovely surprise for the recipient to open their e-mail and discover a gift! And it won’t clutter up a closet or shelf.

 

comment-boxHere’s how I’m going to help some authors this week: Every person who posts a comment on this blog between now and Friday, February 24th, will be gifted an e-book of my choice. Simply leave a comment and mention your favorite genre so I can choose an appropriate book for you from one of my favorite starving authors. Some of you I can wager a pretty good guess about genre, but others not so much. If I don’t already have your e-mail address, send me an e-mail at jansen.schmidt@yahoo.com so I can make sure your e-book arrives. (Caveat: I will only be gifting from Amazon so you’ll have to have a Kindle in order to participate. Sorry to those who prefer other e-reader methods.)

You in turn can help the author of the book I gifted to you by posting a review and I strongly encourage you to do so. I’m acting on good faith here that you will leave a review. If you do not wish to write a review and post it on any or all of the sites I listed above, please let me know if the comments. (Caveat: If you absolutely hate the book I gift you, please do NOT leave a bad review. An honest review yes, but not a scathing one.) Remember, the purpose of this week’s blog is to help each other out. I’m helping readers, you’re helping writers.

trust-quote

That’s it. Easy peasy. You can pass the word to your friends if they want a free book all they have to do is leave a comment and their e-mail address. I’ll do the rest.

So, thanks in advance to all who post a comment and enjoy your books!

How do you help starving authors? Do you routinely leave reviews? Do you attend book signings? Do you have an e-reader?

Word of Day: Acroter

Fun fact about me: I have 3 e-readers but I prefer paper books.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, February 2017. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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Have you ever set out to cross something off your bucket list? Well, I do and recently, I did. I finally took a Disney cruise. Not my first cruise, my first DISNEY cruise!! Needless to say, I was very excited.

The entire journey turned out to be one “first” after another, starting with Thanksgiving day in New Orleans. (more…)

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It is with heavy heart that I write this post. Not because of the election results. I’m not overjoyed (I remain hopeful), but neither do I feel the need to slit my wrists. I am saddened because of the ugliness that followed the results. Come on, America – knock it off already. (more…)

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Today I’m taking you on a tour of a piece of truly amazing history – the USS LST 325, the last WWII, fully operational landing ship tank. This awesome amphibious vessel docked for five days on the Vicksburg waterfront and I got to go aboard. (more…)

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rock and rule.jpgWe interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to talk about you. That’s right – you. As I’m beginning to discover, it’s not always about me. (I know, that’s wrong, but true.)

So, dear readers, tell me, what’s going on in your world? What little tidbits of completely useless information should I know about you?

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School’s out for summer!!

Alice Cooper is one of the creepiest performers around, but everybody loves this song and it’s so apropos this time of year. It’s one of those classic, ageless numbers that every generation seems to know.

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Here’s this week’s message of happiness. Enjoy!

Now, get out there and jump, read, travel – be HAPPY!

What makes you happy? How do you spread happiness to those around you?

Here’s an added bonus, because this is one of the things that always makes me smile:

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Word of the Day: Dacha

Fun fact about me: I’m a sucker for baby anythings.

Original post by Jansen Schmit. Video courtesy YouTube. Photo courtesy Google Images.

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Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

So we’re getting ready to hit the road; going to caravan about 2,100 miles with a 26′ U-Haul truck, towing a car, following another car, with a 75-year-old man who loves to nap and a 70 pound, 11-year-old Labrador Retriever, across the Mojave Desert, Arizona and Northern Texas during July. What could possibly go wrong?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, moving is a hassle. And I’m not just talking about the packing part, I’m talking about every single thing you have to remember to do. Like turning off all utilities, forwarding mail, remembering what gets auto deposited or debited into or out of a bank account that you’ve now closed. Stuff like that. Pain in the ass.

But with moving, comes excitement and anticipation of starting out new and fresh somewhere else. Finding new homes for your things, learning new routines, exploring new places. Fun, fun, fun.

Sad to leave friends I’ve had for 45 years and the town I grew up in and know like the back of my hand, but happy to discover new friends and new places.

Here’s a list I’ve compiled (in no particular order) of things that I am in NO way going to miss:

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

1 – the 45-minute commute to work;

2 – the 45-minute drive home from work;

3 – wearing business professional clothes, heels and up-do’s every single day;

4 – being someone else’s employee;

5 – rationing water;

6 – the fear of a forest fire burning down my house;

7 – exorbitant taxes;

8 – extremist political leaders;

9 – everyone thinking you live in Hollywood or near the beach just because you live in California;

10 – everyone thinking you’re wealthy just because you live in California.

11 – not having to bring my own grocery bags to the store;

12 – the penchant to litigate everything.

Things I’m definitely GOING TO miss:

1 – Too many friends to mention by name;

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

2 – Disneyland;

3 – the weather;

4 – my local chapter of Romance Writers of America;

5 – my nieces and nephews;

6 – the ocean;

7 – Lake Tahoe;

8 – knowing all of the short-cuts and secret passages around town;

9 – being just 45 minutes from awesome snow skiing;

10 – some of the best wine in the entire world;

11 – The Olde Town Grill;

12 – my zumba class.

Tell me loyal subjects – uh, I mean followers, what would you miss most about your home town? What special “secret” things do you cherish about where you live? Would you travel across the desert in the heart of summer?

Word of the Day: Uncinate

Fun fact about me: I’m a planner; down to the smallest details. Yet, I love being spontaneous. Go figure.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, July 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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Happy birthday America!

Bonus post by Jansen Schmidt, July 2015. Video courtesy YouTube.

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Finally, spring is upon us, bursting with warm breezes and a promise of hotter days to come. Spring break is here, summer vacation is just around the corner. If you’re like me, you’ve been working since January to get your body beach ready. (Hey, I’ve cut back on my potato chip intake substantially, that counts.)

blooming trees

Anyway, you all know what springtime means right? Swimsuit season! That’s right, it’s time to dust off that old swimsuit and try to squeeze your winter body into it hoping to catch a few rays to chase away that winter pale skin. Every year around this time I say I’m going to get myself a new swimsuit; one that fits right and flatters my awkward body shape even if I have to spend a few extra dollars to get it. Every year I shop (usually on line) and every year I come up empty handed.

I’ve started my swimsuit pursuit already this year, but haven’t quite found “the one.” I have, however, ruled out quite a few. Starting with this one:

swimsuit 1

And, while black is slimming, I couldn’t quite see myself in any of these either:

swimsuit 2

swimsuit 4

swimsuit 5

swimsuit 6

swimsuit 10

swimsuit 11

swimsuit 14

While shopping, I did reach a conclusion about what kind of swimsuit I should be looking for. You see, I turned 50 last year and I’ve decided that it is finally time to accept the fact that this old girl should probably give up the dream of ever wearing a bikini again – ever. However, if you’re still into the two-piecers, I’ve found some gems you might want to consider. Check these out:

swimsuit 7

swimsuit 8

And have no fear if your heart is truly set on black, because these two lovely bikinis only come in black:

swimsuit 12

swimsuit 9

So, you can see, there are quite a few choices, some bolder than others. And by “bold” I mean, what the heck on a haystack.

So, after quite a long time scrolling and clicking, I’ve come to the conclusion that, since I do not have the ideal body for virtually any kind of swim wear, I should probably be leaning toward something like this:

swimsuit 13

How about you dear readers, do you cringe at the idea of getting a new swimsuit? Do you dare to bare, or are you more modest in your swim attire? Would you consider wearing one of the swimsuits I’ve posted herein? Inquiring minds want to know. Don’t be shy. If you’d look hot in that little black bikini, go for it. You’d be the most popular gal (or guy) at the beach.

Word of the Day:  Fascine

Fun Fact About Me:  I’m not a huge fan of the beach.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, March 2015.

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