Starting Over

The fragrant, beautiful gardenias in the front of our house have bloomed every May since we bought the house in 2018, and we know they were there when the previous owners bought the house  in 2013, so they had survived the high and low temperatures that fluctuated from year to year for more than ten years.

When the hard freeze that lasted four days hit in February 2023, we were saddened by the loss of so many of our pine trees that we had planted over the past three years but were completely shocked that our three sturdy gardenia bushes didn’t survive.  So, we started over.

In November 2022, in a series of unfortunate events, our faithful camping trailer that we bought new in 2015 bit the dust in a most unlikely incident. Out of respect for her faithful service, we won’t go into the details, but no humans, dogs, or chickens (even though they weren’t there) were injured. We had a choice: give up camping or get a new camping trailer. I’m certain you aren’t surprised that we bought a new camping trailer. We’re starting over by taking short trips to get used to our new trailer.

As an author with a publishing business, I’ve been closely tracking the dwindling benefits of exclusivity with a single online book distributor. I started over in January 2023, and now all 30+ of my books are being sold by over a dozen book distributors.

In February, I investigated several options of selling my books directly to readers online. By the beginning of March, my online Barrett Book Shop was live and in business!


I’ve been excited to learn that other authors are doing the same!  Take a peek at a very delightful author, Maria E. Schneider, at Bear Mountain Books. 

I’ve found my toe-tapping, head-bobbing theme song for 2023 on You Tube:  Chris Stapleton

You keep reading; I’ll keep writing!


Fear of Missing Out

This is my FOMO jar. Fear of Missing Out.

When I reviewed my expenses for 2020 and 2020, I discovered I spent a significant amount of money, especially on the latest and greatest software tools that everybody else was getting, that was a total waste of money and of my  time. 

My reason for buying the Latest and Greatest Whiz Bang tools? FOMO

My reasons for not using the new tools were not impressive: the software wasn’t instinctive; the software tutorials were too much work to listen to; the software wasn’t as good as what I was using; I didn’t have time to spend learning new software; I had trouble with the download because my internet is slow, so I quit; it was foggy outside.  I know that last foggy excuse is pretty lame, but so are all the rest of them.

This year, I have a #FOMOjar. Every time I purchase something because FOMO, I’ll drop a quarter in the jar. Every time I decline a FOMO purchase, I’ll drop a penny in the jar. At the end of every month, I’ll set aside bonuses and penalties based on the cost of the purchase temptations. Penalties for FOMO purchases, and bonuses for saving money by avoiding a FOMO purchase.

The coins will be a reminder and a tracker of how I’m doing, and the bonuses and penalties will go toward paying for gas when we drive the the truck and camping trailer to a national convention next fall that I really want to attend.

Watch for my first report for January 2022 at the end of the month!

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