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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pretty much all day Friday

Good morning. This is me. It is the day after Thanksgiving and it’s about 7:30 A.M. We’ve been up for about an hour to an hour and a half. Rich is still in bed, and we’re just taking the day light. I’m so excited to be having three more days off. I think that most the stuff as to visiting is over. I don’t really plan on being out the rest of the weekend. The only exception would be if I did some searching out of book stores, but I think with it being Black Friday and that whole weekend that it might be better to stay at home this weekend.

I received some material from Marie that I will have to be reading through. It’s about 32 pages of marketing stuff. She is supposed to send me some more personalized stuff today before our meeting at 3 P.M. and I’m supposed to be talking with Carolyn today too. I’m very excited about that. I will have to see too if my info is on the flash drive, because it’s been a slow weekend I believe in doing book stuff, and I’m going to need catching all that up. I’m going to need going through the info to figure out what we’ve been doing. I don’t think we’ve really had any book sales over the week, but that wasn’t necessarily a goal. I think the people that will buy the book will wait until after it is here.

I am going to need doing the reading work, and I’m thinking that should be done before the meetings with Friesen this afternoon. I heard that Marie was sick again yesterday, but she says she will be back today, so we’ll have to see where that goes. Also Carolyn had written that they were snowed in yesterday. I hope they are all doing better today and we look forward to meeting with them.

As to yesterday … after we completed writing and were out we found things pretty much as expected. Rich’s Mom and Bud were already in the restaurant and she’d had a couple of drinks with no end in site … she ordered another double while we were there, and then she had two more drinks back at the house. I told Rich that we wanted to protest by not going back to the house and he said we really couldn’t do that, but he didn’t object to our next protest idea in that we are going to refuse any drinks in her presence. That meant no drinks at the restaurant or home and that it is going to continue until one of us is gone.

She didn’t hear it at the restaurant, but did after we got home. It took a couple of conversations, and she said defensively that we weren’t going to change her. And, I said that I knew that, but we weren’t going to enable the situation or justify it with drinking alongside her. If she was going to drink she would have to do it on her own. Rich and Bud don’t drink normally when they are out with her, and I would be doing the same. I felt solid with my new direction. Rich is taking the position pretty much that you aren’t going to change an eighty year old woman, but then I took the position that it was abusive and would shorten her life, and that nothing had been done to make her safer and so in that direction I thought she was being self-abusive. I didn’t have to play into that.

Rich’s Mom carried most of the conversation and most of that had to do with either the past or her recent experiences at the hospital or nursing home. There were a few times when Rich and Bud tried to have a side conversation, but she interrupted it by being louder and excusing herself back into the limelight. It’s kind of like her show. There weren’t any questions or comments toward anything that was about myself or anything I might be concerned with. There wasn’t even the question of how was I doing. I’m pretty used to that by now, but it’s always going to be a little difficult. I think Rich has these tendencies too - to talk about what’s going on with him, but we work harder with him to get our conversations in when we can. It’s like everything switched a generation with us, because our boys are pretty much the same way in that when they talk it is mostly about what is going on in their minds. I think Joe’s the best with listening, but it doesn’t seem to come naturally with any of them, that someone else might be having a life too. Things like writing a book aren’t even asked about. Most times I will just not bring it up … It’s not on their radar and I don’t want to demand their attention if it’s so hard to be giving it up.

Maybe in some ways here we are acting like a martyr, but it’s not all about that, though some of it might be. It’s most likely part of why we write in the first place. Dr. Marvin nailed it when he said that the writing was like a receptive devise in that no matter where or when, I could always come here and be our best audience. I think it would be that way for most people who would choose to write, and if you are not doing it yet, I would encourage you to be trying.

Rich is up now, but hasn’t entered the living room. I think by now he’s getting his medicine. Good Rich! It’s about 7:45 A.M. Rich was up later than us in that after going over to Bob’s he made turkey and then we were woken up because he said we could have some turkey when it was ready, but then we ate and fell asleep after too, because he had to send a cranky Ann to bed. Now he’s up and we talked a few groggy minutes - the grog was on him. He decided that we should wake to Christmas songs. I can do that although I would have preferred nothing this morning. But it’s good to adapt, right?

He’s just in that rocking mode holding his coffee. He turned down the music to 12 … that was a good idea. No reason to be jarred so early.

I should say something here too about the calls that were made yesterday. The first and most important was that I got to talk to Thom for a few moments. He answered the phone when I called. He seemed between things. I don’t know if he was on the computer, but he didn’t put up a resistance to talking. The big news was that he might be coming home for like about eight days in early January. I think he is not looking forward to a push for everyone wanting pieces of his time. I told him that I would like to see him on his own, but if he wanted to merge my time with seeing us with his brothers, that would be fine. One thing for sure is that we would want to take the family out while he is here. That will be something very important for us - to have all the family together again.

I think he’s going in on Monday to check out the processes of getting a divorce, because he was pretty sure that Alexis still didn’t want to live wherever he was. He said he should have known it in her sneaking out and not wanting to tell her family about getting married, most likely because she was fearful of their objections. That’s only speculative though. I know he’s going to have to progress that when he’s in.
We didn’t talk for a long time. I’m remembering now that he was over at someone’s house. I so loved hearing his voice. There’s really not a lot to talk about because he can’t talk about his situation working too much and we get to the conclusion of our conversation so quickly. It’s like explained before the boys don’t really ask about how or what we are doing so after you catch up on the things they will allow you to ask about it’s pretty much over. He did say something about still not liking the holidays. In this regard, I’m thinking in gratefulness that he picked up the phone on Thanksgiving. It sounds like he had a couple of days off, but with not much to do. I just love that kid to pieces.

I gave calls to Maury and Joe, but neither called back, at least while we were up. Joe did send a message saying he was with Cari and her families and that he would call later. I saw that Maury was out very late standing in front of Toys R Us with about a jillion people. Well, maybe not that much, but by 10 P.M. he was about 200 people back, with just as many in back of him. I’m sure that situations got more dramatic, and it should lead to a good conversation of him talking about what that was like. He said he was looking for four items.

I called my mother, but that wasn’t a very long conversation. She had spent the night with John at the VFW. They had as much turkey or desserts as they might want. I still don’t understand them going there when neither was in the services. I know the service men got free food, and that’s as it should be, but I don’t understand their involvement. They weren’t going because they knew anybody, although I’m sure they are by now familiar with some because they are like always there. I don’t want to be critical, though because that’s where they want to be.

Two times during the conversation I tried to ask how John was doing, but both times she stopped the conversation from going forward in such a manner that John who was in the background wouldn’t know that we’d asked about him. I’m not sure of what’s happening … maybe someone is upset with someone? I don’t think he knows about how negative CS is being and we didn’t go there. I felt no reason to spoil and otherwise standard conversation. She did ask about my day and I told her we’d spent it with Rich’s Mom and Bud. She said something about how good that was of us, but then we were frustrated, because it made it seem like we were sacrificing ourselves to some needy cause.

I feel a sense of obligation to Rich’s Mom, and we certainly think of Rich’s benefit … he knows that we won’t have her for ever and he’s trying to get in as much time with his mom as he can. I respect that. I have my own relationship with her too and it seems fitting that we spend holidays with them, especially since I’m not spending it with my family or the boys. It’s still frustrating with the drinking and smoking. Ok, enough there we said our two cents worth.

We also talked to CS for a few moments. I knew that they were still cooking. They had just put the bird in the oven and it was like 4 P.M. I also figured out pretty fast that Nancy was there in the background and it seemed like CS was bending to accommodate. To be fair, I think she was appreciative of having company, but she sounded pretty wound up. I knew that she was going to be needing a nap soon. I hope her manners last. She didn’t respond when I asked how long Nancy would be there. I did bring up with Rich that we should be there, but he was pretty adamant that we’d just spent five days with her and that would be enough. He was probably right. But, we are feeling a sense that family should try to be together over the holidays when it could be fit in fairly. With her only being 4.25 hours away Rich should be a little more accommodating. I think we will press going up when and if the blankets get back from being quilted.

There I just talked to Rich and we discussed it in like two sentences. I told him I wouldn’t push going up there for Christmas, but that I would want him to go up for a day when the blankets got there … he said it was ok. I’m pretty sure with three blankets coming in that we will want done at Christmas that we will be doing the binding by machine. It might be different if it were going to be judged in a contest, but that wasn’t the life direction of these quilts. I am looking forward to getting them back although they will be a lot on our machine to be taking care of. I’m pro-sewing since the weekend, although I haven’t sewn since. Maybe we’ll have to commit some time to it over the next three days. We’ll see … first priority is going to be the book.

We’re not sure if it will come out this week, but if not this week at least by next week, right? Today is the 26th. Hmm, just short of a month before Christmas … that’s a lot that’s going to be happening between now and then J

I think that’s about all the calls, Rich talked to his brother. He said that they always treat the truckers well at the truck stops on the holiday and that he’d eaten too much and was looking forward to getting to bed.

We also stopped by at Bob’s. We got there before Bob and Marcia and Bob had us going in the open back door. They had left things out for us like chips, dip, a vegetable tray and cookies. When they got there they brought out also some shrimp and pies. It was very nice. They had had over one of his kids and her family and they had brought over an aunt and uncle from a nursing home. That was pretty cool. We didn’t stay real long because Rich wanted to get home an make the turkey. We were pretty well stuff for a time being. He knew that we were serious when we didn’t take the offered ice cream with the pie. But, we’d had pecan pie at the restaurant and at Bob’s Believe me I wouldn’t have had it any other way J

So that was pretty much the holidays. Maybe something with Joe and Maury and theirs by next weekend.

I figure then that I’m about caught up.

There … we just wrote a quick note to CS and Linda, and we had our first official turkey leftover sandwich. It hit the spot. We talked to Rich for a few moments. He is officially resigning from one of the organizations that he refs for … he’s moving more into softball than baseball and since these groups all charge $50-60, he felt it was no longer necessary. He talked for a few moments about it, but then hit the button on his computer and it was all over. *Sigh* I was thinking that maybe we are getting pretty close to needing to do something about our weight again. I felt bad that he was giving up something due to his knees being bad which I blame on both of us being overweight. Hmm, his resignation was already accepted. Time to be moving past it. I think he’d been a part of that organization for about 30 years. He’s looking toward 50 years with another organization. You never ump, ref or whatever for just one place … there’s a group of them depending on location.

Ok, enough with that one. Are we to the point of hmm, what? It feels good to be caught up with the normal catching up. I’m thinking though that we might want to get the flash drive to see how far we are behind in that. Maybe, hold on.

Ok, we caught those records up. I’m afraid that we haven’t had any sales since the 16th when we sent out the last record … the highlights were having opened the business checking account and purchased checks, received the business cards and having made the pre-order forms, having turned in the proof and sent in the sign-off sheet so the manuscript could go to print. We’ve also met with Carolyn and Marie last Friday and will again today. Hopefully I’m more cognizant today. We have received Maria’s media package and we enrolled in a college course for small business plans. Considering 5 of these days were spent at the quilting retreat I’m thinking that’s pretty good. We sent a copy of our update summary to Marie, Carolyn, Dr. Marvin and Rich. That should be it for now … with the exception of reading through Marie’s package … I think we’ll do that next. It’s almost 10:30 A.M. We’ll see if we can get anything done before the 3 P.M. meeting 4 ½ hours from now.

AHA! The day progressed. It’s now about 5:30 P.M. and we’ve done some stuff from one point to the other. Mostly we had our meetings with Carolyn and Marie and in-between we did some upgrading of the web site, and then after a while Rich came home and we ate and now he’s watching TV and we’re just trying to recapture the day. I was pretty happy with everything that went on.

First was the meeting with Carolyn. We talked about the e-book being ready and that the soft cover should be ready about Monday and that by the end of the week all three should be ready so that it appears at the web site for sale. WooHOO!!! That will put it in place for being ready for December 3rd sales. Sweet! She emphasized that it was out of her control how soon it would be up at Amazon, but sometime most likely in the next 3-4 weeks. We talked about not having the book insurance money yet, but that Carolyn knows now how to work it out to go in when it comes in usually things update the end of the month. She told us about the book being placed in the upcoming section at Friesen Press. She encouraged us with the marketing and she said that she found it was 10% writing, 30% editing, and 60% marketing. Yeeks that sounds frightening.

Then the second meeting was Marie. We went over things from the print media kit she’d sent out. You already know we read it, but we went through the ins and outs especially how to write the press release. She gave me a good idea on sending out emails with just a short sentence or two and how to direct it by interest. She also talked about going into radio. We’re going to have to write up our first press releases first so we get a sense of it. Throughout we talked about building up especially through the business plan a series of things that we could import into the specific releases. Pretty much you have to research what kinds of publications, and then she said to focus on like the top 25 and then move things up and down as we come up to them as being doable. She talked about making a contact, but talked of the decision making role of the editor. Whether direct or through the journalist things eventually go through them, so instead of selling the book you are more or less selling yourself as a resource for them on multiplicity. She also talked about our edge in marketing the multiplicity as regular instead of the sensationalism in the press.

I think we’re going to have to look up multiples on-line and check out some of the key buzz words. Marie used an interesting term a couple really, but she was talking about mass consciousness. And I took it to be like the things at what level is being talked about in general. That’s where I think the personalities like Tara and Oprah come in. They pretty much inform people of the situation if I can do something from their take I will become a better informant of the day to day happenstance of multiples. I think that I’m going to need going through some of the material being written about by other multiples like in Sarah’s blog group. It seems that I’m going to have to put together some resources list about the hot things that are going around in conversation. Sort of like the encyclopedia of multiples. We would have to figure out how to put something like that on the web page. Hmm, maybe I could do something like that now. I think we’re going to try putting a spreadsheet as one of the pull-out pages. That will give me an idea how we can put together something interesting.

One more thing before we get into that … Marie also talked about getting together with other multiples just one or two and putting together a production for a producer of radio or such. She was very encouraging in that … I think we’re going to need doing a lot more in marketing than we’ve been moving toward. But, now that the ideas are fresh again, maybe we can start thinking of something. I would also like to make sure that we add whatever we do through PDF so we make sure the list stays intact. Let me go figure that out … I think I need to remember how to upload documents to http. I know how to do it with the pod cast, but this is different. And, one more thing I’d like to do some experimenting with is uploading some audio or video recordings.

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