Sunday, January 29, 2012

Afghan drawing is now a raffle

While sewing the rest of the third row of granny squares together, I decided that since I've had no sales so far on any of the state books and no sales really to speak of on any of the other titles I have available, I decided to do a raffle for the afghan this year. This is a pretty large afghan and I hope before the end of Wednesday to have all the rows together so I can post pictures of each row and then the completed afghan. As soon as I have the afghan completed with a border and all, I will put a raffle option button on both websites - the JGDS website and Elysabeth's other writing site. Raffle tickets will be $1.50 each or 10 for $12. Drawing will still be December 1 as I'll be selling raffle tickets at all my events for the drawing. Afghan will be sent out about the 7th of December. Good luck to you all. Ma America - E :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Granny Square afghan update

Decision to only do one drawing a year has been made. Even if I have other afghans started and/or completed. I will store them for display for the year of the drawing.

I'm at the putting together stage on the granny square afghan. Two rows are completely sewn together with the third started and 1/3 complete. This afghan is going to be a lot larger than I anticipated but I hope it will attract some sales along the way.

I'm in search of a large ziplock storage bag. I know either Ziplock brand used to make them or one of the other brands did at one time, but I'm not finding them in the storage bag/container aisles at the grocery store. If anyone knows where I might find these large ziplock type bags (I remember seeing them advertised on TV years ago), please send me an email at eeldering (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know. I did, however, find Ziplock brand 2-1/2 gallon sized baggies, but after getting just two rows sewn together, I don't think the 2-1/2 gallon sized will be large enough to hold the afghan. I do think that it will be large enough to hold the round ripple as I don't expect to go much past 15 or whatever my yarn will last through rounds on that one. These 2-1/2 gallon bags may also be just right for the Alternating V Shell stitch I'll do for the 2014 drawing.

I'll post pictures of the completed rows and the complted afghan as soon as they are together - Ma America :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

54 squares

I've crocheted the last granny square for the afghan and now am in the process of putting them together. I have all my rows fixed so it's a matter of sewing them together. The first row is sewn together alreayd and 9 squares long is pretty big - I was amazed. When holding the row, it stretches exactly the length of my arms spread out straight to my sides; I know when measuring material my mother told me eons ago that usually a yard is from my outstretched arm to the tip of my nose with my head turned to the opposite side - 36 inches plus between 25 and 30 inches (I've not done the exact measurements) the dimension of the row (It's probably close to 55 inches long and will be about 40 or so inches on the short side.

I will try to take and post pictures of the individual rows as they are completed and then when the whole thing is finished. See you in the postings - Ma America

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012 Afghan drawing

I've got all but five squares completed for the granny square afghan and even started a second red, white, blue one in the "round ripple" pattern. Once I get the squares completely put together I'll finish the round ripple one. Daughter thinks I should have two drawings this year but I'm still not seeing sales so probably will save the round ripple for next year and I've got a third pattern (will need to collect yarn over this year) to do for 2014. If I decide to do two drawings this year, I will let you all know. Mostly this will depend on how sales go and from the looks of it, there will only be one drawing a year. If I have an overwhelming response at my in-person events, I will change my mind.

So here are the pics of the squares. I've started sewing some together so I won't be totally overwhelmed by that task (the most time consuming part of it). No pictures of the sewn together pieces yet but these are the squares.

Enjoy. There will be pictures of the finished afghan later. - Ma America :)

Upcoming Events

It's that time of year (really I'm behind because usually I start planning where we'll be in October and November) to let you know some events that are coming up.

January is almost over and unless I get a last minute call to do a presentation or something, there are no events scheduled. February brings Geofest and that is the official start of my selling season. This is a twice a year event and unless something comes up to conflict, I will probably continue going both times. March is the South Carolina Association of School Libraries (SCASL) conference where I'll be doing a workshop on shelving faction books, in particular the JGDS series. I'll also be an exhibitor/vendor with Sybil Nelson and Sarah Renee (we are calling ourselves the SC Author Connection). April looks to be pretty quiet and then May is a busy month. The Travel & Tourism week usually comes the first week of May but I need to check exact dates with Amos; I've tentatively put it on my calendar as the 12th. The weekend of the 18th is the SC Book Festival; again, this will be a split booth with Sybil Nelson and Sarah Renee as the SC Author Connection. We are tentatively looking at sharing a booth at the Decatur Book Festival which is in September and of course Savannah is on the agenda again this year. I'm going to try to do YALL fest which is the week before Savannah. In August, possibly the Love to Learn homeschool conference and hopefully we will be able to do the Mint Hill Sunday in the Park event again (hoping Ms. Faye will go with us again).

So not as busy as previous years but some bigger events this year. I'll keep you updated as events are added to the calendar. Ma America & the JGDS :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Giveaway 2012

I decided this weekend that my afghan was a pretty good deal so I'm at it again; this year's afghan will be a different design (not the mile-a-minute style, probably granny squares checkerboarded pattern). To be entered for the drawing, any purchase of any of the state books made at any event, in person, ordered directly from me via email or any purchase made online with receipt emailed to me as proof of purchase (eeldering (at) gmail (dot) com without the spaces and the correct symbols with Proof of Purchase in the subject line), will be put in the drawing. Last year from May through December, I had 20 entries. I'd like to see at least 50 or more entries this year. This will be open through the 1st of December with afghan mailed out around the 7th of December as last year. I will post pictures as soon as I have enough squares made up and done in a pattern that I'm satisfied with. Good luck to all who enter. Ma America :)

UPDATE 01/10/2012: I was sitting here trying to figure out how to make my granny squares look different than the normal open granny squares I'm used to doing. So I went on a search for granny square variations. I found an easy "solid" pattern that looks really cool and so I've made up one of the solid squares and have two of the open ones made up and now have my pattern. When I get at least one row done, which will have the sketched out pattern and figure out how to connect the squares (funny thing is the open square has 25 stitches from corner to corner and the solid only has 21 stitches - so that's 4 stitches on each connected side per square I have to figure out how to compensate for even though the squares have turned out to be the exact same size measurement wise). My pattern will be this: 1st row = R(o)W(s)B(o)R(s)W(o)B(s); 2nd row = W(s)B(o)R(s)W(o)B(s)R(o); 3rd row = B(o)R(s)W(o)B(s)R(o)W(s); 4th = colors same as 1st with alternating squares same as 2nd; 5th row = same as colors on 2nd row and alternating squares same as 1st; 6th row = colors same as 3rd with alternating squares same as 2nd (o = open square, s = solid square, r = red, w = white, b = blue). This is going to look pretty cool and I'll take some pictures of the squares as I accumulate them. Each square is 6 x 6, and I will have 9 squares on the long side and 6 squares down on the short side, so 54 x 36 (connections may add something but it may only be minimal). I really can't wait to get more squares done in each of the colors now and start putting them together - lol. Ma America

UPDATE: 01/13/2012 - One row of granny squares is completed (pictures to follow shortly); and racing thoughts about afghans. I decided last night to make this an annual giveaway but would like varying afghan patterns every year. I will also try to get a collection of the varigated red, white and blue yarn (see my bookworms under the gifts page on my website) and do some in varigated, some in the solid red, white and blue colors. As soon as I have this year's completed, I'll start on next year's. Don't forget any purchase of any state book available puts your name in the drawing for the afghan. Ma America - :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Goals and New Stories

I set some new goals and posted on my other blog and have been concentrating a lot on my other writings. I've neglected my state stories way too much. One of my goals this year is to write the next four books in the state series so that Heather can illustrate them and do her thing on a more timely basis. I've already failed part of one goal and we are only three days into the new year, but not a complete failure. The goal to write everyday is something I need to work on more. I also need to be a more regular blogger.

I didn't really write yesterday, mostly fought with my computer but I did get some preposted blog postings ready on my other blog and last week I did start a new story, tentatively titled Imogene: Innocense Lost (you can find a brief description of the book here under the label WIPs), which I hope to get back to after writing my four state stories slated to come out this year. They are started for the most part but I need to fill in the story part. Have an idea what State of Acceleration and State of Monuments will be written like, it is just a matter of sitting down and writing them. I will keep you apprised on my progress with them as I get closer to release dates and have new covers for them.

So far I've had no requests for any of the PDF files of any of the books in exchange for reviews as posted last week. So my biggest goal is trying to find readers and followers to both my blogs since I need to boost my sales for both my print and ebooks.

If you are a librarian, teacher, parent or anyone who enjoys the variety of stories I write and would like to read any or all for free in exchange for posting a review of the books, please email me at and let me know in the subject line which title you would like to receive to read. Your choices are State of Wilderness, State of Quarries, State of Reservations, State of Successes, State of Heights, State of Nature, Finally Home, "The Proposal" (an April Fools Day story), "The Tulip Kiss" and hopefully later this week and by the end of next week "Bride-and-Seek" and "Butterfly Halves" will be available, both of which I do have the word doc files and can convert to PDF if need be but those reviews can't be posted until the stories are available on Nook and Kindle and Smashwords. Thanks everyone.

First event is the Geofest in February and then the big event of the SCASL conference in March. I'm also going to try to be a presenter at the SC Book Festival in May, but if that doesn't work out, I'll be splitting a booth with two other authors hopefully. From there, it looks like Decatur may be the next big event of the year as well as the Savannah Children's book festival and YALL fest (the last count I had was possibly 10 events total where I will be making appearances so that is something else I need to work on is scheduling events this year and posting my calendar of events on my JGDS website; so keep an eye out for that).

Of course in order to do these events, I need to sell books to help cover costs. That goal is right now to sell 15 of each title per month consistently - which I'm nowhere near at the moment. That is roughly 34 books a week for the nine titles I have available, and this week is young. Remember for any print book you order directly from me, I will sign it. For any book or order made via createspace pages (you can find those on the JGDS website) or as well as ebooks via kindle or nook, you can get an e-signature by dropping by my kindlegraph page and requesting a free kindlegraph. These are not just for kindles as you can have the file sent to your email and then you can send that directly from your email to your nook or other device.

The author of Near Death (her blog is called Keystrokes and Word Counts) posted on her blog last week about using kindlegraphs during her blog tour, which I'm going to try. Every time I do a blog tour, I'll use the kindlegraph requests to thank my hosts as well as offer them in conjunction to the blog tour. The thing is that you the reader has to directly request the kindlegraph; I can't just go in and sign a whole lot of them and just send them out.

I hope you all will continue to follow the adventures of the JGDS as well as Ms. Elysabeth in this new year. Looking forward to great things in 2012. Ma America :)

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