Library of Congress

Well I'm very sad to say that today's blog is going to be me complaining!

Being an author is really hard, as all you writer's know. But today I sent in to the Library of Congress for a copyright on my upcoming book Hippo Bottomless and the fee has gone up $69. I've registered all my books so far and it's only been $35, which to me is reasonable. However, now it's $104. Is there no one out there that can help us authors out?

It just seems like everyone is out to hurt us. It's so difficult to write a good story to begin with. We have to do tons of research to do it right. Then we spend hours upon hours researching publishers and trying to obey their submission guidelines to the letter because we know if we miss one step, all our hard work will be thrown in the slush pile faster than we can say "what the .....!"

And I've heard it's even harder to find an agent to represent us.

I have five more books coming out which is going to cost me now over $500 just for the copyright. And at $11 a book, there is barely anyway I can make that money back, pay off all the other debts associated with keeping my writing a flow and make any kind of profit.

I absolutely love writing my books and participating in book signings but it's hard to keep smiling sometimes when it's so darn difficult to make a buck doing it.

I am sorry if I'm bringing any writers or potential writers down today, but I know tomorrow will be better. However, sometimes a girl just has to get the frustration out! Do any of you other authors sometimes feel this way too?


Blog Hopping

To start this week out, I'd like to share a picture with you'all of two "oh so adorable" fans of Kailee, the character in my books. They have purchased both The Pea in Peanut Butter and Kailee Finds Magic IN Words. Their mother tells me they love them both! Makes me and Kailee so happy to hear that someone is enjoying our stories. Thank you Piper and Zoey!

Also this week I have been tagged to take part in a blog-hop by Courtney.  Thank you so much Courtney for the tag.  I was asked four questions, which are as follows:

1. What are you currently working on? I am always working on my next picture book but this week I'm busy mailing out submissions for a Tooth Fairy story I've written. Researching publishers guidelines and getting the submissions in the mail takes days, and I must admit I hate this part of being a writer. However, after it's done I do feel like I've really accomplished something! But the waiting and wondering about whether the story will get accepted is not only a long slow one, but it can be very depressing. So as soon as I get these submissions out, I'll be working on finishing up the next story so I don't sit around worrying about the one I just submitted.

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre? Well I'm not so sure my work is that different but I try to bring a unique voice to my characters. I also love to sprinkle in a little magic to my stories because that's what I loved as a child and I do believe that's what other kids love the most.

3. Why do I write what I write? Because I love it. It's so much fun to be able to bring out the kid in me by writing picture books. I'm actually addicted to them. I love reading them and looking at the beautiful illustrations. And although I get nervous when reading my story to kids, it fills me with so much joy when I can see they are loving the story. I've learned a lot from reading to the kids and watching their faces and now whenever I write a story, their faces are what I envision as I write the words. 

4. How does my individual writing process work? My writing process is crazy sometimes. When I get an idea in my head, I immediately write it down. I have a huge list of book ideas. Once I decide to finally pick one up and start on it, I do a bit of outlining, not extensive. I need to know what message I'm trying to convey right away. I also need to know the name of my main character or I can't seem to get the story right. Sometimes I have to start with a title and then go from there. I spend a lot of time making up silly titles. A few of my stories I had the title in my head for years before I actually came up with the right story for it.

In order to keep the hop going, I need to tag two other writers to answer the same questions.  I have chosen:

This is a great opportunity to meet and greet these writers you may not know of so please stop on over and say hello to them. Mikki has a new book out and Sherry is about to have her first picture book published. Congrats to them both. Happy writing!


Book Signings in Edgerton, Ohio

"Super fantastic" are the words that come to mind when I think about the recent book signings my mother, sister, and I had back in our home town of Edgerton, Ohio. I have to admit that I was a bit doubtful whether or not people would show up to see us. My first book signing there three years ago was so magical that I wasn't believing it could be anything close to that again this time!

But it was actually better. Not because more people showed up, but because I got to share it with my mom and sister. It was so enlightening and encouraging to see people showing up to see them this time. We truly felt loved.

One of the best things about the weekend was that my two oldest nieces from Texas showed up to surprise us! Sondra, my oldest niece is in the black and her younger sister, Tara is in the blue jean top. Not only did they come, they helped us set-up and tear-down and made our weekend so very special. It truly meant the world to all of us.

The lady on the left is Verna, my mom's best friend and her daughter, Linda in the middle. They were so gracious and hosted a luncheon for us! Thanks ladies!

One of the big surprises of the day was when my brothers best friend in grade school showed up! None of us had seen him in decades so it meant so much that he came to support us. My brother, Mark is on the left and his friend, Brent on the right.

I do believe though that the biggest star of our show was my best friend since I was five yrs. old, Penny! She showed up for every single event, just like she did for my first book signing three yrs. ago. Not only did she come, she helped grab people to come see us and spread the word around town. There she is in the peach top and jeans acting like our marketing agent! We love you, Penny and thanks so much for your friendship and support!

I just can't express how much fun my family had seeing all our old friends and how much it meant to all of us. So, I'm just going to show you some more pictures!
Here is my dad (on right with arms crossed) conversing with his good friend, Joe Sito. My dad has alzheimer's so I'm not 100% sure he knew who he was talking to but he sure put on a good face. One of the things my dad enjoyed the most was the Edgerton parade. At the beginning, the town stood up to sing the Star Spangled Banner. My family watched as my dad sang along remembering every single word. Woo hoo!
Here is the Edgerton High School Band which brings back so many memories for my family. Each one of us kids marched in this band at one time, down this very street. And I must say, they still sound terrific!

Here's a picture of some of my best friends growing up. I spent many a day hanging with them, and of course we always behaved! From left are, Kalli, Donna, Penny (of course!) and me. Naturally I'm the fattest one! Story of my life. Love you ladies! I really thought this dress looked cute...what was I thinking!

Here's my goofy niece, Sondra being amazed at how high the corn stalks are in Ohio. You don't see that in Texas!

Below is a picture of our gracious and generous host, Susan (in blue shirt). She volunteered to let us have a book signing in her hair salon. Now a salon is NOT the most practical place to have a book signing but she made us all feel at home and it turned out to be pretty darn successful! The lady standing beside her is Maxine Sanders who took over my mom's old column in the Edgterton Earth Newspaper. She showed up to say hello and told us she had written a book with recipes in it. She brought one to show us and to her surprise we all ended up buying a copy! So she had a successful book signing as well!

Now below is a "not so flattering" photo of any of us, but this was probably our funnest guest. The lady in the hat was our favorite babysitter, Sandy growing up (and of course she's Penny's oldest sister). The guy in the yellow shirt is my hubby, Brad. We had a blast reminiscing with her. Sandy told us a story that one of us kids was always causing trouble. Was it me? NO; Was it my sister, Genilee? NO; Was it my brother? NO; it was my oldest sister Monya (who couldn't make it home). And Monya always called US the brats. We made sure to video Sandy saying this. Ha ha to Monya! We love you anyway. LOL
Well I have many more photo's of our wonderful book signing events but I guess I'd better stop here. Thanks again to everyone who came out to support us. We love you all!
Left to right: Mom, Dad, Genilee, her hubby RJ, Tara, Me, Sondra, Mark, Brad (why is he standing so far away? Do you suppose we were embarrassing him? ha).