So Many Balls in the Air!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

All of a sudden, my life has become very busy. With the end of The Case of the Pirate’s Puzzle in sight, I thought I would have time for some new projects. The problem is, no one was keeping track of how many things I signed up for. Okay, I should have been doing that, but when I get in one of these moods, it’s a kind of mania. I can do this! I can do that! I can do something else! And while I’m at it, let me try the other thing, too!


So what have I been up to?


First of all, finishing up the details for Pirate’s Puzzle. I formatted and designed a cover for the paperback version, but when the proof arrived, I realized I’d ordered the matte cover instead of the glossy, and the image and text box were far from centered. So I spent a day, maybe more, fiddling with the cover some more to make it look better, and ordered another proof copy with a glossy cover so I can make sure it looks good before pressing that PUBLISH button. That should arrive by Saturday.

Meanwhile, Tammi Labrecque, also known as the Newsletter Ninja, was running her once a year session of her class on Advanced Automations. I’ve been meaning to revamp my newsletter processing, and thought this would be the kick in the butt I needed to start making progress on it. But as I went through the class, I realized that it didn’t make sense to change the signup forms and introductory sequence for new readers before redoing my website.

The website has become problematic over the last year. During the pandemic, the people I bought my custom theme from went out of business. What that means is no support to figure out how to do something I haven’t tried before or if something breaks. It also requires digging into the HTML code in order to change some things, like the pictures displayed by the slider at the top of my home page, which is why the New Release one still has Homicide on the Range displaying rather than The Case of the Pirate’s Puzzle. I don’t have time to muck with those things and keep my writing schedule.

So, as part of a class I bought from Mark Dawson on marketing, there’s a whole section on how to set up a website with Wix, which has both free and reasonably priced paid options. It’s modern, drag and drop, and is developed and supported by a real company (we’ll ignore the fact that it’s based in the Ukraine for now). Of course, while it is objectively easier than using Wordpress, for example, there’s still a learning curve. And I’m still learning.

So the changes to the newsletter are waiting on the changes to the website, which I’ve barely started.

Of course, it’s also time to start the next Rainbow Ranch Mystery (working title Bury Me Not), but I only have the barest idea of what that one will be about. And, getting back to the newsletter side of things, I really need a separate reader magnet for this series. So, rather than writing a brand new story, I decided I could take “Return to Rainbow Ranch”, a novella I wrote to bridge the time between the African Violet Club series and the Rainbow Ranch Mysteries, and rework it so it was definitely a standalone story. I finished that today. But "Death in the Desert", the new story, needs a new cover, so the next thing I tackled was trying to figure out what that would look like. I’m not satisfied with what I’ve got right now, so I’m waiting until tomorrow or Friday to take another look at what I can do there.

Oh, and along the way I joined a women’s Bible study group, and was persuaded to take a Member-At-Large position on my church’s Board of Directors.

As if that wasn’t enough, my brain keeps wanting to think about the next Shipwreck Point mystery and the third Rainbow Ranch mystery.

And I need to do a thorough cleaning and organizing of my office. I usually do that after I publish a novel, but somehow this time I’ve got stacks of stuff all over the place, the bookcases have become totally disorganized (and dusty), and I still haven’t filed all the financial stuff from the last few months.

So how is your life going?

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