Thursday, August 4, 2016

My Meanie Boss

I've always struggled with time management and with accepting "good enough" instead of "as good as I can do".
I have to tell you, though, my boss is tough, and this week she's demanding that two or three tasks get done to the "as good as I can do" standard while the rest fall into the "good enough" category. She's also really hard to shine on, because she fricken lives in my head! 
So...this blog goes out "good enough" without a photo this week. It's a technology problem and I'm still plugging away on an interim solution. 
Tie-dyes and fairy wings continue to be a blast, and I've already worn out a set of tie-dye gloves! Soon, I'll be ordering fancy hemostats and moving up in the brightly colored striated world of tie-dye. Watch out world!
Yesterday, the business was able to pay the fee to vend at November's Public Market! After taxes, it was a bit over $300 and I'm really excited and proud that we were able to make that happen. Yay!!! We couldn't have done it without the support of enthusiastic customers and friends. Just as with my writing, YOU make the endeavor joyous. Thank you!!!
So, the next goal is to see if we can earn enough money between now and early December to pay off my investor (thank you Mom!) and buy a new computer. 
I'm not going to promise much writing progress between now and then, but once I get a new computer, the tie-dye and fairy wing activity will need to move into lower gear for awhile so that I can write Book 3. I know, I know. I've been saying I'd finish it before the end of 2016, but that doesn't look like a reasonable or achievable goal right now, alas. Still, I'm hoping it won't be much of a delay, because I know a bunch of you are chomping at the bit to find out what Vivian, Norm, L.J, Teak, and Daisy are up to. I'm chomping at the bit, myself! 
The other two pieces of news this week are that the price of my shirts has gone up to $15 each (let me know if money is tight for you and you'd like to work out a barter deal), and the price of shipping wings has changed. The wing story is too long to tell in full right now. Suffice it to say that I discovered mailing a full sized set of wings to Virginia the way I wanted would've cost $50-$75 and that's bonkers. So, henceforth, small wings will be mailed flat, and midsize and large wings will be gently and tenderly folded to fit into the largest priority flat-rate box available, and mailed for a flat fee of $18.75. It was a hard place to come to, but sooner or later I had to face reality. Tears were shed, but I faced reality. Yes, I cried while folding the wings up. I'll let you know how they look when they arrive and get unfolded. 
Okay, one last tidbit: this Friday (8/5/16) is our last trip of the summer down to the JACC for the weekly Block Party. We'll continue to vend each Second Saturday at the Airport Mall, and we're also hoping to attend other craft fairs and events this fall and winter. 
That's all the news from Marcy-land for now, folks! Have a glorious weekend and a fun week!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Free Books & New Tie-Dyes!

The rumors are true, all four of my books are free from Amazon Kindle from Friday, 7/22/16 through Tuesday, 7/26/16! If you don't have an e-reader, never fear, there are free apps for smart phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. If you need any help finding or downloading the right app, don't hesitate to send me a note. The best way to find my books, even if you aren't located in the U.S. is to visit my Amazon author page.
This will be the last free promotion for A Flash of Genies, so do take advantage of this opportunity while you can. In August, I'm un-enrolling AFoG from KDP Select at Amazon (it will still be available through Amazon, just not part of Kindle Select), which is the program that allows me to schedule free promotions, but also holds sole digital publishing rights for that work. Since Gold Fever Press has so kindly included my short story Phosphorescence in A Flash in the Literary Pan at Gold Fever Press, it's time for a status change.

For those of you wondering, I am still working on the short story I recently mentioned, and another one that popped into my brain a few days ago. I've also been having poetry urges, so hang tight, because you never know what might show up on this blog next! I'm not making much progress on Book 3 of Magic All Around at the moment, and have, in fact, have decided that if the tie-dye and fairy wing business continues to bop along so astonishingly well (thanks to all of you marvelous, generous, kind, and supportive folks!), I'll use the proceeds from November's Public Market to purchase a new computer which will play nicely with the internet and make novel writing and digital uploading possible. My current, much-beloved laptop, is being a royal blue pain in the tie-dye! And, on that note, here's a sneak pre-view of tie-dyes in summery blues, and earthy autumn tones.

Currents by Jeri-Jo brand Medium turtleneck.

Gap brand Medium crew-neck 
Originally a heather grey, you can still see a lot of 
the background color

 Kirkland brand XL

Great Northwest brand Medium
It's hard to discern in the photo, but this blouse is 
darker at the top and lighter at the bottom. 

Elementz brand Medium Petite
My favorite from this batch! I love that the lace
detail around the neckline took the dye just like
the surrounding fabric.

Years from now, all of you should refer to this as my blue period, alright?
There are a pile of other ideas bubbling along, but this is all that've taken shape in time for today's post.

I can't tell you often enough, how much I appreciate all of you who are supporting my creative endeavors. I was chatting with a friend this week about some strange events in her workplace and it reminded me of how honored and grateful I am to have this opportunity to be my own boss, to do FUN things, and to spread happiness in the world while earning a little a money.

May your weekend be fun, and may you find sweet and perfect moments throughout the week.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Over-Stuffed Brain

Happy Friday, friends!
This week, my brain is over-stuffed. Sometimes I get my arms so full of laundry that I keep dropping things. First, I drop a sock, then, when I bend over to pick it up, I drop a shirt and two pairs of underwear. I try picking the underwear up with my toes, which actually works pretty well until I realize that it would take a contortionist to get the underwear from where it's hanging between my grasping toes, up to the top of the laundry pile in my arms. I hop around on one foot trying to decide what to do with the underwear until I fall on my ass, spilling the whole armload of laundry.
I'll post again next week, but have nothing substantial to say today because my brain is cackling and picking up the laundry that I've just scattered all over the living room of my mind. 
Love to you and yours, and have a marvelous weekend! 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Notice Magic, Share Love, & Spread Peace

Some weeks, the world seems to be unhinged and all I can do, dear friends, is send out fairy dust, brightly colored tie-dyes, and sweet stories. Humans can and must do better than we are doing right now.   
So keep your head up.
Notice magic. Share love. And spread peace.

This month, one of my favorite flash fiction pieces is featured over on A Flash in the Literary Pan at Gold Fever Press. Even if you've read it before, it's a sweet story and an enjoyable re-read.

My vending canopy arrived! I'll be using it to vend at the JACC Rock Around the Block party Friday afternoon from 5:30-7pm AND I'll be using it this Saturday at the Second Saturday Market by Friends of the Library and Alaska Dames, from 10am-3pm! Come visit me and try on the gorgeous set of wings pictured at the top of this page!

May you find some sunshine and flowers in your life this week.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Has Arrived

We've had a gorgeous week which has included sunshine, rain, and even a rare-for-Juneau thunderstorm! Today, the forest was particularly lush and drippy, so I thought I'd share some photos for all of you longing for cool weather, moisture, and a green approach to summer.

Berries are popping out everywhere and I've already caught the aroma of summer in Alaska wafting, nay LURKING, on the breeze. Oh yes, that distinctive aroma of spawning, decomposing salmon that canines around the state know as The Call of the Wild, that is the smell of summer! Jeb hasn't rolled in dead fish yet this year, but bath season for dogs has arrived. Wish me luck!

As you can see by these photos, we had a fairy wing photo shoot this week and, of course, that was accompanied by a Jeb photo shoot. I swear, this dog needs a modeling contract!

This week has been less of a whirlwind than recent weeks, giving me an opportunity to catch my breath, and to catch up on my rest. 
Last week on Friday, we opted not to vend, weighing the sogginess of the weather and the adjacent road construction, and deciding we weren't likely to attract enough customers to break even if we paid a vending fee and rented a canopy. I am still waiting for a purchased canopy to arrive, having had my first order canceled because they don't ship to Alaska, but the good news is, my second attempt, through another company, was shipped yesterday. Soon, I'll be looking for excuses to set up my very own canopy seven days a week!
Speaking of spending money to try to earn money, I signed up for Public Market today. WHOOOOOHOOOO! Vendor stall locations won't be assigned until early August, but if you're in Juneau on the Friday, Saturday, or Sunday after Thanksgiving, come find me in the JACC/annex building across the parking lot from Centennial Hall!
I also signed a contract, today, for Gold Fever Press to publish one of my flash fiction stories in their blog series, A Flash in the Literary Pan, and later in a compilation of the same Alaskan flash fiction stories. I'm thrilled to be working with Maria Reeves on this project, I and hope everyone who reads this will go check out the Gold Fever Press website, and head over to read the flash fiction story they published for their June post. Wrap yourself in something warm, though, because Leaving Shaktoolik will make you shiver. Yes, go now, please. I'll hang tight here while you go read. 

Some of you will recognize the name L.Darby Gibbs since she and I are active on each other's social media, others of you have heard me talk about my friend Elldee. This week, I'm having a lovely time beta reading Eldee's new fantasy novel, The Sharded Boy. When it becomes available, you'll want to read it, and if you are on Facebook you should be sure to "like" her author page. She has a blog, too! Dog-loving indie authors are a cool bunch, folks. 

Yesterday, I got a message from a potential customer who's interested in ordering a set of fairy wings and also a set of DRAGON WINGS! I've been itching to try dragon wings, and I'm excited to give them a whirl. I've been sketching out some of my ideas, and this weekend I'll be playing with wire to see what I can make happen. Send lots of 
scaly, fiery energy my way, okay?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, a great week, and if you're in the U.S., please have a safe and fun holiday. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Happy Summer!

Happy Friday!
I've had a lovely week, and I hope you have too. Father's Day was a blast, I've been working on two custom sets of fairy wings, and I've been tie-dying. I have my first batch of shirts in what I'm calling my "Aurora Borealis" series up on Etsy, and I got to make a custom tie-dye (see above), then deliver it and get a catch-up visit with someone I've been missing. It was lovely!

I also celebrated solstice and cut and re-dyed my hair which tickles me no end.

We had a perfect mix of rain and sunshine, I ate a free lunch of salmonberries,and I ordered a 10x10 canopy tent for vending!

I communed with the ocean, and I even wrote a little story, though it's not yet ready to share.

You can see that Jeb, as always, had a fantastic week, as well.
 And then, there's this picture of me, taken the summer I was three years old. Ha! Don't I look ready to take on the world?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a terrific week!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Etsy Store & Writing News

Another week has sped past, and this one included Jeb's 5th birthday. 
I'm at the age where I'm perpetually astonished by how swiftly time flows by. People whom I think of as children have children of their own, books that were new when I was a kid are "classics", and my "puppy" is a full grown dog. 
Meanwhile, last Friday feels like yesterday and it's time for a new blog entry. 
The Block Party vending opportunity last week went splendidly, and we sold two sets of wings and a tie-dye! We're excited to vend tomorrow, and it looks like we can expect partly sunny skies again, which certainly makes the fairy wings glimmer with a special sunlit magic. 
What's happened since last Friday? Well, I've fretted and struggled with my computer, my phone, and the Internet so much that I haven't made any new tie dyes or fairy wings, but I am happy to announce that my Etsy shop is now open! Please use the "like", "follow", and "share" buttons, and please shop to your heart's content. Yes, there are tie-dyes in the shop that you haven't seen before!

Two sets of fairy wings have arrived on Marble Island, and I'm tickled to now be able to share this photo that I've been holding back until the recipients unpacked their magical package. This first set, a butterfly-mermaid hybrid exceeded my expectations, and I hope to create a similar set next week.
The second set is a damsel fly or dragonfly style, and both sets look so much better on the happy fairies themselves, than on the wall, that I must share this collage of fairy photos with you. 

In fact, I also have a collage of people wearing my tie-dyes. Look at all those vibrant colors and vibrant hearts! Thank you to each of you who've purchased tie-dyes and fairy wings, and thank you to those of you willing to share photos!

The biggest piece of news for you, today, doesn't have a photo to go with it, but you can imagine me with a very happy grin. A wonderful fellow writer and fellow Alaskan has asked me to submit one of my flash fiction pieces to her press for publication on her blog, and for later inclusion in a curated collection of Alaskan flash fiction. We haven't yet signed any paperwork, so I'll withhold some of the specific details until everything is sorted and signed, but I am very excited. There is money involved, which lends an air of import to the transaction, and which feels validating in a brand new way to me. If everything goes as I hope, this happy bit of writing business will cover almost half of the vending fee for November's Public Market, which is due next month, which means that you should count on me being at Public Market the weekend after Thanksgiving! 
As I begin to get a better handle on the artistic and business aspects of all this, I'm thinking that there is a good chance my t-shirts and fairy wings will increase in price by the time Public Market rolls around. I don't know how much, or when, I'll raise prices, but anyone who can, should take advantage of the current pricing while it lasts. I'm very grateful for all of the support everyone has given, and I want you to benefit from my "feeling out the market" pricing. 
I hope to see some of you tomorrow down by the JACC, and I hope all of you have a marvelous weekend and coming week!