Playing around on Yasiv.

Oh, the things I find on the internet…

In one of the writing groups I frequent, I found a link to Yasiv, a website that reveals similar items based on “Customers who bought this also bought…” data from Amazon.  Naturally, I had to plug in my own works.  Please see below for Life After Joe and Confessions of a Band Geek respectively (the Queen is a bit too new to have much tracking just yet).

I’m sure if I were a more intelligent author, I would look into below to develop a bit more of the demographics/habits I should be chasing after, but for now, it’s a simply a fun tool to try out!

Life After Joe
Confessions of a Teenage Band Geek.
Courtney Brandt.

Day 25, Blogging Challenge: My Biggest Regret

Funnily enough, I wrote a whole essay on this, which has since been eaten by the interwebs, however, I don’t think I’ve changed my mind.  Before I give my answer, I think it’s important to note that the thought of ‘my biggest regret’ is fully what prompted me to self publish my books.  I thought if something happened to me, I would always wonder, ‘I had the ability to publish – why didn’t I?’  (It’s what drives me to always send my unpublished novels to my sister before I fly somewhere – I’m superstitious like that).

Anyway, outside of not kissing a few boys I really should have, my biggest regret is not spending at least one summer with Drum Corps International.  I think back to two of my summers in college and realize I made a huge mistake by at least not auditioning for Spirit of Atlanta or Carolina Crown.  Honestly, if I had a karmic remote control, I would go back and march at least one summer.

tumblr_nt7naudanH1rvq7qxo1_1280 (1)
Could have been me! Photo by one of my favorite marching arts photographers, John Matter.

Day 23, Blogging Challenge: If I Won the Lottery…

(See yesterday’s post).  Sure, I have a wish list of things I’d love to get, but I think if I won the lottery, I would buy homes in multiple cities, a private jet and spend my life traveling (and flying friends and family to wherever I was).  I would spend money to market my books and work with top editors to push my work to its best level.  And I would donate heavily to multiple charities!


Day 22, Blogging Challenge: My Worst Habits

For better or for worse:

  • I bite my nails.  Yes, gross.  Yes, when I’m stressed.  Yes, I’m 35 and still do this.
  • I am habitually early or on time and get frustrated when others are not.  Coming from the world of marching band where ‘on time’ is 15 minutes early, I’ve never been able to kick the habit.  Now, I enjoy my quiet extra 30 minutes before everyone else gets in the office.  Of course, I sometimes frustrate my husband, because I always stress out and we’re always the first people to everywhere.  I’d like to think I’m getting better, but the reality is probably the opposite.  Living in LA for 5 years (where traffic could wildly change and impact how long it takes to get someone) didn’t help me.
  • Given my misophonia, I am bad about shared spaces.  Because I’m terrible at handling sounds, I get frustrated easily.  Headphones are a coping mechanism, but I would love to just not have sounds bother me.
  • I curse.  A lot.  Like, probably too much.  It’s unprofessional.  I should probably work on dialing it back a bit.
  • I don’t have a lot of patience.  I’d love to have more.
  • Is there such a thing as the opposite of procrastinating?  I should probably let things go or at least not be so Type A about planning.  Ah well…nobody’s perfect!



How to Title Every Book You Ever Write

Based on this fun post, I thought I would take a break from everything and procrastinate on my other projects.

The Promising Debut Novel
Title: (Scent of your deodorant or shampoo) on (street you grew up on)

Fresh Shire

The Disappointing Sophomore Effort
Title: The (your father’s profession)’s Daughter

The Pharmaceutical Rep’s Daughter

The Reputation-Rescuing Collection of Stories
Title: The (if you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would it be?) (which of the following was your favorite school field trip: museum, zoo, symphony, circus, farm, cruise, senate, theater)

The Unicorn Museum (I don’t know what that is, but I want to visit!)

The Legacy-Building Important Literary Novel
Title: The (your first job title)s
(If your first job title isn’t that evocative, like “event planner” or “clerk,” add the county in which you live. Example: The Event Planners of Cook County.)

The Babysitters of Gwinnett County

Another Literary Novel to Prove the Last One Wasn’t a Fluke
Title: (your birth month)(third most populous city in the first foreign country you ever visited)
Example: December in Marseille

March in Sheffield

Your Agent Pointed Out That You Could Make Some Money Without Writing Anything New
Title: You’ll need a purse or briefcase or, if you don’t have either, open your messiest desk drawer. Close your eyes, reach in and grab whatever is in the very bottom or back. Add “The Wisdom of” before that item.
Example: The Wisdom of Eyeglasses

The Wisdom of Breath Mints

The Final, Contemplative Novel
Title: (Your favorite season)(you’re told that someone left a rotten egg in your house; is your first questions who, what, why, where, or how?)
Example: Autumnwhere


I have a long way to go to get through these titles.  🙂

Day 18, Blogging Challenge: A Picture of Yourself

Well, you can look up at any point and see a picture of me on this blog, but I guess that is not in the spirit of the blogging challenge, is it?  Instead, I’ve chosen a picture that anyone who knows me in real life will appreciate.  I’m known as a jumper.  Any time I’m on holiday, I jump and get a picture of myself in midair.  It gives me great pleasure to know that I’ve inspired others to do the same (at weddings, remote locations, or in a group).

And yes, this is not a selfie or a picture of me alone, but I see the below picture (taken at Hubby and I’s 10 year vow renewal in Vegas, 2013) and it always makes me happy.

I’m the one in the white dress.

Day 16, Blogging Challenge: Thoughts on Education

I’m for it.

Given that I work in higher education, I think there is something beneficial to society on a university campus.  Does it have to be as expensive as it currently is?  Well, that’s another thought entirely.  I was fortunate enough to go to a school where, if I kept a 3.0 average, the state paid for my education.  Graduating with no student debt was an amazing thing.


Day 15, Blogging Challenge: Where Will I Be in 5 Years

Celebrating the 5th anniversary of you asking me this questionRIP, Mitch.

In all seriousness, I don’t know where I will be geographically (could still be the GCC, but just as easily somewhere further east – Hong Kong, KL, Australia?), but I do know where I want to be professionally.  I want to be supporting myself through my writing.  Full stop.

Come back and ask me in 2020 how I’m doing.