DTJ Is Back in A Big Way

You may have noticed DTJ posts have been scarce this summer. I’ve been spending most of my time attending a Program Management certification course in Frederick, Maryland. Was it fun? No. Was it hotter than (fill in the expletive)? Yes!

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I’m so happy to be back home in Colorado and am looking forward to getting my life back on schedule. My second book in the Heart of the Warrior series is coming along. I have some fun plans for cover reveals on the blog and of course a big time celebration of the Scary Season in October.

 

Stay Tuned!

A Case for Trying New Things

Do you recall the tomato plant video drifting around Facebook a few months ago?  A guy claimed he could grow several plants by covering a slice of tomato with dirt and keeping it watered. I watched the video several times with a healthy dose of curiosity and a bit of trepidation. Tomato growing is serious business.

It’s widely known I’m a tomato addict. Roma, Beef Steak, Early Girl, Cherry, Heirloom – I love them all. My favorite, however, is the Campari. I could eat these by the dozen. Finding the plants in my area has been a challenge. I decided to try tomato guy’s technique. Setting a pot of dirt by the window in my dining room, I sliced up a Campari and covered it with potting soil. Water and early spring sun kept the soil happy. Did it work? See for yourself!

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It’s easier to stay with the status quo rather than trying new things. Life is about taking risks. Be brave! The rewards can be tasty.

Are You Preparing Your Foundation?

Sometimes the hardest part of building your dream is preparing the foundation. I’ve lived in my house for ten years. Each day for 3650 days I’ve walked by an empty stretch of dirt along the front fence. My gardener’s heart wants to see every last inch of dirt cultivated and beautiful. This ugly patch of dead was a wild weed in my Eden. It was evident from the discarded bricks and flower tags, the previous owners had attempted to make a garden in this shady spot. Tried and failed.

Late spring of this year, I lost several old growth shrubs. One of them was in this little patch of dirt. I cut it down and found something surprising. There was a working sprinkler head hidden under its dead branches. The shrub had cut off the rest of the little garden’s supply of life giving water. Perhaps this patch could be salvaged and turned into the shady garden I’ve always dreamed of having.

I cleared out the rest of the dead things. Brick, concrete and other bizarre objects went into the trash bin. I added a thick layer of mulch and let the soil rest for a few months. Water and wood began to renew the once neglected garden.

July is here. It’s time to test the soil. The first steps toward my dream garden have been completed. I’ve risked time, money and hope on this project. Wish the little plants luck!

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How many neglected gardens do we have in our lives? Is there a change you’d like to make, but the space isn’t ready? Do you need to clean out old hurts and negative preconceptions before you can make the soil fertile again? It all starts with exploring the foundation. Find the source of life for your dream. It’s there, waiting for you to find.

A Tale of Two Blogs

Ah, Social Media. That beast we love to hate. It sucks away our time with cat videos and political rants. Despite our misgivings, we post, share and blog. Why? If you’re an Indie author, you pray those posts lead to new readers and more sales. Do all those countless posts and shares really work? It depends.

Let’s take a closer look at blogging. Conventional wisdom suggests we blog in order to build our platform.  We set up our fancy blog sites on WordPress or some other provider we like. Publishing our first post gives us a little thrill. Then the readers start swarming the site, devouring each and every word. Yeah right. Reality: We post our first, second, third…tenth post to a trickle of views.

By the show of virtual hands – how many of us dropped from blogging once a day/week to maybe every four months or so? Inconsistent blogging is a waste of time. You’re better off deleting the site and focusing on a venue you enjoy.

I write two blogs. This one (Deep Thoughts and Junk or DTJ) and a corporate blog called, “Bright Spots.” One is very successful and one is doin’ okay.

Let’s look at DTJ first: I’ll be totally honest. I started this blog, because a marketing book told me I should. The first few months were focused on information about my books. While my friends and family may have tolerated boring introspections into my writing life, not many others did. Perplexed, I gave up on conventional wisdom and started blogging about everything under the sun. I came to enjoy blogging and have managed to post once a week for the past few years.

Now to the corporate blog: I manage a social collaboration platform for my organization. My team consists of marketers, communications folks, Techies and project/ community managers. These talented folks are experts in social media and collaboration. They know the ins and outs of pulling readers to sites. The success of my monthly blog, Bright Spots, came as a bit of a surprise to all of us. Each time I post this interview format blog, it gets an impressive amount of views, likes and engaging comments.

What’s the difference? I don’t have the magic answer to social media or blog success, but here is what I’ve observed:

Know your audience:

Bright Spots is a corporate blog. I share a common experience and interest with my readers. My topics are focused on our commonalities

DTJ’s most viewed posts focus on Indie Publishing stats and advice.  My “author’s wanderings about the world” don’t do as well.

Know the mission of your blog (in one sentence):

Bright Spots – “Highlighting new and creative innovations within the organization to promote collaboration and improve employee engagement.”

DTJ – “Provide encouragement and insight designed to help Indies become successful.”

How about you? Why do you blog? What is your blog’s mission?

So, What Are You Wearing?

So, what are you wearing to Denver ComicCon? I’ve had a sneak peek of a few costumes on FB. So creative! Me? I’m going as the Super Awesome Amazing Yet Boring Author Woman. In my defense, it’s been a crazy few weeks. I’ve been in Maryland working toward a certification in Program Management and eating an insane amount of seafood (at a crazy cheap price too). Now I’m back home in Colorado and ready to see the sights at Denver ComicCon!

Come on over to Author Alley. I’ll be in Booth PP15 on Friday, June 17th (1:45 am to 1:50 pm) doing book signings and interviews.

On Saturday, I’m participating in the “Self-Publishing: Is it For You?” 1:30 pm in Room 502/503

See you there!

It’s Coming!

Denver ComicCon is a few weeks away. This will be my first time attending and I cannot wait!

Check out the Guest list! Cary Elwes, Karl Urban, Kevin Hearne, Clark Gregg, Stan Lee…deep breaths. I’m cool.

Join me on Saturday, June 18th for our panel – Self-Publishing: Is It For You? at 1:30pm

I’ll be signing my books, The Lords of Valdeon and Pariah, in Author’s Alley (Booth PP15) on Friday, June 17th from 11:45 am to 1:50 pm. Just look for the giant lion and the hot looking elf!

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Want more info? Check out my interview on Groovey.TV