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.

Pattern and Design are Everywhere

No matter where you look, you will find patterns, designs, and inspiration. Bridge Cables fan out to make geometric patterns in the sky, yet they have a purpose for the engineering aspect of the structure. The visual pleasantries are a bonus.

When we studied World History in sixth grade, our teacher, Mrs. Schram, made us take lengthy notes during the segments about Greece and Italy. The notes were about architecture, and she was painstakingly accurate about everything. We had to make thumbnail sketches in our notes and she actually graded them! I’m not sure kids go into such detail today, especially in the sixth grade. It was interesting, though.

The world reflects our past, present, and looks towards our future, too. Buildings allowed to stand centuries later have a charm new construction doesn’t have. Often the cost of upgrading to code prohibits old buildings from being used safely. And then there is the cost element; can you extensively upgrade a structure and still make a profit? Hard to tell, despite your analysis.

Our stories are reflections of our past, present, and a hint towards our future. History can offer volumes when studied; we best be careful studying it however, it’s a good place to visit to answer questions, but you don’t want to live there. Our present is what we have, and we have control over a lot of what happens. Choices are everywhere. On a cloudy day, you can choose to be grumpy or you can choose to be in a good mood. You can make an excuse for just about any behavior you want. Being a jerk to people just because of your mood is a poor excuse. You can’t apologize if you’ll do it again and again. It’s part of your way, and only you can change it.

Rather than hurt people because of your moods, learn to be aware outside of yourself. Watch what a smile does for a stranger. Yes, it’s hard to see smiles in the era of masks, but you can tell it in their eyes sometimes. Say, “Good morning!” when you see someone in a socially distanced crowd. Spread some good will. Spread some good feelings. We all need it.

Yes, I know 2020 has been hard. Rather than be eager for it to leave, I want to enjoy the last two days of it. They’re days dealt into my life and I want to live each remaining day I have, hopefully for another 30 years. I do not want to skip two days because they might be bad. They could be good, too. We need to lighten up on 2020, 2021 could be worse, you never know. I am planning my future. I’m going to finish my novel. And hopefully two or three kids’ books.

I’m working with an attorney to create an LLC for my business. It’s pretty exciting, actually! Join me on the journey. Some days will be great, others will be hard. It’s how life is. Be grateful for the good ones, and the hard ones always teach us something. Value them all. They’re part of the pattern and design of your life, of your story. Thanks for being part of mine. See you again tomorrow.

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!