Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Sunday Evening Blues

Ah, Sunday evening: a time when most folks suddenly begin to dread Monday morning. They think about the white-knuckle drive to the office, the cringe-worthy coworkers, and the stack of work in their inbox a mile high.

I don’t feel that way.

As I was sitting here on the living room couch, reading a battered Lillian Jackson Braun novel from the local library, I began to think about the beginning of my week. There are a few things I dread, but none of them have anything to do with work. I’m excited to sit down with my planner on a Monday morning and figure out what freelance assignments I have due during the coming week. I’m thrilled to see how much time I might be able to carve out for my own writing, and I’m equally thrilled to find out that it won’t be much. I know that during the week I’ll be crossing off projects and emailing clients about new ones. I have to force myself not to work on the weekends, but by Sunday evening my fingers begin itching to type.

I’ve been writing professionally on the side for about five years and writing full time for about six months. Sure, I guess I could still be excited about it because it’s new. I could easily wake up one morning and wonder how I can possibly enjoy this lifestyle where my income is never guaranteed and I often don’t leave the house for several days in a row.

I’m not writing this to brag about how awesome my job is, but simply to say how grateful I am that I don’t have to dread the first of the week.

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What about you? Do you have a case of the Sunday evening blues? Or are you excited about Monday morning?

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Filed under On Writing, Work-at-Home Mom

Barnes & Noble’s Big Mistake…Or Is It?

I’ve read far more articles than I would like to admit about ebooks vs. print books, online stores vs. brick and mortar stores, etc.  There are interesting facts and opinions all over the place, some of them reasonable and some just ridiculous.  Many people want to blame online stores like Amazon for the downfall of brick and mortars, an idea that has been punched right in the eye by the opening of Amazon’s physical store.  But it turns out that retailers might just be shooting themselves in the foot.

Over the weekend, my husband and I were at our local Barnes & Noble.  He was there for some coffee, I was there to sniff books.  The kids were gone for the weekend, so we got to spend our time looking at overpriced Doctor Who merchandise and bargain books that we will never read instead of lounging around the children’s section.

My husband decided to look for a particular cookbook he’s interested in.  (I’m incredibly lucky to have a husband who cooks, and who does it well.  He puts anything I make to shame.  He doesn’t even need a cookbook 99% of the time, but he likes to look at them for ideas.  Anyway.)  While he didn’t find the one he wanted, he found another that he liked.  It was $45 (yikes!), so he checked the price online.

I have to say here that we are big online shoppers.  Thanks to Amazon Prime, our UPS man is probably wondering if we ever leave the house. (I try my best not to.)  We buy locally whenever we can, but when the online savings are more than a couple dollars it’s hard to justify.  We work hard for our money, and we want to get the most out of it.

Okay, back to Barnes & Noble.  So the hubby finds the cookbook online and shows me the price:  $27.  That’s a pretty big difference.  And it was on Barnes & Noble’s own website.  Hmm, okay.  Well, maybe they’ll price match it?

NO.

This means that B&N is in a weird game of competition with itself.  If your own website is underselling you, what does that mean?

I could speculate about store closings, the cost of selling in person vs. selling online, or whether the bookseller is run by sock gnomes who think it’s funny to play tricks on people.  I started to read some articles, but then I spilled my coffee.  Priorities.

What are your thoughts?  Is this some awesome marketing strategy that I simply don’t see?  Do you think B&N just doesn’t have their stuff together since their site relaunch?  Or that their employees are germophobes who don’t want to have to deal with real people?  Should they start a price matching program, or do they want to reward us for shopping in our underwear?  Feel free to leave your sock gnome conspiracy theories in the comments below!

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Looking Back

The other day as my husband and I were out shopping, I ran into one of my first college professors. It’s been a long time, and I didn’t even recognize her at first. In fact, I was so flabbergasted when she stopped me and asked how I was that I wasn’t even sure how to respond.

It shouldn’t really feel like meeting a celebrity when you run into someone you already know, should it? But it really did. I was taking her classes at a time in my life when I felt ready to conquer the world. Sure, not everything was perfect, but going to a college where I knew absolutely no one was the beginning of a new era for me. I had nothing but respect and even a little awe for this woman.

Would you like to know what the best part was? (Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.) She seemed so genuinely happy for me when I told her I’m writing full time. I hear you, you’re saying that really isn’t that remarkable. But this wasn’t just your typical, “Oh, that’s great. Good for you.” This was more of a hand to her heart, wide eyes, “Oh, that’s wonderful.” Like she really knew what this meant for me. I didn’t even realize that she had understood me that well all those years ago. I was a biology major, after all. I never sat down and discussed my hopes and goals for the future with her, and at that time writing wasn’t really one of them. I had chalked it up as a pipe dream. But somehow, all these years later, she instantly knew that this was big for me.

Sometimes it’s hard to know when you’ve really been able to reach out and touch the stars. Meeting one goal often just leads to an entirely new goal. It’s good to keep going, to not be complacent, and I know that I still have so many more things I can do. But it’s also really great to look back at all the stars beneath you and to remember the people who helped you get there.

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Filed under On Writing, Relationships