Monday, November 20, 2017

How To Be A Band Mom

Now that marching band season is over, we move onto concert season. As a band mom, I will fully admit to hoping at each game our football team loses so we don’t have to continue to march in December, when it’s cold. My penance for those terrible thoughts is helping to fit about 150 boys and girls for their concert attire.

Here are a few things I learned:
  • It is easy to tell which kids have gone to sleep away camp—they’re the ones who start stripping in the hallway in front of everyone.
  • Boys have no idea what size they wear. In some cases, I’m not sure they’re even aware they wear clothes. This makes fitting them, with their neck and sleeve and pants sizes, time consuming.
  • Girls, on the other hand, have shirts and skirts that come in one size, despite their many curves and body differences.
  • Making sure the boys can sit in the pants they are wearing is important, and saves the band teachers from many embarrassing last-minute conversations before a concert. However, trying to find a way to explain that to the boys so I don’t get sued, takes all of my English-major skills.
  • Best follow up question when I tell them to sit? “I don’t sit when I play.” My answer, “Do you plan on sitting in your car to get here, though?”
  • You know what also takes all of my English-major skills? Trying to explain to the girls, in semi-public, why the shirt or the skirt in their typical size not fitting doesn’t mean anything body-image wise.
  • Coming up with the correct words to explain to freshman girls that their boobs might get bigger during the four years they will be wearing these shirts, and therefore, these shirts should be a little roomy, is also a challenge, especially when they don’t know me.
  • Boys look like penguins in the tuxedos—especially when the pants don’t allow them to sit.
  • The girls look like they’re Amish. Or like nuns. They are neither.
  • Asking the boys to replace the jacket and pants on a hanger is the perfect way to find out which kids’ parents clean their rooms.

For all the parents who come to the concerts this year, unless you plan to volunteer for next year’s fittings, I’d suggest you don’t say a word about what the kids are wearing, especially in my earshot.


Monday, November 13, 2017

NaNoWriMo Here I Go!

For the first time, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo. That stands for National Novel Writing Month. Writers all over the world commit to writing 50,000 in 30 days. There are online incentives, libraries and public spaces that open specifically for the participants, and a network of people who encourage each other.
I’ve never wanted to participate before, because November is an impossible month. With holidays and school breaks, those 30 days boil down to maybe 20. And 50,000 words? It always sounded impossible. But this year, I decided to do it at the last minute. My attention span is sorely lacking and I have a lot of writing projects that need completing. So I decided, why not?
Besides, I’m awesome with a deadline. 50,000 words boils down to 1,667 words per day. I round it to 1,700 to give myself a little breathing room. I’m like our rescue dog. We have an electric fence so she can run in the yard without a leash. She knows where the “fence” is, and creates her own set of boundaries—about 6 feet inside the electric fence—so she doesn’t mistakenly bump into it. That’s me. If I write at least 1,700 words a day, I can’t possibly not hit my goal.
50,000 words, added to the 30,000 words I’d already written, means I’ll have a complete manuscript when I’m done. Or so I thought. The problem is those are the number of words I have to write. We don’t edit during this time, so those words are not necessarily my best words. And because I’m working on a manuscript that’s been giving me trouble from the beginning, and I didn’t prep ahead of time for this challenge, well, there are problems. My biggest problem? My heroine. I’m two thirds of the way done with this book and she still doesn’t have a purpose. I mean, she’s a good foil for the hero, but as an independent woman? Yeah, I’m stuck. So I already know I’ll have to go back and figure out why she exists.

But it’s a start!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Changes

“Never a dull moment!”
“When one door closes, another opens…”—Alexander Graham Bell
“Is the glass half empty or half full?”
“May you live in interesting times.”
Those phrases/quotes are some of the common ones we use to describe our lives as things change, opportunities present themselves or chances are lost. Indeed, I agree with all of them. In fact, I’m pretty sure several of them flitted through my mind this weekend when I found out my old publisher, through which I published four books, will be closing in June.
Nope, not my current one. They are doing great and I’m publishing—and selling—books with them. In fact, my next book, Five Minutes to Love, is coming out sometime in the spring and I’m currently waiting to see a galley copy so I can make copy edits and then get a specific release date. No worries there.


The other publisher is lovely, small and very concerned with the future of her authors. She’s going out of her way to help us, provide us legal releases so our rights revert to us, and help us with anything we need. And readers can still buy those books as long as they are on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
My first reaction was actually excitement. Because there are now so many possibilities! I have lots of plans, which I’m keeping to myself for now, but ultimately will reveal in the future. I have terrific people to advise me and I’m taking things slowly when I can. In the meantime, when in doubt, edit. I have been going through one of the books and re-editing it (you can never do that too many times), because I can’t do anything with it until it’s almost perfect.
So stay tuned, because I hope to have more book announcements in the near future.
In the meantime, if you love to read, here’s a giveaway you might enjoy:

Giveaway Details...

What: $400 & $500 Black Friday Amazon Shopping Spree Giveaways

When:  Nov. 6-22, 2017.

$900 Giveaway Page:  https://wp.me/P2H01p-7EQ

$500 Giveaway Page:  https://wp.me/P2H01p-7F2

$400 Giveaway Page:  https://wp.me/P2H01p-7F5