A most ill-advised purchase

Perhaps the most unwise purchase of my parenting “career” to date.

Behold! The Pooh Singing Toothbrush Holder. Don’t be fooled by its innocent appearance. It is pure evil, my friends. Pure evil. Found at Target one Sunday for a mere $4. Brianna was enchanted and I thought, for $4, sure, why not? Why not? WHY NOT? Let me tell you why not. Because said toothbrush holder has no off switch and no volume control. And is so sensitive, that closing the bathroom door (which is across the room from the damn holder) has the ability to set it off. So you get to listen to TWO minutes of “Winnie the Pooh”. I should have known before we ever left Target to somehow dump this thing back on the shelves because it spent 30 minutes in my cart going non-stop. And then in the back of my truck all. the. way. home.

Never has Brianna owned a toy that I more wanted to take out back and put behind one of my truck’s tires. I can hear it now. Crunch! “Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh, cuddly little–” Crunch! Crunch! “bear all st–” Crunch! Crunch! “with flu–” Crunch! Crunch! Dammit Crunch! “–uff is Winnie the Pooh.” Yep, it would be the toy that won’t die. I have that kind of luck.

Consider this my public service announcement for the year. If you encounter one of these evil toys in your local Target or Disney Store, get out while you can! Run! Run for your life! Grab your child(ren) and don’t look back. Do not let them make eye contact for this toy is wily, and will end up on your bathroom counter, driving you, too, to the need for booze and drugs before you know it.

Just write…

Early last week I had a phone conversation with one of my newer authors. She was telling me about all these partials she had going, and that she just didn’t know what to work on. Finally, at the end of the conversation, I told there was no way I was going to tell her which one to work on. The important thing was that she write, write every day, and start finishing things.

I’m not an author, so I can’t speak to how the “muse” works, but I am a businessperson and I think have an okay grasp on how my business works, and I know that an author is their own worst enemy sometimes when it comes to their writing career. If you spend all your time worrying about what to write, you’re not writing. If you’re not writing, you’re not getting contracts. If you’re not getting contracts, you’re not getting release dates. And if you’re not getting release dates, you’re losing your publishing momentum and the fans who loved your first book or your second book are moving on to someone who’s producing books regularly–even if it’s once a year or every six months. Regularly doesn’t have to mean five times a year. It just means that fans know if they get hooked on your books, your series, they can depend on you to keep working and release them…regularly.

I have seen authors sabotage their own careers because they get stalled. By life. By the muse. By…whatever. There’s always something to grab onto as an excuse. Yes, of course there will be times when you can’t write, but those times should not be the majority. They should be the exception. Because the authors who make it? They’re the ones who write. Every day. They make it their business to write because it IS their business. Those are the authors I want to sign. The authors who want to write the books, get the contracts, the release dates, build their momentum, their readership and treat my business as their business. If you are one of those writers, I want you to come and write for me. Other editors and publishers, from epublishing to NY want you to come and write for them. Because publishing is our business and we want to know that it’s yours too.

It’s beach time again!

Yesterday it was around 80 degrees here, and we decided to take the dogs and Brianna to the beach. It was gorgeous weather for it, and I have a new camera that I bought for better portability when traveling, so I snapped a few pictures. We did walk along the water, but I didn’t snap any pictures of that, sadly. Neither dog liked the water, though Reese would tolerate it if the surf got him. Heath, on the other hand, would fight if he thought Josh was going to walk him anywhere near the water. After walking along the water line for awhile, we went back up to the boardwalk to watch a local kite competition, get some food and let Brianna play in the sand while we sat safely on some benches.

Sand in her eyes

She made a friend while we were there!

The dogs got a lot of attention. Sadly, this is the last weekend they’re allowed on the boardwalk. Once tourist season starts officially on May 1st, they’re not allowed back on the boardwalk until September.

A small note on my new camera. I only got it on Friday, but so far I would recommend it if you’re looking for a small, portable camera that’s easy to operate and takes good pictures. It’s the size of a credit card and about 3/4 inch thick. I just turned it on and started snapping pictures. There are some settings you can play with, but the important thing is that you don’t have to. It’s small enough that I slipped it in my pocket and carried it there, for easy access. Love it!

My princess

We went to a local festival last night, and Brianna decided to accessorize. In the first picture, you can see her glove. It’s a dress glove from Easter and she’s only wearing one. She said she was going to wear it to eat so her hands didn’t get dirty. Though she’s only got on one necklace, she tried to leave the house with about 15 necklaces and five bracelets. We compromised with one of each. By the end of the night, all of the accessories had ended their night out in my purse while my little tomboy ran from ride to ride.

In the last picture, she’s saying to me very sweetly, “I love you, Mommy.” Awww.

How your editor feels about “and then”

Sometimes, authors have little quirks and things they don’t even realize they’re overusing. “And then” is something I particularly notice when it’s used a lot because it always puts me in mind of this scene from Dude, Where’s My Car (I am a huge fan of really stupid comedies and this one has some very quotable lines. Dude, what’s mine say? Sweet! What’s mine say? Dude! What’s mine say?).

Make sure you watch all the way to the end of the scene, to really see how your editor (okay, maybe it’s just this editor since I know the movie!) feels about “and then”. No “and then”!

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