What’s your favorite book convention to attend and why? with @meganslayer #conventions #ragt18 #writing #authorlife

UnderwoodKeyboard Banner

I have two different conventions I like to attend. I’m sort of an oddball, though. The first big convention I love to attend would be the Lori Foster Reader and Author Get Together (#RAGT18) down in Cincinnati, Ohio. This convention always sells out and almost always in a matter of minutes.

The thing about this con is that it’s smallish. There are only 500 attendees, including the authors and it’s mostly readers. It’s all in one hotel and the hotel is small so there’s little worry of getting lost. One hallway and two turns…and you’ve seen it all. But it’s like being with family. Many of the same people attend and it’s fun. It’s not stuffy. You’re hanging out with your friends. Really.

There are raffles, lots of little things where you can hang with authors and the money for the raffles go to the animal shelter. You’re helping critters and could win a basket. I love it. Want to know more? http://readerauthorgettogether.com/

The other convention I like to attend that’s really not a convention, but rather a tiny event, is the Books and Brunch event put on by the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public Library. Now, I see you’re thinking…a friends of the library event? Must be small. It is. There are only four featured authors. It’s only a couple hour event. But being smallish helps. You get to talk to the authors and you’re served a wonderful brunch for only $12 a ticket. How can you beat that?

I love being able to talk to the authors, to have great food and mostly help the library. That’s the big thing for me. For this event, all the money goes to the library for the renovations to the existing building. How cool is that? Find out more right here: http://www.elyrialibrary.org/KLCLFriends_Home.html

Advertisements

The Write Thing with @meganslayer #writing #advice #suggestions #iamwriting

UnderwoodKeyboard Banner

I was asked recently, what is the one piece of writing advice that has stuck with you and why?

This is tricky. I’ve been given a lot of advice. Some has been good and a lot has been bad. I’ve been told to ‘try this _________ because it’s surefire’. I’ve learned that what works for one person doesn’t always work for everyone.

That said, one bit of advice I got very early on that has stayed with me. Think before you post something online and before you say something because you’ll have to answer to it for the rest of your life. Nothing’s ever gone from the internet. If you keep your message positive, then you’re golden.

This stuck with me because it seems like it would be an easy thing. Be positive and think before you hit post. But it’s not. Individuals get into trouble all the time for things they wish they hadn’t posted or said on social media.

As an author, your presence on social media is your brand. I don’t know about you, but I want to keep my brand positive. I don’t want readers to think of me as someone who complains or someone who doesn’t have a goal. I want them to see this person is having fun. I might not be rich, but I’m having fun writing and I’m following my heart. Do I manage to post every day on social media? Nope. Most of the time, my blog gets sadly ignored. Sucks. But I try.

That’s my advice. Be positive and think before you hit post. Diamonds and posts on social media are forever.

My Grandmother Used to Say…A Lady is Measured by Her Garden @meganslayer #mygrandmotherusedtosay #meganslayer

Grandmother Banner

My grandmother is 88 years old and sometimes doesn’t remember the things she says, but she used to give me nuggets of advice.

When I was a kid, she’d expect us grandkids to come to the farm to help with the chores and whatever else she could find to put us to work doing. You never knew if you’d be in the barn, the house or working on the landscaping. One day you could be on the wagon helping with straw and the next weeding the raised flower beds.

As I was outside weeding the other day, I thought about one of the things she’d tell me. A lady is measured by her garden. Like I said, she’s 88. She grew up in a different world than I did and isn’t shaped by today’s conventions. She was very much the housewife and took care of the children. She didn’t leave the farm much and took a lot of pride in her house and landscaping.

I’m guessing she learned about keeping a neat house from her mother. I don’t remember my great grandmother because she died when I was four. But I could see her being very meticulous about her gardening.

My grandmother was right–to a degree. I mean, if you have a neat house, it’s noticed. If you don’t…it’s noticed. I don’t know that it’s the measure of a lady, but it does show that you take pride in what you have. If you’re willing to work hard to make the garden, house or whatever the best you can make it with what you have, then that’s something. I think that’s what she meant. It’s not about having the best or newest or whatever. It’s about taking care of what you do have.

I have taken her advice to heart ever since I started my writing career. If the book isn’t up to snuff for me, then I’ll work to make it so. That might not please everyone and some might see my book as not being great, but I tried and did my best. That’s enough. Do the best you can do. So maybe I’m not measured by my garden, but I’m trying. That’s what she asked of me and I’ll do it.

 

My Grandmother Used to Say… with @meganslayer #advice #grandmother #mygrandmotherusedtosay #iamwriting

Grandmother Banner

My grandmother used to say if you tear it down, I’ll help you build it back up. It’s funny. I haven’t thought about my great grandmother in a while. Sounds terrible, but I’ve had a week. I happened on a photo of her and the memories of going to her house, playing and rolling down the hill in the back yard came to mind.

My great grandmother was the type of person who loved disorder.It might not seem like a good thing, but when we went to her house,  the grandkids were encouraged to have fun and make a mess. Want to play in the sink? Have at it. Want to build with the blocks, then knock it down? Let me help. Want to dig in the dirt? Spin on the swing? I’m right there.  That’s the kind of person she was.

She loved to read my books, too. She had every one that was in print. Loved them. She’d tell me there was no shame in reading romance. “If there’s a fire in the oven, then there’s no crime in stoking it.” Coming from my grandmother, it was a little strange, but knowing her…I got it. She liked to live like it was her last day. She’d have fun, embrace life and enjoy what she was doing.

She’d help us build back up after things crumbled. She taught me to stand on my own and to have fun. Don’t get caught up in small stuff and bogged down. Do your own thing and be your own person. If there’s a disaster, help build it back up. Help build everyone around you up. Don’t be afraid of what might happen or what could happen and experience life.

I’m all for that. Life doesn’t last forever, so I’m here to embrace what I can. ❤

My Grandmother Used to Say…Eat What’s On Your Plate with @meganslayer #mygrandmotherusedtosay #advice

Grandmother Banner

I can’t be the only one whose grandmother (or someone else in their life) reminded them to finish their dinner. In my case, it was my grandmother. We’d sit down for family meals and she’d remind everyone to eat what’s on their plate. My grandfather had a saying, if you don’t like it, don’t take it…but that’s for another post. Grandma was adamant. You’ve put it on your plate, so you’d better eat it.

I won’t lie. When I was a kid, it drove me crazy. Not because I overloaded my plate, but because she’d ‘add’ things to it. Like the beets I never did enjoy or the mush. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand mush. Blech. But I ate what was on my plate.

This motto has translated to my writing career, though. Food and writing? Are you confused yet? Don’t be. I’m one of those people who tends to take on more than I should. I agree to a lot and try to accomplish as much as I can. If it’s on my plate, I do it. I’ve been told I have a healthy work ethic. I don’t know if that’s true. I just know when I have something to do, I do it.

I’m helping with a small author event in my local town. It’s going to be a nice event, but every time I think I’ve accomplished something, another task pops up. It feels like I’m not getting anywhere. But I keep going. I keep trying. I’m still trying to finish what I put on the plate and what was added for me.

Grandma was on to something. If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. Know what you’re getting into, and don’t be shocked when it’s a lot.

What about you? Got any advice? I’m all ears. 🙂

My Grandmother Used to Say… with @meganslayer #grandmother #advice #holidays

Grandmother Banner

The holidays can be a tough time. So many people to see and places to be. The spring tends to be easier, but not always. I know, because of DH’s schedule, what holidays I can attend and which ones we won’t be able to because there isn’t time. Or because we’ve decided to have just our family, not the extended one.  It happens. One year we might be able to make it to all the big gatherings and the next…none. It’s not fun. My grandfather passed last year and it’s getting close to the anniversary of that, so I do want to be around the extended family. But it’s not always feasible.

My grandmother used to say (and still does), just tell the boss your grandmother wants you to be there and to give you the time off. If that doesn’t work, then cry. If that doesn’t work, then let me cry and I’ll get your boss to let you have time off.

I love my grandmother, but crying doesn’t always get the job done. Sometimes you’ve just gotta bite the bullet and do the job. You’ve got to go to work. I get her meaning though. She wants us to be there. It’s not the same without all the cousins around. Plus, you don’t know how long you’ve got to have those people around. It’s tough.

Some days I get frustrated. I know she’ll say she’ll volunteer to talk to the boss so we can be there. Some days it’s funny. Other days, it’s frustrating. But I understand. I’m going to be a grandmother some day (I assume) and I’ll probably be the same way. But who knows.

Considering it’s almost a year since my grandfather passed and I’m sure this will be tough for my grandmother, I just might have to find a way to be at Easter after all.

Things My Grandma Used to Say by @MeganSlayer #musings #grandma #advice #iamwriting #jeepauthor

Grandmother Banner

This week for my post about my grandmother, I’m focusing on my paternal grandmother. Shes’ a unique person. She always has been. Some people just see her as her disease – she has dementia. Others see her for her OCD. I see her as a woman who has lived through a lot and survived. She’s a little silly, very stuck in certain ways, confused, sad, but also fun and sweet.

I’m lucky to still have both of my grandmothers. When I was a teenager, I actually had four–no five–grandmothers. Four I knew and one I didn’t.  I spent time with my grandmothers and with the exception of two, I was allowed to just about destroy the house, with grandma’s help, if that’s what I wanted because she had fun making a mess, too.

But this column is about my paternal grandmother. I mentioned she’s got OCD and dementia. It can be tough talking to her because she remembers certain things the way she wants to because that version makes her happier than how the event really occurred. She’s 87. I won’t argue with her.

My grandmother has been good for some odd advice, but this one was one of the oddest. Not bad, but a little different. My Grandma used to say, you have to dust the legs of the table because you never know when someone will look there.

Yes. She said that. The legs of the table. I always wondered why she said it, but I was usually the one sent to do that dusting, too. I didn’t know anyone who crawled under the table during any family events. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized what can be done under a table. I’ll let you go where you want with that. But why would she care about dusting the legs of the table.

Looking back, I see what she meant. It wasn’t for shenanigans happening under the table. She meant, pay attention to the details. If you’re going to do something, do it fully and right. If you’re going to dust, make sure you’re getting all of it. She’s right. Why do something half-assed when doing it right is best? I’ve tried to follow that advice in my own life. Oh, sure. I’ve cut corners here and there, but if I want something done and done well, then I do it right. It’s best.

Do you have interesting advice from your grandmother? Something that might be a tad off the beaten path? Let me know!