Whirled Wide Web of my Life

Ballena Tales

I have a rare quiet moment at home, sit down with my coffee and return to the book world. I have not written, marketed, nor blogged in over a month. I’ve received unexpected offers this month to read and discuss my book at the Costa Ballena Women’s Network on Feb. 18th and be interviewed by the Dagmar Reinhard, editor of Ballena Tales for the spring edition, one of the local magazines still in print. That gives me a boost, but what really gets me off my ass, (or rather on my ass in front of the computer) is awakening in the night to an item on my “to do” list. Shit, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. What’s the deadline? I’ll check in the morning.

  • Task 1 – Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

My mind’s awhirl and my heart’s beating. Whew! The deadline’s today. I read the rules. The novel must be at least 50,000 words. Shit again. Mine’s only about 32, 000. Maybe I could add on a couple more chapters of the continuing saga of my fictionalized life that I’ve already written. I count up the extra words, still not enough. I take a deep breath and move on.

  • Task 2 – Offer Free to Bloom free for 1-5 days

Go to Kindle Direct Publ Select to find out how to set it up. Read the rules. I must give Kindle exclusive rights and my book is already listed with Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. Though I’ve sold only a few books with the others I’m not prepared to drop them. I’m getting discouraged.

  • Task 3 – Check on promotional program I paid for through my soft cover publisher Create Space.

They’ve discontinued it after my first month and it’s all very confusing. I’m ready to quit and shut the computer.

  • Task 4 – Find and Hire a good Marketer

This item wasn’t originally on the list. It’s a new and brilliant idea.  I just can’t keep up with writing and dealing with the internet life. I need someone to handle my marketing, public relations and internet. Since I’m not making any money except to barely break even on the publishing, and I’m not destitute, why not hire someone to handle the business for me and give me a simplified list of what I must do and probably make money in the process.

  • Task 5 – Back to my son for help.



Feel Good – Help A Local Costa Rican Family in Need

Farmer’s Market Rincon de Uvita, Costa Ballena, Costa Rica open Saturdays 8am – 1pm

p10101882-206x300-8854353My productivity as a writer is increasing, and when the writing helps those in need, that’s even better. In his book The Geography of Bliss Eric Weiner travels the world looking for the happiest place and/or people who have the essential ingredients of a ‘good life’. A foreign correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) he is typically expected to discover breaking news, which usually involves death and destruction. As he says, “It’s rewarding work, but can be a real bummer.” So he takes a break from the negative to “turn journalism on its head and seek out the world’s unheralded positives.” One of the major criteria for happiness that keeps turning up for Weiner is feeling good, and a big chunk of that is feeling good about helping others in need.

I read Weiner’s book after spending time working for nonprofits Water for People and El Porvenir in Nicaragua and chronicling the experience here. It gave me the impetus to talk of my experience on my NPR station WSLR in Sarasota, FL, and write a perspective piece in the national English language newspaper in Costa Rica and Nicaragua -The Tico/Nica Times.

Since the Geography of Bliss was printed Costa Rica has been voted the “Happiest” places in the world, according to Nicholas Kristoff in a recent NY Times article, but disasters still occur. I have just returned to my second home on the Costa Ballena, Costa Rica to the aftermath another horrible accident on the dangerous Costanera highway. Juan Carlos Guadmuz, the brother of my caretaker Edgar, was driving home to Hermosa from Cortez with his family and two local women when a car tried to pass three semis on a curve, causing the Guadamuz car to swerve into the oncoming truck with disastrous results. Of the seven people in the car four died – the two women from Uvita, and a Guadamuz son and grandson. Juan Carlos, his wife Maria and another son survived, but with serious injuries. They are trying to put their lives back together and are recuperating slowly, but neither husband nor wife is able to work yet, and the car was totaled.

Again, I am writing this in the hope that you will join me in feeling good about helping some good people in dire need – the Guadmuz family. They are some of our local hardworking and proud pioneers. In fact, Juan Carlos’ father’s life was recently chronicled in one of our monthly magazines – Ballena Tales.

Diana & Ian, Made FromScratch booth at Feria - Uvita

We will have a donation box for the next several weeks at the local farmer’s market, Feria – Rincon de Uvita at Diana’s ‘Made-from-Scratch’ booth. The Feria is open every Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm. The family would appreciate any money or non-perishable food items to help them get through the next couple of months.