It is that time of year again, one holiday stacked on top of the next, busy dressing up and eating obscene amounts of your kids candy, then comes the turkey dinners and the "thank you's" only to be, what feels like, Christmas the next day, then...it's an entirely new year before we know it.
This year for Christmas the kids and I made gifts. I chose a relatively inexpensive idea and personalized them each individually to bring more sentimental value to them. I really wanted our friends and family members to be able to use the gifts (making them of even more value).
Here's what happens though when you MAKE gifts.....your entire life is dedicated to finishing them before the big day and then you look back and realize that you have done NOTHING more with your life other than play with photo paper, tiles, a wood burning kit and Mod Podge. Have you found time to blog during all of this crafty chaos...no....have you had time to socialize with friends...no...have you had time to bathe...no.....I should fix that last problem today before I get any worse smelling.
The original plan I had was to transfer pictures to wood and create wood coasters...this idea looks so much easier when someone else is doing it. Even if you do EXACTLY what they are doing in the video...I am now a Pinterest fail. After blood, sweat, tears, and some small splinters later, I opted to go with Mod Podging pictures to tiles...cheap, and virtually impossible to screw up.
I waited for pay day, went to Heartwood (its like goodwill but with home remodeling items). i bought $7 dollars worth of tiles (approx 70 tiles), soldiered my way though Walmart to buy Mod-Podge, stopped at Bi-mart for matte photo paper and ink, and away I went. This was going to be soooo easy and cute!!!
Some of you may know this already, but fore those of you who don't , my husband is the ULTIMATE handyman. If I were deserted in an island and able to take 2 things, I would take him so he could build me a house out of coconuts and "The Clan of the Cave Bear" ...well..that one because...it's the best book ever written.
Casey pondered my picture to wood idea and during our trial phases of trying to figure out just what exactly our plan was, Casey jumped on board and started whipping out these adorable little boxes for the coasters.
Casey built the boxes, the kids sanded them, Hunter and I burned the first letter of the persons last name on the front, I found pictures on every ones Facebook accounts, created collages, printed and Mod-Podged them to tiles. Hunter then took the tiles and sanded them around the edges creating a cleaner look. We sprayed them with toxic fumes in hopes of water proofing them, There were a few up's and down's, a couple mishaps, but when it was all said and done, I think the gifts were a success. If you are a recipient and have some that you would like to share on Facebook..go right ahead and share away.
( I asked if they would refrain from fb sharing until after my last Christmas gathering since everyone was getting virtually the same thing)
OK, on to the actual blog subject.....
I have taken this little bit of free time that I have from school and crafts and started revising my book to get it back out on the shelves for sale.
I spent an entire day changing names, stating my legal jargon about how all the names have been changed, added a couple more inspirational quotes, shorten this and extended that. My book is about 15 pages lighter than when I began, this is good news for my buyers since it makes it a little cheaper than before.
I have gone through the reviewing process, the proof reading process, creating a new cover process...and this is where I run into my conundrum. I am literally on the very last thing on the checklist that needs to be done and I am suffering from writers block...ok, maybe not block..writers confusion, writers frustration, call it what you will, I am stuck...or was stuck...or, might still be stuck..not sure which at the moment as I chose to blog before returning to my delima.
I know there are a few of you friends of mine who are actual published authors, how the heck did you write your "about the author" part?
I sit down and I stare at the little text box where I am supposed to write something about myself, instead I find my words veering away from details about me and leaning towards what I have done, what I have gone through, what the entire damn book is about.
I then highlight and delete and start over again, only to do this same thing over and over again, as if writing anything good about myself is a sub-conscience taboo.
By the time I forced myself to close my laptop down for the evening, I had seriously considered the following descriptions to put on the back of my book...
1) V.A. Shepherd is a Goddamned Honey Badger
2) V.A. Shepherd lives somewhere with some people in that one state and she likes animals.
3) V. A. Shepherd wrote this book in hopes that people will actually buy it.
4) V. A. Shepherd I'd tell you but then I'd have to kill you.
5) V.A. Shepherd is funnier than her husband gives her credit for
After some wise motherly/grandmotherly advice, I took my Que and shut my laptop down .
Do you have any idea just how difficult it is to 1) say good things about yourself without going into detail about what brought you there (that might give away details in the book...does she die?, does she finally escape and make something of herself? Guess you'll have to buy the book to find out)..because I am not going to tell you the ending in the "about the author" section!!
2) It is also really hard to type about yourself in the 3rd person. It was soooo much easier to write the book because I felt like I was just telling my story to a friend sitting at at table with me...but it gets awkward when the conversation changes to "Amber Shepherd is this and she has done that and she lives here with ....., and she is now educated and she likes pigs that wear little sweaters"
If I were a teacher, and you were my students, I would assign you this......(and by all means, feel free to actually create a bio and post it on here or on my fb link...I'm curious, oh and if I happen to steal it from you, I'll make sure you get credit in the book)-
Open up a word document (unlimited words) and write your own Author Bio. Now, keep in mind, this is NOT where you add in any details of your book, no descriptions or even revealing too much about your journey as to give the reader no reason to even open your book.
First twelve times I found myself just discussing how I ended up with a story in the first place, then I discussed my educational success but that was too long and detailed about everything I did while in college. Next I discussed Amber's achievements, but that just added more length as well.
I have not yet opened up my task for today, I had this blog on my mind literally ALL night. I actually have another blog for this evening.
OK, speaking of blogging......I have been really struggling with blogging lately, and maybe it's because my life is so boring, maybe it's because I have less to whine or complain about, maybe even that I have a fear of being judged for things I write publicly...I am not sure exactly what it is, but I feel a strong desire to write, but I can't seem to find great topics to discuss...so, I am reaching out to you for ideas, topics, suggestions, anything really. I feel if I continue writing on a regular basis that I will once again find my groove and be able to run with it.
Well readers, this is where we part ways for the day...I have a book to get back out to the public, and I am sure you have a life.
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read the blog...I adore you!!
Peace and blessings to you all!!