Archive for April 2008

The key to a successful garage sale: Don't give a crap.

Sunday afternoon:

Relaxing on the van seat I'm using as a couch in my garage. Waiting for all the churchgoers to get out and come to my sale. The blustery, overcast morning kept away the non-churchgoing heathens (a group of which I am a part) but the afternoon looks promising. The Godly people should be here soon.

Yesterday's take was about $150. I've never made that much in a garage sale, but I think I finally have the secret: Don't give a crap how much money you make. Yesterday I accepted every offer. "Will you take fifty cents for this?" Sure! "Is $2 for one or both?" Both! "What'll you take for this box of coffee mugs?" Name your price! Two dollars here, a dime there, it adds up to mucho moolah and less crap in my shed. I'm so happy, seeing all this crap leave my possession. Whatever is left over will go on Freecycle, except for a few items worth advertising in the paper. Everything else--the Christmas tree, the shop lights, the chairs--will be gone soon, one way or another. It may have to wait till after the conference, though.

Yay! The sun is out! Like I said, the afternoon looks promising.


Sunday evening:

Yesterday I made $150, today I made $15. Didn't sell any of my furniture, nor the a/c, nor the engine. I had five customers all day, but that's all right because overall the weekend was a smashing success. About 4 p.m. when I'd started cleaning up, a lady came to shop, but I just gave her as much as she could fit in her truck. She was glad to have it, and I was glad to be rid of it.

So there is where my "don't give a crap" rule comes in. Today I expected to sell the big-ticket items. I was salivating over doubling my money from yesterday, when I was focused on being rid of stuff. Coincidence? I think not.

Now I change from garage sale mode to conference mode. That's this weekend, folks. Yikes! and Woo!

Sunday, April 27, 2008
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Life is good

I took some pictures this weekend, but I can't find my rackin-frackin upload cable. And I'm typing this on my laptop, but my rackin-frackin wi-fi has decided to go iffy on my this weekend so I'll have to go kick Little Bubba off the PC to post it. (Little Bubba is home from school because he stepped on a bee last night and his foot won't fit into his shoe. It doesn't hurt right now, I have a feeling when the swelling goes down he'll start feeling it.)

Worked my figurative ass off (and not my actual ass, unfortunately) getting ready for a yard sale. When I started my Clean Sweep of the garage I wasn't planning to sell the stuff but to give it away on Freecycle. I've learned that the work of a garage sale usually doesn't equal the reward, but this time I have some big-ticket items that might generate some interest. I still have a lot to do to get ready for the coming weekend, but I think the hard part is over.

Ordered a puberty book for my oldest girl. Over the weekend it became clear she had questions but was too shy to ask Mommy. After mortifying her with my attempt to talk about it, I suggested we buy a book, and she perked right up. She'd take a book over my advice any day.

The husband baked a cake last night, all by himself. Frosted it, served me a piece, and even picked up my plate when I was done. Maybe this wouldn't be a shock in some households, but believe me when I tell you this was a telling development in mine. DH had a recent spurt of personal growth which manifests in new ways every day.

My life is better than I ever imagined it could be.

Monday, April 21, 2008
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

Accidental writing

I felt so lethargic yesterday, really and truly crappy. I figured I wouldn't be able to write a coherent sentence, but I needed some office time, so at seven o'clock I dragged my ass and laptop up the stairs. I was going to take it easy, probably do some free writing, maybe lie back in the stinky recliner and let my mind wander, definitely listen to some music, which I can't do while I'm seriously writing.

I released the pressure to justify the office time with measurable progress. I typed in some notes while listening to Yahoo! radio. Opened the document containing my plot bullets and wrote a few sentences. And a few more. I looked up at the clock and saw an hour had passed, looked down at my computer screen and realized I'd accidentally written the entire one-page synopsis.

Coming out of the zone, I wondered what had happened to my music, but I'd turned it off at some point. Going over what I'd just written, I saw I'd also cleared up a few problematic names, and filled some long-standing plot holes. Accidentally. Don't even remember doing it.

That's so effing cool.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Disjointed thoughts on critting

Last week I put out a call for beta readers, and the most wonderful people in the world responded. Over the weekend I had plenty to keep me from obsessing about it, even though my mom and brother gave me comments the next day, and Ian over the weekend. Started on my one-page synopsis last night, using bullets to list the plot points that need to go in.

Now, I'm not trying to prompt a faster response here, just thinking out loud. I'm not impatient at all for the rest of the readers to get back with me. Seriously. I know, I'm always impatient, but I'm doing pretty well this time. I guess I've learned something after all in this long-ass-wait business of writing, even if it is just how to wait. This would be my first piece of advice to a new writer: Write it, release it, write something else.

It always floors me, how intimate a critique can feel. It's a shared embarrassment, like noticing someone's fly is open. The author's openness to harsh criticism, taking it like a woman and saying thank you at the end and meaning it. The critter's willingness to inflict that pain despite the cost to themselves, which could be at the least a lost afternoon and at the most a lost friendship. I've been both the author and the critter, and neither is without stress.

So I thank you, my critters, for being willing to point out my open fly.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

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