Family Nights: The Book Launch

Today is the day I launch my first ebook!  How exciting!  (Notice I said my first ebook?  That’s because there will be more.  Oh yes, there will be more.)

The book, titled Family Nights : Summer Season, is filled with 12 weeks of Family Nights, just like you’ve seen my family do on this here blog.  I’ve split them up into June, July, and August, so you can start as soon as next week!  Some of the themes are Camping, Father’s Day, Going Buggy, and Christmas in July Family Night.  Each night is broken down into crafts (you get a couple of choices with a list of materials and detailed instructions), dinner and dessert ideas (with recipes included in some of the nights), and activities to do together as a family.  I told you, it’s just like my family nights!

So, here’s the deal.  I published my book on lulu.com.  It’s a great site if you’ve never published a book before.  First of all, it’s free, unlike a lot of the other sites out there.  And secondly, they have all these tools to walk you through formatting and all that biz-nas.  The second I clicked the final button in the publishing process, I was actually published.  Yes, I am a published author.  (I know, I know, self-published… but so was the guy who wrote The Shack, so take that one home to your mama.)

The format that it is currently in is an e-publication.  That means that you can download it to your computer and print it out, BUT you can’t download it to your Nook or your i-whatever… yet.  It’s in the holding stall of being approved by Barnes and Noble and the Apple Bookstore, and I just heard that it could take weeks for their approval.

WEEKS?!?!

Yes, weeks.

We don’t have weeks!  This is a SUMMERTIME book, hence the title Family Nights: Summer Season.

Calm down, Erin.  Let’s just publish it as an e-pub and then when you get approval (because you WILL get approval) re-launch it for the folks who are super attached to their Nook or i-whatever.

(You just got a little glimpse of the conversations that happen inside this here head.  The magic behind the music, if you will.)

So, here’s the deal.  The book costs a whopping $2.99.  That’s it???  Yes, that’s it!  Less than your favorite drink at Starbucks (unless you drink drip coffee, and to you I say, why don’t you just brew your own?  Much cheaper.)

All the proceeds of this book will go toward our missions trip to Honduras this summer.  Well, unless we exceed our goal.  Then all the proceeds will go into my pocket.

So, please, go buy my book!  Just click this little button right here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

And please share it will your friends!  Post it on your facebook page or tweet it or blog about it, but spread the word!  I would so appreciate it!

And, finally, I just gotta thank you guys.  If it wasn’t for your constant comments and encouragement I would have never kept writing like I have and I definitely wouldn’t have written this book.  So thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Don’t forget, Geric and I are going on a missions trip to Honduras in July. If you’d like to support us financially, click here!
Honduras Button

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Family Nights: The ebook

I’m SO excited, peeps!  I was up until 1am last night finishing up the writing part of my ebook!!!  Did you hear me… MY ebook!

I’ve been neglecting Jacob all day today (but he just told me that he likes watching TV, so he’s okay) to figure out how to get this baby published.  Fingers crossed and prayers lifted, that it’ll be ready to go and in your nook/kindle/ipad/pdf-formatted by the end of the week.  Eeek!

But until then, here’s a little preview of the cover I made.

FamilyNIghtsCoverPhoto

What do you think?

I made it!

Remember at the beginning of the month I told you all that I was taking part in a little thing called NaBloPoMo, short for National Blog Posting Month, where you’re supposed to post everyday, no matter what, even if your cat dies, you still have to write a post… that day it would probably be about your cat dying and how sad you are, or in my case how happy I would be because as I’ve grown older I’ve become so-not-an-animal-person.

Anywho… I made it!  It’s the last day of August and I’m proud to say that I have posted everyday this month!  Thanks for sticking by me and being the faithful readers that you are and leaving all your encouraging comments because that keeps me going.  That and the need to share the inner workings of my crazy mind with the world.

Instead of writing a whole new post, I thought I would share my favorites from my month of posting, just in case you missed one. I can’t imagine that you did, my faithful reader, but just in case, here they are.

When I got one of my posts featured on Blogher, I went out to Yardhouse and celebrated with my bestie. We started talking about how the “Girls Night Out” has changed drastically since becoming mothers, which led to this post.  By the way, this post gets the most hits out of any posts I’ve written, which leads to me to believe that some of my readers are either throwing a lot of bachelorette parties, or they are perverts.  I’m hoping it’s the former, and not the latter.  Because pervs are not welcome here.  I repeat, pervs are not welcome here.  

I usually make myself laugh as I write a funny post, but after I proofread it a few times it’s not as funny.  However, this post I wrote about one of the worst days I’ve had all summer still brings me to tears.  Those ladies!  The blonde in the middle!  Oh my heavens, they were a giggle waiting in my mailbox.

I’ve really enjoyed writing my little series, Keeping the Faith Fridays.  I (hopefully) will keep that up.  It stretches me to think about what God is really showing me and write it in a way that challenges myself, and hopefully you too.  My favorite KFF this month was this one, That’s Not Fair, God.

And, finally, another gut buster that got me another feature on Blogher, I’m a liar.  I was bummed that not many of you fessed up!  I know you’ve told some doozies, too!  Right?  No?  Just me?  Oh…

And just for kicks, I picked a favorite comment from all those that you all left.  It had to be this one from April that cracked me up after reading Deep Breath In.  And because you are my favorite April, you win a prize!  It’s a virtual hug across the internet!  Are you feeling it?  Squeezing you tight right now!  Letting go… all done.  High five.  Nice job.

So, I’ve decided I’m taking tomorrow off, just cuz.  But I’ll be back on Thursday.  I’ve got a lot to catch up on; Jacob’s first day of preschool and why bring a middle child with “middle child syndrome” is unavoidable even when your mother is a middle child, a seven hour road trip with three kids and a broken DVD player, and how I realized that “crazy” must be genetic.

Picaboo

Sunday Shout Outs

I got a lot to say this Sunday.

First of all, why aren’t you at church?  Oh, really.  You think that’s an excuse?  Well, it’s not.  But since you’re still in your jammies, here’s some church online for ya.  It’s a sermon from Josh Beckley, who was a guest speaker at my church last weekend.  (Or as my sister would say, “It’s not your church, it’s God’s church.”)  He talked about when doing God’s will causes problems, cuz it ain’t all fun and games, people.  He was amazing!  So, go watch and then come back.  (Or listen, or download the podcast, or whatever suits your fancy.)

If that was too long for you to hang in there and watch, you can still get some of the Word to fill you up today.  My friend Stef did the doodles for this video.  It’ll take you through all of Exodus in three minutes.  It’s really cool.  (Although if you choose to watch that in place of the sermon I just gave you a link to, I won’t be surprised if you get struck down by a lightening bolt today.  Maybe you should watch it in addition to the sermon.  Just sayin’.)

I have made an online friend.  Her name is April and I really like her.  We found each other on the NaBloPoMo site (which is almost over, and thank you God for that because this posting everyday business is killing me… but I will not fail!  Will not.)  Anywho, if we lived closer I’m sure April and I would be real-life friends.  She wrote a really raw post about being a writer and the fears and frustrations that come with it.  Coincidentally, I saw this video posted at San Diego Momma right after I read April’s post and I thought, well, they just go hand in hand, don’t they?  So, there they are in the same paragraph for you.

It’s no secret that I’m the mother of three boys.  Just boys.  No girls.  Hence the tagline of my blog, the lone estrogen in a jungle of testosterone.  People ask me all the time if we’re going to try again for a girl.  No, we are not.  Why?  Because we’ll get another boy, that’s why.  But if we did have a girl I would totally make this super cute skirt for her out of a t-shirt.  I found this post over at Clay in His Hands.  Maybe I’ll make one for each of my little nieces, in my spare time, so they’ll probably get them when they’re 16… they’re one and half now.  Anyway, if you’re the mother of a girl, thank your lucky stars, and then go make her this cute skirt!

Finally, this one is for all my fellow bloggers out there that want to make something more out of their blog.  (I’m talking about money.  I know it’s noble to say that you want to make a really great piece of writing too.  Me too.  But if I could make a few bucks doing it, I’ll take it.)  My friend Kim at The Geeky Saver gave me this link to a post by Money Saving Mom.  She does a whole series on how to make money blogging.  It’s written in a language that I can actually understand.  There are other series out there that are written by computer techy nerdy guys that leave me scratching my head and going, “Huh?”  But this one is good and very practical.  Go read it if you’re interested.

Okay, that’s all for now!  Last day of summer for us over here!  Check in tomorrow to see if I survive my baby growing up and going to kindergarten.  (I’m not crying, I just have something in my eye.)

Happy Sunday!

 

Blogging Anew

Last week I launched this new and improved sight.

Doesn’t that sound exciting?  Like I’m part of the space program or something.

Well, a few things have happened since then.

First of all, I obsess.  I think I have an obsessive personality.  Actually, I know I do.  I start getting interested in the slightest thing and I need to know all the info behind it and spend most of my time thinking about it.  For example, when we bought our minivan, I researched every minivan on the market and scoured Craigs List and Autotrader for the best deals for months.  That’s just the way I am.  So, it kind of makes sense that I would be the same way about this blog.  Learning the techie ins and outs of getting it all set up, networking on major blog sites, thinking of topics to write, checking stats to make sure all my research is working, setting up links to facebook and twitter, etc.  It can be overwhelming and exhausting.  

Secondly, strangers showed up on my doorstep.  Not literally.  I mean, on my blog’s doorstep.  And honestly, I don’t mind strangers reading my blog, that’s kind of the point here.  Welcome strangers!  What I do mind, however, are the people that stop by and leave a comment without even reading my post.  It’s totally obvious that they are from one of the aforementioned blogging networking sites and have read the first sentence of a post and nothing else and then left a comment in order to increase the traffic of their own blog.  I get it, it’s the name of the game.  Increased traffic = bigger audience = a more successful blog.  But it’s kind of uncomfortable for me.  I mean, I write from my heart.  This is my life.  These are my kids.  This is my family.  I’m letting you in.  You don’t just barge into my house without wiping your feet on the doormat, right?  It just feels…weird.

P R E S S U R E ! Thats the last thing that happened.  SInce I was checking my stats, I saw that my readership (is that a word?) has gone up.  Yay!  But along with that I felt pressure.  People think I’m funny… they like what I write… they’ll come back for more… what if I can’t deliver? 

Yesterday it became too much.  I walked away from the computer (just like the little guy with the bullhorn in my brain was telling me to do) and gave Geric my phone and made him hold it.  He actually TURNED IT OFF!  *gasp*   But, honestly, after the inital shock, it felt good and free.  I looked around at my boys , who, frankly I had been neglecting (slightly) for the past week and I realized, they are my life.  Not blogging.  Yes, I love writing.  It comes naturally.  It’s a great outlet when things go a little haywire.  But it’s not my life.  My family is my life.

So, I’ve decided to make some rules before I go any further.

1.  No more neglecting my kids… It’s not like I was leaving them alone in a swimming pool to drown, but they were playing A LOT of Super Mario Brothers… I think they conquered the game. :/

2.  I’m taking the pressure off.  I started blogging for the love of writing, so I need to continue to do that.  So what if my traffic doesn’t increase?  So what if I’m not on every mommy blog website?  I will survive.  Honest to God.

3.  Honestly, I don’t know what to do about the strangers.  I guess, just let it slide off my back?  Hey, maybe they’ll help me out.  But I still think they should wipe their feet on the doormat.

So, how about you, my fellow bloggers… do you ever feel the pressure?  How do you handle it?