Is It Really Worth It? $$$$

I recently had a conversation with someone about all the work that is involved in my being an author. It was a short conversation. This person asked me if it was worth it, meaning was I actually getting rich from my efforts. My reply was that we all put effort into things that we enjoy doing and not because we plan to get rich. In fact, most people I know with a “regular” job aren’t rich. Her reply was, “That’s one way to look at it.”

I think she felt sorry for me, the poor lonely author, slaving away in some tiny room, cut off from the rest of the world.

What I find interesting about being an author is that people often inquire about your book sales, those same people who certainly wouldn’t ask how much money your office job pays per hour. And if you think about it, there’s really no difference. You’re still inquiring about the money someone makes. What many people don’t understand is that authors don’t know about every book sale as it happens. We receive royalty payments two times a year.

Not About the Money.

Life is not about the accumulation of money. Many of us think that when we’re young and our whole purpose revolves around accumulating stuff. As we get older, we begin to see that stuff is something that just weighs us down and there is a huge big difference between a need and a want.

All that aside, I didn’t begin writing with the notion that I would one day retire from my efforts. It began as a means of self-expression, something inside seemed to be calling me to write, to say something. Any money that happens along is an added bonus, seriously.

Needless to say, this person does not see the value in what I do–books, big deal. Pfffff. Not that I expect people to fall all over themselves when I walk into a room, because I don’t. I’m the same person I’d be if I didn’t write. But publishing books is nothing to sneeze at. It’s an accomplishment, something that at the end of the day you can hold in your hands and feel proud of. People who do it, deserve some credit.

This person looks at the effort I put into my writing versus the monetary gains in the end. I don’t drive a fancy car or own a huge big house by the sea, I don’t travel the world. And I’m busy a lot, not only writing, but revising and editing the same story many times over. Sometimes I’m unavailable. Writers need their alone time. There are some who just don’t get that. But writers do find time for the important things in life. For us, writing happens to be one of those things.

So, if I were to define “worth it” it would mean something different for all of us for we are all as individual as the very things we think about and value the most.

Is writing worth it to me–absolutely.

The sun is shining here in Nova Scotia this morning and we’ve been promised a lovely weekend. If you are spending time with your family this weekend, consider yourself blessed.

Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all the mothers out there!

Book Launch: A Behind the Scenes Look.

The other week as I was going through some book launch photos, I found a few that made me giggle just a little. Most of these were candid shots taken by the lovely Dawn Alexander my official photographer for the day. Dawn showed up the night before while were setting up for the big day and she stayed pretty close by all through launch day. Now that’s dedication!

So, just for fun, I thought I’d post some of the behind the scene photos no one ever gets to see.

Setting up for the launch the night before was great fun. Of course it helps to have a few silly friends to take charge.  I’ll be the first to admit that decorating is not my forte. I’m more about the written word. Therefore, the decorating I leave to those more qualified.

Hard at work. Recreating the book cover was a little tricky since the vision of it only existed in Bonnie’s creative mind prior to setting up. Judi made all the silhouettes. It was a pretty cool idea. Wish I could take the credit but, as I said, I’m more about the words.

The end result kind of speaks for itself. I loved it. So did everyone at the launch. I warned you that I have some talented friends. They added all the extras they knew would make me happy: dark chocolate, Mars, beautiful white roses and my books. The tea pot of flowers was a Mother’s Day gift from my daughter.

There’s always someone in charge of the ironing. All those little details count. Thanks Barbie.

The look on my face suggests surprise, doesn’t it? You’s almost think I was expecting something to jump out of the box when, in fact, I knew there was a cake inside courtesy of the Monday Craft ladies. Seriously, they went above and beyond to make the day special. These ladies know how to show some author love. I don’t know what I’d do without the help and support from my friends and community.

And here’s a much better view. Just so you know it did make it out of the box It was delicious!

Launch Day: I could have told Bonnie it was a little late to be playing shy. Dodging the photographer isn’t as easy as it might seem when you get to be our age. Dawn was relentless in her mission to gets photos, but Bonnie using me as a human shield just doesn’t cut it! Oh Bonnie, oh Bonnie, when will you learn?

When the Nimbus publicist, Jeff Arbeau showed up, author friend Jan Coates offered to help him sell books. I love this photo taken when our MLA Leo Glavine showed up. Now there’s the look of a woman who can hardly wait to get her hands on some money. The next photo in the series (that I decided not to post) shows Jan actually prying the money out of his hands.. Okay, I’m just kidding about that! Seriously, Jeff said Jan was a huge big help!

There you have it, just a few of the candid shots from the launch of “Cammie Takes Flight.” Life is not just about the perfect moments that get capture on camera, it’s more about the moments that go unseen, but it’s all those silly, imperfect moments that create the best memories.

A Little Out of the Ordinary

Yesterday, while I was peeling potatoes for the stew I was making, I wondered how many mother’s out there had received seed potatoes for Mother’s Day. Yes, I did say seed potatoes. I know this question seems a bit far out there, but I have a reason for asking.

I’ll admit the gift is a bit unorthodox, but sometimes unorthodox is fun, even welcomed, in the right circumstances. Mind you, I couldn’t imagine someone giving their city-dwelling mother a box of seed potatoes (that would just be wrong) but for a mother who lives in the country and plants a garden, could be a box of seed potato is the ideal gift.

So, who’s the mother who received a box of seed potato for Mother’s Day you might ask? Well, that would be moi! Truthfully, I think the idea stemmed from last years creative Christmas list my loving son sent my way where he’d added a 50 lb bag of Yukon Gold potatoes to his wish list. Here’s the post if you want to refresh your memory. He kind of threw me for a loop with some of the ridiculous items, but never fear, my motherly instinct kicked in and I ended up twisting his arm, requesting a new list. Nope, he didn’t end up with that 50 lb bag of potatoes under the Christmas tree.  And maybe he was a tab bit disappointed. Who’s to say? I imagined them slowly rotting away in his apartment over the winter months…Have you ever smelled a rotten potato? Nasty, just plain nasty.

But back to my Mother’s day gift. Coincidently, the box of seed potatoes were to grow into approximately 60 lbs and they were Golden Russets, not Yukon Gold, although I’m pretty sure he’d have been hard pressed to find Yukon Gold potato seed around these parts. So, we planted them this spring and harvested a bumper crop. Smart kid he is, he even came made a few visits out right around harvest time, returning to the city with some garden fresh potatoes in the trunk of his car. We all know  nothing out there can take the place of new potatoes, right?

Honestly, every time I peel a potato I think about my Mother’s Day gift and smile. Some gifts we soon forget, others linger in our minds for months to come.  Thanks kiddo, keeping thoughts of you ever present in my mind, and stomach, even though you’re miles from home.

What is the most unorthodox gift you ever received?


Whenever I look at this picture I see a pair of out-stretched arms bent at the elbows. Wild apples trees seem to have so much personality, their limbs are often gnarled and twisted, their gray bark dotted with holes. Seems these days I look at things differently, seeing the little bits and pieces of personality along the way, instead of always looking at the bigger picture.

It makes me smile to think of a large dark object my son and I once saw in a tree lot that we thought resembled a sasquach. It was, of course, only a tree that had blown over and uprooted. Not that we thought we were actually looking at bigfoot, mind you, but it was kind of fun to make-believe. Once we got a closer look, and was able to see it more closely, it no longer resembled a sasquash even from a distance. Go figure!

I love the way we can take something and dream it into being something altogether different. We all did that as kids each time we looked into the clouds and watched them shift and change.

The difference between someone who writes ,and someone who doesn’t is a writer takes every day life, twists and gnarls it together, adds little bits and pieces of personality, and then records it all. As writers, we come from many different walks of life, some of us are highly educated while others are not. Yet beneath it we are all just people, living, loving, and laughing like the rest of the world, and recording life as we go.. I suspect the rest of the world adds all those bits and pieces of personality to everyday life as well, they just don’t choose to write any of it down.

Whether or not you record all the places your imagination takes you, here’s hoping you all have a great Mother’s Day weekend! Oh and Happy Birthday to my baby who celebrates his birthday on Mother’s Day this year. Best Mother’s Day present ever!

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