Tuesday, July 24, 2007


over at Girls, God & the Good Life today:-)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Technology & Tears

I am the the tech girl of my house. I mean, that's not saying much since I'm barely competant, but my husband, who willingly tackles many household projects shrugs in confusion when it comes to the technology stuff. Earlier this year we decided to get a digital cable box (because they offered about five extra channels for the kids that they would like.) Well, even though the basic process was understandable to me, hooking it up with our stereo system, VCR and TiVo box is not what I would call a fun experience. Actually, it was traumatic in the extreme. Tears were shed and instructions were crumpled and long hours were spent on tech support - mostly on hold. Within a few weeks, we didn't even want the digital cable box but undoing what I had done was a more daunting task than living with all the new problems.

Even with that trauma fairly fresh in my mind, I tackeld yet another tech project this weekend. It's all the fault of Webkinz. (And I guess I am partially to blame since I told them about Webkinz in the first place) My computer was being commandered by my children far too often and my oldest child hovered nearby anytime I did get to sit in front of it asking me when I'd be done. The easiest solution was putting our old computer back online so they could play in their little virtual world. Of course, that little task would require a router and new virus software. And if I was going to have to get a router, might as well set up the wireless network while I was at it. Sounded pretty basic.

Oh how naive I can be.

I bought the software and router quick and easy and brought the new toys home. I followed the really easy instructions and even though it was behaving as though it was all working, the wizard program never let me officially finish the set-up process. I kept getting errors. And this freaked me out because I couldn't tell for sure if I had done everything I needed to do, and if the network was secure enough. There were tears shed yet again over the frustration of not being able to get answers to my questions. And over the inane process of giving the same thing different names just to confuse me. I mean seriously. How was I supposed to know that a "WPA Shared key" means the same thing as "password"? Yeah. Took me hours to figure that one out.

Today it is done but I'm not eager to have to fix or do anything technology related for quite some time. In fact, I'd rather make an appointment at the dentist.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Home, Home to the Heat

I never would have believed that the weather in Atlanta was actually better than it is here in Virginia. And while I'm finally able to add an update , I have to do it quickly since I hear thunder coming this way.

I had a good time, for the most part. Here I am with Camy Tang at the ACFW dinner, where we had a very good time, laughing. Actually, I have lots of pictures of Camy and I being silly. Thank goodness for silly friends! In fact, Tricia Goyer must have a ton of pictures since I rarely saw her without her camera!

Camy Tang & me

Tricia Goyer armed with her camera.
And Brandilyn Collins enjoyed eating some chocolate cake.

I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I should have. Honestly, it was because I felt very out of place all weekend. I felt welcomed and included and encouraged, but couldn't shake the feeling that I didn't quite belong there this week.

I am in "no contract" land. And while I have reconciled myself to that fact, I felt a little like a lurker on the edge.

And like every CBA I've been to, there were days I felt sad and overwhelmed, and days that I felt content. It's always a little like a roller coaster and the longer I go on in this crazy business, the more I realize that I am not alone in feeling that way. Lots of people have confessed to feeling just this sort of thing.

I did manage to meet a lot of amazing people, including Nancy Rue!

Ah, well more later, there is definitely a storm headed this way! Gotta go unplug!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Off to CBA

errrr...I mean, ICRS. The International Christian Retail Show. The lights, the glamour and the dizzying amounts of books all packed into one convention center. Hundreds of companies trying to woo thousands of retailers to stock their products in their stores.

Notice I didn't say "books"? Yes, more and more it's all about product. While all the publishers are represented, a huge chunk of the CBA floor will go to the dolls, the socks, and the ties with Bible Passages on them. And don't forget about the toys, the paintings and the diapers with a detachable devotional on them for new moms.

Okay, so it's not that bad, but books are fighting for space in the stores. And authors have their work cut out for them.That's why I go to ICRS every year. I don't have a new book release. I'm not even doing a signing. But I'm still going. Because I love it. I love being a part of this industry. An industry where you can stroll down a convention aisle and see both Beth Moore and a first time novelist. A place where you can learn what everyone thinks will be big, and then wait and see what will happen. A chance to stand next to booksellers from all over the nation and meet them face to face.

I go for the lessons to be learned, and for the people. It's the one time a year I can count on reconnecting with old friends and making many new ones. As Susan mentioned in her post, it's not about networking, but creating real relationships with people who get the crazy life of a writer. I am one of the people that also goes for a pre-convention activity. Many groups hold conferences and retreats around the time of CBA simply because it's the best time to get people together. In additon to a conference, I will also have a number of meetings to go to to prepare for some upcoming events next year.

But mostly, I'll just be a guppy walking the oceans of aisles in awe of all the huge signs and long lines of the rich and famous. Rich being a relative term, of course. So I must go pack, but I promise a full (and very special) report when I return.

Cross Posted at CAN Marketing Blog