Post Con Collapse

Two Conventions in less than 10 days. That’s what I did last week, folks. June 17-19 I attended Denver Comic Con (awwwweesome!) and then June 22-26, I flew off to Nashville for UtopiaCon 2016. Another awwwweesome.

While not everyone who reads this is an author, I wanted to share some of the wisdom I gleaned from these hectic ten days.

1. Plan in advance, and actually DO the things on your to-do list. Don’t wait until the last minute to get everything done. If you have to fly to a convention, make sure you have the right luggage to get your books, marketing materials and display items to the venue. Otherwise, you’ll end up scrambling for appropriate luggage and sweating over the weight limits.

You really don’t want to know how I know this.

2. Find the balance between taking too much, and not enough. It’s not easy – but talk to people who have done the event before. Look on Facebook. Is there a group for the people going? I was fortunate to find a group dedicated to authors heading to UtopiaCon. I didn’t really need to ask questions because so many other people did it before I even thought of any. But I did read the discussions and follow them, and it helped me tremendously in deciding what I needed to bring with me. When you have to travel to the venue, the logistics of what and how much to bring are paramount.

3. It’s okay to sell out of a product. I sold out of HEART OF THE GOBLIN KING, and I took orders for it. I added a small fee for shipping, and boom! Done! So bring the amount of product that works without hurting you logistically (thank goodness for Southwest and their two bag allowance!). You can still sell and be successful if you have overwhelming demand beyond how much product you have in hand that day.

4. Prep your display before you show up for the event. I hadn’t done any conventions as an author, and nothing on the scale of either of the two I attended. So I researched table set up, and made notes about what has worked for other creative people who are selling at these events. You know what? It worked. I found a great blog that broke down how people decide you’re not the artistic equivalent of a used car salesman. Set up your table beforehand and look at it as dispassionately as you can. Does it appeal? Is it cluttered? (Side note: Give yourself time to set up at the venue and eyeball your table as well. De-clutter. Make everything visually appealing. If you’re not sure, bring a friend for set up to help you look at your display objectively.)

It worked. BUT – and this is a big but – it’s work. You cannot spend the time and money that working conventions takes without committing yourself to hard work. Comic Con started on June 17, and I was home and done by June 27 with both cons, and I am EXHAUSTED. Be prepared for that. Have help so you can get something to eat and drink, and the ability to go to the bathroom. These things matter as much as anything else you do, people!

5. Come up with a one line description for your work. People are moving by. They don’t want to stop and hear the entire 5 page synopsis. Make it quick, intriguing, and snappy. What would interest you as a potential reader? That’s how I developed my descriptions.

6. Don’t hard sell. People don’t mind being sold, in my opinion, if you lead them to it logically, and without a baseball bat. No one likes the used car salesman. Don’t be that guy for your book. People will nod, take your swag, and scurry away, sorry they made eye contact. That’s not the kind of impression you want to leave with them. Practice how you’re going to talk to people. This is important if you’re not really a people person. Let’s face it, writing/creating is a solitary profession. So if you’re not comfy with it, stand in front of a mirror and practice.

That leads to my final takeaway-

7. Always put yourself in the place of your audience.

I’m a reader. Most authors are readers as well. It’s part of why we write – we want to transport others as we ourselves have been transported. So what would work for you, as a reader? What sort of table display at a convention would draw you in? What kind of chat from the author would inspire you to take a chance on an author you aren’t familiar with?

What would turn you away? Think about what sort of message you like to see from those selling a product, and what works and doesn’t work for you, as the audience.

I find that if I think of my audience at all times, I tend to do things that they like. Because they’re things that I, as a reader and a fangirl of various fandoms, like.

You do all these things, and you’re probably going to have a pretty fantastic time. No voice at the end of it, but who cares? You had fun losing it!

Denver Comic Con 2015 Deets!

StandupAdLMM1DCC2016 is here! I’m really excited, because I have a lot of fun planned for this coming weekend. (See the standup in this post? You could be here, with Brennan, all posable-like, canoodling….)

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WORK! I mean to say, WORK! No fun! No fun will be had at ALL!

So, I’ll be at a booth all weekend, signing copies of Three Wishes and Heart Of The Goblin King! Both of which are making their print debut at DCC2016! You can find me in Booth AA11, and this really lovely interactive SITE will help you to find the booth!

When I’m not in my booth, this is my schedule:
(Also found HERE)

I hope to see you all this weekend! Come out and see a really amazing Con!

SPEAKER AT SESSIONS
Revisiting Neverland – YA Lit, Fairy Tales, and Gender Roles
Jun 17, 11:45am – 12:35pm MDT
Room 506/507 – Literary / Authors
Lisa Manifold
Jun 18, 11:00am – 12:00pm MDT
Author’s Alley AA20
Self-Publishing: Is It For You?
Jun 18, 1:30pm – 2:20pm MDT
Room 502/503 – Literary / Authors
Fan Fiction – The Real Extended Universe
Jun 18, 6:00pm – 6:50pm MDT
Room 506/507 – Literary / Authors

WOW!

I find that I tend to shy away from a lot of self-promotion. It feels…awkward. I’ve never been great at direct sales. Let’s face it, that’s what self-promotion is geared towards.

As an author, you must make yourself available in some fashion. The internet is awesome for this because you can interact with readers, other authors, professionals who provide various services, EVERYONE, via digital communication, and you don’t have to crawl out of your introvert shell.

But you have to be out there. I think most of us struggle with it. Some do not – they seem right at home. I’m not there yet.

I’m more comfortable talking with other writers about craft issues, or better ways to do things, or any of the number of concerns we have to handle as part of being in business. I like to help people. You have a problem? Tell me! I’ll be Googling a solution within minutes! I love finding solutions.

I would be great at a museum help desk. I was a docent for over a year at Historic London Town.

Londontown

It was fabulous, and I would totally do such a thing again. You know, when I retire, and my to-do list isn’t burying me. (I was a docent before I had kids. LOL, tells you something.)

So, anyway…I would rather be helping others than promoting myself.

But I am really excited about something that happened, and it will seem sort of self-promote-y – but I want to share.

I’m a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. I serve on the Board of Directors as the Newsletter Editor, and the IPAL Liaison (that’s the professional group within RMFW for independently published authors). I love it. It takes time from my schedule, but the organization is fantastic, and I like giving back to a group that I get a lot from. I have a fabulous critique group, a wonderful group of beta readers/critique partners – those things are invaluable.

Indies are still the new guy on the block in the world of publishing. We don’t still have the new car smell, but we’re still shiny. Two years ago, RMFW recognized the movement of indies as professionals and created IPAL. It’s an amazing group of authors.

What we also created was an Independent Writer of the Year award. We’ve always had a Writer of the Year, but it was for traditionally published authors only. The IWOTY is only for indie authors. It’s a great step in upping our professional status.

I am thrilled to share that I am a finalist for the first ever IWOTY award. Along with my amazing colleagues Sue Duff and Nathan Lowell. I am humbled to be in a grouping with the two of them.

This is a huge deal. Not just for me (and I am personally thrilled) but for all of our indies. For so long, we’ve had to battle the stigma of being ‘not quite professional’. The Selection Committee for our IWOTY nominees worked really hard to look at all the indies who’d submitted credentials, and we have really talented authors in our indie pool.

So that’s it. I wanted to share, because it’s truly an honor, and every time I think about it, I just can’t believe it.

Tomorrow, May 5th (other than being the day that Revenge of the Fifth follows May The Fourth Be With You) is the one year anniversary of my first time hitting the ‘Publish’ button. I’ve put out three full-length novels, a novella, and a serial novel under two names. I have more novels than I probably ought to on the various burners right now.

While I’m not exactly where I want to be (Having won The Bet with My Beloved, and in possession of a pair of tickets to the annual Jane Austen Ball with appropriate costumes), I’m getting there.

It’s a great time to be a writer, and an even greater time to be an indie writer. Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the past year, and to my colleagues in RMFW for nominating me for this honor.

Now, back to the grind. Tally Ho!

 

Knowing your rights…from KrisWrites.com

I follow Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog. She is a font of information. What I enjoy most are her Business Musings. She’s been in the business a long time, and I really like reading her take on things.

This one…wowsa.

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That’s all I got. You. Need. To. Read. This. If you are creating intellectual property, this is worth the time to read, re-read, and go through her links.

It’s a whole new world out there, and we the creators need to understand it. The times of someone taking care of us or “looking out for our best interests” is, in my opinion, over. WE must take care of ourselves, and manage and shepherd our interests.

This is a good place to start.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS (CONTRACTS/DEALBREAKERS)

Link to KKR’s entire blog post.

You’re welcome.

(Another Kris, to inspire you along)

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Spring Showers, April….

Well, it’s not flowers. I did have flowers, and all three of my juvenile trees were budding and flowering, but…as per the bipolar Colorado weather, it snowed.

A lot.

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I can only hope my poor trees and flowers make it. The pic above represents an A.M. situation. I’ve shoveled at least 2.5 feet at this point. I. Am. Tired. Still wouldn’t live anywhere else. Except maybe Key West. For a couple of months in the winter. On a boat.

I digress.

Spring is also the time we clean, organize, and generally clear out, readying for all that comes with summer. Or at least, we attempt it. I’ve got a lot of attempts under my belt.

Last month, I reorganized my basement. My Beloved got a quiet room with a door for his office. The Darling Children also got their own office, also with a door. Everyone has space to go and work, and be quiet. Well, maybe not so much the DCs.

I got the loft. The loft has been where our main desktop sat for the last ten years. It’s also the place where things got dumped, shoved, and stored when we didn’t know what else to do with it.

I spent a good month working on my loft, now my Office of Awesome. It has all the decor I love – I don’t care if anyone else doesn’t like it. I do, and that’s what matters. It’s my favorite place to be in the house now, other than my bed. And my front room with the Christmas tree up.

Lisa Office

Sounds great, right? It is, and it isn’t. Now, the rest of the house needs to be organized. I got the main level done – a heroic effort was put in by all of us to clear out the debris that no one used or loved anymore. When I look around, there is so much less clutter.

That leaves only one place.

*cue the Jaws tune*

My closet and dressers. Dear lord, I am a terrible clothes collector. Ter-Ri-Ble. I have gone through the closet, and the dressers loom, waiting for some attention.

Once done with my room, the entire house will have been addressed, in some fashion. The work is never done, but it’s cleared out in a way that it hasn’t been in years. You all know how it is – kids, work, second work (writing), house stuff – the clearing out and paring down gets pushed waaayyy down the list.

But I’m making the effort. After forty-five years, I am finally becoming more organized than I have ever been in my life. It allows me to live cleaner. I don’t mean that in a food sense, but in the sense that less crap means less clutter in my mental real estate. I find I can focus better, and am more productive, both with writing, and all the other things I need to get done.

Except today. I managed to shovel snow, and shower. And feed people. That was it. But generally, in the last month, this is what I’ve found – and I didn’t plan on it, I wasn’t aiming for it. But by clearing out the physical clutter, my mental clutter went down too.

There’s a lot of mental clutter in the world. Good lord, just go hang on Facebook for five minutes – it’s tough not to get distracted. I’m working on that too – and I’ll be honest, with my physical setting feeling less like it’s in disarray, I don’t feel the need to get all involved in other people’s social media. Unless it’s positive.

So the snow has been good for one thing, other than substituting for my workout today. It’s allowed me to think about the changes I’ve made, and how said changes are affecting me.

Now that it’s spring, take some time, and see what clutter you can toss. See what you don’t really need – if you read Marie Kondo’s book, she recommends tossing anything that doesn’t give you joy. JOY. That’s a strong word. I’ll tell you, it was hard for me. But I would look at something and think, Does this bring joy? If I had any hesitation, into the Toss pile it went. And I don’t miss it. We hang onto crap, worrying that we might miss/need it.

We don’t. Not usually.

Be brave. Be strong. Be HONEST. What brings you joy? If you’re sitting there, glancing at something that doesn’t, get up now, and go make a Toss pile. Then go tackle a small area that’s been driving you mad, and bag it up. Put it in the car, even.

And get rid of it.

You’ll feel better.

Happy spring!

StarFest 2016

My Starfest 2016 Schedule!

So see the clicky linky above? Click it! You know you want to! CLICK IT! I’m so excited about this. For the first time ever, I’m attending a Con not just as a fan (although you can be sure I checked the schedule for things I want to go see), but as a panelist.

Starfest is an established sci-fi convention here in Denver. It’s one of the first conventions I went to. I always have a lot of fun. It’s not huge, not like Dragon Con, or Denver Comic Con, but I like going to a smaller convention. I like being able to take the time to talk to people. Starfest is where I met one of my favorite writers, who also happens to be local. (Mario Acevedo, in case you were wondering.) We talked about steampunk, both the costuming aspect, as well as whether or not to write it. It was fantastic, and a wonderful way to put one’s toe into the world of conventions.

It’s also family friendly. As my kids get older, we’ve started to introduce them to cons. One loves it, one is rather ‘meh’ about it. I’m good with that. A fifty percent ratio isn’t bad. I appreciate it when the cons do things to include and involve the kids. It’s good business, too. All us older nerdy folk are going to keep getting old. Start ’em young, and you build an attendee for life.

The ‘nerd culture’ has been in the spotlight over the past couple of years. I’ve seen some of my favorite cons explode from an attendance standpoint, as more people come to see what all the fuss is about. A lot of them keep on coming.

Why?

Because cons rock. Seriously. They do. I love to costume, and I love love love talking costume with other people who love to costume. #1 thing I’ve learned? Costume for comfort. Do your housecleaning in your costume. If you can’t get your work done, mod your costume. I am not joking. Nothing sucks worse than planning to be out, on your feet, probably sweating, for ten hours, with a costume that is not comfy, not movable/breathable, or one that you’re constantly futzing with. LOL, I’ve learned this the hard way.

If there is a movie, TV show, pop culture thing, book-anything that has a fandom – you can find a con where your fellow fans will be. Trust me on this one. I have a friend who loves Korean pop. He goes to panels about that exact topic at one of the cons I attend. I didn’t even know it was a thing, but it is.

I’m a fan of so many things-Harry Potter, LOTR, Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Supernatural, All Things Joss Whedon With Special Love To Firefly/Serenity, steampunk crossover for ANYTHING-you get the point. I have costumes that fit into all but two of the above listed fandoms. Cons are a great place to dress up, show off the thing you geek out over, meet like-minded folk, meet authors, learn new craft skills (I went to a panel, and then every panel thereafter from a presenter at Anomaly Con who gave up so much knowledge on steampunk costuming that I use to this day…she was brilliant) and have fun.

So if you’re looking for something to do, come by. It’s an easygoing convention. There’s plenty to do – in addition to the fan traks at Starfest, they also have Horrorfest, and ComicFest. My little guy wants to go to Horrorfest so bad. He’s already a HUGE horror fan. (As in, his Halloween costume last year was Jeff the Killer. I was sure a visit from CPS was heading my way.) But he’s only 9, so we’re easing into the horror.

Plus, I’m working this weekend. Come see me.

Review of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”

I am not a movie reviewer. Let’s sort that out right up front. However, I read my friend Mark’s review on his SoWizard site (you should definitely check he and his colleagues out), and after I saw it this weekend, I was compelled to respond.

I AM, however, a lifelong Jane Austen fan. As in, I LOVE HER. I know all her books, and only Northanger Abbey doesn’t get five stars from me. (All the NA fans, ease up. It’s just the one where the heroine bothers me. It gets four to four-and-a-half. I had a hard time identifying with her, even as a teenager.) I am also someone who loves the movie adaptations, even though they often lack any real “action” (or anything at all, other than snobbish accents, according to my Dear Husband. He’s not a fan). Jane Austen wrote about small worlds, and lives that were part of a narrow, understood path. They were complex in their relationships but small on a global level. Fans of Jane Austen are good with that. We love that, actually.

So it stands to reason that someone who is not necessarily a JA fan will be put off by the general tone of a JA based movie, even one that has zombies at the heart of all conflict. As I said commenting on Mark’s review, I like the quiet story line of a Jane Austen.

With that, let’s get to the review.

I loved the book. Loved it. I loved what Seth did with the story. I’m not a purist, most of the time. I can totally get behind an adaptation if it’s clever and well done. I felt like he did that. I also like the intro in the movie of the History of England, 1700 to 1800. I like that sort of vintage cartooning, so for me, it worked.

When it came to the movie, I was disappointed. They took Mr. Darcy and gave him a story arc that was supposed to create tension. However, there was already tension. Mr. Darcy in the movie had governmental muscle behind him in the quest for zombies. He didn’t need that to bring tension to the relationship between he and Elizabeth. His suspicions-that are revealed later-create enough tension as it is. Both in his thoughts and actions. I thought it was unnecessary. It would have worked to use the tension written into the story. Darcy would have still been the dour, unpleasant, rude man that he’s been since creation, insulting our heroine and drawing our ire. This is probably my biggest complaint.

I loved the Bennett sisters. LOVED them. That scene in the assembly-every one of them is a powerhouse, and that’s true to the book. It’s one of the changes that was made in the adaptation that I liked. Every one of those young women went in with katana drawn and ass-kicking on her mind. That was fantastic.

One thing that I missed was the relationship between Lizzy and Jane. It was not shown to the depth that it ought to have been. More like skipping a rock across a pond than what it really was. That was…sad. Because that relationship is important. I wish they’d gone deeper.

That leads, however, to the portrayal of Wickham. That, in my opinion, was fabulous. I loved that change. I wholeheartedly approve. I thought it brought a really interesting plot arc in that added, rather than detracted from the story. And the fact that Jane and Lizzy walk right into that arc for love (you’ll see what I mean) shows that the relationships within the Bennett family are there.

Let’s not forget Mr. Collins. Holy hell. I laughed at him nearly every time he was on screen. Oh, you Doctor, you! Matt Smith made him. I think he’s my favorite adaptation of Mr. Collins. He wasn’t the greasy, slimy one we’ve seen before. He was cheerful and a complete social climber, and eternally optimistic and convinced of his own fabulousness. I thought it was a perfect way to play him.

Darcy, in the end, made me weepy. I adored his letter, as I always have, and how he eventually speaks for himself. It was well done.

So where does that leave me, rating the movie? I give it four stars. Why? Because even though there are things I didn’t like, or didn’t understand the need for, I felt they captured the essence of the time. Which is both the world that Jane Austen created, as well as a time when people would have thought it was the end of times. The coming of Revelation, for those who are spiritual. I was thinking about it after the movie, when I was musing on the loss of seeing more of Jane and Lizzy. It’s a hard balance to walk when you feel your world teeters on the edge of ending.

The ending was fantastic. Sit and watch the credits. I was really pleased with it, and if it means what I think it does, I’m good.

But if you’re not a Jane Austen fan, I do think it might fall a bit flat. I often think that with many book-to-movie adaptations. Even as those making the movie want it to stand alone, and entice new fans, they’re also making it for the current fans. It’s a tough road to keep to. I say that as a reader who’s read most of the books that are made into movies.

I will admit that I have a teensy bit more of a bias, because Jane Austen is probably my top choice for an author’s works to take on a desert island with me. I re-read them now, and still love them as much as the first time. So I am a bit harder on the adaptations.

I liked this one, though. It’s not perfect. But it did a great job in bringing that book to to life. As Mark mentioned, the love story takes over. In the original P&P, that’s true. Because it’s the point. I think it’s true for P&P&Z as well. Even in the midst of an apocalypse, love will take over. We’re human. It’s how we’re made.

Even in the midst of a Potter’s Field with hands clutching at your ankles.

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Ode To The Faithful Snow Broom

I sit in the middle of Snowpocalypse 2016…In Colorado, that is.

We only got about fourteen inches. Which, from a Colorado perspective, isn’t all that much. Honestly. It’s a bit more than normal, but…it’s manageable.

To my great surprise, the school district actually closed today. That hardly ever never ever happens. Our school district goes to school in all sorts of weather. Almost like the postal service. I read a post from a friend of a friend of the Superintendent where he said he didn’t like to close schools because of all the kids who get help with meals.

Bless him. I can handle less snow days for that reason alone.

Regardless, here I sit, taking a break from work, with kids and husband home. That’s not a normal Tuesday for me. I’m usually sitting alone, in the quiet, with the occasional nudge from one of the furry kiddos.

They’re home, and it’s still snowing. The weather reports said that it was supposed to stop by now, but the almost sideways fine, sticky snow is still coming down. That’s all well and good. I don’t mind snow. We’ll have school tomorrow, and since I don’t have to go far, it won’t be too horrid.

Except for one thing.

I have to backtrack a little on this one. Back to 2009, when my Dear Husband first went away on deployment. He was gone for almost nine months. Fall, winter, and a lot of spring.  Yay me. Because Colorado gets snow eight months a year on average. So, guess who was stuck with the three car driveway, and the looooooong sidewalk out front?

That’s right, the person who despises shoveling snow. Keep the comments about why I live in Colorado to yourself.

So after yet another snow event that took hours out of my time, and my kids were smaller then, less able to be without direct supervision, I went to the Home Depot, and looked for a solution.

It seems simple, yet it’s not. We have a three-car garage. We also have three cars, and all three park in the garage. There’s no real work space, or anywhere for us to park various lawn and outdoor tools. Dear Husband is good at creating storage, so he’s managed to fit the things he needs, but the lawn mowers (yes, we used to have four, don’t ask!) and any potential snow removal thing would have to live outside.

I’m not putting a $400 snow blower outside. SO…impasse. I ended up with this beauty.

shopping

$99 bucks, and it hangs on a hook. Well, it did.

That brings us back to the current Snowpocalypse. Dear Husband waited for the wind to quit whistling past the house, and went out to begin the clearing process. He got almost all the way through it – was on the sidewalks – when our dear Toro, the electric snow shovel of light….DIED.

It just stopped. Dear Husband is pretty handy, so he took a look at it. It’s not a complex machine. There seems to be nothing wrong with it. Yet there it sits, dead.

Does it know? I haven’t been vocal until now, but I’ve finally negotiated with Dear Husband. I will be getting a snow blower. One that is independent of any cords, and big, and capable of clearing my never-ending walkways and driveway quickly and efficiently, with no backbreaking work for me slaving over a freezing shovel handle.

The snow blower will get a place to live, a place to reside, and I’ll even let the lawn mower (we’re down to one, like normal people) come in out of the elements. Until recently, though, the Toro Broom was the only thing that stood between me and quality time on the heating pad. There was no snow blower in my future.

So RIP, my dear Toro Broom. You’ve saved me – on the mornings when we had to go to school, on the one crazy morning when I had to get myself and both kids to a taekwondo tournament, when I was the last one to shovel one snowy day and risked a nasty-gram from the HOA, and in general when it chooses to snow the moment Dear Husband leaves.

You’ve earned your rest.

Just please…no more snow. I haven’t gotten the snow blower yet.

 

Being an indie and the Goblin King…

I feel like I’ve been all over the place lately with the blog. Kind of like life. Anyway, today I wanted to talk about being an indie author. Let me say straight away, I like being indie. I like knowing that both success and failure sits right in my lap. I’ll admit I much prefer the success part rather than the failure part.

Be that as it may, I like being the place where the buck stops. Why is this important? Well, I’ve had to do some overhauling on my writing, and writing plans. I have had to look at what I want to do, and what will work with the goals I have for 2016. Suffice to say, in order to spare you all a long, boring diatribe, the two don’t always meet.

That’s the awesome thing about being indie. At the end of last year, I looked at where I was, and I won’t lie to you all. It wasn’t where I wanted to be. So I did some reading, and tried to look at other avenues, and then I looked at me-to see where I might have done something differently or better.

That is never fun.

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But there are things I can change. So I’m doing it. Because I think I need to, and when something isn’t working the way you want, you need to make changes. Not that you have to hop like a mad rabbit from one plan to the next in a frantic race to find the right way. But you need to make a plan, and stick to it, and when you see, after a respectable amount of time, that’s not working, it’s okay to change.

As an indie, I can do that. I don’t have to run it by an agent, an editor, or a publisher. Now, Lisa, some may say, Perhaps they would have kept you from making a mistake in the first place.

Fair enough.

But let me counter, my friend. I have friends who have all those wonderful people working with and for them. They are also in a state of looking over what worked, and what didn’t. Some have fared better than I, some worse. So I’m not sure that having those people working with you guarantees anything.

2015 was a great learning year for me. I figured out what I absolutely must keep up with, and what I need to shift or change. That’s valuable.

It’s not easy, and requires I work every day on some aspect of my career. It’s a lot to keep up with. Some days, I slack horribly. Learning to work through that has been a piece of the process along with everything else. But I’m improving and that is a positive to celebrate.

So there you have it. I’m in the midst of reorg-and while it’s a bit chaotic, it’s a good thing. See the Seth Godin quote above. It’s so true!

While I’ve been doing this, I went online on Monday, and read that David Bowie, the Goblin King, Major Tom-had left us. I cried. I cried off and on all day. I’ve loved him since I was ten years old. He was the first artist I saw in concert. We were in the fourth row-All the Ziggy fans were up there-talk about an eye opener!

It brought home the fact that time, for us, is finite. That we must not hesitate, must move forward, take the chance, and Carpe Diem.

I read an amazing, amazing tweet about him:

If you’re ever sad, just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie.

Aren’t we all lucky as hell? Be like Bowie, take charge, and sally forth!

Rest in peace, Goblin King.

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Holy Joseph, It’s A Newsletter!

For 2016, one of my writing goals was to get my Newsletter in order, and send it out. I have a nice mailing list. I put some work into it in 2015, and it’s respectable. If you’re on it, THANK YOU! If you’re NOT – well, I’ll make it easy.

Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/1NE9IiJ

While I am a lover of the technology, it usually takes me some time to figure out how to use it all. A mailing list and what you’re supposed to do with it is no different. It’s taken me longer than I thought because I’ve been slowly working out my organization on how to work effectively at home.

It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Anyway, I have my Newsletter done. It’s good. I like it. If I got it, I wouldn’t roll my eyes. I’d open it. We’ll see how it does.

But I’m pleased, and I’ll tell you, if you’re just starting out, try MailChimp. There are other services out there, but this one is not overly difficult, and it’s free, initially. Once you hit a certain number of subscribers, it becomes a paid service, which is appropriate. The service walks you through each step, one at a time.

I had a couple of steps I needed to complete before I sent it out. I’m waiting on the last one now. But the rest is done! Once I get this last bit from the third party, I’m ready to roll!

I’m excited.

With that, I’m off. I’d love, however, to hear how some of you have managed your mailing list. Have you used MailChimp? If so, do you like it? If not, what are you using?

Cheers!