Sunday, June 30, 2013

Instructional Video: How to Have a Successful Business on eBay

I hope this'll help someone :)

If you're wondering how the fabric sale went this weekend, here goes:

We only made $19 on Friday, but it was fun hanging out with my little entrepreneur. Then, the Scribe started trading MY fabric for earrings etc. from other sellers! 
    It's so easy for her to barter . . . with other people's items!
On Saturday,  we sold over 500 yards!!!  At one point the Scribe asked, "Why did you give her all that fabric for half price?"
     "Because I like her," I said.
     "Would you stop liking people? Please!"

Later that day, the Hippie came to the fair.  She started asking people if they'd pay a dime to see a backhand-spring.  She made over ten dollars!  Do the math on that one--what a kid.

When the Hippie wasn't earning tips, she was either hiding the fabric she wanted to keep, or trying to give the rest away.  
She's JUST like her mother!

Friday, June 28, 2013

How to Start a Successful Business on eBay

BIG DECISION: I've decided to finally sell ALL of my fabric. I had a booming eBay clothing business, but my hand eventually started hurting from sewing too much. The doctor told me I needed to stop to prevent future problems and possible damage that would affect my ability to play the violin.
    Well, it's $15,000-worth of fabric--crazy, huh. I'll be selling it at the Syracuse, UT fair tonight (6/28/13) and tomorrow for $1 a yard.

    If you're around--and don't even need fabric--I'll be the girl playing the solo violin by piles of material. I can still play a smokin' fiddle because of this sacrifice; why not perform a little to bring in some business AND help stop the pain that comes from the death of a dream?
    I've also decided to share ALL of my secrets to success with eBay tomorrow.  (SHHHH! Don't tell anyone I told you!)
 Some of the sets I made.
To see this "Story" told through pictures, please click "view full" or go HERE.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Hippie and the Surprise Box

Since school is almost out for my kids again, I thought I'd share a fun story from last year.

The Hippie and the Scribe's last day of school was yesterday--gotta love year-round school.  Anyway, to celebrate that school finally ended IN JULY, last week the entire school had a fair.  The Scribe promptly told me she'd need some trinkets and things to sell.  The Hippie, however, never said a thing.  And when last night came, I asked if she'd participated too.
    "Yeah.  The whole school had a fair.  We saved tickets all year to spend them.  I didn't want to bother you or ask for things to sell, so I thought of something else. . . ."
    "Yeah.  I grabbed things people left around the house.  I found some really great stuff and some bad things too.  You know how you tell us not to leave toys on the ground and if we do, you'll throw them away?"
    I nodded and bit my fist because it was hard not laughing.  That threat had been a bluff.  Why?  Because I'm a hoarder.  Yet she'd followed through for me.  The Hippie rocks!
    "But when the other grades started coming through my class's sale, none of the kids wanted to buy used toys."  She looked at me with her icy blue eyes.  "I wasn't selling a thing."
    "That's sad.  I'm sorry.  You should have asked for my help."
    "No way.  I was doing things myself.  Plus, I wouldn't let something like that get me down."  She grinned.  "I knew there was a way to get around it.  My teacher had a cardboard box in the corner of the room.  I asked if I could use it and she just smiled and nodded, watching me the whole time.  "I decorated the box and wrote on the side: Surprise Box. Take a chance for five tickets....  Then I put all my junk inside."
    That was a bit witty--impressive actually.  "Five tickets . . . was that a lot?"
    "Yeah, but kids actually paid!  My desk was the most popular place to be."
    "Did the kids like what they got?"
    "Some did.  Some didn't.  But they were taking a chance on a surprise.  That was their own fault."
    I started laughing then.  I know I shouldn't have, but she took me off guard!
    "One kid got a baby toy and I told him right away, 'You get what you get and you don't throw a fit.'"
    Wow, so he got a bargain AND some advice that day.
    "You're ingenious.  You know that?" I said.
    "You kidding?  I don't even know what ingenious means."
    "It means you're pretty dang smart."
    "Yeah.  I've learned a lot this year." The Hippie curled up next to me on the couch.  "Second grade was great.  I started out as a girlie girl and ended up as a tomboy.  I'm so glad I think about girl AND boy things now.  Girlie girls just think about their hair all the time."
    "There's more to life than hair?"
    "Oh yeah.  There's cool things like surprise boxes!"
    "You are hilarious."
    "And ignious."
    "Whatever."  She suddenly jumped up and ran toward the stairs. "Scribe, come here," she yelled to her older sister.  "I have an idea for how we can make some money this summer.  It's gonna be epic."
    "As long as it isn't a fundraiser, then I'm in," the Scribe replied.  "Fundraisers never turn out well when I hold them for myself."
    Heaven help me when those two grow up!  I really wonder what the future holds for a couple of girls who are so hysterical and resourceful.  

Would You Listen to a Podcast of My Latest Interview?

If you'd like to listen to my latest radio interview, please visit the following link (start at 0:44 - 1:08): Kinetichifi Archive CLICK HERE

Also, Wayman Publishing has joined with Lexie Lane & Becky McNeer (co-authors of The Blogger’s Survival Guide) to host a blogfest--about parenthood--and offer participating bloggers a chance to be published.  Go HERE for more info. 

And lastly, some silly updates from my Facebook Page:

Me *on the phone with a telemarketer*: "200 bucks? That's ridiculous!"
My three-year-old daughter *after I hung up*: That was dick-ulous. Really! It was!
Me: Dick-ulous? *facepalm*
Wait 'til she uses THAT word at family reunions!

My five-year-old son (when I gave him apples to eat before breakfast today): Huh. No wonder they call 'em apple-tizers.
He might not know all of his letters, but at least he knows his apple-tizers! 

"Selling stuff at the Economics Fair will be like taking candy from a baby." -My Daughter
Somehow I don't think this is the message the 3rd grade teachers were trying to convey....

My eight-year-old daughter: Saying "Pig Latin" in Pig Latin, is harder than learning the entire language. 

I find this soooo sexy! It reminds me of the time he drove the mini van to a kiddie party--super cute. 

If you'd like to read more of these silly updates, I'll be posting one new update each day, just "LIKE" my Facebook Page HERE if you'd like to see them on FB. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Golden Sky is now Available as an Audiobook! Come Listen to a Sample!

When narrator Alexandra G. Haag initially auditioned to be the voice of my memoir "The Golden Sky" neither one of us knew quite how much we have in common, or how impacting this project would become. 
    In a previous post (HERE) I confessed that while listening to the first few pages of Haag's narration, I felt compelled, wondering what Haag had gone through to convey such emotion.  "The Golden Sky" is very close to my heart since it details the hardest time of my life, when my infant son was born with birth defects and later passed away.  Although I feel that Haag was "destined" to produce my memoir, at first I had no idea that Haag herself had lost a child. 
    As time passed, I learned that Haag's daughter lived to be the same age as my son, Zeke. But the coincidences didn't stop there.  I, myself, was born only a few weeks before Haag had found out she was pregnant with her own angel baby.  "I've often thought about the timing of Elisa's experience and my own," says Haag.  And it truly is amazing that God has bought us together, to reach out through this project, trying to help others who may be going through similar circumstances.

You can listen to the first fifteen minutes here:

Purchase "The Golden Sky" Audiobook Version HERE

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My First Comedy Radio Interview is Today!

Wish me luck!

Official Info:
Elisabeth Hirsch to be interviewed by Brian Shirley about humorous novella and audiobook "How to Avoid Having Sex" on BTS Radio 6/19 4:30pm EST.
If you'd like to listen, please visit the following link (start at 0:44 - 1:08): Kinetichifi Archive CLICK HERE

To celebrate this exciting event, I'm giving away two physical copies of this book.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

How to Avoid Having Sex by E.C. Stilson

How to Avoid Having Sex

by E.C. Stilson

Giveaway ends July 17, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Monday, June 17, 2013

No one is perfect. Not even Superman.

My son to his little sister: Tattoos ARE NOT stickers. Haven't you seen Daddy's arms? There's a big difference.
My daughter: They are too the same! Daddy just never tried getting his stickers off!

My five-year-old son *after riding the biggest roller-coaster at Lagoon--the one with the death-drop that immediately goes upside down*: I bet I'm the only kid in kindergarten who's gone on that ride.
Me *laughing*: YOU are awesome. You wanna go again?
My son *stumbling, still a little green*: No! Mom, are you crazy? I only went 'cause Daddy said it was a little ride. At least now I can tell everyone about it at school.
Me: You'll be the bravest kid there.
My son: All right, it was worth it.

What a catch!

No one is perfect--not even Superman. Did you see how many people he couldn't save in the latest movie?

"I started leaving dollar bills in my pockets so that when I do the laundry, it's just like Christmas," my daughter said.
I coughed, rather loudly.
"What, Mom? You said make it fun!"
So that's why she's been doing all of her laundry right on time!

If you'd like to read more of these silly updates, I'll be posting one new update each day, just "LIKE" my Facebook Page HERE if you'd like to see them on FB. 

Also, my first interview on a comedy radio station is this Wednesday. It'll be posted online if you want to listen in.  More details here: Comedy Radio Interview.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Slow Down. Take in the View: Hunting with my Dad

"Special moments are earned, and worth a hike up the ridge," Savvy Dad.
Savvy Dad featured another one of my stories for the week of Father's Day--I'm thrilled.
Please go HERE to read the story.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How NOT to get out of speeding tickets.

I suck at talking my way out of tickets.  And I get them for the DUMBEST reasons! Once a cop "clocked me with his eyes." I even got a ticket when I was in labor--no kidding.  (TMI Alert!) I'm positive I dilated that day while pleading with the cop, telling him I needed to get home and take my Terbutaline.
    Maybe this is payback for a past life of crime?  Was I a villain, someone terrible like Robin Hood's King John?
    Or am I simply paying for all those days speeding as a teenager?
    And not only do I get them for dumb reasons, the ONLY time I got out of a ticket was when I really deserved one! I was 17, driving at 2am without my lights on!  Yep, got out of that one, and yet years later I can't even avoid one when I'm in labor--going 9 MPH over?!
    Maybe the problem is that I hide my emotions too well.  I'm always laughing, always smiling, mostly because I'm happy or nervous.  I must be either happy or nervous all the time . . . Maybe I wasn't King John, maybe I was a Labrador Retriever? 
    I laugh and smile.  Once a cop even said I was so nice it was the easiest ticket he ever gave.  Gee . . . THANKS.
    Regardless, I had to tell you all of that, so you'd understand the desperation I felt today.  The road stretched far ahead.  My babies cried begging for this and that while Radio Disney blared in an effort to appease them. I rolled down the window, hoping the wind would drown out all other sounds--but it didn't.  So, did I have a chance to notice the speed changing from 45 to 35?  Did I also have the chance to see a cop parked, sneakily facing me two feet from the "35 MPH Sign"?  No!
     As he turned on his lights, preparing to flip around and follow me, I nearly swallowed all the spit in my mouth. 
    "There's a cop!" I slammed on the breaks and turned into a tiny side street. 
    My children screamed, glancing back at flashing lights, "Shark! Shark!"
    They had that right.  The man had been waiting for a little at-home mom, just looking for his prey.  "Mother Knows Best" still boomed from the radio, and I thought, mother doesn't ALWAYS know best, but she sure does have terrible luck with tickets.
    We made a quick U-Turn on the tiny street, then parked and turned off the van.
     "Be quiet! He might hear us! And I don't have money to pay for another ticket!" I said to my three and five-year-old.  In hindsight, that was a STUPID thing to say. The whole thing wasn't very smart. We were in broad daylight, still inside of the van.  My heart beat fast, thumping like my washer earlier this morning.  Plus, what if the cop turned around and saw us?  What would he say?  What would I say?  "Ummm, Sir.  I'm an idiot.  And I'm normally really great at being responsible, just not today?"  Then I'd hold out my wrists for him to arrest me, because I can be freakin' accommodating--that's what! And I'd try forgetting all the terrible things I've done; like that time I farted and blamed it on the kid next to me.
    But tickets will do that to ya.  Hell, I heard about girls in high school who flashed cops, or said they were on the rag, just to avoid paying a speeding fine.  Sometimes the thought of getting a ticket can actually cause more crimes!
    Several cars lurched past. My kids stayed quiet, exchanging conspiratorial looks as we watched the main street from our vantage point.  Had the cop managed to turn around in this traffic?
    Birds sang outside--not even caring that I might go to jail.  Someone smiled while checking their mail--the ignorant optimist!
    A second later a cop car, with his siren blaring and lights flashing, zoomed past.
    My boy jumped from his seat, swung his fist in the air and began hooting, "Ya lost him! Ya lost him! Good job, Mom!"  He hugged me round the neck, and looked at me as if I were a giant scoop of ice cream.  "Now you won't lose all your money."
    I cleared my throat.  It's truly amazing what five-year-olds pick up on.  "Cops are wonderful," I stated in a clear voice--now that we were out of danger. "Don't always do what Mommy does.  And we are fine with money.  I'm just tired of making donations to this city."  Then I quickly turned left onto the road and drove in the opposite direction of the cop.  I thanked my lucky stars.  But I still hope this is one of those childhood memories the kids will soon forget.

    So, I feel bad.  And I won't be screwing my license plate on upside down like one person I know.  But honestly, I'm not perfect. I hope no one will respond to this saying "Slow Down. 9 over is 9 too many!" Or. "How terrible you evaded a cop."  The point is that I'm tired of getting in trouble when I'm trying to do my best--with God, my family, my business, my friends--without these other things happening that could make me have a break down.  At least I didn't get a ticket for my lawn being too long, like my poor neighbor did.  THAT was ridiculous.
    Oh well.  This world isn't all gumdrops and raisins (or however that saying goes) and that's what makes it so exciting.  Plus, at least we aren't in a Zombie apocalypse.  Can you imagine getting pulled over by a zombie cop?  That would *sing-song voice* SU-CK!

   P.S. Some of this post might not be factual.  Oh and, even though this just happened, I don't know what city it may have taken place in--if it were real.  Also, this might be about someone else--especially that part about the washer thumping.  The main character in this story might even have been a man. Named. Cade.

Signing Off,
A Completely Exhausted Elisa  (who--by the way--caught a bad bacteria and is currently on antibiotics lol.  Livin' the dream.) 

Sorry I haven't been commenting on many blogs lately.  I'm going to try harder. I swear. But I have been reading many on my phone (just not while driving).

Monday, June 10, 2013

Featured on the Front of Savvy Dad!

A story about my dad and me is featured on the front page of Savvy Dad today! Just in time for Father's Day. 
    If you have a chance to look, the main picture is of my dad holding me when I was 4 years old.

Direct Link to Story: Stand Up With Grace

My Mom Plays the Drums!

My mom is amazing.  She's been a foundation in my life, someone who was there no matter what.  If I'm overly confident, it's because of her.  If I refuse to give up--it's because of her.  If I like my hair pulled back so tightly people think I've had a facelift . . . it's because of her.    She's one of the most resilient, awe-inspiring people you could meet.  Her spirit shines sweet and kind.  She seems quiet and meek, but don't let that fool ya, inside she rages with hilarity and every day that woman makes me laugh.  One time a guy teased her too much, when he turned, my mom threw a dishrag in his face.  It was epic, better than when Neil walked on the moon!
    Well, when my mom was two years old, her father died.  Then, when she was three, her mother left her along with three of her siblings.  Their aunt and uncle raised them.  Things were hard, but my mother never gave up.  She refused to let things pull her down into the mud of life.  She knew she was meant to be something great--a success.  
    During her sixth grade year, all of the students took a test to see who qualified for the percussion program.  My mom passed with unrivaled talent.  I've always imagined the test.  
    In my imagination, the teacher stood by a full drum set and asked, "What's rhythm?"
    Some sap raised his hand.  "Isn't that when you tap your foot to the music?"
    Another kid with preteen pimples probably whispered.  "Is it when you clap at church?"
    I bet that's when my modest, twelve-year-old mother rolled her eyes.  She maybe walked to the front of the class room and hollered, "Listen here, children.  You wanna know what rhythm is?  Get a load of this!"
    Then she sat at those drums, and she played the heck out of 'em!  Saints watched from Heaven.  Jesus smiled because some-a-day He knew that Italian sweetheart would live for Him.  All those kids cheered at the end, because it's not everyday you realize, you're going to school with a legend.  I bet that was her first standing ovation--I BET!    
    So, my mom emerged as a sixth grade icon.  She became so fantastic, she used her skill to win Miss C. E. U., and later Miss Carbon County.  Then shortly after that, she won my dad.
    Here's a picture so you know I'm not lying about her beauty.  (If you doubted me--shame on you!)


    Later my dad swept her off those rhythmic feet, when he asked her to marry him.  They had three kids: a chemist, a mechanical engineer, and a blogger.

    So, I'd like to show you a video of my mother playing the drums.  
    Sorry about the shaky camera, I started crying a bit during this because I kept thinking about how lucky I am to have such a great mother.  Then, my mom smiled at me and I got a case of the giggles.  Blame it on P. M. S..  Blame it on lack of sleep.  Heck, blame it on LOVE!
    Oh, and every time I say "awesome" in this video, please imagine a different (more creative) word in place of it.  Maybe epic, fantastic, joyous.  I'm not good at public speaking.
    Without further ado, here she is folks:  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Have You Heard of "Cups" from Pitch Perfect?

If you're here to read the posts from the Random Acts of Kindness Blogfest, please CLICK here!

Well, I had a big radio interview today--super exciting--so to calm my nerves, I recorded this silly video. 
I hope you'll like it.

P.S. Here's the hilarious book/eBook/audiobook I talked about in the video:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It's Better to Give than to Receive

We had something amazing happen at an assisted living home.  But first, let me share some big news:

I can hardly believe that I'm listed as one of the 
Top 50 Mompreneurs of 2013.  
Pretty exciting.
They're narrowing it down to the top 10. 
--I never ask for things like this--
But if you have a chance...

Would you vote for me by clicking the "thumbs up" after visiting this link?

 Voiceboks--The Crazy Life of a Writing Mom

Also, Rosrin Wuithiran has won the iPad Mini from 
the Random Acts of Kindness Blogfest! 
Onto the Post of the Day:

It's Better to Give than to Receive 

Last week, I decided to take my kids to an assisted living home and perform for the residents living there.  Cade had been scheduled to play the guitar while I played the violin, but things fell apart when Cade was scheduled to work far out of town.  
    Still, my four kids giggled as we drove to the quaint building. Didn't they know I was terrified?  I have fun playing with Cade--since he's my crutch--but I'm petrified to play alone.
    "I'm nervous," my voice squeaked to the Scribe as all four of my children played so loudly I swear the van started rocking on the freeway. "Calm down," I yelled. "We're going to perform for some people! Don't act like this there." I groaned because being a parent is hard. Half the time I'm raising these kids alone, and that's A LOT of pressure.
    "Why are we doing this?" the Scribe asked.
    "Well, Dee asked if we'd bring some of her books to give away as a random act of kindness. And I always have to make things complicated, so we're going to perform while we give the books away."
    "We're going to perform? You're fiddling. What am I gonna do?"
    I shrugged.  "Dance. Something. You'll know what to do when we get there."
    She looked wearily at the Hippie, the Zombie and Dr. Jones.  "Now I'm nervous! I'm just gonna think about making people happy.  This is hard work! No wonder Dee made a good nun--she makes being sweet look so easy!" And the truth is that Dee Ready (of Coming Home to Myself) could be an actual saint someday.  She's kind and generous.  To even think of donating her books like this just warmed my heart.

    "I'm not sure if I'm the person who should be donating these books," I told Dee prior to all of this.
    "You're just the person," she said. "Wait and see."
    After we set up and I stood in front of a room filled with elderly people, I shakily cleared my throat.  I had to do this--Dee believed in me.
    "We're here today," I gestured toward my four rambunctious children, and myself, "because a generous author has asked for us to share her books with you. A local Baptist church also donated so we could buy dozens of scarves to give to every woman here. These gifts aren't from us. But we're happy to deliver them."
    I glanced and saw the Zombie Elf who'd bent down to inspect a wheelchair--I nearly fainted as he pulled on the brake.
    We were there to spread joy NOT hurt the residents!
    I thought I may die, but then the Scribe smiled widely at me. "Don't worry. You were right, Mama. I do know what to do." She then proceeded to round up her siblings and hand them the scarves. "We're passing them out--spreading joy," she whispered. As my four hooligans walked around the room, the Zombie didn't try breaking anymore wheelchairs; instead he joked with a man in the back of the room.  My three-year-old girl nestled up to a kind-looking woman with gray hair. But my oldest daughters were the ones who made my heart swell with joy.  The Scribe bent down and wrapped a scarf around one woman's shoulders. "I picked this color for you because it goes perfectly with your eyes."  The woman's lips quivered ever so slightly as she looked at my eleven-year-old.  She nodded, without saying and word, then squeezed my daughter's hand.
    The Hippie followed suit, finding just the right scarf for each woman.  As the scarves were given in that personal, loving way, it felt as if the blinds were thrown open and a bunch of flowers had blossomed with the sunlight of a new day. 
    I played a quick song then.  The residents started clapping and I nearly laughed from the joy of it.  The Zombie crossed in front of me, looking at everyone and when he sat down, they clapped for him.  Dr. Jones, not wanting to miss out, crossed as well, then did a somersault!  The Hippie and Scribe started doing tricks--all four of them joined in, dancing, walking and smiling. 
    I'll never forget that snapshot moment in our lives, of all the people cheering and smiling, of the women gently cherishing those scarves, or how much they seemed to treasure Dee Ready's books as we passed them out at the end of our time there.
   Just before we left, the activity director said, "We never have enough copies of books to have book club meetings.  Please tell this author 'thank you' from us.  Now we'll be able to have our first meeting next month after everyone has read A Cat's Legacy."
    I was proud of my kids, realizing they're great givers.  But I was also blessed in that perfect moment, surrounded in the love of dozens of strangers who'd made us happier than we'd ever imagined possible. They'd strengthened a girl who'd been so terrified to perform alone.

    "I know what I'm going to be when I grow up," the Scribe said as we drove away.
    "What?" I asked.
    "Someone who helps old people."
    "That is awesome! What do you want to be?" I asked the rest of my kids.
    "A construction worker like Daddy," the Hippie said.
    "A wuv-wy pin-cess," sweet Dr. Jones said.
    "I dunno," my boy finally sputtered.  "Somethin' great!"  He looked at Dr. Jones squarely and yelled, "'Cause my pee pee's bigger than yours!"
    Dr. Jones started crying in her little girly voice. The Zombie started singing about his pee pee.  My oldest girls played so loudly I swear the van started rocking on the freeway--again.  But somehow it had still been a life-changing day.   

Us--just goofing around. 
Cade is so much fun.