2015, A Year of Change

I didn’t intend there to be such a big gap in posting except for the Wednesday Quote which I pre-schedule. So much has happened this year. So much has changed. Yet, so much has remained the same. I don’t quite know where to start. My health has steadily deteriorated. My finances are in shambles. I’m losing my house. I have had to apply for social assistance. I have applied for disability through the federal program and will be applying through the provincial program soon.

I have realized publishing a book by the month with two designs per chapter was unrealistic. I am now holding off publication until February 2016. This will allow time for proofreading and copy writing the chapters more thoroughly. It will allow for test crocheting and test knitting of the designs in addition to the current technical editing. As designs are ready, I will continue to publish them in the pattern only ebook on Ravelry. This will hopefully give me the time I need to get back on track. I have not stopped writing and I have not stopped designing. But only the writing is up to date. I have had multiple issues with one of the March designs. This led to delays in the other designs as I ripped out a completed shawl and restarted twice only to rip out again. Now I have switched the design completely and it seems to be going well. I have two designs that only require corrections before publication. I have two designs that just need to be properly written out from my notes and formated before sending to the tech editors. I have three other designs that I am crocheting and knitting samples and making notes for. That still puts me behind on designs. I should be working on my fifteenth and sixteenth.

I am working on improving my health as much as possible and will be moving in with my mother upon the foreclosure. I have a family that loves and supports me. I am learning as much as possible about running a creative business successfully.

I have learned to live on much less than my full-time old wage. I have come to terms with the fact that returning to my old job is not going to happen. I have realized I may never be able to hold a standard job again. But, I also realized that’s ok. My job did not define me. I have that privilege. I get to chose who I am. I’m still figuring out who that will be, but, I know I am a creative entrepreneur and writer.

I discovered Saturday I’m not as ready to leave this house as I thought. I know I have to leave. I can’t pay my mortgage, never mind the bills and groceries that come with living on your own. But, as Mum drove me home from laundry and supper at her place it hit me. One day soon she won’t be driving me home after laundry and supper. One day soon I won’t be living in my forever home. When I bought this house ten years ago, I thought I was buying the house I would live in for the rest of my life. But now I’m leaving it unwillingly.

I don’t know yet when I have to be out of the house. Part of me wants to be gone before I get the date from my mortgage company and another part of me wants to stay until the very last day. I guess it’s time to start packing.

11/08/2015-edited to correct spelling and grammar

Happy Sunday! It’s Time for Weekly Review & Sunday Planning!

Hi!

Did you see my guest interview on the Kate the (Almost) Great blog? It went live this morning! If you followed the interview to my site, welcome!

This week didn’t show much in the way of results. I spent lots of time sleeping off a flare. But as you can see a few things did get accomplished.

19/4/15-25/4/15 Plan
19/4/15-25/4/15 Plan

A few of these were impulse decisions. I’ve been considering ways to blog more. A column on what I’m reading seemed obvious since I read almost daily and hope to increase my reading time. I joined the Cooperative Press Affiliate program as soon as it was announced a while ago but didn’t actively look for more until this week. I don’t want to clutter my web pages with advertisements to other businesses so affiliate links seem a good compromise on adding income to the business. I’ve been accepted for a few, turned down for one and a few are pending approval still.

Affiliate links cost nothing to the reader. I insert a link regarding for example one of CP’s books, like Market Yourself, that I’m reading or using. You click the link. If you then purchase an item I receive a small commission. If you don’t buy nothing happens. As soon as I figure out how to use them I’ll start inserting affiliate links in my future posts and on my pages. As time permits, I’ll go through and add them to past posts.

Here’s what’s planned for this week. For anyone new, I always over-schedule then choose the task based on my energy level and fogginess. I have yet to complete everything on my plan!

26/4/15-02/5/15 Task Plan
26/4/15-02/5/15 Task Plan

Let’s hope I do better this week!

Sunday is for Planning!

Bad news: If anyone told you designing was a quick way to make money, they lied!
Good news: I sold my first pattern of the year on Friday! And I tonight I won a book in a Twitter contest!

But let’s get to the planning…here’s what I’ve done:

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And here’s what I plan to do next week:

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It’s heavily concentrated on the book because, in case you forgot, it goes on sale Next Sunday!

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And did anyone notice the site got a makeover the other day? I’m still working on tweaking a few things. You may notice more changes over the next few days!

If you would like to know as soon as the book is available for sale, sign up for the newsletter. The subscribers will get the announcement first.

Design Friday

I have finally managed to get a few things accomplished! Going to bed early most nights cuts into productivity. But if I overdo it, I pay for it in pain.

The book cover has been revised. There were valid concerns of legibility in thumbnail size on websites. The same photo and colours are used but the title font and placement of a few things have been changed for the better, I think.

Chapter One: January of C’est Ma Vie! 2015 is currently being proofread.This chapter is accompanied by two knit patterns; the Damia Cowl and the Damia Hat. The Damia Cowl pattern is off with the tech editor. The Hat, I am still working on. I’ve never designed a sized pattern without knitting or crocheting each size. I’m not sure how to size the hat. I’m going to finish it tomorrow so I can email it to my tech editor. If I wait any longer it may not be ready for next Sunday’s release! I can’t believe how quickly the release is arriving! It seemed so far away when I chose the date.

I’ve been wearing the Damia Cowl when I go out. It is so warm and snuggly when it’s frigid outside.

Chapter Two: February is being written on almost daily. I think I missed one day. This chapter is accompanied by a crochet and a knit pattern. Samples one are completed for both patterns. Sample two of the crochet pattern is almost done. I should have it finished tomorrow. I will then begin the search for a crochet tech editor. Here’s a peek at sample two of the crochet design from this morning:

Elodie, sample two
Elodie, sample two

Another task for tomorrow is to figure out which yarns will be in the next few months’ designs and write some emails. I would like to include a dyer bio and yarn base info for each yarn I use. Some may decline, but I’m hoping most will see it as an opportunity for free advertising.

C’est Ma Vie! 2015 Ebook

It’s time to start marketing the book. That’s one of those forgotten to do list items I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

C’est Ma Vie! 2015 (It’s My Life! 2015) is a chronicle of my journey through 2015, as I work a full-time job, work part-time at my creative business Bridgwater Crafts, live with chronic health conditions, have close relationships with family and a life besides. It’s about me and how I live as a Cancer survivor-maybe, they think it might be back-with carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetes-type 2, fibromyalgia, lactose intolerance, and spinal degeneration. It’s main purpose is to journal how I grow my business, adapt to my health issues and live my life.

The book will be self-published electronically, each month equalling a chapter. Each month’s chapter will be released the fifteenth of following month. There will be two versions: one with patterns I design (crochet and knit) and one without. I hope to have one crochet and one knit pattern per chapter. The patterns are exclusive to book purchasers until after the final chapter is released in January 2016. Occasionally I work on someone else’s design; credit will be given and links provided to the pattern source.

I see the book as having multiple audiences:
1. Crocheters, knitters and other designers will read it for the business information and the patterns included in the patterned version.
2. Chronic illness survivors will read it for information and inspiration.
3. Caregivers and loved ones of chronic illness survivors will read it for insight into how living with chronic illnesses affects our lives and for the information and inspiration.

But it is primarily for me. This is something I have to do now. I don’t know why yet but that’s just how I feel. I’m already thinking of doing 2016 and 2017 versions. In 2016, the segments will be compiled and available for sale on my website and other ebook sellers. Purchasers of the monthly book will gifted a coupon at that time to receive the compiled ebook free from my website. If there is enough demand I will consider print-to-order as well.

If you think this sounds interesting or you might enjoy reading the book, join my newsletter. All subscribers will receive the dedication and prologue free on January 15th. The ebook will be available for purchase on February 15th.

I’m Writing A Book!

A checking of the mailbox this weekend brought me some goodies. Some yarn, some Soak Wash in a new scent and a Christmas gift for my neice.

Yarnie Goodness!
Yarnie Goodness!

Today was our department Christmas lunch. There was soo much food I’m still full eight hours later! Look what I got in the gift exchange:

Gypsy Approved
Gypsy Approved
More gift, less cat!
More gift, less cat!

I’ve had a thought of writing a book for decades. Last week I thought of an idea and even came up with a perfect title. I almost let myself be talked into waiting until I had built a larger audience. Then after some encouragement I went for it. So I have started! Typing has begun.

The book will be a chronicling, almost like a journal, of my life in 2015-the story of my year as I work a full-time job, build a creative business, design patterns, write a book and try to have a family life all while living with multiple chronic illnesses and the possible return of Cancer. Bits of the same information will be on the blog as well but not in the same depth as in the book.

As it was all decided quickly not all the details are yet in place. I intend that there be two versions. One with patterns and one without. There will be a prologue covering the history of my diagnoses and life at the time. Each month of 2015 will be a chapter. Each chapter will contain one or more patterns.

The book will be released in sections. Most likely monthly but possibly further apart. Perhaps bimonthly or quarterly. I will need to build a storefront through an as yet unchosen company, most likely Etsy if I meet their newest sale criteria. There will be two versions-one with patterns, one without. The patternless version will be available on my site with both a pay in full and a subscription option.

The version with patterns will be sold through Ravelry in sections as well with an update in 2016 to the new compiled version. All designs will be exclusively available only through the ebook until 2016. Designs will range from small to large; there will be at least one afghan. I’m working on a list of pattern possibilities tonight after I publish this post.

More book news will follow as decisions are made.

Once compiled the chapters etc will be digitized and available as an ebook through Amazon, Kobobooks and Smashbooks. There may also be print-on-demand options. I haven’t decided on that yet.

Subscribe to our newsletter. The prologue will be sent to all subscribers in mid-January as a preview of the book.

Happy Halloween!

‘Twas a dark and gloomy night. The waxing moon peeked between heavy clouds as ghosts, goblins, ghouls and monsters scurried door to door. Doors were opened and candy given quickly.

Fairies, princesses and witches giggle skipping to and fro. Parents watch fearfully on sidewalks nearby.

It’s All Hallow’s Eve. Samhain. Halloween. The night when boundaries between good and evil thin. A night of fear. A night of joy.

A night of hyper children and empty candy wrappers.

It wouldn't be Halloween without a black cat!
It wouldn’t be Halloween without a black cat!
My little black cat!
My little black cat!