I am going to be straight up honest right now, I'm feeling burnt out! I have been working on the serial since about 2014. It has been a long slow process as I learned about how to do all the things like formatting, layout, website building, etc., all the things that go on behind the scenes to be a successful self-published author.
I am just now, six years later, starting to see some gaines in my following but I am still far away from turning a profit. Now, do not get me wrong, I'm not complaining about these things. I knew going in it could take years to build up a following and actually start making money and I was prepared for that. What I was not prepared for was the pandemic, not being able to go in person to speak to bookstores managers about author signings, networking in person to get libraries to carry my books, going to my writers group and sitting in a coffee shop with other writers to help keep my creativity up. It is the lack of connection to readers and other writers that is starting to bother me.
Due to my being very high risk, my husband and I have had very limited exposure to the general public. My husband has been out far more than I have. In fact, since March, I have been out in the public exactly twice. Once, I had to take public transportation to the eye doctor because I desperately needed new glasses. Then again, to go back to the eye doctor to get my new glasses. That is it. I do go outside in our neighborhood and walk our dog on occasion but that is it. While I have never been one to really enjoy being out in crowds, I am actually starting to miss it.
To combat this growing feeling of discontent, I have a two fold plan. Step one: I have been focusing on enjoying the holidays. The house is already decorated for Christmas, something I NEVER do before Thanksgiving! I'm planning menus, making decorations, and just trying to find things to enjoy. Step two: I'm going to take a very short break from my blog next week to enjoy Thanksgiving with my husband. There will still be a Monday Movie Madness blog next week but there will not be a Wednesday Whatever or a Friday Funnies. I will still make a few quickie social media posts on those days. Hopefully this small shifting of my routine will help give me a little boost I need to get back in the swing of things.
In the meantime . . . let's make some great homemade ornaments!
John McClane, Die Hard
This first one I told you about in the Monday Movie Madness blog this week. A John McClane, Die Hard air duct scene ornament. I had seen this online a few years ago and thought it was great. I did a quick search for directions on how to make this and there were actual several tutorial videos on YouTube. I linked one here (see video posted below) for you all in case you want to make one yourself.
Mine is a little different in that I used heavy photo paper for my picture and poked a hole where the lighter flame is. When I put this on my tree, I put the tip of one of my white tree lights in the hole so it glows like it is actually lit. I doubt that would work with plain paper. the weight of the light would end up tearing through it after a while. This is definitely one of my favorite ornaments to put on the tree every year.
The next ornament idea comes from my sister, Stephanie Crow. She has been making crafts and teacher others to make them for pretty much her entire adult life. If you want to add a homey touch to your tree this year, this is a great idea. You will need a spoon, paints, a brush, some embellishments and maybe glue if you need the embellishments to stay in place.
Bend the spoon handle to make the hook to hang on the tree and pick your design to paint in the bowl part of the spoon. I love this simple snowman with a star my sister made. You could go for a tree, an angel, a Santa face, the possibilities are numerous! Then, when it has dried, tie some ribbon or yarn on the handle and add a bell, a star, whatever you want (or even just the ribbon) and you are done!
This next idea is something my mother, Sharon Stephens (yes the woman in my book series for whom Sharon Springs is named after is herself named after my mother) found online and suggested I share with you. It would be a great project for the family to make with kids.
You will need some bottlcaps, paint, ribbon and/or yarn, buttons, and glue. paint the insides of the caps white. Glue them to a strip of ribbon, paint the snowman faces and buttons inside the caps, tie the ribbon or yarn around the "neck" of the snowman. Glue your button on top of the knot. Let the snowmen completely dry and then hang them on the tree. If you search online for bottle cap snowman ornament you will find all kinds of variations on this idea. some have stocking caps. Some have top hats. People really get creative with this simple project. Some even use bottle caps to make some adorable reindeer ornaments. I was trying to find who created these snowmen to link their site and give them a proper attribution, but I have not found it yet. If I do find it, I will add it in as soon as possible.
So, that is it for today, posse. Three ornament ideas and my plan to take a break from two of the blogs next week to enjoy Thanksgiving with my husband. I hope you are enjoying these blogs as much as I enjoy doing them. I hope you are all happy, healthy, and looking forward to the holidays.