Tuesday, June 19, 2007

100 Things You Didn't Want to Know About Me

I saw this on another blog, and thought it would be fun to do. But let me warn you-it's boring.

1. I've chased a mouse with a lawn mower
2. Pepsi or Root Beer? Root Beer
3. I never knew the difference between a tractor and a combine
4. I married a seed corn Technician so now I do
5. I like old westerns
6. John Wayne or Clint Eastwood? John Wayne
7. I don't like public speaking
8. last year I spoke publicly 24 times
9. we have a dog who qualifies as a small horse
10. I've never ridden him
11. my three year old has tried
12. I'm still scared of the dark
13. we drive 40 miles to church one way
14. voluntarily!
15. I make five loaves of bread a week - they smell wonderful when they are rising
16. I have an identical twin sister
17. she's not evil; she's my best friend
18. we played tricks on our teachers in elementary school
19. we were once so lost we nearly ended up in Iowa
20. she finishes my sentences and we laugh in the exact same way
21. I've never been in a car accident
22. my husband is my best friend too
23. I met him when I was seventeen
24. I knew I would marry him the second time I met him
25. I married him when I was eighteen
26. when he passes gas he sticks my head under the covers
27. I have retaliated
28. we've been married for almost 11 years
29. we've never had a fight
30. he once mistook my twin for me and did something embarrassing to her
31. I won't tell what it was
32. my twin's husband once mistook me for her and did something embarrassing to me
33. I won't tell what that was either
34. my sister and I will never let them live it down
35. I can't stand wearing turtlenecks
36. I do not have gray hair - yet
37. I love chocolate
38. no, I mean I really, really love chocolate
39. if I were on a deserted island and had to choose one food to sustain me, I would pick brownies.
40. with chocolate frosting
41. I exercise more than one hour six times a week
42. it's because of the chocolate
43. in reality it's because I have a hard time saying no to food
44. I have prayed about that many times
45. I've come to realize I can't say no by myself
46. God is slowly molding me
47. I've been an at home mom for nine years
48. I wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China
49. I have five children
50. my four boys are spittin' images of one another - and they aren't twins
51. they range in age from nine to three months
52. they all have western sounding names - Cody, Wyatt, Riley and Ty
53. between them they've had two broken bones
54. I think the gray hair is coming
55. I'd still like more children
56. my daughter is in heaven
57. she was stillborn
58. that was the hardest time of my life
59. God used it to draw me closer to Him
60. for that reason I am thankful it happened
61. I believe God is sovereign in all things
62. even the things we term 'disasters'
63. I homeschool my children
64. I couldn't imagine sending them to public school
65. I'm horrible at math
66. I learned how to do fractions with my son last year
67. it made more sense than it did twenty years ago
68. I just finished reading Dee Henderson for the first time
69. she has become my favorite author
70. right next to Lori Wick and Stephen Bly
71. the last movie I watched was The Cat From Outerspace
72. our T.V. does not get a single station
73. we did that on purpose
74. we have a family night once a week
75. I've never been on a plane
76. I've been out of the country twice - Mexico and Canada
77. I've never been drunk
78. I've never smoked
79. I've never had a tattoo.
80. I think that makes me an oddity
81. I've laughed so hard I thought I would pee my pants
82. now I don't even remember what was so funny
83. my favorite movie is five hours long
84. I've never seen any of the Star Wars movies
85. I don't think I'm missing much
86. someone who read the above statement has just become my sworn enemy
87. I used to live in a town where Pa Ingalls bought supplies
88. at one time I collect shot glasses
89. now I collect flowers in my yard
90. daylilies are my favorite
91. I've never grown roses - they scare me
92. I was born in Lewiston, Idaho
93. If I could visit any country, I would choose Scotland
94. my favorite color is purple
95. I'm scared of spiders
96. My son has chased me with a spider
97. I screamed
98. A mouse has run up my shorts
99. I screamed even louder then
100. I have acrophobia and I wonder how many people will google it to find out what it is

Monday, June 18, 2007

It Has Arrived! - Part 1

Okay, you'll forgive me a little squeal when I tell you...it has arrived!

Our first shipment of homeschool curriculum came today. (Squeal!) I ordered from Rainbow Resource - I love them, by the way - and the box arrived today.

I'd ordered the boys' spelling (Bob Jones), science (Switched On Schoolhouse), and Wyatt's math (Saxon). I like to mix and match.

The books were still in their wrappers. Maybe I'm the only one who gets a thrill when opening a BRAND NEW book and fanning the pages. That 'new book' smell and the unmarred pages represent a new year with a fresh start.

I'm a horrible mom though.

I let the boys look at the books for a few minutes and then I snatched them away. "You can't look at them again until school starts," I told them. I know, I know, how cruel is that! But really, if I let them look at the books all summer, then there won't be that excitement for school to begin this fall. Half the fun is just getting the new books, freshly sharpened pencils, and the resolve to have the best school year we've ever had. It might not last long -- but the thought is there.

I'll be ordering from Sonlight for the first time this year. That's where It Has Arrived - Part 2 will come in. I'm even more excited about that shipment because it will be full of books! (Squeal!)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Promoting Yourself

I hate promoting myself. My mother used to tell me never to use the word 'hate'. So, okay, I VERY STRONGLY DISLIKE promoting myself.

It's one of those things I could live without. Like weeds in the garden, bad hair days, and sushi. (Don't ask me how those three are connected.)

Promoting, to me, has always felt like I'm waving a big flag in front of my face and saying, "oh, here I am. Look at me!" I'd really rather stay hidden in the background, behind the curtains, with the door closed . . .

But when you are an author, promoting yourself is something you need to do. In the past publishers used to handle all of the promoting, but no more. Most publishers won't consider working with you if you have no desire or ambition to help get the word out about your books.

We need to let people know about our books. If no one knows, no one will purchase them. And to be blunt, if no one purchases them, we aren't going to have our publisher knocking our doors down to sign another contract.

So what's a gal (or guy) to do? Bite the bullet and promote. But in promoting, there's also something to be said for leaving that big flag at home -- at least for me. You can promote yourself without hiring a plane to fly a banner across the sky.

No matter where we go or what profession we are in, there's going to be days we need to do things we don't like. Welcome to the world. But having a good attitude and a good plan of action will eliminate most of the headaches. (I did say most.)

For authors it's fairly simple. (Really, it is.)

1. Get your book reviewed - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the hundreds of review sites on the web.

2. Do a book signing - make sure you have plenty of books, pens, maybe even a bowl of candies. Some authors like to wander through the aisle at the bookstore and visit with the customers. Make a colorful and eye-catching sheet of paper with some of those reviews to pass out.

3. Set up a website - nearly everyone has a website. It's almost a crime not to have one.

4. Set up a speaking engagement - children's books are easier to my way of thinking. Schools love having authors visit. Libraries love having authors visit. Homeschool groups love having authors visit. Get the idea?
If you don't write for children you write for someone else. Women, men, teachers, do-it-yourselfers, pastors, mothers, etc. Set up a speaking engagement at your local library or through your community center.

These are just a few tips - I know you all have great ideas of your own. What is your favorite way to promote? What have you done that has made the biggest impact?