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Archive for the ‘resolutions’ Category

Most of you know that at the end of every one of my blogs, I post a “fun fact” about myself. I don’t really know how “fun” those facts are to you, but to me, they’re just random silliness about my quirky self. My way of sharing my personality with you. (more…)

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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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sad-womanMy heart is heavy and I am saddened as I write this blog. Sometimes blogging material comes easily and quickly, other times I have to coax it out of nowhere or dig it out of bedrock. This week I had lots of things I wanted to blog about, but my spirit kept taking a beating and I didn’t have the emotional strength to post those things. I generally try to avoid controversy and I always try to take the high road. So, I guess that’s what I’ve decided to do by tackling more important issues – self-worth and ignoring haters. (more…)

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woman-riding-bikeHow often have you heard the expression: It’s just like riding a bike? Something you used to do – and overall, do well – then you stop doing it, then you do it again. The concept is that you can just pick up right where you left off and still know how to do it. Like riding a bike. Right? Wrong. (more…)

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meme-1

January is what the folks of Vicksburg call, “the slow season.” I guess it’s probably pretty slow everywhere what with the holiday craziness settling down, kids back in school, lousy weather for traveling, tax preparation looming, and getting started on all of those awesome new year’s resolutions and all. (more…)

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jan-calendar

It’s almost January – let the dieting, working out, eating healthier, spending less, drinking less, and other awesome goals begin! Here’s to a good two weeks of purging the old habits and staying focused on those resolutions. Mark my words, by the end of January there will be a noticeable decline in gym attendance and longer lines at the burger joint drive through windows.

Resolutions are wonderful; however, rarely attainable. Most people make the same resolutions every year or set such high estimations of their sticktuitiveness that they are setting themselves up to fail.

resolutions-list

I’ve never been a fan of resolutions. I have goals, sure, long term things I’d like to do or accomplish. But I don’t set out to start something new every January simply because it’s a new year. I always make it my resolution to make no resolutions. And guess what? I always reach my goal.

However, this year, I’m changing things up. I’m going to make some resolutions. I’m going to do some wild and crazy things this year. I’m not sure when, or where, or how, but I’ll blog of them when they happen. Stay tuned.

wild-thing

If you’re a resolution maker – kudos to you and good luck. If you need some ideas for some simple, attainable resolutions, may I suggest a new hobby? Check out the video below for an idea that might work for you.

Happy end of December dear blog followers! Here’s hoping 2017 is fabulous. And here’s to making goals you can stick to.

Do you make resolutions? Do you start every new year on a diet, determined to do better than last year? Are you searching for your inner wild child?

Word of the day: Saxicolous

Fun fact about me: I’ve grown fond of pecans since living in Mississippi.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, December 2016. Video courtesy YouTube (Studio C)

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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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1sts and lasts 1

Two or three or fourteen weeks ago, I posted some opening and closing sentences from my manuscript entitled On Hallowed Ground. That book is the second in a series (the Grounded series) that has been professionally edited and is nearing its final phase of production before presentation to the world. Stay tuned for more info on that. (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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Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? I’m not into the creepy, demonic, blood and guts ghost stories where people get hurt, but I do enjoy a good chilling tale now and then.

baer-house-hallway

Original photo by P. Rickrode 2015

The Baer House Inn is one of the houses on the Haunted Vicksburg Tour. The leader of these tours brings people inside and tells them a tale of intrigue that may or may not have happened here.

Now, I have never experienced any of the strange happenings that are talked about on the tour, however, something rather ghostly did happen here. Something unexplainable and very real.

Not too long after my husband and I bought the inn, we started remodeling and redecorating. One of our projects involved relocating some chandeliers. Five to be exact. We hired an electrician and early one morning, they went to work, taking down lights and rehanging them in their new spots. About an hour after they got started, my husband and I were in the hallway talking about something. We heard a crash that sounded like a thousand expensive crystals shattering into a bazillion pieces. Followed by dead silence.

chandelier

We looked at each other with wide eyes, our mouths yawning into perfect O’s. I muttered a hushed curse. Obviously, the guys working upstairs had dropped one of our super expensive chandeliers. We whispered amongst ourselves about how to handle the situation. Should we confront them or let them come to us? We waited with bated breath for someone to slink downstairs and apologize profusely for damaging our property. Nobody came downstairs.

“They must be texting their boss,” I said. “Find out how to tell us that they’d broken one of our lights.”

man-hanging-lightWe waited. And waited some more. We decided to give them ten more minutes. After five, I couldn’t stand it any more. I crept upstairs, being extra careful not to step in any glass fragments I was sure littered the floor. Nothing. No mess. No sound. Two guys were up on a ladder in one of the rooms attaching a chandelier to the ceiling.

“How’s it going?” I asked.

“Great. We’re almost done.”

Almost done? That’s it? They aren’t even going to mention the broken $10,000 light fixture?

I turned to face my husband and mouthed, “They’re lying.”

I proceeded to march my little self into every single room upstairs, checking for lights, damage, broken glass, a broom, trash bag, anything evidencing the crash we heard downstairs.

Nothing. NOTHING. Every light exactly where it was supposed to be. Say what?

I went back into the room with the men on the ladder.

“Hey,” says I. “Did you guys hear a crash a few minutes ago. Like something big, and crystal, and expensive, falling and breaking?”

“No.”

“Really?”

“We didn’t hear anything.”

Now, my husband and I both heard the crash. We both knew immediately what it was. And yet . . . nothing broken. And that my friends, is the mysterious case of the shattered chandelier.

 

broken-chandelier

Have you ever had a ghostly encounter? Ever experience something you couldn’t explain? What do you think we heard?

Word of the day: Gagaku

Fun fact about me: I don’t really believe in ghosts. And yet . . .

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, October 2016. Photos courtesy Google Images and P. Rickrode.

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