Sunday, September 30, 2007

Promoting my book, business cards.

Well today I gave out a total of 1 card about my book information. I had plenty of opportunity at church and at the coffee shop to pass out my cards and promote my book but I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I wouldn’t have given out this one card if the person hadn’t said to me, “I heard you wrote a book.” Stepping out of the comfort zone of my family and friends was a little harder than I anticipated. Even though my friends make comments about my book they will be there for me and will buy a copy. Their comments prepared me a bit for future rejection. Even the friend who said, “Who the *#****## wants to read a book about Lal.” He said about a month ago I’ll buy a book but I’m not going to any wine and cheese book signing. I don’t like wine.” I’m sure he will be there. I still have some time to change his mind.
I have never liked being the center of attention. I belonged to organizations and worked on many committees and had great ideas and suggestions but I always avoided the speaking and such and stayed in the background.
I got other people to pass out my cards. Again I managed to stay in the background. My mother in law and sister in law came over for a visit and I gave each of them a pile to pass out. Then I called my daughter and gave her a pile to pass out. All the cards are gone.I think I will work on a flyer and hang it in the post office and the coffee shop and where ever. I’m not ready for this one on one promoting outside of my family and friends.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Promoting my book.

Well I decided to get serious about promoting my book while I wait for my cover to be completed. I am stepping way out of my comfort zone! I have never liked to sell things and ask people if they wanted to buy something. When my kids sold things for fund raisers I bought their share instead of having them bother friends and relatives. I have eaten more fund raising pop corn, candy bars, and nuts than I care to mention. I have tons of wrapping paper, Christmas cards, and I could light a candle everyday for the next twenty years.
It took 6 months of Tom encouraging me to finally start this Blog. According to recent reports this is suppose to be the new and upcoming way to promote your book.
My family and all of our relatives that I have talked about the book with support me. But some of our close friends are a different story. For the last year I have been asking our very close friends of many years if they would buy a book I was writing and some of their reactions were: “Who the *#***## wants to read a book about Lal?” “What could you possibly write a book about?” “Why do you want to write a book?” “Who cares about what you did.” “How long is the book going to be? I don’t like to read big books.” These are the comments from the people who love me. What are the people going to say who don’t really know me? For awhile I was crushed but now I am a little better at accepting rejection.
A while back when I sent articles to magazines, I told a friend of mine when we were shopping at the book store. Later she pointed to a book and said, “You better buy this book.” The title was “How to Accept Rejection” The magazines sent back my articles with a note saying this isn’t what we are looking for.Tom made business cards with my book title and information about my web page and Blog. I will give these to friends and acquaintances when I run into them.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Cover count down

Well, I’m counting days again. It has been 1 week and 3 days since they started working on my cover. They said it would take 3 to 5 weeks to complete my cover. A part of me is expecting an E-mail from them saying my pictures for the cover are a little harsh on Tom and I should chose a picture that showed some of his charm. I should have informed them in advance that Tom picked out one of the pictures for the cover. In fact when I was writing the book, Tom reminded me about some stories that I had forgotten about. All of the stories in my book have his sign of approval.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It’s all about the Name or is it?

This is my birth name Elizabeth Jane Wolfe. I was named after my grandmothers. I have grandma Eiler’s middle name Elizabeth and grandma Wolfe’s middle name Jane. I cringe at the thought of mom naming me their first names instead of their middle names. I would have been named Hilda Cora Wolfe. Anyway, when I married I became Elizabeth Jane Lally.
I have been practicing writing my name for my book signing. I have it down to two forms of my name and I am pondering over which name to put on my book cover. I thought Liz Lally would be catchy and it kind of flows when I write it. However Elizabeth Jane Lally has a hint of sophistication. But I never heard anyone ever describe me as being sophisticated. Should I add a little sophistication to my personality and be Elizabeth or should I be my humorous self and be Liz? My name and personality has gone through stages of change and development and I want my author name to illustrate this new part of my life.
I have been called a lot of names in my lifetime and not all of them I care to mention. However I am mostly called Betty. When I was a child everyone in my neighborhood called me Betty Jane and they still do to this day. When I was in the sixth grade my friends and I decided to change our names so I became Bess. Around this time the boys started to get a little obnoxious and tease us girls and since my last name was Wolfe they would howl like a wolf to get my attention. In ninth grade we decided we needed another name change so I became Bet. Then we thought it would be cool to call each other by our initials so I became BJ. In our senior year we decided we needed one more name change so I became Liz. At work and at Penn State I was called Elizabeth. After I married Tom some of our friends called me Lal.
When I started to write my book I felt like Liz should be my name but now that my book is almost finished I’m not sure how I want my name on the cover of my book.
Now which name should I put on the cover of my book?
Elizabeth Jane Lally or Liz Lally.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Does color really make a difference?

Today I am wondering about what colors they will use to make my cover. Will they suggest colors or will I pick out the colors I like? What color makes a best selling book?
My book is a humorous book. Is there a color used for humor? What about romance novels, murder mysteries, religious books, or how to books is there a color for each or do they just randomly pick a color. Does it really make a difference?
Some people have spent much time studying colors and how they affect people. Tom was telling me just the other day about an article he read about the different colors and what mood they were suppose to put you in. But I have my doubts about this theory because when I’m happy, angry, sad, disgusted, ambitious or lazy color has nothing to do with my mood. I could go in and out of all the colors in the rainbow and still be happy, angry, sad, disgusted, ambitious or lazy. Many other factors enter into my mood and color is not one of them. Especially when I’m in my romantic mood it’s usually dark and I have my glasses off so I couldn’t see a color even if I had too. However, if anyone has a tip on a color that will put people in a mood to buy my book; let me know. I’m open for suggestions. Just what color could that be?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cover Copy Polish

I sent my manuscript in for the third time and the next step for it is to be proofread before publication. Now they are working on the cover of my book. This should take three to five weeks. I sent in two pictures and hope they can convert them into cartoons and put them on the cover. Tom picked out one picture and I picked out another one. Hopefully they will accomplish what I envision. Tom has approved everything I have written and does all the technical part of my preparation for publishing. I don’t know why the editors have commented; “Does Tom know you wrote this?” everyone seems concerned about poor Tom. What about me? The person that lives with this cartoon character and his Lally Logic.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The line edit is complete!

While I was typing my blog on Tuesday my publisher was sending me my edited manuscript. It took exactly two weeks and two days for my line edit. When I took a close look at the manuscript and all the instructions to go to the words view, toolbar, review, tools, track, changes, accept, or reject I became a little overwhelmed. My whole low-tech being immediately went into overload and shut down. I have never clicked on these words before. They are at the top of the screen. I only used tools before to check my spelling.
It took me a whole day to settle down. Every page was filled with red lines pointing out grammar mistakes. I did not even know that I was so grammatically ignorant! I started to wonder if I was the only one who was lacking in this area so every time I came upon a friend I questioned them about their knowledge of dangling participles, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, and past perfect tense. And in my circle of friends not one knew what I was talking about. They just gave me a blank look and said, “What?” I guess out there somewhere people will be bothered by my dangling participles along with my editors so I will make the corrections. Especially when my book is a best seller and I’m a famous author I guess I want to be grammatically correct. I just hope they don’t want me to be correct in other areas. I thank it’s a little late for me to go to charm school.
This editor also felt that I was a little harsh on Tom and wanted me to portray him as a little more charming. I already sprinkled the book with some of Tom’s charm when the evaluation made this same suggestion, but apparently not enough. So this was the hold up of my editing and getting back to my blog I was painstakingly trying to sprinkle some of Tom’s charm throughout the book again. They don’t understand that finding Tom’s charm is like finding a needle in a haystack!
Tom said I could push one button and accept the changes instead of addressing one at a time after I addressed the comments by the line editor. Thank goodness!
Today I am grateful that Tom has a room full of the latest high-tech gadgets. He has the latest technology in computers and knows how to use all the programs. I devoted a whole chapter to Tom and his gadgets in my book. Technology is another area where Tom and I are complete opposites. He has to be on the cutting-edge-of-high-technology and I am as low as I can go in technology.
To anyone out there reading my blog who cares about dangling participles and the such, I apologize! I am overwhelmed in the grammatically correct area. I tried but there are too many rules! I will leave that to my editors.

Liz is conquering Grammar!
Liz is defeated by Grammar!
Liz has left the building!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Autumn Leaves

While waiting to hear from my editor I decided to clean the garage so we can get the car into the garage before the snow starts to fall. I don’t know how so much stuff can accumulate in the garage in just four months.
On our way back from New York Tom noticed the green leaves turning red and yellow on a few trees. I just hope when Jack Frost turns the rest of the leaves Tom doesn’t get his uncontrollable desire to take his annual one-hundred-twenty mile trip through the mountains to see the colored leaves. The trip isn’t too bad now since the kids are gone. But when we took this yearly trip in autumn with three kids in the back seat it was miserable. I relate our many family trips and vacations in my book with three kids in a space three feet by five. Why we took these trips with three kids who couldn’t travel one mile without bickering over one thing or another is beyond me. I thought it would be educational for the kids to visit other states. But Tom was obsessed when he got behind that wheel. He didn’t want to stop. He drove those three kids all the way to the tip of Maine and the tip of Florida. When I questioned Tom, “Why do we have to go all the way to tip of the states?” He said, “Someday they will thank us.” Not one child has thanked us for those trips to this day. In fact Maureen tells anyone who will listen that she was so sick when we took her on the Boston Historical Trail that she almost died and how her Dad made go all the way to the end.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The start of the third week.

Today is the start of the third week of my book being edited. It's after 5:00 and I haven't received E-mail from my publisher so I guess they are still editing. Gosh, I hope there aren't too many mistakes. I wonder how I will make the corrections on the manuscript. I hope they don't make it too difficult or time consuming.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Riding into the sunset.

We stayed in a hotel even though Marty offerd us a room on his boat. The constant swaying back and forth and up and down from the waves was a little much.
Walking on water at Lake Ontario.
We got home from visiting Marty around 2:30pm. Tom and I are exact opposites when it comes to traveling. My book is full of humorous examples of how our thinking is the exact opposite. We are at different end of the spectrum in most areas. He could just get in the car and drive for hours with no particular destination. He finds it very relaxing and enjoyable. He often says to me, “Come on, let’s get into the car and ride into the sunset.” I absolutely detest traveling. I get into the car and go from point a to b. I am very nervous on the interstates with all the traffic especially trucks. However, when I get to our destination I really enjoy myself and am grateful that we made the trip. The town Marty moved to in New York is a very beautiful little town on the shore of Lake Ontario.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I have to get off this boat.

Gliding on Lake Ontario in Marty's boat.

The view from Marty's boat on Lake Ontario.

guess I should start a list of relatives and friends who would possibly buy my book. I wonder if I have enough relatives and friends to make my book a best seller. What exactly is a best seller? How many books do I have to sell to get on the best seller list? How do I get on the best seller list?
I wonder at what point do I become an author. I wrote a manuscript and it is in the process of being published so am I an author now or do I have to wait until my book is published? How do I become a famous author? If my book is a best seller will I automatically become a famous author? Could I become a famous author without having a best seller? Oh, I’m thinking way too much. I better get off this boat and get back on the dry land.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Today is my birthday.

Last night Tom suggested that we go to New York and visit our son. This isn’t logical because he just left our house from leave on Wednesday. Tom wanted to visit him on Thursday so here we are in New York on Friday sitting on his boat. You have to read my book to learn about Tom’s Lally Logic. Tom didn’t suggest that we go to New York for my birthday. I already got my wheel barrel of corn. My book explains all about the wonderful gifts I receive from this cartoon character I married.
It is two weeks today since I turned in my manuscript to a line editor. Maybe it will be done today since it took two years to write. One week of editing for each year. However they said it will take three to five weeks. I don’t know how this publishing business works. I wonder where my best selling manuscript is now. Is it sitting somewhere in a pile of manuscripts in an office somewhere? Is someone reading it now word by word? Are there many mistakes?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Some things never change

Things are getting back to normal today. Our son, Marty was home on leave from the army and left yesterday for a base in New York. As a young boy, he always enjoyed playing practical jokes on his Dad. He hasn’t changed much in that area even though he is thirty-six. But now Marty tries to outsmart him with mind games especially in the area of technology. He knows his father is obsessed with being on the cutting edge of high technology so he is constantly trying to get something higher tech than his father.
My book is full of the tricks Marty played on his Dad as a young boy. He would wait until Tom was resting in his recliner and drifted into a sound sleep. Then Marty would get a screw driver and slither across the room on his belly and remove the handle for the footstool. He would slither back across the room with the handle and anxiously wait until his Dad woke up and reached for the handle to get up. Then Tom yelled, “Martin!” He would smile and walk into the living room and say, “Dad, did you call me?
Not a day went by without Marty playing a joke on his father. The bizarre thing was that Tom fell for his antics day after day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The green pen marks.

I can’t help wondering how many corrections my manuscript will need. I have come a long way since I took English classes at Penn State. I remember turning in an English paper and thinking that it was perfect. I was shocked when the professor returned my paper. It was full of green pen marks pointing out my mistakes.
Finally I listened to the professor when she said, “I am lonely in my office. Come in and see me if you need help.” After a few office visits, the green marks on my papers became less and less.
It has been one week and four days since I sent in my manuscript.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Help! I need a line editor!

Maureen and I edited the content and organization of my manuscript however we didn’t address the typos, punctuation, and grammar.
When I got home from Texas, I started to look at the spelling, grammar, and punctuation. I noticed some run-on sentences and some sentence fragraments. I dug out some English books from classes I took at Penn State. After two weeks of struggling with verbs and dangling participles, I decided to have a line editor help me with these problems. After all if I am going to become a famous author and have a best seller I better make sure my grammar is correct. No one wants to read a book with dangling participles. I am anxiously waiting to hear from the line editor. It will take three to five weeks for my manuscript to be edited.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Self publishing my book

I decided to self publish my book. After much research I chose a self publisher and sent in my manuscript. They evaluated my manuscript and I was very pleased with the evaluation.
I guess all the editing I did on my book finally paid off. First I gave my manuscript to a friend to get her opinion on the stories and check the flow of the chapters. Then I gave it to my sister-in-law. I was a little concerned about her reaction since the stories were about her big brother. She felt they were hilarious and enjoyed reading the manuscript. Next I had my daughter and her husband read over the stories to see if they flowed and were clear.
Finally I went to my oldest daughter’s home in Texas and we went to a luxurious hotel and did the final evaluation. On our way we stopped at a local grocery store and got a bottle of wine, cheese, and some apples. We ran into her friend and Maureen told her about my book and she wanted her picture taken with me since I soon would be a famous author. Before long the manager joined us and I have a couple book orders.
We had a great time at the hotel and accomplished editing the rest of the manuscript.

Our first stop on the way to editing my book.

This book took two years to write.

Editing in the lobby.



Room service.

A break from editing.

Editing on the balcony.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

My book is finished!

I finally finished writing my book, Help! I Married a Cartoon Character.
I revealed many humorous experiences of forty years of marriage to my childhood sweetheart with honesty and insight. It all started on our honeymoon when he neglected to make motel reservations and took me to a run down hotel with prostitutes prancing at the front door.
I watched my Prince Charming slowly turn into a cartoon character. Many times he would do something and I would pick up the newspaper and there would be a cartoon portraying a character doing the exact same thing.
One of Tom's prized purchases was his recliner rocker. The very first time Tom reclined into his rocker I heard a loud YELL then a THUD. When I looked in Tom's direction, the recliner tipped backward onto the floor with Tom in it. He had to roll over onto the floor to get out of the rocker.
Periodically over the next few weeks, I would hear a YELL then a THUD coming from the living room. Sure enough Tom was on the floor in his beloved recliner.
Shortly after Tom fell backward in his recliner, a cartoon from the local newspaper showed the cartoon character falling backward in his recliner just like Tom always fell. The wife in the cartoon told her husband, "Hang in there you will master that chair yet." However, I have my doubts about Tom ever mastering his recliner. It has been forty years and six recliners later and I still occasionally hear a YELL and a THUD coming from the living room.