Category Archives: Update

Priorities on a Sunday night

Taking it extra easy Sunday night Priorities
Eight forty five PM Priorities
And it’s time for a new post on my Facebook page
I’ve played bagpipes for the last 3 days Priorities
I’m exhausted and recovering Priorities
Back to work on my book tomorrow Priorities

Okay, so Elton John did a much better job on those lyrics than I did…

Time for a quick update — some maybe not so new…

PrioritiesLife of a bagpiping budding recipe book author — it has a certain quirky romance to it, but in reality it can be a juggle … well, on top of fixing a truck, contributing to finish building a house, and helping to support one’s parents.  Since late last year I’ve had to prioritize these things — and shift my priorities depending on the week! Priorities

I’ve been working to knock down my ToDo List, and frankly … I’ve had a few things to get out of the way to where I can refocus on finishing my book. Priorities

Frankly … today has been spent resting

couch potatoThe last 3 days I’ve been on a St. Patrick’s Day tour playing Celtic-rock both with Geoffrey Castle and my own band, Nae Regrets.  Each day things ramped up.  Thursday I opened for Geoff in Kirkland.  Friday morning I had a Nae Regrets rehearsal in the morning and then played for Geoff in the historic Mount Vernon Lincoln Theater (video below).  Saturday Nae Regrets played in Mountlake Terrace, then I flew down to Auburn to play for Geoff, and then I flew back to Maplewood neighborhood in North Seattle for Nae Regrets to play a house party.  And then I got my tired self home and CRASHED until 10AM Sunday morning.

goofy juggler
Imagine each red ball as things I’m working on — yeah, it’s about like that right now

All of the shows went well.  Taking off for three days and playing was also a nice break from everything I’ve been focused on.  AND NOW …

I’m pleased to announce that a variety of ToDo items are out of my way and I can make finishing my recipe book my prime focus …. at least until something else comes up.  Yeah, I never learned to juggle in practical terms however I sure can figuratively juggle!

So this week I aim to… bake cookies and take pictures to make some step-by-step instruction photos, work up the surprise content, and address some final writing.  And depending on how I’m feeling tomorrow, rest-up some more from this fantastic past weekend!

LINKS
Yeah, it’s about time to replace my chanter reed (what makes the melody) — it’s become sensitive to over-blowing.

Bag Pipper Don

The Mighty Wurlitzer is not the only pipes that are played at the Lincoln Theatre.

Posted by Linda Ann Lipke on Sunday, March 18, 2018

And now Elton John in the event you got the tune in your head — or wanted to hear it right after my lame parody lyrics.

Priorities

Book Title & Recent Publishing Work

So here’s a thing… about publishing

Tom E. Trimbath
This is Tom. He’s taller in person.

I’ve been fortunate enough to gain a friend and self-publishing coach in one of my Whidbey Island neighbors, multi-book author Tom Trimbath.  My introduction to Tom came through attending his presentation at my local library — how to self-publish a book.  At that time I had a few books roughed out and privately socked away that I intended to work on publishing at a later time — a children’s book, a book on how to become a professional highland bagpiper, some screenplay ideas … you know, the usual. publishing

The Amazon River
Online booksellers — we can all think of one in particular!

One of the tips that Tom gave in his presentation was that because of online booksellers, book titles are no longer just book titles, they are also search terms … and by the way, book covers are no longer just a book cover, they are also an icon representing your book on that online seller’s site …  I mean, this all makes sense when it’s pointed out but you might not think of it if you’re not an author trying to self-publish or new to the arena. publishing

So for the past 2+ years, the title I’ve been working with for my coming book has been “Bake Your Own Darn Good Cookies”.  This was the kinder and gentler version of a title to another book I plan to publish (more on that later).  Good title, fun title — sure — but there are problems with it.  There aren’t really any good search-term words in it … it doesn’t represent the fact that my book gives recipes for various types of cookies, coffee, and main courses, so it kind of confuses the reader …. and it doesn’t really fit with my icon, er, I mean, book cover artwork. publishing

All that to say … publishing

Laptop, comfy spot, what more do I need?I’ve been working on a new and better title.  I’ve come up with one, it’s functional — it has many of the attributes I’m aiming for.  It might still stand a bit of work-shopping (polishing), but it’s encouraging to have something that feels like a better fit for the whole package. publishing

How exciting is all of this — is this some Block Buster announcement?  No, not really — but for an author and their book, it actually is pretty important.  Also, frankly, I felt I needed to provide all the great folks who have been interested and supportive of my endeavour with an update. publishing

So what’s also going on — what’s left to finish my book and when is it going to be published?

Those are questions I both do & don’t have precise answers for…

Nooo!!Some Additional Writing and Final Editing – This book has required an extra year due to my hard drive crashing when I was nearly ready to publish in January 2017.  Suffice to say, I’ve learned the hard way, BACK-UP YOUR HARD DRIVE.  I had to nearly start over, fortunately I managed to locate an early back-up along with smaller pieces I located in my e-mail history.  I’ve been working with these materials since June 2018.  The main writing is nearly done — I need to add some writing in the introduction to make the original writing make sense and complete the final editing.  That and re-doing the pagination.

How to roll biscotti dough in nuts
See the light reflections at the bottom and to the left? Yeah, those are kind of a problem.

Graphics – I took cover art photos last January; most of these were recovered.  I lately made two batches of cookies to take step-by-step instructional photos, showing how to roll & cut biscotti along with spreading & cutting cookie squares.  To the left is an example of these … unfortunately I picked up light flares in the stove top.  I’ve figured out the lighting so I don’t get these flares and I plan to re-take these pictures soon.  Then it’s a matter of inserting all of my pictures into my book.

Content Surprise – YES, I have a content surprise.  Something you have probably NEVER seen in any recipe book before.  Since my original draft of the book I have added 2/3rds more surprise to the surprise and I need to do the initial development on that 2/3rds.

So what is the final book looking like — and when is it going to be published?

Working on my book is one of my current top priorities, and it will be done as soon as possible …. when that is?  Could be weeks, could be a few months yet with everything else I’m juggling.  The EXCITING news is that it looks to have around 50 recipes ranging from numerous types of cookies, several flavours of my unique biscotti, hot beverages, coffee cake, easy applesauce, and some delicious main courses.  Also, I’m trilled to feature guest writers who have contributed both recipes and chapter introductions (you know who you are and thank you Thank You THANK YOU!). publishing

I’m excited … it’s coming … finally, soon.

~ Don

All things Tom Trimbath…

Priorities, Focus, and Accomplishments (AKA Crazy Avoidance)

Nooo!!
I seriously looked like this for a few days…

Just over a year ago I was nearly ready to publish my recipe book … when my not-backed-up hard drive CRASHED.  I researched getting the information on my hard drive recovered through a number of data recovery companies.  That proved prohibitive — I was going to have to start over!  Fortunately, I found an old back-up on one of my other computers.  To my relief I did not lose any of my recipes, which is of course the most important part — but for all the rest of my work … I was going to have to start over.  What did I learn from all this? Priorities

priorities That’s right… priorities

BACK UP YOUR HARD DRIVE.

CheckChick.com
Writers — need an AWESOME editor — ask for Linda…

So, using the partial back-up I found, I restarted my book during June 2017 and I have been working on it since.  I even got a SUPER COOL editor by accidental fortune and dhum luck …. er, I mean, dumb luck.  I am here to say that things have been going well and I’m nearly done!  Again. Priorities

BagpiperDon
Like this from the 2013 tour but this time with more hair.

This past holiday season, despite my preferences, I had to take a bit of a break from this work.  I needed to prioritize on things other than my book. On top of working my day-job, baking a ton of cookies as gifts for friends (that’s kinda my thing), I was preparing for time with my family, and my truck let me know it needed a number of repairs.  In addition to all that I had been asked once again to contribute to the annual Celtic-rock Christmas tour by the esteemed fiddler, Geoffrey Castle.  Given my previous music experiences with Geoff, that was an opportunity was I was NOT about to miss! Priorities

So now it’s January 2017 … I mean 2018, and I am back to work — on my book, on my day-job, on my truck, on my music, on … on … on … TOO MUCH!  Out of necessity, I prioritized during the holidays to get things done, so why not now?  That occurred to me last week, and it’s left me thinking…. Priorities

Tonka dump truck
This looks a little different than my truck

I need my truck for coming events.  My book needs to be brought to completion because … well … with trials & tribulations the project has been going for a prolonged period.  I want to enjoy the next stage of it — having it published and connecting with people about baking and good food.

So it makes sense to put everything else aside and focus on these, right?  I think so!

I’m sizing things up — I’m considering this temporary shift.  If I do it, I see it as being possible that I could be done with my book in a matter of weeks, my truck too!  By doing this I would reduce the directions I’m stretched in and attempt to keep my sanity (/CHORTLE), and then be better able to focus on both the work that remains and the work ahead.  This could also better allow me to promote my coming book — which has been a challenge with everything already happening. Priorities

thumbs up for Priorities

So there’s my thought, maybe my Plan Of Action — we’ll all know soon enough — wish me LUCK! Priorities

All the Best ~ Don

Linda at CheckChick.com

Geoff at GeoffreyCastle.com and Wikipedia

If you have ever wondered what it is like to be a small business owner … it’s being both of these kids … and you have to wear the costume.
Yes, in front of Everyone.