Buyer, Beware!

I think part of the responsibility of membership in various author groups is to alert others new to this business of scams. Since my attorney is taking care of all the fees, filing fees, and any other costs associated with establishing Jewell Publishing, LLC, I became suspicious of four official looking letters I’ve received since the first of the month.

Of the four photos above, the two middle ones are the only legit paperwork. In fact, they’re the same letter, just zoomed in. The far left and far right are scammers, trying to get money from a newcomer to the publishing business, namely, me. I’m glad I could ask my attorney about them. Two were requests for publishing notices, which the attorney is doing, one is demanding I purchase a Labor Law poster for $94. The Name Publishing Company wants another $117. The four notices could have cost as much as hiring an attorney to tend to your business.

Just a caution, folks. Sometimes in our excitement, we forget to question things. Sometimes we believe things are legit when they’re not. I would not want other newbies to fall for scams. I hope it helps you!

On a lighter note, have I told you about the VFW Post 2503 Honor Guard ammo? The Honor Guard, when attending to a Veterans funeral rites, fire three volleys. It it NOT a 21-gun salute. It is three volleys. 21-gun salutes are reserved for the President, and heads of state. In reality, if eight guys are firing, you have a 24-gun salute. It’s a common misconception. I just learned the real story a couple years ago.

In order to fire these three volleys, they need blank ammunition. Where do we get it? From the DOD (Department of Defense). There are rules to follow when ordering the ammo. It needs to be delivered to an address where someone can receive it and sign for it. The first time the Babe ordered it and had it sent to our address, I was shocked. The Fed Ex guy was bringing two wooden boxes of clearly marked “Ammunition” to our house. I signed, then closed the door.

“Hey, Babe, what’s with the Ammunition delivery? We don’t have a firearm, do we?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot to tell you.” He then explained the rules, and it was fine. I’ve received many boxes of ammo since then. Usually the delivery guy will put it in the back of my SUV. At that height, it’s easier for the Babe to move it to his car. In fact, there are two boxes of it in the back of my Honda Passport right now.

Yep, I’m Sure The Delivery Guys Wonder.

Right after I finished yesterday’s blog, the delivery came. I had to head up to Walmart for our grocery order. I didn’t think twice about the two boxes of ammo in the cargo space. As I looked in the rear view mirror as the back door opened, I saw the Walmart employee do a double take. It was humorous to say the least.

I wonder if he told anyone, “Yeah, this Grandma looking lady had two boxes of ammo in her trunk. Wonder what she’s doing with that?”

“You’ll never believe what I saw in a car when I was loading a grocery order.”

It is kind of funny. There is a shooting range about six blocks from Walmart. This is how stories get started, you know? It just takes one odd thing we want to expand on. Footprints in the snow. A dog whining and acting nervous. You can create a great story and watch it grow.

Today is the third day of five for a Facebook Group session on Write Without The Fight. We’re learning to identify our style and work through impasses in our working. Trouble for me is, just as I use both sides of my brain, creative and logical, I also can use different thinking styles: Fast or Slow paced, Divergent or Convergent, and Ideate and Implement when necessary. I’m not bragging here, I just cannot pick one I do best and one I do worst. I’ll have to ask Julia Roberts, the facilitator, if that’s possible. I do think it’s from working in IT. We would have to do all these things at once to solve problems.

What a difference a year makes?

25 pounds lost, a business founded, and a kids book nearing publishing. It’s been a good year.

Thank you for reading today. Watch out for scams, whatever you do! And just think of the stories lying about, waiting to be told, embellished, and turned into novels. I need to put all the backup papers into the storage boxes, and claim our kitchen table back from the tax prep man. See you tomorrow! Make it a great day. Be Safe.

Thankful Thursday

So we did this thing. And the Nebraska Secretary of State accepted it. And my attorney is applying in the places so the IRS knows where I live, etc. I’m proud to announce I am now an official LLC.

I chose this name to honor my dad, Thomas M Jewell, Jr. He was a pressman/printer by trade, and worked for the Omaha World Herald for 37 years. He retired and died when I was 37 years old. I think he’d be pretty modest about this whole thing, but he and Mom instilled a love of books in me and my three brothers. We also had in-depth knowledge of ink, paper quality, and various newspaper techniques used through the years. Thanks, Dad! For everything!

As I’m still plotting my goals, tasks, and projects for this year, the LLC news came at just a perfect time. It’s a great motivator! The mountain of paperwork I needed to sort for our 2020 taxes is culled and tamed, so I’m ready to head into the home stretch of all that. It’s kind of toss up for figuring the new standard deduction vs. itemizing; I still itemize to see what exactly we have. Although 2020 had Quarantine; COVID-19; not getting to meet our new grandson yet; we are lucky we had few medical bills last year. For a couple 70 and 68 years old, that’s a huge win. We are thankful.

Dreams absolutely, positively, come true! Now the fun starts. The hard work. I’m ready for it. Although we’ve never done this before, I hear there’s no reason to stop. Just do it, it’ll be fun, they say. Beginning this company was a lot of the reason I dropped my formerly married name (finally); I felt it kept a connection to the family I still love. We’re in touch. They understand I still love them, and especially my kids. So it was time for a new identity. A new life. Instead of “here goes nothing,” we are saying, “here comes SOMETHING!” Thanks for being along with me on this journey. The best is yet to come.

Thanks, guys, for encouraging people to follow their dreams!

I’ll be finishing up our taxes the rest of the day. And tomorrow is an early eye doctor appointment. I won’t be able to see much after that. We’ll think of something to do. Writing and reading will probably be difficult. And I’m quietly celebrating and thanking my friends Billy McGuigan and Jimmy Weber, who unknowingly encouraged me to chase my dream. It’s meant a lot. Thanks for sharing my news. It’s going to be a blast! See you tomorrow (but it’ll be fuzzy!).

Christmas Eve Day, 2020

Gosh, what to do? I have three songs to talk about and only two blogs. I see some doubling up for today. Another song I love to hear this time of year is another one we sang in Church choir on Christmas Eve. I previously knew it to me as “When Blossoms Flowered Amid the Snow,” And I believe Latin was the language we sang it in back in the day. This is Heidi Joy’s version of Gesu Bambino. I absolutely love her voice. We did not attend this concert at Omaha’s Holland Performing Arts Center, but we enjoyed her Christmas performances at a Lutheran Church in Papillion, NE. They were wonderful.

As I look out the window and see our modern version of a “White Christmas,” I’m grateful for our lives. I’m grateful I started writing and have made new friends with the same interest. I have new things to explore next year such as; should I form a publishing company, should I print a children’s book in the first quarter of 2021? I know I’d like to, I took December off from writing my novel, now is the time to circle those wagons and dig deep. I’m writing some revealing things and to make those things real to a reader, I have to make sure they love the character and her struggle. I’m hoping they will, and I will reach out again to Carol Gino to ask her a few writer questions. She was great at answering a couple I had before. As I mentioned yesterday, I am totally immersed in her book, “The Nurse’s Story.” I’m standing right next to her in every patient room, feeling the pain she felt for them in her heart. I want to write that way. More practice!

I will get there. And I’d like you to come along on the adventure! In the next week or two, I hope to; contact an artist, contact an attorney about LLC’s, go talk to a local publishing company we work with at the VFW Post. They do marvellous work, and I will learn a lot. It might be a good thing for me to go forward for the children’s book, I’ll have something to show for my hard work. More hard work on the way. I’m ready.

The other Christmas song is another creative one, one that blasts you out of your funk until you realize it’s Christmas! Be Happy! Celebrate our Saviour! All really is right with the world. It’s the Carol of the Bells, complete with pyrotechnics and laser lights of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Enjoy a listen! See, you’re fully awake now. I hope you can find at least one thing to celebrate this Christmas season. Music, children, church services, neighbors, or friends. Or all of them.

It’s time for me to go make a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies. We’re giving a dozen to each of five neighbors; and the Babe is home to be my delivery elf. My wish for all of you is a magical Christmas. May you feel the love of God and your families this Christmas Eve, and have a beautiful morning tomorrow. Remember the reason for the season. We’ll see each other tomorrow. I have one more song for you to hear. Be Safe!