Free book promo: A Convenient Date

If you are looking for a free ecopy of A Convenient Date, the search is over. For a limited time, I’m offering a free ebook copy to those who sign up for my newsletter.

Book jacket info….

Two years after the unexpected death of her husband, Kaitlyn Reid’s life is improving. Her relentless devotion to helping the less fortunate provides a welcome distraction from the emptiness and sorrow.

Just as life begins to feel stable, her world is turned upside down. She receives an unexpected email from her attorney informing her that she is being sued by a woman claiming to be the mother of her deceased husband’s son. A son she knew nothing about…

Reeling from the news, Kaitlyn happens to meet Rick Santos. Rick is a recently divorced financier that has relocated from the San Francisco Bay area. Unaware of her personal turmoil, Rick proposes they become each other’s ‘convenient date.’

Vulnerable, but with nothing to lose, she accepts.

Will she trust her heart to Rick? Will she allow him to serve as her ballast during her times of crisis? Or will she run, fearing a future resembling the dark torment of her past?

A Convenient Date is about discovering real love and the realization that doing the right thing isn’t discretionary or convenient. It may ruin Kaitlyn, but truth and honesty is the only path that will give her the freedom she needs to live again.

Strong, smart, sexy. Is there a convenient date waiting for you?

Important dates for self-published authors or independent publishers

I love Draft2Digital. Seriously. They make my life as an author and owner of an imprint so easy. For readers who don’t know, I have books published under mainstream house (McGraw-Hill) and my own imprint (faster sales, higher royalty). It also means that while I “go direct” for some channels (think B&N and Amazon) for the highest royalty), I also use draft2digital as an aggregator for all the other distribution companies, such as itunes, Tolino, Kobo and the like.

Why do you care? Because I received this email from D2D that gave me the highlights of all the deadline/closure dates for the majors. I had no idea. If you aren’t on the mailing list, you may not have or know this info either. It’s worth checking out.

If you are publishing new books or making changes
during this holiday season, there could be delays.
For best results, submit your requests no later than December 11th to make sure they’ll be live by Christmas.

Hi Sarah,

We just wanted to give you a quick reminder about how the Christmas holiday will impact scheduled publishing with our various vendors, as well as our office hours for the holiday.

Christmas falls on Monday this year, so our offices will be closed both Monday, December 25, and Tuesday, December 26. Normal office hours will resume on Wednesday, December 27.

Our offices will also be closed on Monday, January 1 in observance of the New Year.

We expect that the flurry of pre-Christmas releases and the special holiday hours at our partner stores will result in some delays. If possible, plan ahead and submit any changes or listing requests by December 11th to ensure the changes get published before the break.
We have received additional details directly from several of our partners:

APPLE
Apple’s publishing systems will be experiencing additional delays from mid-December through early January. To help you in planning release dates around this period you may use the following schedule:

  • Release dates from December 17 to 31 have a delivery deadline of Monday, December 11.
  • Release dates from January 1 to 8 have a delivery deadline of Friday, December 15.

All submissions must be submitted prior to midnight (PST) on the dates above.


BARNES & NOBLE
Book submissions and metadata changes supplied to Barnes & Noble from Draft2Digital are processed the next business day.

B&N will be closed December 24 (1pm EST) & 25, and December 31 (1pm EST) through January 1.

No files will process during those windows, and there will be no direct support. Also during this time you may experience review slowdowns, and slowdowns following those dates as B&N deals with backlog.


KOBO
Kobo will have only limited support from December 18th thru January 8th. They ask that you only upload important and non-deferrable imports during that time. Kobo’s publishing system will be down entirely from December 22nd through December 27th, and from December 29th until January 2nd. During this time we will not be able to submit any new books or changes. We recommend getting everything to them by December 11th.


SCRIBD
Scribd have announced limited support over the break (which greatly restricts how much our Customer Support can assist you with problems at their stores). Scribd support will be closed from December 25th through January 1st.


AMAZON
We anticipate that Amazon will be closed on December 25 and January 1. To ensure against potential delays in file review and other processing, we recommend submitting your books prior to December 11th.Due to the volume of submissions during the holiday season, we expect other vendors will take longer than usual to implement changes and to publish new works. However, there are no confirmed or planned publishing delays.


Preorders scheduled during these periods will go live as expected, provided we get the final manuscripts in and approved before the cutoff date of December 11th. We highly recommend getting us the final earlier that week to make sure it gets through review.

Happy Holidays,
The Draft2Digital Team

Draft2Digital, 5629 SE 67th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73135, United States

Email Marketing by ActiveCampaign

The glories of a video post

Nausea. Sweaty tension. That’s what the notion of creating 60 seconds worth of video for an on-line post does to me. Talking to 1,500 people? No problem. A room full of hardened executives? I got that. Me, in a car/train/dining room with a little video recorder? Heart-palpitating anxiety-ridden nearly comatose individual.

This isn’t a forum to work out my personal insecurities, tho it might do me some good. Let’s just skip right to the solution, because I tend to be a solutions-oriented gal. Within a week, I had three people in different corners of my life say the same thing.

  1. I need to “connect with people,” and the on-line, static means (FB, Instagram pics, this website) doesn’t do it and never will
  2. I need to show people my personality, voice and idiosyncrasies (e.g. realize that I’m human, see point #1)
  3. I need to share more wisdom and insight than I’ve been doing, not just a travelogue that ties back to my books

None offered up suggestions as to how I was going to overcome my irrational fears that followers would drop off like flies, further compounding my insecurities. I’m no Kardashian with legions of stylists around me. I’m essentially a working mom who is fortunate enough to continue providing business acumen to companies and writing while the kids are in school.

Still, I’ve spent my adult life telling others to hire the best counsel and then listen. So while these three weren’t hired (expensive friends aren’t in my budget) I had no choice but to follow their advice.

Here’s what happened. I asked for thoughts on topic, format and approach. I made an objective (on Monday I will start). I washed my hair (or did I? I don’t recall now), but what I did do was show my husband the first video. He vomited on it.

“You’re boring. Not smiling. Where’s the “real you?” he wanted to know. Hiding. That’s where. You see, I feel safe behind the non-smiling business face. It’s serious, which is what a business person is–unless with peers behind closed doors.

“Lose the business person. Be yourself. The one you are behind closed doors.”

Round two. I start laughing in the middle, because I can’t believe I’m doing it at all.

“Much better. Post it before you overthink about it.”

Now, what’s crazy is this: the video received over 150 views in less than 15 minutes. Do you know how long it takes any of my posts to receive that many likes? A few days. (No Selena Gomez am I).

Fast forward @2 weeks. My average video receives this many views in about this time. They are limited to 1 minute, and I think to myself that it’s easier to spend a minute watching than it is to read for 10 seconds.

Another thing. I’m always in my car. Why? It’s my quiet time. No conference calls scheduled, no dedicated writing time. No children, dogs, chickens…you get the idea. I may kill a moose while I drive in the snow, but hey, it will be recorded for posterity.

Lastly, the ties to my book sales in immediate and impactful. This follows on my last blog posting. After 5 video posts, I can legitimately say my book sales have gone up 40% over all, and compared to a static post, the numbers are 7x greater.

Does topic matter?

Not that I can tell. I’d like to say I have a marketing Jedi behind me, coaching me on what to say, but it’s not true (and I have this small thing about honesty. It’s important). I do keep a running list on my iPhone about key mantras, subjects and attitudes I have regarding success and life. Some of those things are in my business books–past and future–the short antedotes I can squish into 60 seconds, which isn’t easy.

I will say this: “active” videos aren’t as interesting to people. My skiing clip for example. Rog was convinced this would be cool–not so much. Viewers–at least those that follow me–seem to prefer words.

Connecting is cool.

With the objective of ‘connecting,’ out there, I wasn’t convinced it was going to happen. After this short amount of time, I can attest it’s occurring. The number of comments, along with the depth and level of emotion is incomparable to a static pic. It’s fulfilling, enjoyable and rewarding on a very personal level. To others who read the comments made–I suspect it’s also enlightening. The adage is proving true…when you share details, others will reciprocate. That’s a two-way connection that can’t be faked.

So am I still nervous? Yes. Do I take more than one video for each posting? Yes. On average 6. I talk a lot and always go over. Do I use a filter? Sometimes. Since I consider my posts more guerilla style than poised and professional, it works for me. I like the down and dirty, real life postings. Plus, I don’t have the time in my life to pretend like it’s my source of income–it’s free, to me and the viewer, which is probably the best part.

Instagram, Facebook & the conundrum of social media

The wide world of all things electronic is distracting, wonderful, irritating, fun, stressful and pays dividends. I guess that means it’s like most things in my life, family and hobbies included. My experience over the last ten years with the various incantations of apps has been largely disappointing, because I want results. In other words, if I want to talk to you (and you me) the phone is the best way to go. Deals don’t happen by text. Negotiations are done real-time, email employed when confirming what’s been agreed upon is necessary.

My data points are similar to other individuals who are continually trying to figure it out when to use what, and why:

Facebook:

Personally, I have an account, but probably wouldn’t unless it weren’t required for my business account. Again, I like talking more than sharing. Opinions, with the associated volatility of emotions seriously stressed me out. I can’t write fiction when I’m in that state of mind, and I certainly don’t have time to be surfing when I’m doing business.

Business…I do have an author account, but it’s largely ignored. That said, I found it was FB was very beneficial in doing one thing: driving traffic to my blog. What I did:

  1. wrote the blog
  2. linked the header and wrote a short note in the FB posting, along with an image
  3. the viewership/hit rates and time spent on my website skyrockets when I do that…and so I started employing this strategy around book launches, events, competitions, give-away’s and other business-related activities.

The only downside is when I fell off writing my blog (because I was actually writing or working on the business side) then the traffic to my FB page dropped dramatically.

Net: FB (for authors/businesses) can be very helpful if employed the right way.

Instagram

Let me count the ways I used to love this app before it was purchased by FB. The primary reason I loved it (I’ll list the reason’s I still like it in a moment).

  1. I could control the timing of my content. what I posted was done at that moment
  2. the culture of IG is nicer, more interested in the images than opinions
  3. the focus is global, vs FB which tends by its nature to be more demographically US

Unfortunately, FB has ruined a few features…now they are offering up random postings at random times (which is beyond annoying). As a biz person and author, the last thing I want to do is annoy my followers with too many posts. Well, thanks FB. Now they annoy my followers for me…their algorithms just offer up whatever, whenever. It’s horrid.

That said, until something better comes along, I’ll keep using it. Here’s why.

  1. my book sales have a direct connection to certain posts. Seriously. It’s been about 2 yrs, and I post, on average, once a day, but at times, I’ve gone for 2 weeks without a post. In that time, I have been able to determine what images/text a) increase traffic to my site, b) increase ebook reading, c) invigorate print book purchases and more
  2. my holistic approach to how I market “my business,” which is multi-faceted, is completed by my website, Instagram and facebook
  3. Instagram seems to reach a completely different audience than FB. I could go into detail on this (and may do at another time) but suffice it to say that whereas I can track direct postings and sales from IG, I have no clue on FB. Even when I advertised on FB, I saw very little (as in, negligible) sales connections.
  4. Video on Instagram essentially increased my followers (and hence, book sales, event attendance) 30%. Seriously. I just recently started doing videos (I was scared. yes. I get scared), and it’s been dramatic.
  5. The ability to connect with people on an individual basis is really great. It’s nearly impossible to do with other apps of a similar nature, and I truly love seeing and hearing from ppl of all walks of life, all cultures and countries–and we are bound by common interests from inception.

Twitter…sigh. I abhor what I see on Twitter, and for that reason, only joined it about 2 weeks ago. I posted a bunch in a few days, realized it just wasn’t for me, and stopped. I’m not a politico, comedian, or other major personality that has the acumen or desire to engage in that world. Further, the demographic of the people on twitter doesn’t seem to connect with the folks I’m trying to reach.

If I had to make one observation about Twitter is that the people who responded to my (few) tweets were mostly international, which wasn’t surprising. My captions were of places I visited and used in my recent novels.

So this is a snapshot of what I’ve experienced. I’ll continue to explore and track other apps as the come about, but for now, I’m still a big fan of Instagram.

 

 

The billionaire’s secret weapon

Once, when I was giving a writers presentation to a group of high school students, I was asked by a teacher what process I follow for writing my books. “Is there one thing, or set of things you do prior to starting to write?”

“Yes, there is,” I responded. “I pray.” That was it, pure and simple. I didn’t even elaborate on what I pray for (which, btw, is clarity, the ability to write what’s in my head etc. and have it be congruent with my ideals and thoughts etc). You should have seen the look on this woman’s face. You would have thought I was advocating a new drug inhalation process for the illegal, not legal type. The irony of it all, was this was a parochial school, the place I where I actually felt safe giving this answer.

Over the years, the irony of the prayer-before-the-big-event thing has intrigued me. I’ve grown up with images of Madonna and her backup-dancers holding hands in a group prayer before a concert. Big football players kneel or bow their heads prior to kick-off, asking for health, strong hands and probably a win. Why then, I ask, is the big deal with saying a prayer (albeit silently) before a big meeting or when starting a sculpture or writing a book?

quote

slightly obvious. I actually prefer Roger’s quote, which he used for years with consultants (who wouldn’t shut up). “You can’t learn anything while you are talking.” I would have used that but I didn’t have the time to create a pretty picture with quotes.

I have long prayed when considering what clients to take on and which ones to pass.  I’ve said prayers before presentations in front of groups large and small, interviews with the press, before I’ve gone on television shows, prior to pitching the venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. In fact, pretty much any event of significance I’ve invoked my right to call above to the Almighty (or as Roger says: “whatever is out there in the Universe that’s listening”).

Ironically, I’ve been much more lax about praying on the personal front, but that too, is another story. It seems that when it comes to career, my red-phone bat line has been in constant use. It turns out, I’m not alone in this. Over the last two years, I’ve been interviewing 3 dozen hundred millionaires and billionaires that haven’t spoken to the press about their rise from poverty (nearly all) to a financially secure point in life. One of the common threads is faith (in self or God). Another thread is prayer. Even the few who claim atheism state they still say a prayer (to the universal energy that exists).

This call-to-arms as I’ve come to think of it, is a plea for all the thoughts, energy and desire built within to come to the forefront when it’s needed in exactly the right way, be it for that winning touchdown or the closing of the million dollar home sale.

Prayer circles aren’t as weird as they sound

Going back to the football scenario, where a bunch of men are on the field, eyes closed and heads bent—it’s a normal scene is it not? They are in a circle…a literal prayer circle. If this came up in casual conversation, can you even imagine the derision the topic would instill, not to mention the analogies to other sects, cults and who-knows-what off-shoots of beheading chickens and dancing around a bonfire.

Yet for athletes and Madonna, it’s done and accepted, business as usual. (I would, just once, love to have seen Ballmer hold out his hand at the executive round table, bow his head and say whatever prayer that man would have said –although I imagine it would have involved a strong desire for the stock price to go above 100 for a picosecond. Just once).

Going back to me and the writing process, or business for that matter, yes, I pray, but it is not done lightly or by rote. I won’t pray if I don’t feel worthy of an answer. Ergo, if I have a lesson to teach and I’ve not adequately prepared, I feel it’s morally wrong to ask some higher power to bail me out. Conversely, if I’ve done my part, studied, prepared my outline, readied the lesson and I still feel uncomfortable, then I know this means I’m missing something. A piece of the puzzle isn’t quite right in the grooves. It is then that I pray fervently to understand what direction I must go, what I must change and how I must communicate the message—assuming that my message is right in the first place. I can’t tell you how many times this very thing has happened, and when I’m on stage, I’ve had words, phrases or examples come to mind that I’d previously not thought of or considered, and it made all the difference in the world.

One billionaire, a seventy-ish man now retired and living in Colorado, used to be the president of one of the largest commercial real estate companies in the country. In his “retirement,” he still owns three different entities in different industries. When I asked him how he makes many of his decisions, he was unapologetic when he said he prays.

“Yes, I listen to my advisors and I read the numbers, but most of the time, hiring people and making big business decisions doesn’t rely on numbers or resumes,” he said. “Those can be manipulated and represented in ways that won’t tell you what will truly happen six months, a year or five years out.” For that, he relies on a higher power.

And this blog? Do I pray before writing a blog? No, not usually, and honestly, my level of seriousness regarding my blog writing (and Instagram and Facebook accounts) ebb and flow with my mood. Sometimes I simply like a picture that’s interesting, fun or humorous. I’ve noticed that when it comes to thoughts of making a person’s day brighter, uplifting myself (or others) in some way, then yes, I actually do say a prayer to understand what I should write or post. The reward is often immediate and strong, producing positive feedback or responses.

Even those who don’t believe in a universal God or super being, the notion of universal “Karma” is alive and well. In other words, what comes around goes around, so it’s better to be on the safe side than send out evil vibes. If this holds true, then one could argue that prayers can only help, and never hurt, so “What’s there to lose?” (As my husband often asks). “It’s not hurting anyone and can only help.”

Keep that in mind the next time you could use a little clarity, support, wisdom or overall confidence. It’s free, there’s nothing to lose, and it can only help. Those are three mantras I can live by.

Titles versus results – IOW- How to improve hits & sales

I’m always wanting to give my posts exaggerated, catchy titles, but author 101 dictates otherwise. The reason? Google and searching questions. “Spooktastic Treats” don’t get as many hits as “Wasy and impressive Halloween treats.”

This is not War and Peace, I know. But if you are writing a blog for the purpose of getting advertising revenue, or a book to receive a royalty check, it all starts with hits, then clicks, then views, then a purchase. But even general markets pushing a product–be it a software application, game or new brand of earphone, want to get to their target consumer.

For marketing junkie such as myself (that means 20 yrs of learning how to get people to buy), I struggle with my own desire to use a fun, catchy title, versus the reality that when in a rush, a person looking for the answer to a specific question will most likely type in that question, not the cool, marketing version of the exact same question.

Tip for bloggers:
1. Have a catchy title, but then the real-world sub-title that people will search
2. Make sure you embed high-impact (e.g. often searched) categories, products or phrases that will give you a higher hit count
3. embed the google AdSense or other advertising revenue generating form into your system. I personally stopped using that when I moved to WordPress because a) I found I was spending too much time on linking rather than writing and b) I don’t use a blog as revenue-generating mechanism. it’s my own personal therapy tool (for my personal side) and information dissemination center (for general business and writing topics).

Tips for authors/or business owners who are pushing a product:
1. same as above BUT try and categorize by topics and put the primary topic somewhere in the title, and multiple times in the body
2. link to and from other topics on the add value, not just sell the product. so irritating when its all about you and not the information at hand

time your promotions to fit your target demographic

time your promotions to fit your target demographic

For both, the final tip is Review and Assess. See what’s working and what’s not. Most apps have statistical data that shows what pages are being viewed and the time spent on each. Jupiter Communications puts out great info (that’s free) on the best pages, and times for posting. Specifically:

  • Posts get looked at the most on Wednesday at 12 pm PST (3 pm EST) and Friday at the same times–for the business crowd. why? Because east-coasters (in the US) are lolly-gagging around, killing time after 3, and west-coasters tend to stay put at their desks for lunch. Thus, if you are launching something that appeals to this category (workers at desks) post during this timeframe. I have technology clients- software companies, but also card-making companies that launch promotions during this time to great results.
  • Posts for the general consumer (either not working or off hours) are Sunday nights after 7 pm. why? The football games are over, the movies and soccer games done. People are finished with dinner, relaxing and not always by the television. The laptops are on the actual laps, in front of the tv!

 

Writing to get published – the sure fire way to fail. Write for self & self only

Every so often, a brave soul asks me a bonified, legitimate question about writing, publisher, or some business aspect that relates to my former (mostly) life of deal marketing and partnerships. Perhaps a half-dozen come across my desk every year, which I attribute to fear or skepticism I’ll actually offer a reply. This was one of them.

This last month, I was asked the following question.

Q: (asked via Instagram): how do you write? For yourself, or for the publisher, or for the reader?

This required a longer response than I was willing to put in Instagram, so I asked for, and received, an email. Turns out the writer is a man from France, an EVP for a telecommunications company who is writing a fiction novel in his spare time. I was just speaking about this topic with another prospective author (e.g. unpublished, not- agent represented), so I thought the universe was giving me a hint to respond. Here is my answer, verbatim.

admiral-ackbar-ole-miss-bigger

Be authentic. People like authentic, no matter how strange it is.

A: Ok, so I was just answering your latest question for another new-author. To write for the reader or write for self. The answer, unequivocally, is write for self. Early on, I knew I had an audience to write for—but that was non-fiction, business/trade, and all about making money and success. In that world, it was/is easier to write for the audience—because the readers had a mutual, self-identified/selected topic—success in business. In that respect, yes, I did consider the reader—but that was based on common denominators (age group, entrepreneurs etc).

Fiction is entirely different. For fiction, the audience is so broad and varied—my action adventure is read by 18-35 yr old males, but then a ton of girls/women internationally—it’s a complete grab bag. When writing the first version, I had to scrap my first two (fully complete) versions and write what interested me. It was that book that was accepted and is being turned into a movie franchise series.

That said, I suffered the same issue when I started writing in another genre—and found once again, that writing for self (me) was the only way to go. In fact, I struggled with this particular genre (general interest fiction) for years, because I was always writing for some demographic I had in my head. Turns out, my agent said the books were always sub-par and he declined to submit them to publishers. Three years ago, that changed when I went through some personal issues (death/destruction) and emerged just wanting beach reading. I churned that novel out in 3 months, my agent said it was the best thing I’d ever written.

The moral to the story is this: write a book you yourself want to read. If a paragraph or chapter drags and is boring for you, then it’s going to be boring to someone else. Ultimately, your favorite book to read should be the one that you, yourself, have written. That’s the ultimate test.

Note: all the comments on my blog are automatically deleted. I get spammed to the tune of 20K per day, which is awful. If you want my attention, hit me up on Instagram or facebook, and at least you have a chance. my Instagram  is Sarah_j_Gerdes and facebook is Sarah Gerdes author

 

 

 

Deleting comments on WordPress

This is for all the people like me who don’t blog for a living (as in, we don’t make money off it). I have yet to receive a comment indicating that a person has purchased a book or made a decision to hire me for a board position (or other) based upon a blog. As such, I rarely expect comments on my blogs…and in return, I rarely get them.

Good comments that is. What I DO get are thousands…and i’m talking thousands of “comments” an hour, but aren’t comments at all. They are robo-generated fishing, marketing or sales bots, comprised mostly of bad English, lots of key words and a few crude and/or otherwise unsuitable word choices.

This has been a growing wart that I’ve been able to ignore for months now, right up until this last week, when my former web site service company informed me that a photographer out of Las Vegas has been requesting I delete my backward links from my site to his. Huh?

Research was not what I wanted to do. I wanted to get in the tub and hand this over to my husband, the techie in the family.

“They are threatening to sue,” I said. Slight exaggeration. Clearly, someone in the marketing group at this photo studio got irritated (which I might say, must be very successful to have someone complaining about a backward link which ostensibly drives business). I then turn and leave and take my bath.

A half hour later, I get a tap on the door. Rog peers in. “It’s done.”

I was mystified, as I am with all things WordPress. I had looked for hours (ok, twenty minutes) to identify how to block and/or delete bulk comments. I have a short attention span. Apple has trained me well. If I can’t do it in 3 steps, I can’t be bothered. (It’s like what happens in the bedroom. Clothes off. In bed….you get the picture. 3 steps or i’m out).

In any case, I ask him what he did that I didn’t do. “I installed a plug-in.”

Ah. It goes under tools. it’s actually called “Easy removal of comments.” Then end.

Now I have 3 steps to removing all comments (once said plug-in was installed)

  1. go to Tools
  2. Click Remove
  3. Select all comments (and those pending)
  4. Click yes (ok. I was wrong. 4 steps).

Sadly, this means actual real, meaningful comments are also getting napalmed, and for that I’m sorry. If I had more time (or rather, more time from my IT support staff) I’d find a plug-in that allowed for a high-filter or qualified commentary (one that requires an actual account or something). Alas. I’m not there yet. I’ll get that when I actually do this for a living.

Tools graphic

Step 1: Select the Delete All Comments

Click both boxes- pending and posted

Step 2: (above) select posted and pending comments as a bulk action

final picture

The final result. It’s all gone! yeah to the spammers, tears to the legitimate commentators. I guess that’s what Instagram is for- immediate, unfiltered, actual responses (except for those randomly generated bots that is!).

Two months already

My readers know that when I go dark (e.g don’t blog), life is brutal. Ironically, good things can actually serve like lights in the midst of a blackout; little points on the horizon that reminds me life exists outside my own microcosm of a universe. So since the Illustrious She and my cousin Nance have both now given me swift kicks in my be-hind, I’ll write a few notes on the last 60 days.

In 2 months:

1. I’ve had a relationship enema. I’ll blog at some point about the true-isms of finding renewed peace, energy, love and sex with your spouse/partner, but anyone in a relationship knows that those things don’t come without massive emotional constipation, tears, fury and the ultimate decision made famous by The Clash, Should I Stay or Should I Go. Children of the 80’s know that to stay means trouble to go means double. Tip. If you wake up and state 5 great things about your life, family, your partner, the day goes a little better, the sun seems a little brighter, and then a day passes, then its a week, then its a month. Then it’s a way of being. Do clouds come? Oh yeah. Thunderstorms? of course. But the lightening hurts a little less (or doesn’t make a direct hit).

2. Physical pain brings enlightenment. Why is it that God chooses to divert my angst and simultaneously humble me through physical travails? The day after I returned from Mexico last wk w/the family, I crushed the bones in my left hand. Who does this happen to? (me) Why? (clearly, I need it). Last wk I read in the Times a journalist who espoused that God doesn’t love the wealthy more and yet doesn’t love those who suffer any less. We are responsible for our own success, happiness and injuries. Ok. Then I’m an idiot for pulling out weeds in our pond, stepping on a rock, slipping and in an attempt not to get freezing water inside my chest-high waders, I thrusted my hand forward, thereby hitting another set of rocks and cracking my hand. I’m all about self-love now. Good thing I’m right handed.

3. Family vacations are great for kids and tiring for parents. 6 wks ago went to Puerto Vallarta with Rog. It was relaxing, got lots of time at the gym, and went to clubs/shows every night. I slept in. It was glorious. I thought-my kids will love this. For spring break, we went back down. It wasn’t relaxing. I spent zero time at the gym, but we hit shows every night (my kids are like that). It wasn’t relaxing. What it was however, was family-unit building, wherein the girls played, swam, made crafts, waterslided-their-hearts-out, and ate food from 10-10, all amongst mostly Mexican nationals, which had a side effect of improving their Spanish. The nt before we returned, daughter #2 got an earache, thus I was up all night, holding, comforting and administering Menthal (a natural earache healer I got at the local Pharmacia), fervently praying she’d be well enough to go on the plane. I came home needing a vacation.

GerdesKomnaty

Chambers in Poland. to be releaed May 2015

4. Authoring is no longer a hobby. Two days ago I approved the cover for Chambers in Poland. The book comes out next month. This is four countries now, and while I’m happy about it, honestly, I still feel like a complete loser. The largest publishers in 3 foreign countries have taken on this book, but no major US publisher (they are apparently still pissed that I gave the film rights away thereby cutting them out of the deal). I’m like David Haselhoff without the chest hair. I’m really big in countries where I don’t speak the language. In the interim, 2 books in my adult fiction line are almost done, and I’m constantly battling with Rog who is convinced I’m having mental affairs with the men I write about (some who I kill off, others who are completely hot. I can hear my mother-in-law laughing about the truth of this). Finally, in exasperation, I retort “Right, and I’m the lead girl in all my books, like just a schizophrenic-Sybil-like person. Gah!” (Us intelligent author-types can say that).

5. Billionaires like my food. I’ve been telling a particular person “No” to a project for some time. Said person flies west to call on me (sounds very 1800’s does it not?) brings spouse to my home, gives us amazing host/hostess gifts (exotic food and jewelry). I make food my family will eat and not offend my guests sensibilities (which I’ll detail in another blog, along with the recipes) and in the end, after 4 hours, I still say no. We all ended friends (they particularly liked my crab cakes and chocolate mousse). Said billionaire came back later and said-“I’m not interested in anyone else. I’ll wait for your schedule.” In my ever eloquent way, I said to myself, Holy crap. And this is why this person has billions. Perseverance. Patience, and the ability to wear others down.

Beyond these uber-level highlights:

zeolite

comes in either capsule or liquid form. use 2x a day on an empty stomach. unreal results in 30 days but can see results in 2 wks

1. I’ve proven that the Omica brand Super Zlite Zeriolite capsules really do improve hair quality and thickness (it has ash, which strips the body of metals, which in turn increase hair and nail growth).

2. I desperately miss my chocolate ice cream. I want it. I can’t have it. I think about it all the time. Fondly. I daydream about it. Yes. I’m that pathetic.

3. I truly enjoy my readers from Russia (who, might I add, have great taste in watches and sportscars?) Who cares if the president is off his rocker? So is ours.

4. I’ve discovered Mulco Swiss watches. (My readers know that watches to me are like crack. I can’t get enough. And as my husband points out, crack is a lot cheaper, but at least this way, I have my teeth).

chumlee for president

my favorite episode in recent months is where Chumlee makes a coin. mighty fine looking president

5. I fear for Comedy Central.Can they lose any more good hosts (actually, are any left?) and finally, What. In. The. World. has happened to my favorite people of Pawn Stars? The shows success has made what was great complete crap, esp Rick. He’s now stilted and boring. Make Chumlee and Big Hoss the leads, please. And BTW. the last time I was in Vegas, I saw “the Old Man” driving a stinking Bentley! Show up to the actual store and learn that he and Rick are never actually there. Just come in on “show times.” Ugh. I hate it when something goes from pure to completely manufactured.

6. Bowing to publisher-pressure, I’m now on Instagram under my own name, sarahjgerdes. I haven’t really figured it all out- as in, what’s interesting and what’s not. My publishers want me to revert everything back to my blog, and I’m not interested in posting what I ate for breakfast. I’ll probably offend as many people as I entertain, but then, that’s me. (I do have to say I like following Ducatistas and Porsche and airplanes. very cool images and satisfies my penchant for  machines and speed). I do have to say I wish I knew the last names of people I’ve met. I’d follow them and keep tabs but alas, I’m so caught up in the person I don’t get it. sigh.

7. Vancouver BC was fun, esp given that we found a new place to stay for the hockey tournaments. It spurned me into becoming a travel reviewer, because the place we stayed at got such bad reviews, I had to dispute it. Thus, now you can find me in Trip Advisor under Sarah G. (I know. You can’t get quite enough of me, but this is solely reviews of places, nothing more).

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