Last summer after the youngest child graduated from high school, I decided to reduce the number of livestock we kept. After all, the empty nest was supposed to signify the beginning of a new phase of life, a greater freedom than my husband and I had enjoyed since 1996. I sold all the alpacas and llamas, except for one elderly llama (Booboo). I sold the younger son's pony. The dog died and I had no intention of getting another dog. Five cats in the house, one in the barn, one llama, and one horse remained. Pretty darned good!
Thanksgiving weekend of 2017, my husband received a plea regarding a Great Dane that needed a new home. Long story short, we adopted a Great Dane, Selina Kyle. Yes, she's named after Catwoman.
In July I bought a horse, Diva (a.k.a. "the monster"), to ride after retiring the lovely Lady Anastasia who looks amazing at the advanced age of 33. Of course, that didn't work out as planned. Diva has been placed with a trainer in the hope she can become a good citizen.
In September, the pony came back: her young rider lost interest in favor of motorized (instead of 4-legged) all-terrain vehicles. Anybody want a fabulous walk-trot pony? She's 13 hh, sturdily built, sound, and a wee bit sassy. Oh, she's great at dressage and trail riding, too. She needs a job to do, a job that I can't give her.
Two weeks ago, I adopted a kitten. A friend contacted me: "Our tenant found a kitten and can't keep it. We can't keep it either." My response: "Bring it over. It'll be a barn cat." Muffin's career as a barn cat lasted less than a week.
This trend has got to stop.
The next book
The latest manuscript, which is an alien romance, hit a bump. A big bump. I refuse to call it writer's block. Twice, the story headed in a direction I did not want. So, I let it rest. I let the idea simmer in the cesspool of my subconscious until something floated to the top. Aha! Inspiration struck. I deleted most of what had gone before and rewrote. Yes, yes, this will work.
No, I'm not going to tell you more at this point.
If you somehow failed to miss the release of Bear of the Midnight Sun, it's live and available for purchase from Amazon. I sell exclusively through Amazon, despite other experts exhorting authors to put their books up on multiple platforms. The simple reason for that decision is that I have only ever earned royalties through Amazon. I did try other platforms and over two years received not one single cent from book sales through those other platforms. That's sufficient experimentation for me.
The next book fair
I've been working on drumming up interest in the Winter Book Fair which will be held on Sunday, February 10, at Mother Stewart's Brewing Company, Springfield, OH. I considered feedback from the authors who participated at the original book fair in August and acted upon those which could be implemented with a minimum of fuss: longer hours, a meet-and-greet reception before the book fair opens, and tables and chairs provided by the co-host (Mother Stewart's). We're also boosting signage and marketing. Every participating vendor (i.e., author) will receive at least one--maybe two--drinks from Mother Stewart's included in the registration fee. (Yes, Mother Stewart's serves soft drinks in addition to beer and wine.) These additional costs contribute to an increase in author registration, which is $30.
I haven't quite made up my mind yet about a "grand" prize drawing. I'll need to survey registered vendors (i.e., authors) to gauge their interest in contributing to that. Authors will be asked to donate copies of their books to the Clark County Public Library: two copies from Clark County authors, one from authors outside of the county.
Most author events I've attended cost between $100 and $500 when taking into account exhibitor fees, "membership" fees, hotel nights, meals, and fuel. Because the event focuses on Ohio authors, there shouldn't be any expenses needed for overnight accommodations. That cuts out a major part of the cost of participation. All in all, the registration fee for the Winter Book Fair is a tremendous bargain.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know traveling in February sucks. But we'll be in the warm and most interesting venue of the brewery's vat room--so much better than a bland and generic conference room. Although the brewery isn't air conditioned (so no one will have cause to complain about that), it is a heated environment. We'll be warm. Because the venue has limited space, the number of vendors (i.e., authors) is limited. This will remain an intimate, cozy affair.
The beauty of the Winter Book Fair is that it's smack-dab in the middle of winter. It's something to do, someplace to go. It occurs after the Super Bowl, so folks still aching for entertainment have something to entertain them. It occurs a few days before Valentine's Day (Feb. 14), so those who haven't yet figured out what to get their sweethearts have a unique option: an autographed book.
Let's just hope the weather isn't too awful.
Register for the Winter Book Fair here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/winter-book-fair-2019-tickets-50233631143?aff=eac2.
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