The Sad Retirement Of A Tradition

When I was a kid, I watched my parents carefully marking their days and appointments on an agenda. Back then, you got these 2022 ‘agendas’ from your bank, the butcher’s shop, or some other company that used them for advertisement. I always wanted my own ‘agenda’, despite me being only 4 years old and going to Kindergarten.

Since I grew up in a so-called well-protected parental home (and I’m very grateful for that!), my life was generally controlled by my mother. That meant, all my appointments, play afternoons, or birthday parties were noted in her agenda. She had to be informed about everything we children did. I think, when I got my first personalized agenda for my birthday, she impounded it and I never saw it again.

Then, planners, and ‘Filofax’ cases became not only a fashion statement but also a necessity for every business person (and a few others too)… and I would have loved one of these. Instead, I had to settle for an agenda, a promotional article from my bank. (I could have my own now, I was almost an adult).

When I finally got my first combined planner/agenda/address book/notes case in size 9 x 13″ from COACH, the fashion statement was basically on its way into the archives, not to mention that I found out, that thing added about 6 pounds to my already heavy writer’s purse. To make things a little easier (and lighter on my back), I left that rock-heavy combined case at home and got myself a light, ring book paper agenda to take with me. I love paper, and I continued entering my appointments, plans, and tasks in both agendas, one for home and one for ‘the road’. By the time it got hard to get a replacement for my annual COACH agenda, I was so sick of my method, that I decided to set the state of my COACH stone to ‘out of service’ and further just kept using my light and practical paper agenda, which I, on an annual basis, bought at Walmart or Target.

Since I’m a writer, and was a job seeker at that time, and had other things to do I took notes of, and love post-its, my agenda always looked like a ‘work book’, with notes, corrections, and hooks, and post-its and tape, and I loved it.

And then came the time…

When my life took a big hit with the pandemic, and I decided to add another huge change and start traveling, I realized, that my paper agenda used up a lot of space and just didn’t serve its purpose anymore, no matter how much I loved it. I kept collecting paper in it, rather than using it for its original purpose, and took fewer and fewer notes, which I had started adding to my electronic agenda on my devices, (phone and tablet) instead. That way I knew I had them with me at all times. They didn’t use up additional space and were even lighter and less bulky that my beloved paper agenda.

Only a few days ago I finally found it, somewhere, on a dresser, forgotten and abandoned, ragged, shriveled, used… and still, somehow sad and neglected. And with a heavy heart, I had to recognize the sad truth: it is time to bury an old tradition… Another one of my beloved paper products will not be with me any longer. My poor, orphaned paper agenda will retire…

Does that mean, I’m completely computerizing myself? Hell, no! I will always enjoy taking notes by hand, on paper, with a beautiful pen. But there won’t be notes for books, or something else… they won’t be appointments, tasks, and meetings on paper anymore. That will be over. A. J. Alexander goes electronic!

Goodbye paper agenda. Thank you for your decades-long services! I will always remember you.

Tips for working at home aka how to survive being a shut-in #WriterWednesday #QuarantineLife #AuthorToolboxBlogHop – Written By D.E. Haggerty

D. E. Haggerty gives us excellent advice on how to spend our time and workload at home during the quarantine and the ‘shut-in’ phase. Thank you, D.E. for your tips and tricks.


Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Work from home. No boss breathing down your neck. No need to get dressed in business clothes. Hell, no need to shower or get out of your pj’s if you don’t want to. But as I’ve learned over the years as a work-at-home writer, it’s not as easy as it seems. And now many of you are forced to work at home, too.

Do not panic! I’m here to help with some tips and tricks for working at home. Because – despite initially missing colleagues and some gossip by the water cooler – I can’t even imagine ever having to go into an office. Blech!

Anyway, there are things you can do to make working at home not feel like you’re a prisoner in your own home. Here they are:

  1. Have a schedule…

CONTINUE READING HERE

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving 2019

On this day, today, as a writer, I’m happy for many things and accomplishments:

Two published books

plenty of paper

useful pens

a working computer

a new printer

the time and chance to write

the God given talent to be a wirter

ideas for stories, posts, and books

– and last, but not least –

YOU – Followers, Friends, and Readers

Picture couresty of Google.com

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I wish you and your family, an enjoyable and blessed:

Picture courtesy of happythanksgivingpictures.com

 

Book Signings And How To Be Horribly Underprepared – My Guest Post on The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

My guest post about book signings and how to be horribly underprepared was published today on The Story Reading Ape’s blog. Thank you so much for your ongoing support, Chris! What would I do without you?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I was happily posting about my first book signing, a couple of weeks back, I was looking so forward to what is going to happen that I was completely unprepared. I mean, what exactly would happen? I hoped for people dropping by at my table, loving the book, buying it and I’d sign it. – Wonderful me.

Normally I am a very cautious person, and I love to go somewhere, no matter where, and be really prepared. That day I wasn’t. I didn’t have more than only a few days to get ready for that book signing, and I completely slept the preparation away. There were many other things going on as well, but that isn’t a decent excuse to be as sloppy as I was.

What did I take?

  • My books
  • A couple of business cards (me and the books)
  • Postcards
  • Some Pen
  • Tiny wing charms as giveaways

 

Continue Reading Here

 

How To Sign A Book – Research By Aurora Jean Alexander

Due to unexpected circumstances, I might be participating in a book signing some time early September, something I had never thought would ever happen.

Of course, being a woman first thing I called out was: “Oh my God, what am I going to wear?” As an author, the first thing I called out was: “Oh my God, what am I going to write?”

Until that moment I admit, the second question has bugged me far more than the first one, and since I am who I am, I decided to do some research on that topic. How to sign a book (when you’re the author, and you don’t want to let the reader down who bought your book).

As usually, Google provided me with several opportunities to work through many articles about that subject. Here are the most educational ones that I could find and that answered the questions I had:

Audrey Childers writes on the “Huffpost”:

As a newly published author, I had no idea how I should handle autographing my books at my first books signing. This is one of the ways that an author connects to the reader is by making the book signing a unique and enjoyable experience. You would think as an author of four books that I would have plenty of ideas. Book signings are rare face-to-face moments where you contact with your readers to help build a lasting relationship. This felt like a landmark moment in my life.

She provides us with a full list of tips and tricks, from the pen to the fan picture. The article is very helpful and also contains hints on what to write, which I had been looking for, after all, that’s what the research was for:

Health and happiness
All my best
Thanks
In gratitude
To your health
Much appreciation
Warm wishes
Best regards
Onward your friend

The article written by Audrey Childers can be read here.

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Debbie Young of the ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors) writes a blog post with a few, a bit boring tips for author signings like ‘learn from other author’s events’, ‘make the most out of the situation’, practice your signature, make sure the signing table looks welcoming, and so on. In this article, I’m definitely missing the ‘what to write’ list. But judge for yourself:

ALLi Article about a book signing. Read it here.

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Mary Robinette Kowal provides us with a blog post about four years old, in which she describes quite well what to do and what not to do on book signings. That goes from the ink of the pen to the advice to have three stock phrases ready to personalize a book. Although she does not suggest any. But her last point #10 is an enormously important subject I have never given a second thought. She writes:

Have a different signature for your legal signature. Your autograph will wind up on the internet on eBay. Having a different one for legal papers, checks, or credit cards reduces the chances of identity theft.

This is very important, and neither of us should forget about that!

I learned a lot from her article and would definitely recommend to read it, what can be done here.

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One of the first and best articles about book signings was the one I liked most. It showed me quite well what I wanted to know. I found it on the ‘Authority Publishing’ website. It gave me tips and tricks and gave me, all in all, six different points in a list which were easily described, short and impressively written and contained a list of signature phrases as well.

All my best
Thanks
In gratitude
To your health
Much appreciation
Warm wishes
Best regards
Onward
Your friend
Etc…

Just what I wanted to know. The entire article can be read here.

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As for me, reading these articles taught me a lot. Tips, tricks, hints, advice, I read what I can write, and I learned what to ask, what to take, to have fun, and where to sign. Knowing me, all this knowledge will be for nothing, I’ll be that nervous I am most likely not going to know how to spell my own name…

 

My Beloved Paper Agenda

Starting this post with a confession is quite hard to do, to be honest. But I decided to do it anyway:

 

I AM SCARED TO BE HOPELESSLY OLD-FASHIONED

I know you might laugh, but I’m terrified that I’m getting too old to be able to change my ways and finally give up my affinity to my paper agenda.

It is a beautiful agenda, teal colored with turquoise surroundings. It not only includes my annual agenda, but also a little paper notepad and an address book. It’s a COACH agenda and I’m very proud to have it. That thing is about 13 years old and I remember exactly where I bought it and why. And it’s about as heavy a gallon of milk.

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I love it deeply and not only use it to write down appointments but also birthdays, addresses, things to do and things not to forget…

It is however really heavy and uses up a lot of space in my purse, which forces me to leave it at home and get a light and easy annual planner to take with me, just in case I’m on the road and need to add an appointment.

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As soon as I’m back home I’ll take what I wrote in this ‘on the road’ planner and carefully copy it to my COACH agenda which I just for some reason can’t give up…

I know it would be BY FAR easier to throw them both away and take my appointments, notes, to-do list and birthdays and enter them into my smartphone.  I just really think I’m confused, weird, old or simply ‘stubborn’, because I’m not there yet.

In all these years of technological progress, where I effortlessly progressed from Telex to Telefax, from Telegram to text message, from typewriter to computer, from a rotary phone to smartphone I’m still addicted to my paper agenda and planner.

It would be so much easier, but I still haven’t done it – and I’m asking myself why? Do I need to be forced to? Am I waiting until there won’t be any re-fillers anymore for the new year? What am I waiting for?

Do I need a psychologist or rehab? What is it that I need to make this progress, to get this change done and make life easier for myself.

If you have an idea, I’m going to be delighted to hear it! Thank you!

My Writing Progress – 3

Picture courtesy of: www.google.com
Picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com

 


I’m almost a little shocked I’ve got news in my writing progress – again. Right after Christmas, I published a blog post about sending the first book in the series to my editor.

Since then I have been working intensely on the second book in the series – and finished the first draft of the book.

Of course, there is a lot to do now until that one is ready to be sent off into the knowing hands of my wonderful editor. But the first step is done. I only decided to interrupt my current work on the book to write and schedule this blog post.

It’s time now to find out if the second book is a novella as well or if the draft will turn out into a novel. I’m very curious, I admit.

It seems with this second book, that had been resting for such a long time, I suddenly picked up where I left off and galloped towards the finalization.

I currently work alternately on book four and five of the series… I guess it’s time to think about the sixth one.

What I can see more and more into the series is, that I enjoy creating the people, building the stories, finding their path through the adventures. I feel home with a pen and paper in my hand like I belong. This is, how it feels – to be an author!

 

 

hoof-tracks
Picture courtesy of: http://www.pinterest.com