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Monday, January 31, 2011

Outlining Your Novel (Continued)

It is hard for me to believe that I have not written a new post here since January 6th.  In fact, I have barely had time to work on outlining my novel.  I had the best of intentions at the onset of January.  Then, life kept happening and pointing me in other directions.

In continuation of my last post, I finally made the time to roughly sketch out an outline for my novel.  The outline is the basis for the many chapters in my story.  It involves highlighting the experiences in Red's life, and mine, that have forged a bond between us. 

Especially in the last two years, we have experienced some trying times.  I know we have not been the only ones with our current economy.  The unemployment rate here in Wilkes County runs between 13 and 14 percent.  I was recently told by a staff member of our local Goodwill Connection that there are roughly 4000 people out of work here.  The population in Wilkes County is small compared to many of the counties in North Carolina. 

It was the economy two years ago which prompted me to try something different. I went to school at Wilkes Community College and began Jeanne Armonk Enterprises.  Then, shortly after that, I began this blog.  I have thoroughly enjoyed maintaining and updating this blog.  It is my hope to keep it going for awhile.  I have divided my time between my writing responsibilities for The Wilkes Gazette newspaper that is based in North Wilkesboro, NC, and Wilkes Vintage Finds which is my online vintage shop at Etsy.com.  You may now see why my blog posts have been rather sparse of late.

In these past two years, Red and I have traveled and moved a great deal.  I have attempted to keep journal entries of our daily interactions with all of our endeavors.  We have lived between NY and NC for several years now.  We have had the privilege to meet many people.  Many of these people made their way to us, either in or out of our vehicle.  Many times the same comments or questions.  What a beautiful dog or what kind of dog is he? 

When my novel is published, there will hopefully be illustrations and photos to depict how beautiful Red is and what kind of dog.  I will let my readers decide if he is beautiful.  I am too partial on the subject, for I know not just his outward beauty, rather I know his inside beauty as well.

More on outlines in my next post.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Outlining Your Novel

With the passing once again of the November through December holiday season, and with a new year begun, it is time to return to our novels.  We spent some time discussing the plot of our novels in the fall of last year.  Now, it is time to consider the novel's content. 

I will be outlining chapters for my novel over the next month.  I had posted some events that are true-to-life events.  In fact, the events actually happened in my dog Red's life.  As he is approaching 10 years old in the spring, I wish to complete my novel within the next few months.

As so many other dog owners and fanciers have found, there can be a great deal of joy and contentment associated in owning a dog.  This is true of many pets.  However, in reference to my own novel, my focus will be addressing canine pets. 

Red has been a source of joy, contentment and inspiration to me.  Those posters where people credit cats or dogs would life lessons they have learned can be true to an extent.  I believe life is a composite of all of our contacts through our years.  I would be remiss if I did not also credit some of my life lessons to Red.

He is both Chow and Rottweiler.  Both of these breeds can and have received adverse publicity.  I have found my two Rottweilers as both being very loving, loyal and obedient dogs.  Red's older step brother, Ty, was a full-blooded German Rottweiler.  A massive dog who was nearly all heart.  I came to notice Ty's attributes early on.  Unfortunately, I did not credit Red with his own wonderful assets until he was about 6 years old.  He was often overshadowed by the other alpha type dogs in my home.

When Red came to be the last remaining dog in 2007, I came to see what a truly wonderful dog he was and is today.  He is slowing down a bit.  He has been diagnosed with arthritis and on medication.  His grey chin is spreading with each passing month.  Yet the joy I see in him when we go to the park is unmistakable.  He stops and literally smells the roses.  So, I follow suit to notice the small wonders in nature along our walks. 

I pace him to slow down if the walk will be longer.  He always starts out with steam and only I know that about 3/4 of the way, we will need to rest.  Okay, I will need to rest...  It's been nearly two years since our vacation on the Outer Banks in NC.  We traveled along the highway over bridges, past sand dunes and light houses and onto the ferries.  What a wonderful trip.  More in my next post....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Check out Etsy.com

Here we are already 4 days into 2011.  Time just keeps marching on.  Here I stop for a moment thinking back to a warm evening in Massachusetts a few years ago to watch Tracy Lawrence sing Time Marches On.  It does. 

Today, I am diverging from my usual post topics of writing, travel and animal welfare to encourage my readers to check out Etsy.com.  This website offers a plethora of online shops to search out, buy and/or sell vintage and homemade products.

I actually learned about this website from A Woman's Day article that I chanced to read earlier in the year.  The article was highlighting ways to make or earn cash from home.  While there were a number of excellent ways for one to make money from the comforts of home, I found this website Etsy.com to be one of great interest.

I decided to check out the site for myself.  I read the home page and surfed through pages of online shops offering a variety of products for sale.  I focused in on the vintage items.  Vintage items for this site are considered items that are at least 20 years old.

I had accumulated a few vintage and outright antique items both from inheritance and purchases.  I have frequented many antique and collectible shops, particularly in New York and Connecticut were I have been a past resident of both.  I do not have enough items to warrant an actual shop, at least not yet.

I decided to sign up for a free Etsy account.  I was amazed that I could begin listing vintage items for sale at the minimal cost of 20 cents each.  I would not even be billed until at least a month later.  I had a camera that could be uploaded to a computer and about 25 vintage items.  I began photographing and researching my items.

Etsy gives a very good outline of steps that I found easy to follow.  I learned the hard way that the name for my new online shop was very important.  I found the need to close out my first store and reopen a new one.  That is how Wilkes Vintage Finds was born. 

I have been very pleased with my decision to open Wilkes Vintage Finds.  No need to pay rent on an actual store.  No store overhead costs.  Simply a good camera, a computer and spell check and I am on my way to being an online entrepreneur. 

I did go to my local government offices to find that I needed a dba (doing business as) certificate.  I also need a resellers permit if I sell to a buyer in NC.  These fees are under $100.

My store has generated some interested buyers already.  I have seen that vintage watches and office equipment are of particular interest.  Also, a signed jewelry piece such as a Warner rhinestone cat pin had a number of viewers. 

So, I wish to credit my avid reading of magazines such as Woman's Day and Southern Living that emboldened me to try something new.  I have 3 sales in just 2 months.  More than I would have if I had not opened my online store.

Etsy requires monthly payments to keep accounts in good standing.  Etsy takes a 3.5 commission on sold orders.  The opportunity to make money from the comforts of home is very real indeed!  If you have vintage items you are considering selling or you are a crafter of homemade goods, then why not check out Etsy.com? 

In conclusion, keep up with your reading.  One never knows what gems and tidbits may be waiting in the pages of a magazine, book or newspaper.

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Wilkesboro, NC, United States
My interest with writing began by composing poems about nature in my childhood. I also co-wrote a play in my 4th grade class when I lived in New Rochelle, NY. It generated enough positive feedback that my class put on the play in the school auditorium. I was fortunate to have a lead part. After my high school graduation, I entered the working world. For over 30 years I have been steadily gaining writing, editing and digital publishing skills. I began by composing letters and emails to company clients. I contributed to articles written for The Commuters Register based in Windsor, CT. Since 2009, I have added social media, digital publishing and blogging here in Wilkesboro, NC. Since 2010, I write ad copy for the listing descriptions for each of my 3 Internet shops open at Etsy.com. In 2012, I entered a poem about my dog Red in the World Poetry Contest. The poem was chosen for publication. I have written articles for the Winston-Salem Frugal Living Examiner and Hub Pages. In 2012, I acquired The Wilkes Gazette digital newspaper that was renamed the Wilkes County Gazette in 2014. I write under both my own name and my pen name, Jeanne Armonk.

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