Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bacon, Hot Dogs, and the Howling Cow

I did something fun this week and I’m trying to figure out how to work the writing world into it. All I can come up with is that Barb, from my writing group, and I went to the North Carolina State Fair on Tuesday. That’s as close as I can get to talking about writing since this was purely for pleasure.

The day was gorgeous; actually, the temperature hit 88 degrees. Not bad for a mid-October day. Since we’re both old, at least over 65, admission was free. It was Senior Day at the Fair so Bojangles sponsored a free breakfast. It was nothing great, but it was free.

Speaking of food, for lunch I had a hamburger and Barb had a hot dog, but there was an abundance of food to choose from. All the typical fair food called out to us every few feet, plus some concoctions I’d never heard of. Are you up for deep fried (yes, we’re in the South) Gummy Bears? How about deep fried Jell-O? If chocolate is more to your liking, what about chocolate covered bacon on a stick? I kid you not.

Although there were ice cream stands everywhere for walking sundae cones and such, Barb, who is a Frequent Fair Fanatic, said there was only one place to get ice cream and that was at the Howling Cow building. Don’t ask, I have no idea why the cow was supposedly howling. She should have been laughing since the line snaked around like an A ride at Disneyland because their ice cream is so popular. We got in line and inched our way slowly toward the front and placed our order. We both ordered chocolate chip mint, paid for it, then walked around to the side of the tent where some very busy young adults handed our bowls to us. We then went to the grandstand and sat on seats in the shade to enjoy our treat.

From where we sat, we could look across the track to some of the rides that I suppose people are silly enough to actually get on. Not me. I didn’t get this age by taking daredevil chances. I did count at least four Ferris wheels when we entered the fair, and those I wouldn’t mind riding. They don’t twist and turn and go upside down, they just give you a nice ride and a bird’s eye view of the fair.

We spent time in the building where people vie for ribbons. We looked at art, woodwork, paper crafts, and more. Some young people do some amazing work.

I wore my pedometer so I could feel good about how many steps I took that day. The number 8000 made me feel good, but taking the actual steps was another matter. By mid-afternoon I was practically crawling, my legs hurt so. Barb was dealing with a bad back, so when we entered a demonstration building with massage chairs, each of us tried one out. This was unlike any such chair I’ve ever been in. Once it got going, it started pressing me from the sides until I felt like an orange being squeezed for juice. I had to ask the attendant to stop the machine because it was hurting my hips, legs, and feet. I thought massages were supposed to feel good?

It was time to have fun, so we went to a booth where I got three chances to break a balloon with darts. I broke two out of the three, but then the sign DID say everyone is a winner, so I went home with an adorable little stuffed cheetah to show off my prowess.

When Barb and I left the fair it wasn’t because we’d seen and done everything, it was because we had both reached our limit and couldn’t walk another step. Sitting in her car for the ride home was the best ride of the day.

Quote of the Day: The healthiest response to life is joy. Deepak Chopra

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Penny For Your Thoughts

Hey out there! Are you thinking of quitting your day job and making money writing the book that will set America on its heels? I have one word for you—DON’T.  Don't quit your day job, that is. By all means, write the book.

Let me tell you what just happened to me. Granted, I don’t have a day job to quit, but on the other hand, the money I make on my books would barely buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

All of my books are with Amazon and happily so. Some are in print, some in digital, some in audio, some are in all three forms. Every month I get an email or two from Amazon telling me that on the 29th I’ll be getting my royalties deposited into my bank account. They give me ten days to look forward to that wondrous event. In July I had the whopping sum of $7.30 added to my bank account for digital royalties.

In August I got two separate deposits; the first I assume was from print books and was for the sum of $3.34. Wow, no Starbucks this month. The second royalty was from digital books in the sum of ………………are you ready?  The gargantuan sum of one cent. That’s right, they deposited one penny into my bank account as a royalty payment!

Now I have my thoughts on this, one of which I’ll tell you and the others, well, they’re not quite suitable for tender ears. Since absolutely NO royalties are as low as one cent, I can only conclude that they made a mistake in July and my amount should have been $7.31 and they corrected their error in August by adding the one cent.
Does this mean I’ll say to heck with it and stop writing because it isn’t worth it? Not by a long shot. I don’t write for the money (obviously), I write because I love writing. It makes me happy and, just maybe, it makes other people happy, too. I can make up a world and fill it with the people I want in my world and have them say and do what I tell them. Well, okay, more times than not they tell me what they’re going to do. That’s where the fun comes in—I have no preconceived idea what’s going to happen in my stories, I just let the story go where it wants. At the end, I’m as surprised as you are!

So don’t think writing is going to make you a millionaire, or well-off, or even comfortable, unless your name is John Grisham, Stephen King, or J. K. Rowling, and, trust me, those names are already taken. If you write, write because you have something to say and you love having a chance to say it. 

Quote of the Day:  Live out of your imagination, not your history. Stephen Covey