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Monday, September 6, 2010

The Book's a done deal AND Thom is coming home

Brought over from 9-1

Good morning. This is me. We’re thinking that it is going to be about a half hour until we complete the deal with FriesenPress. We contacted the bank already to make sure the amount will go through. I’m pretty excited and a bit scared. I’ve sent them several things …

Cost sheet
Front cover page
Back cover
Insert pictures
Competition chart

Wait wait … I haven’t told you yet! Thom is coming home on SATURDAY!!!!! We just found out yesterday. We know he’s going to get settled in before taking a leave, but we don’t know how long it will be before he comes back to Chicago. I called Rich first to see if there wasn’t some way we could go east, but he said that we don’t have enough money. I know I have $100 in the bank. My check will get deposited today but this is the one that covers the car and the rent. I will also get Rich’s money, but I’m not sure if he has it read for today.

We found out about Thom from leaving a note over at his Facebook page. He must have been on the computer because he responded back right away. There were 6 statements all together – half mine and half his. We just know the part that he is coming home and he’s going to be stationed at Marine Headquarters outside Washington DC. It’s a pretty big deal. I so much hope that he calls. He never made one call all the time that he was in Japan. In total there were about 1 ½ dozen correspondences mostly through IMs over the 1 ½ months he was away. So I guess logically that’s about 1 a month. It sounds about right.

I’m so excited about everything. Hmm, I probably said that already. I left a note on our Facebook page and about 30 people stopped by to be excited with me. Just so excited. Ok, ok … we’ve cleared that part. Thom said not to come that direction because he doesn’t have leave and he will be getting situated. I don’t know whether it will be a couple weeks, or a couple months or longer before he comes home, but at least now I think he’s going to come this direction. He’s got a lot of ground to make up.

Ok, breathe! We’re just riled up all over gotta keep it on an even keel. I sure do hope that he calls. Thom is like the kind of person that bottle up his feelings and such. I worry about that, but don’t know what to do about it. You can’t drag it out of him.

Ok, focus … 15 minutes before we call FriesenPress. She gets in about now, but we figure we’ll let her put down her things. Nothing worse than business first thing of the business day.

I talked to Natalie yesterday late in the afternoon. We’d missed connections and we were worrying, because she said she has laryngitis. That’s a rough thing if you need to be talking to people all day as part of your job. We went over things to make sure she had everything she needed. The first contract was lost, but a second one was sent out. Now this morning I realized I was so excited I didn’t fill out the name information on the cost sheet. We’ll have to remind her that this needs to be done today.

I think what is going to happen now is she’s going to turn me over to Carolyn. Carolyn is the author account manager. There is also going to be an Erika who does the pictures and layouts and covers and such, and then there is a Marie who is going to be marketing the book. Plus of course Natalie – she is the publishing consultant. This is going to be MY team. Natalie made sure to tell me that I could call her at any time, and then she playfully told the sob story of having to hand over HER author. I giggled - Poor Natalie. I guess it’s the nature of the beast. I don’t know how many teams there are, but we’ll ask today.

It was funny Natalie described her team as being the clickety-clacks. I knew instantly what she meant. Basically, these were the lady’s who were high end very business-like. I hope they are going to be friendly too. I don’t know how much longer after we pass over the money before stuff starts happening. She said we were being speedy so that’s good. We’re hoping for a shorter 3 months, rather than 4 months in getting this book out. No reason to sit on it.

We did tell Sr. Theresa about the book yesterday. She wasn’t sure what we’d been writing, but we reminded her right away that we right about our day-to-day life and that it includes her and St. Rose. I told her right away that when I talked about her, her name was Sr. Tess, and that we didn’t mention Chicago or IL or that St. Rose Center is just called the center. She seemed relieved of that news. We then talked about something else … she led in another business matter. Later we came back to things one more time. We wanted to know if she wanted to read an electronic copy. She said she’d wait until the hard copy, so we told her we’d give it to her as a Christmas gift. I sure hope that she’s going to be ok with it.

I did remind her that we’d been writing since 2003 and the book covered 2003-2004. I said it ends about the time I’d gotten so mad in that meeting and she had to write me up. I said it was about that time that Dr. Marvin was suggesting that I look for another job. She seemed to listen, but didn’t really talk about it. But, at least I have it off my conscious that she has an impression of what the story might be about.

Whoops time to call!

Ok good good … made the call to Friesen and I called my mother to let her know that everything had gone through.

Natalie sounded like she was just waking up. She’s going to have a meeting with her boss Marcello in a couple of hours and he is the one that should be running the credit card. Natalie was talking and saying that they only had two teams write now, but at the end of the month they were going to move to a bigger office down the block and then they would build to having 20 teams. The plans are then in about 5 years to bring it up to 100 teams in a yet bigger building. It was all pretty exciting. She did encourage that we can request the same team, and as long as things are gong fairly well there, Most likely we will be doing that because you get to a certain comfort level working with the same people and I wouldn’t want to be jumping around. I sure hope we all get along nicely. Natalie did say that Carolyn would be told today it went through, but that it might not be until next week that she calls back. That is sort of disappointing, but who knows maybe she will call earlier. If people take this long to get back to you, I could see why things get stretched over months.

I have to remember that I’m not the only one publishing a book. I’m sure there are others. Natalie did say something about the parent company being nearly 100 years old, so I’m thinking that their branch is fairly young. I think the main part of the business is that they were printers. I like the idea of being part of a young business. It seems kind of cool that we get one of the first teams and that others will be copycats of these first two. I’m not sure if Natalie was there from the very start, but she does seem to know a lot about the business.

Natalie has talked several times about coming down toward the Chicago area and I thought that was pretty cool. She says she’s visited with a couple of the other authors or at least they are on the agenda. I don’t know how that kind of thing goes, but it’s kind of exciting. She says that sometimes authors go to Canada too to visit and work things out. I’m still thinking that if I were to fly I would need two seats so that part wouldn’t be so good, but it would be good to get out.

Rich said something about publicity tours. I’m thinking that with a self-publishing company then that would be on your own, so there would have to be some good money coming in prior to that if we were going to afford it. I’m thinking with only $1004 they aren’t paying me to travel.

Hmm, we’ve done a few things and are back. Where else do we need to go? I’m going to need diverting myself here somewhere. Hmm – maybe yesterday – I was going to say that we got home about 5 pm and watched news for a bit, and then I’m not sure what happened, but we seemed to tune back in about the time President Obama was making his address from the White House on the ending of the war in Iraq. This made me feel really good and I couldn’t help but to think what it meant in that Thom was coming home too.

I feel a certain amount of pride thinking that he is going to be at the National Headquarters. I can’t imagine what he’ll be doing there, but I’m sure he’s going to be in good company.

After the speech we went to the computer and worked for about 3 hours on editing the new book - #2. We had some pulling together to do. I had had done a few chapters, and then there was pulling the back half of 2004 and adding to the front half of 2005, and then also added were the papers written at the beginning of 2005 for the Master’s program. I’m pretty sure I want them to be part of the book, because it explained our thinking processes. There are about 60 pages complete, but that needs to be read over and there are about 440 additional pages that have to be edited. I think this is going to be an encompassing project, but if we could sell 1080 books, then we could pay for the better package $1500 plus $600 + $600 = $2700. The two - $600’s are to cover the restocking charges for both books. I wonder how hard it is to sell 840 books. That’s just the breakeven point.

I wonder how many times I’m going to add these numbers one way or another. Hmm, that’s not nice. Podbean stopped putting in the numbers for new subscribers. They probably still have it, but you gotta pay more money to get it. That’s really terrible. Ok, so that makes me feel down. I’m never going to know how many people are listening to me.

The other part of feeling terrible is that Rich has come in and he’s made me feel terribly depressed. I had to beg him to listen to my interests which meant talking about the book. He says he knows all about it. And, we are like no … you don’t know. Did you know that I paid them today and am going to be turned over to an author account manager? And, then he like starts talking about he doesn’t like the whole idea of me paying anyone anything and that I shouldn’t be so trusting with my money, etc. We went down this whole bunch of negative stuff he has on his mind. I had told him that I talked to Sr. about the book and then THAT became his whole negative thing. So after a while I couldn’t do negativity anymore so we let him go back to work.

Then he interrupts me again and after having told me how busy and behind he is then he comes back and says basically he needs to leave in 20 minutes to pick-up Bob so they can go golfing. Then he said that he may or may not be home for dinner because after that he’s going to go out and play his monthly card game. So we’re like figuring 2 nights in a row he’s not back until after midnight. Last night was his younger sons birthday and they went to a Blue’s museum and then to the Cubs game. I’m glad he’s getting out to do all these things, but there’s always the me time. Like he says he’s going to come home for dinner, but he doesn’t get home until after I’ve already eaten. And, he’ll be eating just a little because he’ll get fed at the card game.

Then he starts to tell me about his new schedule. When he is home at night he usually gets home about 7 pm, or at least he’s saying from 7-9:30 pm will be his time to do his hobby with the boat or get things done around the house. And then from 9:30-10:30 will be his TV time and then from 10:30-11:30 pm will be his reading time. Ok, then … do you see where there might be some fault here? It’s like where is the Ann time? He said what … he talks to me more than anyone and I’m like you talk to me barely ever. So then we pushed, when is my time … am I with the TV time like you watch TV I massage you? And, he was like well yah? So, the only time I get you and I have to share you with the TV? How fair is that? He said well, I’ll be around earlier too, but I said you’ll be busy doing your house and fishing activities. AND, when I suggest we turn off the TV during dinner, you complain because you can’t talk and eat at the same time. I said that maybe we should pretend we’re at a restaurant and we can talk together without the TV? Hmm?

Well, basically I think I lost more ground then I gained. The conversation about seeing Thom came up too. But, then he said he’s like $1500 behind in this month’s bills. So then what does that mean to me? Like am I getting the $600 you owe me for your half the rent and utilities? He was like if I have it I’ll give it to you. Well I’m pretty sure that’s not the deal we signed up for. I don’t know my mood just plummeted as he repeats that we don’t have money to go see Thom. Then I said then I don’t want to go on any fishing vacation if I can’t see Thom. If we don’t have money for one we don’t have money for either. Then he said he hasn’t fished for 3 months. And, it was like no that’s not true. You’ve only missed one month of fishing and that’s with the other guys you were still fishing with Bob. I just don’t know where that kind of conversation comes from. I also said that if it were for his kids he’d find the money, and he said yes, but that’s for my kids – you don’t have any money saved up do you? Well, naturally that’s a bad deal. He’s been doing my bills.

Hmm, ok, that wasn’t fun. I just got our email from Sprint regarding the current bill. The cost had gone up because we’d purchased a bill and the rebate check hadn’t gone through yet, and we got charged a penalty for stopping the Mi-fi card earlier than 2 years (we were getting another hotspot on the Evo). So in general the past due bill was $266.70 that is now going to have to be paid on the 17th and then the current amount of $232.70 will be due 3 days later. There was absolutely no wiggle room and I thought the billing guy was an ass. We are like saying we can pay $383 this month and next month pay in full $286 next month which would include next month’s bill, but he was like pay now or die. Well basically not dead dead, but he’d kill our phone. What a jerk. He was of absolutely no help at all with the exception of paying the next part 2 days after the 15th, because that’s when we get our next check and it clears. Idiot!

Well after than we sent a note to Rich letting him know what happened. He’ll be at least happy that we tried to take care of it. If he thinks he can do any better than he’ll have to try. The bill should be like $140 with all the taxes and surcharges and data plans etc. Telephone charges must be like the worst pain in the next bills there are. Last month he paid $225 and I didn’t think they were going to like it … It wasn’t half the bill. YEEKS!

Ok, that’s enough of that. Hmm, looking at bank account the withdrawal hasn’t been made yet for the publishing, but Natalie should be in a meeting with her boss right now. The work check and half of Rich’s money is in the bank so that should cover car and rent and whatever, and he said he put half the money cash in our envelope, so we’re asking him to take a couple hundred back and deposit in bank. Maybe with that extra in the account we can pay the phone bill. Like to have charges back to normal.

Natalie said that we could take til October to pay the $600 extra to stock the shelves with our book, but we won’t be able to due that. IF we didn’t have any other expenses it would take about 3 months to gather that kind of money and it’s right at Christmas when you want to be getting the kids some gifts. The stocking fee will have to wait as mentioned above until the first book can pay for itself … so basically we’re back to needing to sell 1080 books. How hard is that? Have no clue whether it’s easy or hard .

Need to step away from the money … too much, too much.

There … just did a little correspondence. I’m thinking the next step might be to do some clean up in here. I don’t believe we have staff training tomorrow, but we’ll have to see how the day goes. I know that we’ll be having our lights cleaned in a couple hours, might as well pick-up for that. Hmm?

Ok, done done. Still got time left.

Good good … checked on the bank and it seems that the amount to the publisher went through. It’s pretty much then a done deal. We’ve signed a contract and everyone’s been paid. *BIG sigh*

We did some more picking up work. Sr came back and showed me what she wants done for tomorrow. Tomorrow is our cleaning day – the center that is. Almost everything gets moved and the floors are cleaned and waxed. I moved the computer cords in the Leadership room. Tomorrow I’ll move the garbage and electrical thing from this room and the next to the top of my desk … oh and brief case. Then the coat rack and three chairs go out to the hall and Rich’s two chairs and coat rack go out to the hall. For the racks and chairs we will have the guys out in the leadership room do it. Well, except the chair I sit in … I’m going to want that. I’m glad that I had the room picked up before Sr. came in. She made the executive decision the big furniture would stay put. Good good!

Hmm, someone emailed the President’s speech. I tried listening, but there were too many pauses to handle it for long. They just sent it out so most likely there is a lot of traffic on the site. Might as well get some more work done … We’re a going!


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