Monday, June 5, 2023

Aren't all writers rich?


No they aren't.

Too many people think all writers are rich. Once, I decided to show kids how much I got per book bought and it was one dollar. And that's actually high; several of my books earn me pennies. And don't ask writers about their income from paperbacks. 

I was talking to a lawyer about writing my will and he also assumed I was rich. Blew my mind that he didn't know that it's only a few writers who finally, often after many book out, earn a decent living. 

Me? I kept my day job. Which gave me a pension in my retirement years.  

Friday, June 2, 2023

Airport mixup

 I had quite a mix-up at the Seattle (Sea-Tac) airport returning home from the writer's retreat.

Evidently, the TSA entrance to security did not lead to the TSA checking machines.  So I was handed a pink card and told to go that away.  I kept going, finally reached one of the last machines and put my carryon suitcase on the moving strip, went on through, and discovered - no suitcase.  It finally showed up on a different moving strip, was examined and they scolded me for having the laptop inside. (I've left the laptop inside for years now.  very strange.)

So the helpful guy put the suitcase and the laptop back to be re-examined and down came the suitcase again to be searched.  This time the guy found my wrist support was the cause.

So I was standing there, repacking my suitcase and was almost ready to leave when the guy said, "Stop! Stop!"  And showed me that my laptop was coming down the main moving strip, having been passed through by itself.  I HAD HAD NO IDEA  that they had separated it from the suitcase.  

If I hadn't been so slow putting my carryon suitcase back together, I would have walked off without it.


Well, now I know how to navigate that airport. 

 If I go to that writer's retreat again, I won't be so confused.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Librarian clothing rules

We were talking on Facebook about others handing down rules about what library workers should wear and this memory popped up. 

The library board of the library where I worked in Maryland handed down uniform requirements for working in the library and it included these: 

shirts and dresses must have sleeves. Can NOT be sleeveless. Nobody wants to look at floppy underarms. (I looked at our muscular arms and then remembered the board consisted of older men and women who probably had floppy arms.) 

The other thing I remember is that librarians must wear heels of at least 2 inches high. I immediately told my branch manager that I couldn't wait to see the male librarians wearing their two or three inch heels. HA! 

They then revised it to say that tie shoes were okay - for men. But if any women wanted to NOT wear heels, they had to get a doctor's note proving they had foot problems. My friends with bunions and other problems had been wearing sandals, nice sturdy ones. My own sneaker/ tennis/ walking shoes were because of my own foot problems. No shoes like that were allowed, so I had to jump from $60 expensive walking shoes to $200 sturdy/ supportive tie shoes. I did mention that I wanted the board to PAY for the extra expense they forced us to wear, but that was a no-go.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Adventures leaving a Writing Retreat

 In the =It's always something category. I didn't worry about Kindling Words staff not giving us lunches to take with us, because I thought I'd get some food at the airport or on the plane. But when I got to the airport, all the food places were using computer screen ordering instead of people, so - not wanting to touch something that thousands of others had touched, I decided to wait to eat on the plane. A few minutes before the plane was to let us get on, we all got messages that there would be no food or snacks or anything on the plane because that service was on strike. (and the closest food place to the plane was about a half mile back into the airport, so we didn't have time to go buy food) Luckily, they offered us water bottles on the plane, so I survived on bottled water until I got home. 

Despite not having eaten for hours, when I weighed myself at home, it turns out that I may have gained about 5 pounds at Kindling Words. Wonderful time, great food, and got a draft of my book done.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Banned books experiences

 Speaking of banned books:

I was refused access to books several times.
1- in second grade I was reading my way through the Wizard of Oz series (I loved the illustrations, too) and when I tried to check out the fourth or fifth of the series, the volunteer running our tiny public library in our tiny town took it away from me. This is a fourth grade book. If YOU take it, you'll be denying someone who has the right to read it.  
2. Elementary schools didn't have school libraries or librarians in the 1940s, so no access there.
3. In fifth grade, my father had a meeting of his astronomy club (only adult men attending) in the public library, so he took be along so that I could browse the children's department and find books for me to read while I waited for him. But the children's librarian didn't work that evening so THE CHILDREN'S DEPARTMENT WAS CLOSED. The librarian (or circulation person) that was there grudgingly let me read a magazine, but only one that she picked out, not the more interesting one that I wanted to read.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Adventures with washing machines

 I had my old Maytag washer for over 40 years.  Of course it helped that my husband had been a washing machine repairman in college.  But when I moved across the country, I decided to get a new one when I bought a new home.  So I bought a Whirlpool.

It wasn't as good as my old machine, but no washers are these days what with using so many plastic parts instead of the old, sturdy metal ones.  And over the years it got louder and louder.  Plus, since I live in a one level, small house, the washer is right there in the middle of the house.

I had it fixed once, but recently the noise of the spin cycle was so loud that I wanted to leave the house while it ran.  So I called the repairman.  Repairman said the cost of a temporary fix would be over $700 and buying a new one would also be about that much so he recommended buying new.

So, I went down to Lowe's and examined the new machines.  Too many were digital. The Whirlpool in my price range had a removable agitator (???? why?) and was semi-digital and the activating buttons weren't buttons at all.  So I wandered around.  (mainly because it took a half hour before I could flag down a sales person.)

It's probably a good thing that I had to wait so long for service, because in my wandering I found a Maytag that worked on analog with clicking controls, easy to use.  Since Maytag is made by Whirlpool these days, that's the one I bought.

It was delivered today (one day delivery!) and I discovered that my previous washer/ dryer set was the extra large set, but this new Maytag was the smaller version.  But, I'm okay with it, because I had been doing mostly small washes anyway. (We'll see just how well it handles a towel load, though.)

What I have to mainly watch out for now, is the fact that there now is a wide gap between the washer/ dryer and things might drop there.  But being a wide gap, it should be easy to get anything that falls with my grabber.

So, now I can't wait to try out my new washer!

Saturday, April 8, 2023

How long does it take to write a picture book?

 I love telling how long it took to write my first published picture book. It took 20 minutes. 

(and my husband tried to tell me something and I kept saying, wait. just wait. I've got to get it down. When I finished it, he said, "Did you know that eggs will explode in the microwave?" yes, then I had to go clean up the microwave.)  

But wait -- it then took several years of REVISiON. So , did it take 20 minutes, or 3-4 years?