Time Traveler looking for a Good Time

x0 tshirtI truly appreciate the friends, relatives and strangers who for one reason or another have read through my novels before publication and offered suggestions and back-up proofreading. After I published c3 I came upon a way to say thanks. I made t-shirts.

It seemed like kind of a goofy thing to do, which I suppose is why I liked the idea so much. I didn’t want the shirts to contain blatant advertising — that’s not exactly a gift, is it? — but rather to be something fun that tied into the whole 46. Ascending collection idea. I finally settled on the shirt shown above, inspired by the first novel in the collection, x0.

Well, it’s a year later and now I’ve got thirteen folks reading the almost final version of the soon-to-be-published novel d4. Nine are first time beta readers. Eight are people I’ve never met in real life and probably never will. How does one thank nine women and four men with ages that range from early twenties to late sixties and who call six different countries on three continents home?

tshirtEasy. You send them a t-shirt. At least I hope that the shirt to the left, inspired by the novel z2, will make them every one of them smile and will even start a few interesting conversations for each of them.

Yes, I would like to do a t-shirt for the intermediate novel y1 as well, in a suitable chameleon shade of orange, but the right tag line just would not come to me so I skipped on to the next book.  Perhaps someday a clever reader will suggest the perfect words. And of course there will eventually be a green tee inspired by the intrepid Teddie of c3.

Those who have heard me complain about how much I hate marketing my books may notice how much fun I am having creating these little thank you gifts. It’s true. I like doing this. It goes to prove that there at least some marketing skills that even a strong introvert like me can embrace.

(For more on this, check out my thoughts on using family and friends as beta readers and my observations about whether strangers make the perfect beta readers instead..)

Wings

Thank you Dalai Lama

Thank you Dalai Lama

My daughter just graduated from college, and for weeks I have been searching all over for some small meaningful gift to give her.  I’ve always liked the quote that the two greatest things that you can give your child is roots and wings. Imagine my delight when I found the perfect gift on the Dalai Lama’s Facebook page. (You didn’t know that he also helps with shopping?) I printed out this quote he displayed, put it in a frame that said “believe” and was pretty pleased with myself.

Because I was afraid that I might mess up trimming the display, I printed two copies. When one copy sufficed, I stuck the other on on my wall at work, not wanting to waste it.

Let me clarify. I think that inspirational quotes are good for a fast read,  but I’m not such a fan of looking at them over and over. I Butterflyfigure I’m a fairly quick study, and I don’t need to keep seeing a message. However, it looks like that isn’t always true. This past week I’ve smiled every time I read this, and started my morning determined to spend my day as a butterfly. It seems to improve both my behavior and my outlook. Whee. Look at me. I can fly. I can’t say why, and I’ve certainly got nothing against a sweet fuzzy caterpillar, either. All I know is that I haven’t taken it down yet, and don’t intend to anytime soon.

It’s great to give a gift that seems perfect, but it looks like in this case the person who got the best gift was me.