Indie Author Day 2 Wrap-Up – Thanks KCLS, PNWA and Indie Authors!

I love the library. They are such an invaluable resource in our community and KCLS (King County Library System) is the 13th largest in the nation! I’ve used them for books, audiobooks, CD’s, DVD’s, printing, research, community space, meetings, and more! Indie Author Day is another wonderful program put on by the library and I was happy to have a booth and the opportunity to speak about my experiences as an Indie Author in my own presentation!

Thanks to PNWA for sponsoring the snacks table and for all the wonderful information they provided for authors and participants.

At 11, Jenni Conner and D.V. Berkom discussed Conception without Deception: The Birth of Your Story Without the Pitfalls. At noon, Pam Stucky confronted a common challenge in Fear, Failure, and the Fallacy of Writer’s Block: Getting Out of Your Own Way. At 1, Rachel Barnard talked about how to celebrate a new book in New Book Release Checklist: Planning a Fun and Inviting Launch. Did you miss the panels? Here is the link to my downloadable pdf of the book release checklist.

In addition to the presentations, twenty authors were in attendance to share their books, their self-publishing or indie publishing experiences, and their tips and tricks for marketing and promotion. Authors and editors who attended included Kristin AlanaRachel BarnardD.V. BerkomPam BinderTom BlaschkoD.K. CassidyJennifer Connor, Nicanor Garcia, Josephine HaoSara Lynn HoytSheleen NaparM.E. PalmerDeborah SchneiderPam StuckyMichel Visger, Marcus Ward, and David Workman.

Advertisements

Local Event Alert! Indie Author Day in Issaquah, WA

Indie Author Day
Saturday, October 14, 2017 (10:00AM – 3:00PM)
Service Center – 960 Newport Way NW
Issaquah WA 98027

Join us for the second annual Indie Author Day, a celebration of self-published and independently published books and authors! Meet local indie authors, attend presentations, and workshops, and learn more about what KCLS offers for self-published authors and the readers who love them.

Authors and editors include Kristin Alana, Rachel Barnard, D.V. Berkom, Pam Binder, Tom Blaschko, D.K. Cassidy, Jennifer Connor, Nicanor Garcia, Josephine Hao, Sara Lynn Hoyt, Sheleen Napar, M.E. Palmer, Deborah Schneider, Pam Stucky, Michel Visger, Marcus Ward, David Workman.

Presentations will cover overcoming writer’s block, marketing your book, and planning a successful book launch (aaaah the one I’m presenting!)

Sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.

GFF Damian Pole Camp – Gran Canaria 2017

Europe is expensive.

Of course it is. I knew this. The dollar isn’t worth as much as the euro. But I went. And it was one of the top experiences of my life. I’ll never be able to replicate those 9 full days in Gran Canaria. It wasn’t just a vacation. It wasn’t just pole camp. It wasn’t just a Spanish Island. It was so much more.

 

Here is the breakdown:

  1. 4 days of pole camp (16 hours of training including pole tricks & combos, heels class, doubles, pole heels, beach stretch, acrobalance, salsa, and dancehall)
  2. Gran Canaria is a Spanish island so I got to practice my Spanish!
  3.  Parasailing, scuba diving, jet skiing, tanning, drinking, eating, and exploring the ocean and the island
  4. Meeting over 20 people who also love poling as much as I do
  5. Traveling with one of my favorite pole sisters
  6. 19 hours of travel to get there and 21 hours of travel to get back
  7. Asthma getting better and then worse with a nasty cold developed on our last flight back

 

Culture Shock:

After growing up in a country where people don’t bat an eye when you drink out of the garden hose – not having access to ‘free’ water was a shock. I saw many people drinking juice, alcohol, or small glasses of water. How are people in Gran Canaria not dehydrated? I made it my mission to drink at least one of the 1.5 liter bottles that were sold everywhere (from 0,50 to 1 euros apiece). A little ice water anyone? Most of the water was mildly cold at best and ice was not always available. The glasses provided at the IFA hotel were perhaps 8oz glasses and only available if you paid for ‘all inclusive’ – which was 13 euros a day for the remainder of your stay (you couldn’t just pay for a single day or choose which days you wanted to be all inclusive).

Sunscreen was everywhere you turned but most people weren’t using it or were using a 15 spf or just tanning oil. With my 55 spf facial lotion and 45 spf sport sunscreen, I was the odd woman out. I was also one of the only light skinned people in our group who didn’t turn into a red lobster. I did burn my hairline when I forgot to pull my hair back into a ponytail on one of our outdoor excursions.

You would think that out of a group of Polish, English, Australian, and the two N. Americans, that someone would be fluent in Spanish. I spoke the most Spanish out of anyone in our group. Most of the time, Spanish was not necessary to get where we needed to go, but it was useful to be able to do more than point and speak a few words. I’m glad I got to go to a Spanish-speaking country (island).

What can you get that’s made in Gran Canaria? Not much. Jewelry made out of lava rock. Some special aloe soaps. Beer. I was a bit disapointed that there weren’t any special Gran Canarian candie. Fish? Yes. Sauce? Yes. Chocolate? No.

Everything costs money. Want to weigh your bags before you head to the airport? 1 euro. Want to drink some water? Who knows how many euros. Want to use the safe in your room? 2 euros a night. Want some wifi? 2 euros a day or only obtainable in the lobby. Want a fan? (mind you there is no air-conditioning). 2 euros a day.

I always forget that when outdoors, people smoke without regard for others. I despise cigarette smoke. After a bout of nasty bronchitis following Seattle’s poor air quality and the smoke from the surrounding states’ fires, I was especially vulnerable to toxins in the air. People smoke everywhere in Europe! In the bars. On the beach. While eating. While tanning. While in the hot tub (which is not hot, by the way). While with friends. While walking. I couldn’t get away from the smoke. Towards the end of our trip, the smoke would trigger an asthma attack where I would cough violently with my entire upper body and then suck in air without getting adequate oxygen for about 10 seconds. The night before we left, I coughed so violently I vomited. I broke my record for not vomiting on planes as my coughs were still so hard that I vomited three times on our second flight and was very afraid of any coughing thereafter.

Where was all the wifi? Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. Sometimes you had to pay and sometimes it was free. It was never very fast…

Anybody else notice all the cats? We saw at least 7 cats lounging in the sun, some in better shape than others.

The food was so delicious! I just wish there were more vegetables! Every day at the IFA was a buffet and I tried so many new dishes! I even went to the McDonald’s closest to us (nobody there spoke English). I had a super sweet cider (Kopparberg), a European KitKat, rock hard donuts, and every smoothie under the sun.

And I didn’t forget about the donuts! I found a lot of packaged donuts and then hit the jackpot with this delicious Oreo donut (0,70).

 

What about the pole camp classes?

I got into some pretty rad poses and did some awesome combos! These pictures are courtesy of Instagramer #kandipicss and #gffdamianpolecamp

Shout out to Kasia for her amazing beach stretch classes and rolling with it when the sand was so dirty we devolved into handstands and running into the water. Her flexy pole class was still within my reach, which was amazing since I’m still at the beginning of my flex journey.

Shout out to Sam and Dan. Their doubles class was so amazing and their doubles poses were spectacular. Dan’s pole heels class had such great choreography and I loved his static poses we worked on in both intermediate and advanced. Sam’s advanced spin pole combo was fantastic and I’m glad I got at least one gravity-defying butt pose (not sure of the name haha but it’s pictured below as my last pole picture).

Shout out to Artur for all the photos, videos, and the cardio! I loved the salsa choreo we learned. Dancehall was fun until all those squats! Then it was a challenge to stay low! I still can’t get the hang of moving my hands in half time to my hips.

Super shout out to Damian for an amazing trip and a very organized trip at that. His class was a whirlwind with moves I was very unwilling to try (hands around your neck to hold the pole), willing to try but failing to grasp, attainable at a later date, and an aha I’ve got it move! I can’t wait to go back and practice these moves. Thanks for letting us take video back with us and for all the epic, funny, and profile-worthy photos!

Another super shout out to my pole sister Rockin’ Kandi for encouraging (and there was a lot of that in the beginning) me to go and rooming with me, putting up with my coughing, going everywhere with me, sharing poles, and doing doubles with me.

Thank you to all the other polers on the trip. Tak? I had so much fun poling, laughing, sharing taxis, going out, eating, sitting by the pool, goofing off, stretching, getting sandy together, and everything else that went on in class and outside of classes.

A final thank you to Dragonfly for the gift certificate for winning the street pole challenge with Rockin’ Kandi!

Our instructors were so amazing! My favorite class was probably the doubles class. After the first day, where I opted to try both intermediate and advanced classes and poled for 4 hours instead of 2 (along with the beach stretch and dance hall), on the second day one of my calluses broke and I had to switch hands for our doubles move! I also stabbed my own foot in heels, sigh, because I’m still so awkward in heels. I thought I could fix my incorrect footing mid-air and instead just stepped on myself. I was very reticent to do anything in those heels and took them off for the remainder of the combo. I just made those heels tighter so I’ll be less wobbly in them, since they didn’t quite fit before.

Now the cost:

Round trip plane tickets from Seattle (stop in Chicago, stop in Madrid, and final stop in Gran Canaria and reversing to get home) ~ $1200 but you can pay less if you don’t mind an extra 6 hours of traveling 😉

Pole camp = ~$750 after the exchange from dollars to pounds (the hosting studio is from Manchester). This was the biggest steal since the cost included the 16 hours of pole camp with some stellar instructors and room and half board at the IFA (at times a questionably 3 star hotel). Since we paid around 200 euros for 2 nights at another hotel of similar value and food was not cheap, getting 6 nights at the hotel and 4 days of camp for only $750 was a great value! Most instructor workshops are $45-$100 stateside and we took 7 workshop-type classes along with all of our other classes.

Money spent during our stay ~ $800 (Because I wanted to do watersports, get a massage while there, stay longer, eat out, and buy all the little things this number is higher than it could have been).

And don’t forget that exchange rate! Before we left I clocked it at .84 (for every dollar you’re only getting 0,84 euros). At the hotel our first night we got the fabulous exchange rate of .86, but they conveniently didn’t add the fee that night. Trying to exchange more money later we were only promised .74 rate and the bank only gave us a .76 rate. The exchange place down the street in an auto body shop was only a .60! Our final exchange place (to pay for something we were promised could be paid with a credit card and then later couldn’t) was miraculously .80. Add in the fact that your credit card purchase adds a fee on top of the poor exchange rate and then the business might also add a foreign transaction fee and you’re looking at money running through your fingers like water.

Totally worth it.

Local Business Alert – Kitty Catfe in Edmonds, WA

Seattle area’s newest cat cafe! Come relax and love on some kitties, or better yet, adopt one and give them their furever home! There is a $5 entry fee.

I’ve been volunteering at this wonderful cat haven for 6 weeks now (come see me Tuesday afternoons to close).

Hours
Monday…………………..closed
Tuesday……….. 12:00 to 7:00
Wednesday……12:00 to 7:00
Thursday……….12:00 to 7:00
Friday………….12:00 to 7:00
Saturday………..12:00 to 7:00
Sunday………….12:00 to 7:00

* All ages welcome!
* Limited ground-level access in the back of the building

links for more info:

Kitty Catfe Website

Kitty Catfe Facebook Page

Readerfest! Aftermath of my first Seattle event with FVP!

A different setup for a different event! I really liked our featured book area.

Tables and chairs (and tablecloths) were provided. The two food trucks, though they were only around until 3pm or so, were interesting and cool choices. Panels and music entertained people throughout the event. The collection of authors was diverse.

I debuted my semi-finished coloring book (just going to color in more of the cover) for the first time at an event. Sales were on the smaller side, but this first year of Readerfest was well-stocked with vendors and panels and looks to be bigger next year.

Thank goodness parking was a cinch and maps led us straight to the brig! They even had some wonderful helpers and gave us waters! Thanks, Readerfest and hope to see you all next year!

All About the Donuts: Local Donut Shop Review – Countryside Donut House – Bothell, WA

Countryside Donut House

Bothell, WA

10032 Main St, Bothell, WA 98011

(425) 485-4530

Review criteria:

Most popular donut at the shop: NA
Signature shop donut: NA
Most popular US donut: glazed
2nd most popular US donut: Boston crème
Donut Hole: not available

What I tried:

French Crueller (with white glaze), Old Fashioned, Plain Cake Donut, Maple Bar, Apple Fritter

$12 total for a dozen

 

What to expect:

I’m fairly certain they gave me some day old donuts with their regular donuts as some of the donuts were unusually stale for 1pm. The ones that weren’t unusually stale were oily, like the oil hadn’t been changed recently. I was very unimpressed with the quality of their donuts and I’m very disappointed in this local donut shop.

My favorite:

I’m not a fan of maple glazed, but that was the freshest donut in the box. I did not like any of the other stale donuts (of course) and will never be going back to this donut shop.

Bubble Run 5k and RunDouble Couch to 5k App Review! Running Goals Wrapup

Before the race: I had signed us up for the Bubble Run in Everett, knowing it would take place on the very last day I planned to run for my couch to 5k app (a 9-week training app).

 

During the race: We ran and weaved and dodged around the bubble foam and the walkers to clock in around 9:30 for this “official” 5k. Overall we had fun, but I won’t be doing it again. When asked about parking for this event, the volunteer at race packet pickup the day before told me, “get here an hour to an hour and a half early and pray.” We took my Miata and found a discarded squeeze of a spot a couple blocks away without trouble. Yay Paul for parallel parking so well. The event was packed! I’m not fond of crowds and would prefer to run a 5k without this many people. If you’re looking to run the entire time, this is not the event for you. Bottlenecks slowed us down at the four bubble stations throughout the course. It was fun to go through the bubble/foam machines, but I was trying to run the event in less than 30 minutes, so this made it quite the challenge. This run also included two slow hills. It was cool to run out halfway and then back – so you knew when you were halfway and could run alongside those making their way back (the other side of the street).

 

The training before:

Total distance ran: 64.2 miles

Total time spent running: 707 minutes (11.78 hrs) with an average 10.52/mile pace)

Fastest mile: 9:26

Slowest mile: 13:50

5k official time: 29:30

Mile before training: 11:02

Mile after training: 9:26 (16% faster!)

The full stats:

Date

Distance

Time – M

Time – S

mile time

4/10/2016

Running

1

13

50

13:50

4/23/2016

Running

1

11

 2

11:02

6/16/2017

Running

1

10

 48

10:48

6/27/2017

C25k

1.56

18

 30

11:51

6/29/2017

C25K

1.67

18

 30

11:04

7/1/2017

C25K

1.77

18

 28

10:25

7/4/2017

C25K

1.68

18

 57

11:16

7/6/2017

C25K

1.7

19

 0

11:10

7/9/2017

C25K

1.68

19

 0

11:18

7/11/2017

C25K

1.36

15

 0

11:01

7/13/2017

C25K

1.36

15

 0

11:01

7/15/2017

C25K

1.33

15

 0

11:16

7/17/2017

Running

1

10

 3

10:03

7/18/2017

C25K

1.96

21

30

10:58

7/20/2017

C25K

1.94

21

 30

11:04

7/22/2017

C25K

1.99

21

 30

10:48

7/25/2017

C25K

1.85

21

 0

11:21

7/26/2017

Everyday Athlete

2

20

 0

10:00

7/27/2017

C25K

1.86

21

 0

11:17

7/30/2017

C25K

1.9

20

 0

10:31

8/1/2017

C25K

2.03

24

 0

11:49

8/2/2017

Everyday Athlete

2

20

 0

10:00

8/3/2017

C25K

2.19

23

 0

10:30

8/6/2017

C25K

2.33

22

 0

9:26

8/8/2017

C25K

2.59

25

 0

9:39

8/9/2017

Everyday Athlete

2

20

 0

10:00

8/10/2017

C25K

2.24

25

 0

11:09

8/13/2017

C25K

2.65

25

 0

9:26

8/15/2017

C25K

2.89

28

 0

9:41

8/17/2017

C25K

2.84

28

 0

9:51

8/19/2017

C25K

2.95

28

 0

9:29

8/22/2017

C25K

2.78

30

 0

10:47

8/24/2017

C25K

 3.15

30

 0

 9:52

8/26/2017

Bubble Run 5k

3.1

29

 30

 9:52

I tried so hard on that 11:02 mile on 4/23/16. I don’t feel any different about running now that I’ve run over 50 miles and completed a consistent running program (RunDouble couch to 5k timed app), but the stats don’t lie. I can run continuously for over 3 miles! I can run three consecutive under 10-minute miles. I couldn’t even reach a 10-minute mile when I started running.

Is running easier now? No way. Running is just more accessible (for endurance), i.e. I just got better at it. The first few steps during my longer run times were always as hard as my last few steps (unless I powered up the hill in my neighborhood, then I would start to wheeze).

Have I told you that I have asthma? I have exercise-induced asthma. You can hear it when I’ve pushed too far with the wheeze in my every breath as I attempt to breathe slowly and pull in enough oxygen. It presents itself only when I’m (going too fast up a hill – hiking, running too fast, biking too hard, doing anything difficult too fast or too forcefully). The definition of exercise-induced asthma, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Exercised-induced asthma is a narrowing of the airways in the lungs that is triggered by strenuous exercise. It causes shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and other symptoms during or after exercise.”

I don’t remember ever having asthma growing up. Apparently, a lot of people have this. Even with my inhaler (gotta go to a doctor and get a prescription and then hopefully you have insurance or else it’ll run you around $70 for the inhaler + the doc visit), I can’t push too hard. The inhaler helps so much, though.

When running without the inhaler, I get phlegm in my throat and my entire throat burns if it’s too cold out. It feels like torture and it doesn’t immediately go away if I stop moving. For minutes after I stop, the sensation of my throat being scraped with fire continues. I think it’s worse than eating hot peppers (which I avoid).

Training my body to run when I can’t breathe if I’ve pushed too much, is difficult. I don’t want to fall back on my ‘excuse,’ but I don’t want it to define my abilities when it comes to exercise or training. The asthma is real. I’ve had panic attacks when the asthma gets so bad. Imagine not being able to breath. It takes no time at all for your brain to realize that you need to breath to live. Ever drink out of a water fountain in a public place where the stream was so thin that you couldn’t get a full mouthful? And you just ran a marathon, so you’re super parched. That’s what trying to breathe with asthma is like.

I’ve never been much for endurance. Just ask my Dad. One of my fitness/running goals was to pass the FBI fitness test for ‘endurance’ and as you can see, it took me weeks to get there. To pass (as a female), I had to run 1.5 miles in under 14:00 minutes. Sounds easy, right? That’s better than a 10-minute mile. I don’t recall ever doing a 10-minute mile in my life until now. I was never a runner. But I passed the FBI fitness test!

I’m proud of myself and I’m proud of my body for pulling through for me. Will I continue running? Probably not consistently. I might join the Wednesday night running group in Kirkland. I might see how far I can run without stopping at my ‘maintenance’ pace (11-minute mile). I bet I could run for quite a while before getting too tired/breathless to continue.

I started the couch to 5k thinking, I’m not a runner and there’s no way I’ll be able to do this. I can’t run to my mailbox and back without getting winded. I can’t hike up a hill without getting asthma. Starting off with running for just 60 seconds was very doable. Letting myself run slow was key. I didn’t try to speed up my pace until the last two weeks of the app. That is where those 9.5-minute miles come in. If I can do it, you can do it.

Tips I learned from others and myself:

  1. Get yourself some good running shoes (Thanks New Balance for your perfectly ugly, yet perfectly comfortable running shoes for under $100)
  2. Get yourself some good running socks (I know, this sounds like a scam, but I never got chafing or other shoe-foot rubbing issues). I tried those colorful Balega socks. They were nice, but I prefer my New Balance socks.
  3. Get yourself a running belt.
  4. Earbuds are a hassle, but I liked to listen to my audiobooks while running. I got these and they work decently.
  5. Don’t try to go fast. A 5k for non-runners is an endurance test. You can speed up later. To start, go slow!
  6. It’s okay not to finish or to stop when you’re supposed to be running, but don’t SKIP! I took the advice of scheduling my run EVERY Tuesday and Thursday and then Saturday/Sunday depending on how my weekend was going. Never skip your weekday runs! The app told me I could repeat a week, but I was able to follow the course every time. It helped me to run a mile without stopping before the app ramped up to 8-minutes running without stopping. It gave me the confidence that I needed in order to follow the app and to know that I could run a mile without stopping.
  7. Keeping my ears warm, kept me from getting headaches. I got a lovely thick headband during FitFest in Redmond and absolutely love it!
  8. Protein! Don’t forget some protein post workout.
  9. Don’t forget to eat before you run! I liked to get a small carb before I ran (like half a banana or some oatmeal)
  10. Hydrate! I never brought water with me and I tried to drink at least 8 oz. before running and over 60 oz. that day if I had run and 16 oz. or more right after I ran.
  11. Stretching! Don’t forget those hammies! My PT told me to hold my touching my toes pose (actively) for at least 45 seconds every time I ran. Joining the Everyday Athlete running group was great for me because they showed me what they do for stretching before/after and a good warm up. My app never told me to stretch! I wish it did.

Because of how strongly I feel about accomplishing your goals, trying to challenge yourself, and running with asthma, I started writing a new novel based on my experiences!

And just because: The money I spent… $171.80 for 9 weeks of running and a 5k.

  1. Runner’s belt – $7.99
  2. Running shoes from New Balance with two pairs of running socks – $103.40
  3. Balega socks (1 pair) – $8.99
  4. headband – $5
  5. Earbuds – $13.99
  6. RunDouble app – $3.99 (totally worth it! The app lets you try out the first 2 weeks free)
  7. Bubble Run (single entry) – $28.44

Author Thursdays: Upcoming Event! (Everett, WA) with local authors and fresh paint!

Fresh Paint and Authors, oh my!

Come check out the event at Lombardi’s and have some snacks too.

Fresh Paint Art Show and Waterfront Book Festival all in one. Can’t be anything better. Several Writer Cooperative authors will be on the Walkway with our books and inside closer to the food.

Date: Saturday, August 19th

Time: 10AM – 3PM

Parking: Available in the front area of Lombardi’s and beyond as well as a large parking lot just before Lombardi’s if you’re heading north on Marine View Drive.

More event details

SFF Mega Promo and Other Book Giveaways!

Featuring Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams – Teenager MC takes on the mighty powers of the government but is sidetracked by challenges of the training  academy, the new boy, and her secrets.


SFF Mega Promo

Science Fiction and Fantasy

14 – 20 August

A selection of the finest speculative fiction, free for a limited time.


The End is Nigh

Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic Giveaway

Short Stories, Novellas, Novels And Samples. Brought To You By Craig A. McDonough, Author Of  “Toward The Brink” Series And Instafreebie.

 


Historical Fiction bundle August 10th to August 20th

We have assembled a listing of free novellas, novels, and book previews covering the Historical Fiction genre. Click on the images to download the book from InstaFreebie. Happy Reading!