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Sunday Update – May 6, 2018

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

I'm posting this on Monday morning because I got back late on Sunday from my weekend in Chicago at the Sell More Books Show Summit! So I'll start there with my update this week. I had a great time at the Summit, and I'm really glad I went. But one small thing marred my weekend there… I got into Chicago around lunch time on Friday. It was a beautiful day, so I dropped all my stuff at the hotel, asked the hotel manager about good restaurants nearby, and then went out for lunch. I had a lovely lunch all by myself at the bar of a local eatery, just me and my kindle, good food and a beer.

Then I decided I'd go for a walk along the lake since I was close. Everything was great until I tried to scale some huge concrete stairs over by the water. (Photo below). I jumped down one of the stairs and immediately hurt myself! I was so angry and in so much pain! I eventually limped back to the hotel and freaked out about the pain. I had to call my husband to calm down. I ended up missing all of the Friday night events which was a bummer. But I stayed in, I iced this little patch on my left leg where I had pulled something below my knee, and I watched Lost in Space on Netflix all evening. I didn't even eat dinner. I just had a Cliff Bar and some ibuprofen and passed out at 8:30PM.

The next morning, though, my leg was much better. One of the conference attendees is a friend of mine, Chrishaun, and she looked out for me on that Saturday, and I'm so grateful for that! I'm so glad we got to spend time together and she was so kind and wonderful. Really, I'm getting teary just thinking about it. :)

We learned a lot this weekend! The conference itself had great information for new authors and veterans as well. If you had specific advanced questions, the attendees could answer them, which was great. I certainly learned a lot and it gave me great ideas and food for thought for my career going forward. I would definitely go back for another Summit!

Rewinding to the rest of the last week, the biggest thing that happened was that we finally got the furnace and the air conditioning replaced last Monday. We had been saving up for this big install for a few years, and it was finally time to get it done. My Monday was a little stressful with the workers in the house banging and sawing and turning on and off the electricity, but I got through it. The rest of the week we enjoyed the outdoor temperatures and just tried to take it easy.

What else happened this week?

My park has been especially beautiful lately! I love this last photo. We've got turtles on the log and in the water, and ducks swimming away.

I got the chance to eat outside and enjoy the good weather.

Then we had a little disaster happen that I fixed right away. My youngest got sent home with some lice again. I swear that her class this year was infested with them! Ugh. But this time her head was not so bad. I didn't find any live or active lice, and I combed out all of the nits on her head. Then I used a hot hair dryer and hot hair straightening iron on them. She got a clean bill of health from the nurse the next day!

Here I am traveling to Chicago and then eating a lovely lunch at Rocks Lakeview.

This is where I injured myself! These concrete “step” are a lot higher than they look. I learned a good lesson this day. I'm not limber enough to be jumping down from everything. I am NOT parkour material!

At the Sell More Books Show Summit, Chris Fox talked about writing a flagship series, writing something you're “known for” as an author. This was a great presentation and he said so much I agreed with.

My old friend and fellow knitter, Rachael Herron, talked about revision and I was happy to hear that my process was similar to hers, though I use far fewer post-it notes. Lol. My favorite bit from her talk was learning of the “Truck Draft” which is the draft you want your book to be in if you ever get hit by a truck and this is what your family will publish from you posthumously. Lol. I aspire for all my WIPs to at least be Truck Drafts someday.

This panel on writing faster (Lindsay Buroker, Chris Fox, and Monica Leonelle) was interesting. Though I don't want to “write faster” so I can publish faster, I do want to be better about getting my thoughts onto the page in a timely manner. There were a few tips here I liked which included training your brain to write faster and using Pomodoro (which I've admittedly fallen off the wagon with).

I walked up to Lindsay Buroker and introduced myself which was hard for me to do! I love her work both for authors and as a reader, and I listen to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast every week. She had great things to say during her presentation about building lasting and memorable characters that readers identify with which in turn makes them super fans. I feel like I'm on track with this one!

Monica Leonelle had the most thought-provoking presentation of the weekend, at least for me. She has challenged us to look for higher-earning offerings for our businesses, and I am on the case! This is something I've been thinking a lot about. Non-fiction authors often have courses to offer where they can charge more and earn more. Fiction? Not so much. Fiction authors are also highly dependent on Amazon, Nook, etc. to sell our books whereas non-fiction authors sell most things direct. I'm going to be giving this a lot of thought over the next few months. I want to do some ground-breaking work with my business. I'm just not sure what that looks like yet. We'll see!

Then to top-off a great conference, my friend Sarah offered to drive in and pick me up and take me out to lunch! I'm so glad she did because I didn't want to walk around on my gimpy leg and try to find food. We had a lovely sushi lunch together with lots of talking, and I got an Uber from there back to O'Hare for my flight home.

Finding something to eat for the flight home was a little rough, but I gotta say that this was perfect. I'm going to remember these protein boxes for the future. I ate this, some Sun Chips leftover from the conference, and a glass of wine on the flight home.

And that's a wrap! It's now time for me to go back to bed and get a nap in.

Coming up this week on the blog: Teaser Tuesday tomorrow and hopefully something more later in the week!

S. J. Pajonas