Monthly Archives: February 2017

Brain Dump

When my schedule isn’t on a do-or-die deadline, I actually have extra synapses available to write blog posts. As much as I love that, the last couple of days have been a bit unfocused. Today’s the day to recapture my brain (I had an image of a wrangler with a lasso and a rather naughty bronco racing around the pen, neighing in hysterical laughter – welcome to my brain).

1) You should read through the gratitude comments showing up on the FB Bellingwood page. Oh friends, you are amazing. You’ve made me emotional – I smile and get teary-eyed. We really do have so much to be thankful for, don’t we? I prefer placing my focus on those amazing things that happen in our lives. But you fill my heart. If you want more information on the journals, check them out here.

2) Have you ever said (or heard) “Stop whining”? We are automatically programmed to react to that pitch of the voice … right now. When it is nothing more than just a whine, it’s annoying. My cats all have that pitch down perfectly. That’s how Grey (my sweet little girl) landed in my life. She was quite persistent in her whining and crying that day. I couldn’t ignore her. Now, she uses that whine whenever she wants something.

Last night, she woke up from a nap across the room and started right in. She wanted my attention. Right now! So, I talked to her until she crossed the room. Grey didn’t want to jump up on the desk, so my job was to decide which side of the chair she was approaching and drop my hand until I felt her there and rub her head until she had enough. Earl does the same thing. If I don’t see him, he whines until I drop my hand to give him some love.

It’s all pretty wonderful, but no matter what I’m doing, if one of them whines (meows) at me, I react immediately. No wonder Mom was always telling us to stop whining. She had things to do other than meet our every need.

3) Did you notice the new “Shop Now” button on the FB page? It takes people directly to the book list on this website where people can order from Amazon. Invite your friends to join us and let them know how easy it is to find the books now.

4) While you’re there on the FB Bellingwood page, be sure to check out the Find Our Fans giveaway. It is going on until March 19th. What a fun opportunity. You are exposed to new authors AND get a chance to win things. Score!

5) Mark your calendars for fun in March. Wine & Trivia Night on March 17th – from 6-11 pm Central Time. I’m building up a wonderful stash of giveaways and we always have such fun.

6) The cover and title for Book 17 – Marks in a Lifetime were revealed in last Saturday’s email newsletter. It is incredible to me that I have such a wonderful resource for images from Max. Who gets that lucky? Apparently, I do. The release date is March 25 and we are on target.

That’s enough random information for today. There are so many things around this place that need to be dealt with. Sewing to finish, dishes to wash, rugs to vacuum, stories to write, designs to work on. My To-Do list is ridiculous! No matter how many things I strike off it, the crazy thing fills right back up. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Boredom will never be part of my life.

That was another thing Mom never wanted to hear from us – “I’m bored.” She had lists. It was easier to just find a book and curl up in a chair somewhere. Nobody bothered us if we were reading.

Now I’m babbling. That list? It won’t go away, and chattering at you won’t get things finished.

I love you!

Something Fun – Journals!

Earl is helping me.

In Saturday morning’s email newsletter, I introduced you to a new product I’ve created – Journals. This is one of the most exciting things I’ve done in a long time (outside of writing Polly’s stories).

You see, I absolutely believe in the power of the written word. It anchors moments in time, reveals stories that might go untold, allows exploration of thoughts and ideas. If all we ever do is think or speak – those words are ephemeral. Heh, now sometimes, that’s probably a good idea.

To begin this new venture, I’ve created three different journals. The first is titled Capture Your Memories. Yeah. That’s a bit of a spinoff from Bellingwood Books 15 and 16. I can steal from myself – right? There is plenty of room for you to jot down a few notes each day. My tendency is to do a quick re-cap every evening, just so I don’t lose track of the day’s activities. I’ve also included empty pages for you to write out bigger memories or even scrapbook some of the things you’ve done.

Cat butt! (Still curious Earl)

The second journal – Books are Life – is a new venture for me. Rather than consuming a book and setting it aside, I’m going to actually write down thoughts about what I read. It might not happen for every book I go through, but I intend to fill one journal this year. That’s fifty-five books that I will have read, at the very least. Not only will I have read them, but I will also have a synopsis and more information at hand about them. My impressions, my memories.

The third journal – Find Joy – is probably my favorite. I don’t know if even I have enough words to describe the incredible power of a grateful life. In this journal, you are asked to write out five things each day that you are thankful for. On the facing page, you will find two questions that can be used to trigger memories or bigger thoughts about gratitude.

All of these journals come filled with inspirational quotations and beautiful pictures that Max has shot through the years. If you’re paying attention, you’ll discover that the cover of each journal is made up of photographs that are printed within.

These are the same dimensions as a standard paperback – 6×9 – and about 1/2″ thick with 150 pages of terrific paper for you to fill up with thoughts, doodles, sketches, scraps of life and more words.

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GIVEAWAY!

Now that you’ve read this far, let’s do a giveaway. I’ve brought copies of these journals in and while I look forward to selling them down the road, we can start with a giveaway. The best place to respond to this is in a comment on the FB Bellingwood page post of this blog (not an independent post on the page). If you aren’t on FB, you can leave a comment here.

Tell me in words or a picture what you are thankful for today. You have until Tuesday (2/28) at midnight to do so.

On Wednesday, March 1 (you know me, it will be the afternoon), I will choose five winners to receive their choice of two journals. If you want two of the same so you can give one away, perfect. If you want two separate journals for yourself, that’s awesome.

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These journals are for sale on Amazon – start from this page for links to Amazon. Due to postage costs, I can’t save you much money by sending them out from here, but I will sell signed journals for $9.50 each, including shipping.  If you’d like to order a journal from me, send a message on FB or use the contact form on the website. You can also simply put a check and a note in the mail (as to what you’re ordering) to Diane Muir, PO Box 441, Stratford, IA 50249.

Send lawyers, gu … nah, I’ve got this.

First off … don’t any of you feel sorry for me or try to pat me on the head and tell me how to fix things. I’m fine. Seriously – take this with the grain of salt that I’m typing it. Laugh a little, tell me how bad you’ve got it. All of that is fine, but no advice or sympathy. I’m a big girl.

You know, the truth is – any post that I put out in public is generally for humor’s sake or just general information. If things are falling apart in my life, the only people who will know are my family and closest friends. It’s not really for public consumption. Each of you have your own things to deal with and no matter how much you care for me, the last thing you need is someone else to worry about. So … there’s that.

Wow, already with the ranting, Diane. Get on with it.

So … I just got back from a trip to the bathroom. The bathroom, the shower, and just as I fall asleep. What do they have in common? My best thinking happens then. (TMI? Hah. Sorry ’bout that.)

Anyway, as I walked over there, thinking about my next two weeks, THIS is the song that came into my mind. Why? Oh heck, who knows.

I thought about just posting it on FB with the comment that instead, send M&Ms, food, and coffee. But then I realized that some of you would do just that and it’s not necessary. (Insert riotous laughter here.)

Amazon Subscribe and Save has M&Ms now. Every month, a stash hits my front door. And as for food, I’ve signed up with Home Chef and the best food ever arrives each Wednesday. Max gave me fabulous coffee for Christmas, so I’m set.

You could send cards of encouragement and I wouldn’t hate that, but then there’s the whole getting to the post office. Which means I have to leave the house. My workaholic brain fights me for time. I tell it that I need fresh air and to see people – even if it’s my postmistress and the chickadees at the grocery store. Oh … and all of the farmers who give me the farmer wave on the road between here and town. No matter what I say, my brain reminds me that I need to stay busy, there’s no time and too much to do.

Where did this last month and a half go? There’s a deadline looming.

Believe it or not, I need to have Book 17 written by the end of next weekend – July 18 / 19 (I’m totally leaving this error in here, because it’s hilarious – July? Good heavens, I’m out of control!) It’s totally do-able, I just need to focus. Then I use a week to edit the biggest errors before sending it off to my team of proofreaders and editors (thank you, I have plenty right now). Now, crazy Diane set up her schedule so that I also have a newsletter to produce during the week that I’m editing. And a cover + title to create for the book (for the newsletter), too. And at least one, but maybe two vignettes. All of that has to happen by the 24th of February.

This month, I’ve also got a really fun new product for you. I’m still in the midst of design and creation, but it will be announced in the February 25th newsletter. I can’t wait for you to see what I’ve come up with. You’re going to love it! Stinking love it! Seriously – like love it! Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but some of you are going to love it! (Insert more laughter here, please.)

Sound like I’m whining yet? Please know that I’m not. It’s the best life a girl could ask for, but I’m still curious as to how I’ve arrived at February 11th and still feel as if I should be in the middle of January.

TB is usually the one tucked in front of me while I write. He’s so cute when he’s asleep.

The next two weeks are going to be insane in Diane’s world. I’ve pretty much decided, though, that’s par for the course. I must like it that way since it happens so regularly. How can I complain when I get to live my dream and I have such wonderful friends like you in my life … and then these three cats. As I’m typing, TB is sleeping on a blanket on top of the printer/scanner beside me, Grey is sound asleep to the left of me and Earl is curled up in front of me. My arms are wrapped around him as I type on the keyboard. He’s a little ball of warm fluff.

No lawyers, guns or money and no M&Ms, food or coffee. I’ve all I need and so much more.

… unless you can send me back in time about a month. That would be cool. Who wants to work on that for me?