Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Recycled Resolutions

These are the New Year's Resolutions I came up with last year. I think I'll recycle some for this year. I've added some comments/addendums/whatevers after each one:

1. Venture deeper into technology. Learn to use iMovie. Download Skype and learn to use it. Buy an iPad 2 when it's available—if it indeed comes with a camera. Accept that my current iPad has become my husband's iPad.

I did download Skype (but haven't actually Skyped anyone yet) and bought an iPad2 which I really, really like. I still haven't learned iMovie yet. This year, I'm going to upgrade the 3-year-old iMac by quadrupling its RAM. It only has 1 GHz. I'm going to bump it up to 4. Then I'll have plenty of RAM to go from Leopard to Snow Leopard. We'll see how successful I am at installing RAM. (Thanks to the Blue Ridge Gal, a fellow Mac user, I've been watching a video that shows how to do it.)

Plus, I've ordered MS Office 2011. I've been using 2004, so I'm way behind the times on word processing, PowerPoint, and Excel. Let's see how long it takes me to make the adjustment.

2. Accept my physical limitations. I'm not as young as I used to be, and I have health problems that limit some things I'd like to do. So, I'll do what I can do, and the heck with the rest.

My age is wearing heavier upon me now than in 2011. I've lost more than 10 pounds since last year but it hasn't made any difference. I have a lot less stamina. I tire easily, ache a lot, and have lost some strength. I've been cutting back on a few activities and rarely drive at night. Some mornings, I have to drive to the barn to feed critters because I can't handle the walk. I regret that it's unlikely I'll ride a horse again (Melody has health problems, too) or walk long distances with the dogs. There are some days, though, I still feel pretty good. Just not as many as there used to be.

3. Accept that I'm never going to have a New York Times' best-seller, I'm never going to have a big-name agent, and I'm never going to publish with a big-name publisher. But I like the small press-published experience, though. And I'll keep attending writers' conferences because I like hanging out with writers.

I've accepted this—or maybe I've just reached a comfortable level of failure. I'm cutting back on some writers' conferences, though, because of the stamina issue. And because I currently have nothing publication-worthy.

4. Consider getting one of my books published as an e-book. Which one? I dunno. . . . Which e-book format? I dunno. . . . But I should learn more about e-books.

I'm thinking about doing Patches on the Same Quilt, my 2001 self-published novel, as an e-book. I also retain e-book rights to some of my other work. Maybe I'll put a couple of short stories from some of my collections into an e-book and publish via Kindle. I don't know. . . . But I'm closer to doing this than I was last year.

5. Never self-publish or vanity publish again. Ever. Unless it's re-self-pubbing one of my previously vanity-pubbed works as an e-book.

The vanity publisher I used for the four books of collections used to be a good company to work with but has gotten scammy lately and wants to charge for all kinds of services. Because within a week they've sent me two ads wanting me to pay $$ to have my books displayed at book fairs, I won't be using this company again. And I won't be recommending it to others. A few years ago, this company not only brought their authors' books for free to "Publishers Day" at Virginia Festival of the Book, but paid for their authors' lunches, and gave the authors' their books at the end of the day. They've certainly changed. So, this year I need to learn how to format for Kindle.

6. Buy myself a replacement tombstone. The original—stolen from my family cemetery in 2007—isn't likely to return.

I really meant to go tombstone-shopping in 2011, but never got around to it. Buying a replacement is something I must do this year. I'm not getting any younger.

7. Wear sensible shoes. If I'm invited to an event that requires me to wear high heels, I won't attend. One of the stupider things I did when I was younger was wear unsensible shoes. Why didn't someone warn me about plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, ingrown toenails?

I continue to wear sensible shoes. I do NOT own any shoes with high heels and never will again.

8. Keep reading. My stack of unread books continues to grow. Will I ever finish reading all the books I want to read?

My stack of books to be read is even bigger than last year. I keep buying books! Plus I've downloaded a lot of free e-books onto the Kindle app on my iPad. But I read every day and for a few hours most nights. I don't watch much TV.

. . . and there are probably other things I should resolve to do. Whatever.

Yeah, whatever for this year, too.


Blogger Franz X Beisser said...

Great post! (I know you don't like exclamation marks, but it deserves one).
Happy tombstone hunting. How are you gonna schlepp it home?

12:25 PM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

I strongly agree with the shoe thing. When your feet bother you, the rest of you isn't worth a darned, either!

2:45 PM  

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