Tuesday, October 30, 2007

new and used

I finished the Lee Child book I picked up in the bookstore last week. "Persuader" was filled with tons of action, amazing feats of daring do and lots of bullets, blood and bad guys. Those books have to be bad for a reader, just like eating too many donuts is bad for anyone.

The bookstore is sailing along and our first three weeks is complete. We sold over $1750 in materials, a total of 1500 items walked out the door. And the donations keep rolling in, this project hasn't put a dent into our inventory of books. I'm off to drop coupons at the school this week. We're giving the teachers a free small paperback, of course in hopes they come in and buy more. I think I've got about 400 coupons to distribute. I'm so curious to see how this 'promotion' is received. If we get 100 back, I'll be amazed. I need to put my marketing cap and on come up with some other ways to promote our store. My brain is filled with a few sketchy ideas, but some time to really sit and think them out is a priority for next week.

My mother in law arrives today, so I have to take care of another neglected household duty before the wheels of that jet touch down. Yes, I off for Sam's Club. Time to restock the pantry as this buying ingredients one meal at a time has me a first name basis with the stockers at the local grocery store.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Dreamquake" by Elizabeth Knox

I scooped up the sequel to "Dreamhunter" this past week at the library. Elizabeth Knox has created a captivating and original stories in her "Dreamhunter Duet" series. I strongly advise reading "Dreamhunter" before reading "Dreamquake." You'll be lost if you don't, as she spends almost no time on backstory.
The basic premise is that dreams can be caught in a region called 'the Place' and then transmitted to other people as a form of therapy, entertainment and even punishment. The sequel tackles the heavy questions of fate, time and the composition of reality. Not your run of the mill Young Adult themes. Knox's writing is loaded with detail but she manages to keep the plot moving and our heroine, Laura Hame, overcomes incredible obstacles during her journey to discover the true nature of 'the Place.'
The two books are written in a fairly sophisticated style and involve as much internal action as external. Although they are classified as YA, I found them to be more challenging than most fantasy offerings for that age group.
Up next, I found a paperback Lee Child book at the store last week and figured a few hours spend with Jack Reacher would be fun.

Friday, October 26, 2007

what I've not been doing since last saturday

Rather than make a list of what I did this past week, I thought I'd make a list of what I haven't done this past week. No, I haven't had my coffee yet......although the aroma is wafting up to me as I type.

I didn't write in either WIP although I did open them, read the first paragraphs and then I didn't post either to the wonderful Mr. Nathan Bransford's contest. Although I had fun reading everyone's entries, especially the ones from the folks who entered the Fabo First Line Contest and the entries from the folks I know via their blogs, like Dwight and Paperback Writer.

I didn't finish reading a book. This is extremely rare for me. I went a whole week and didn't finish a book. Slacker.

I didn't go to the bookstore Wed or Thurs. Feeling a bit like a woman denied chocolate for a week. It is time for me to step back and let the volunteers fend for themselves a bit. My fingers were a bit cramped from all the hand holding I've done over the last two weeks.

I didn't have to haul kids to any fields. I also didn't see the sun this week. I think my SAD is kicking in and I may have to look for a sun lamp soon, or eat more chocolate.

Next week I have company arriving, Halloween to survive and bookstore coupons to deliver to the various local schools. I will have a much longer 'did' list than 'didn't' list next Friday.

Enjoy the weekend:)

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Perhaps it is the crowd of moms I wind up with due to soccer, school and circumstance, but at least once a season I hear the exasperated wish for simplicity. A day off. A day of quiet. Even those who try and keep Sunday clear wind up working all day at church.

We all nod our heads, sigh and then someone answers a cell phone or runs to the car for a forgotten water bottle or promises that she will be on time to read to the class today. The moms I know are busy. So busy in fact that I posed the question, "Will we know what to do when the next phase enters our lives?"

What if we had a weekend where we didn't have practices, games, volunteer work, birthday parties etc? We've all met folks who are what I call 'artificially busy.' They fill their time with an assortment of mundane tasks and moan over how they just can't find the time for everything. The moms I know don't fall into that category, but I wonder if perhaps someday we might. We are so used to running hell bent for election every day, when the time comes for the kids to move on and out, what will we do to fill the time?

My pat answer in my head is I'll write more. I have hobbies, darn it. I won't become one of those pitiful empty nesters who lament the fact that their child raising days are over. I will move on to the next phase of my life with grace and style. Insert your own brand of heavy sarcasm here.

I do long for a more simple pace, yet I also know life has a rhythm to it. Right now my life resembles a mosh pit, but it won't always be that way. At some point, the tempo will slow and I may actually long for those days when I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner in the mini van. My life will become more simple.

When I think about this sort of stuff I tend to remember the joke about how you don't want to enter Heaven all perfectly dressed, nails done and hair perfect. You want to slide in a real mess and shout, "What a ride!"

Simplicity can wait....I'll take the chaos.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ribbon cutting

Here we are cutting the ribbon for our Grand Opening. I wield a mean scissor!! Next to me is our Friends president and next to her is our town mayor.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

falling chips

The bookstore is officially a week old now. We had the ribbon cutting on Monday night and sold almost $100 in an hour to attendees. The mayor was there along with three of our five aldermen. Lots of other folks stopped in as well. It was a fun and exciting few hours. So far our little store has made more than $750. This is an amazing number considering that the majority of our items are less than $2.50. We are off to a great start, now the trick is to keep the momentum going.

I'm still working for an hour every morning with the first shift person. Next week I have three people coming for training and then I start my 'normal' routine. I expect I'll be in the store 5 hours a week. I don't even want to think about the time I spend at home working on store related issues.

When the normal routine kicks in, I'll have to figure out a way to work my writing back into the weekly schedule. I miss it.

I've added another plate to my collection of spinning dinnerware. To use another well worn image, by month end I need to let the chips fall where they may. I think having zero expectations for how my week shakes out could be the only way to insure I find time to write.

Monday, October 15, 2007

the store

Here's our big debut. The card table has since been replaced by our actual cash register stand, but this gives the general idea. Behind us is our wall of fiction hardbacks. I'd be the 'young' one with the dark hair:)
Today is Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting with the Chamber of Commerce. I have some paperwork to update, those P&Ps need tweaking, and some books to shelve and tidy.
Sorry I couldn't post an actual link to the article. For some reason the paper didn't upload any of Saturday's paper into their website. I'm not sure if they had a tech problem or if they just leave Saturday off.
Wish me luck:)

Friday, October 12, 2007

friday recap

The bookstore venture is off to a great start. We've already sold more in three days than we normally sold in a month from our old bookcase located at the back of the library. Amazing. The volunteers have been wonderful. The store looks great. The cash register is working well. It is all so good, the exhaustion I'm feeling is tempered by the sense of accomplishment.

Next week will be more of the same, except Monday is our grand opening and ribbon cutting. That should be fun. After the second week, my life should become easier. Maybe I can actually get a few things done around the house.

The reporter from the big local paper showed up yesterday and spent an hour with us. It should be a great story. The photographer came later and took a good dozen shots. I'll try and post a link to the article when it appears.

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

energy applied

We always tell our kids the basic rule of physics: everything moves from a state of order to disorder unless energy is applied. This goes for schoolwork, bedroom organization, the family shoe rack to life. Sometimes they get it and apply the appropriate amount of energy, other times, they are afflicted with what I call 'buttinchair disease.' That is, they can't move their butts from the chair.

We've been on fall break around here. The kids had yesterday and today off from school. The first nine weeks are completed and report cards will be arriving soon. I already peaked at their grades online, all is well, in fact all is extremely well.

The bookstore opens today....the quiet, soft opening at 11:00. It will be interesting to see how this week goes. I'm wiped out from getting this project on its feet, but I'm ready for it to start walking. Nothing like real live situations and customers to poke holes in the policies and procedures I've been working on for two months now.

Lots of energy is being applied and we are staying clear of chaos for the moment. All the plates are spinning, some are wobbling a bit, but nothing is crashing to the floor. For now, it is working. I'll take it.

Friday, October 5, 2007

friday recap

Today is our final day of setup for the bookstore. It has gone really well. I'm mentally and physically worn out, but today will be a lighter day for both my brain and body.

Tuesday is our first day of business, but the grand opening isn't until the evening of the 15th.

So many folks have helped. It is amazing how hard these women and men work as volunteers.

Not much else to recap for this Friday. I'm still reading Stephen King's "On Writing" and enjoying every page of it. Kaycee and Dwight were dead on...one terrific and inspiring book.

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

a pause in the action

Two days down and two to go....I've learned that while I love books, they don't always love me. My allergies are killing me. I've been digging through boxes of books and the sneeze factor has increased daily. The good news is I believe we are done digging and now we can move on to alphabetizing.

No bookstore work, per se, today. We do have our monthly meeting, so I'll be giving the progress report. Also on today's agenda, a haircut and a half hour of 'read to the class' time for the youngest. He's requested a Magic School Bus book and a chapter out of Little House on the Prairie. No prob.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 1, 2007

ready, set, go

We start setting up the bookstore today.....keep a good thought for me. I'm going to need it.

On the soccer front, the kids came in second place in their tournament and in the final game eked out a 2-1 win with only 11 players and no subs.