Update on the orange fence saga

March 2nd, 2010

The man accused of stealing a section of our orange snow fence has plead guilty to two misdemeanors. He will have to pay almost $1,200 in fines, plus restitution.

One good thing has resulted from all this bruhaha. The Village board, our police and the local snowmobilers’ club are now working together for solutions to educate sledders about Village laws relating to them. It will be interesting to see how it plays out next winter. 

Quick Tip: Simple Market Research

March 1st, 2010

I keep track of important information about novels I read on 3 x 5 cards, which double as bookmarks.  On one side of each card, I write the title, author, publisher, copyright date, number of pages/chapters and the type of novel. 

On the other side, I make notes about the story, POV, organization of chapters, etc.  I also record the name of any agent or editor mentioned by the author.  When I enter the information in my computer, I have a “personal” marketing guide to potential publishers for my novel.

3 free and simple ideas for self-promotion

February 22nd, 2010

There is life “offline,” so I thought it would be nice to share some ideas for personal promotion. The foundation of your fan or readership base already includes your family, friends, along with your business and social contacts. You can build on that foundation by becoming an active and visible participant in your community.  By investing a few hours each month, you can begin to establish yourself as a local celebrity.  These self-promotion suggestions are simple, cost virtually nothing but your time, and are particularly suited to those of us who live in “small town” America.

Become an advocate
Can you help spearhead a local blood drive or fundraiser?  Are you interested in preserving an historic site or building? Do the sidewalks in your community need repair?  Adopt a “cause” and volunteer to be a local spokesperson.

Conduct a workshop or seminar at your local senior center 
Researching your family history? Explain why it’s important for older adults to share their experiences with their family members. Offer suggestions on how to do that effectively. If you’re a writer, you could offer tips and insights on writing a memoir.

Make a speech or presentation at your local library, community center or community college
Did you vacation in Spain? Do you train sled dogs? Are you just back from distributing food or medicine in Haiti? Share highlights and photos of your experiences.

People are always interested in interesting people. Be one.

What’s in your family’s medical history?

February 12th, 2010

The news that former President Bill Clinton underwent a heart procedure yesterday has focused media attention on heart disease and its consequences.  Earlier this month, the American Heart Association promoted its “Go Red for Women” campaign, which aims to educate women about heart disease.  Sadly, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States.

For family historians, now might be a good time to consider compiling a medical family history. The illnesses and diseases that our relatives had may impact our health and that of our future generations. Knowledge is power.  Knowing that heart disease or cancer or autism or asthma afflicted our father or grandmother or fifth cousin won’t change whether or not we or our children get the disease,. But the knowledge may help us make better lifestyle choices for ourselves and our families.

To help you get started compiling your family’s medical history, the Mayo Clinic has some tips on what should be included.  The Family Health History Initiative, developed by the U.S. Surgeon General’s office, has additional information, along with a free web-based program.