Sunday, March 15, 2015

With the highest of highs often comes the lowest of lows

The last few weeks have been about the highs and lows of life for me. I had a successful week of sales during Read an E-book Week. My youngest got over the stomach flu. My oldest was getting ready for spring break. I'm not one to wait for the other shoe to drop - I believe that to be a bad habit that should be avoided, but I am willing to concede that with the highs of life often comes the lows.

It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride the last few days. I had the joy of participating in a fundraiser for my friend's mother, who is raising funds for a kidney transplant. She is an amazing woman, and I am glad that the funds are coming in for her. When I was growing up, she was like a mom to all of us troubled kids. I spent so much time at their house that people thought I lived there. I consider the whole family to be my own family, so it really was a joyous occasion to be a part of.

I also got to hang out with another dear friend for her son's birthday. She's actually my sister's friend, but she has been through so much crazy stuff with us that she is pretty much family. It was a pure joy to celebrate with her and her family. It also gave my kids a chance to play with other kids, which is always fun for them. For the most part, things have been nothing but up for us.

And then came the flip side of the coin. My wife's nana fell ill. As of this writing she is still with us, but she is being made comfortable for the next part of life's journey. It all happened so fast, it is still difficult to process. She is another amazing woman, so her loss is a tremendous blow to my wife and her family, and to me as well. I have nothing but fond memories of her. It is important to celebrate her life, but taking the time to mourn is also of great importance.

Life is crazy sometimes. You just never know what you are going to get. We take the highs with the lows, and that's okay to me. I think it is important for us to enjoy every good moment. Never take life for granted. None of us know how things will turn out. None of know when we will see the end. Really enjoy life. Savor every moment. Take the time to tell those important to you that you love them while you can. Anyway, these are my thoughts this week. Above all, I want you all to live, I mean really live! Have a wonderful week everyone!

Monday, March 2, 2015

It's Time for Read an E-Book Week 2015

I got the message a little late this year, but yesterday I finally received my email from Smashwords asking if I would like to participate in "Read an E-book Week 2015." Unlike other promotions, I have no problem getting behind this one because I already participate in multiple efforts to promote reading in general. I read to kids on a regular basis. I also participate in field trips for preschoolers to check out the local library. I help with book fairs. I try to participate in anything that promotes reading.

I truly believe we need to promote reading as much as humanly possible. It's sad how far reading has declined over the years. One of the worst comments I hear on a regular basis is, "I'll wait for the movie to come out because I don't like reading." I know more people who use their Kindle Fire to play games than to read books. As a result, I meet a lot of kids who don't like reading because the adults in their lives do not read. They fail to understand how important reading is, until it is too late. Take it from me, a person who made it to college before I realized I had the reading level of a child: reading is very important!

If you're an author on Smashwords, consider participating. My results from from last year were pretty good. I saw about a 20% increase in sales. However, I believe we have to look beyond sales and really promote reading. If you are already participating,  great job! Let's keep promoting Read an E-book Week. Readers, there are thousands of books for sale at discounted prices, and many are free. Browse through the catalogs. Find something you like. Above all else, keep on reading. Have a wonderful week!

For those of you interested, my book, Beyond Heights and Depths, is free this week with coupon code: RW100.