Posted in Business Startup, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, SoCS, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekly Features

I Think It’s Safe to Say….#SoCS

I think it’s safe to say that we have a successful small business.

Okay, it’s still not bringing in enough cash to meet our expenses, but it’s growing, and building a reputation, and we’re gradually expanding, while at the same time trying to save ourselves the headaches of goig ino debt to finance the business.

But Chef Bluebeard’s hot sauces are a going concern.

That’s a little dizzying to me, considering that we launched our sales in late June, and, at the time, we had one battered car we sweated taking the 5 miles to the one local farmer’s market we worked each week.

It’s now just over 3 months later, and I’m typing this post from our county fairgrounds, where we’re working a swap meet and bike show that’s attracting clubs from all over the state. We’ve made back our booth rental, and we’ve got three hours left to go for this event. We tend to do a bit better as the day goes on, and this event includes alcohol which can be carried throughout the venue. It’s also cool and overcast, with showers – good weather to think about warming up your taste buds!

I actually stopped for a while in the middle of the last sentence. Met a very nice couple, and sold them two bottles of sauce. And stopped again after that sentence to sell another. That makes our count a respectable 8 for the day, so far, and still a bit over 2 hours to go.

So, as I said, we’re finding our pace, and hitting our stride. The next adventure is going to be contacting a woman I ran into outsidea craft store yesterday; by some coincidence, we struck up a conversation, and she organizes craft shows and associated events. So we may have more opportunities in 2018 than we can handle. =)

Also on the agenda – getting the sauce into stores. I finally have a better label solution – since we began, I’ve been printing the labels on regular paper, two to a page, and Jim has been cutting them out and taping them to the bottles. I found sticker sheets, though, and they print fine. It’s still an interim solution – the job is getting to be a bit much for my aging printer, and it’s one of those things I’d happily delegate to a local small business – but, until I have the time and energy to find a printer willing to take on some custom work, sticker sheets should yield 3 labels per page, and, now that we have UPC codes, we are ready to start querying local independent stores. We’re especially looking for those who deal in specialty or related items – and there are quite a few in the area, many of which cater to tourists in the summer season.

We’re still at the beginning of things, still feeling our way along…but gaining confidence as we go, and learning all the time.

P.S. We got to 11 bottles, by the time the event wrapped up – and rumor has it that it was a very slow year. Tomorrow, we’re off to a craft fair….and more sales. =D

What can you safely say today?

This has been a stream-of-consciousness post to Joey’s prompt: “save/safe” for Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Find the rules here, or visit more posters here.

Posted in "Monday Morning Coffee", #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Marketing my Writing, Published Works, Short Stories, Weekend Writing Warriors, Weekly Features, writing, Writing Sample

I Was Human for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.


Rose is at work on a Monday morning, contemplating Jeremy and the nature of her own humanity – or perhaps, lack thereof…

I Was Human

I know I’ll go to Scrimshaw on Friday – but this is only Monday, and it’s not even nine o’clock yet. My Monday life has been empty – my entire life, really. Each morning, I slink past my colleagues upstairs, and hide myself down here, as though I have no place or business in the rest of the library. I can’t even recall their names.

I was human in the train station with Jeremy. But I haven’t been, here.

Now I’m noticing and thinking, not hiding. I remember the woman I sat beside at the station, the way her painted drawstring mouth cinched up her closed face.

What will Rose find when she meets Jeremy at Scrimshaw?

Can she learn to be human at work?

Is she too much like the woman at the station?

Any guesses?

Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review.Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

It’s been a busy week in Shan-land. Last Friday, my best friend and I took a day trip to Lenox, Massachusetts. Saturday was a relative’s housewarming party – a beautiful, big place by a glacier-carved lake. Sunday, we were along the Erie Canal for our last week at the Waterford Harbor Farmer’s Market, and Monday, we closed out the season at our local library’s market, as well.

Because I had a cold last week and missed two workouts in my 5K training program, I’ve gone for a walk/jog every day this week to catch up. I attained that goal today (Thursday, as I type this), and tomorrow I’ll be able to do my on-time workout to close out the week.

The kids and I also have plans to go see the new My Little Pony movie tomorrow, and then I’ll be gearing up for a weekend that includes both a swap meet/motorcycle show, and a fall festival. And next week is a whole other adventure; I’ll share the details of that next weekend.

Until then, may you and yours find joy!

Looking for more #8Sunday?