I Self-Publish Things (AKA What I've Been Doing Since Roughly March-April)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My name is Savannah. Y'all knew that. But what y'all probably don't know is that I'm a self-published author.

Let me tell you a little story spanning all the way back to March/early April of this year.

I've been writing short stories for a good while. In lieu of traditional NaNoWriMo, I took on the task of writing 30 short stories, one for each day of November. But even before that, I've loved creating stories, long or short, fluffy or more serious. Storytelling and crafting has been and always will be a passion of mine.

But let's talk about those November stories. Up until this point, I had been researching literary magazines to try to get my work out there. That is, until I thought about a freelance editing project I'd worked on. The author I edited for self-published his work through Amazon. He had sent me a copy of his book as a thank-you gift.

And that's when the wheels started turning.

At the time, I was working on a short story called "Turn the Town." As I was writing it, something about it just felt right. I had a gut feeling that it would be a good first work to publish after failed attempts to try to put something together as my "debut."

That's when I took the plunge.

I finished that story. I put my graphic design knowledge to use and designed a cover from scratch. I spent hours researching and fiddling with Kindle Direct Publishing until I had a product I was proud of.

And, on April 20, 2017...

...I launched "Turn the Town" on Amazon on Kindle and Paperback.

My dreams literally came true the day I held a copy of my short story for the first time. I can't accurately describe the euphoria I felt when I flipped through the book I'd put together. Even though it wasn't a full novel, it was out there. And it was mine.

And I was ready to do even more.

Speaking of even more...

I'm launching a new one! This next one is titled "The Pirate College," and it's a pirate comedy that I'm super excited to share. It will be available for Kindle and paperback on Amazon on August 15th.

If you want to learn more about and read my work, the easiest ways to access it are through my Amazon Author Central page and my author website.

I am so, so grateful and thankful to my family, friends, and everyone else in between who's picked up, read, and supported my writing and my dreams. This girl is one happy author. And I can't wait to see where God leads me on this grand adventure.

"A book is a dream that you hold in your hand." - Neil Gaiman

My Erin Condren Life Planner Setup | Summer 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

I've been using planners for a long, long time. I get it from my mom. :)

I'm no stranger to Erin Condren, either. Literally. I've heard her speak twice now (once at Geaux Wild in New Orleans, the second time at GO Wild in Nashville), and I've used her planners before. I keep coming back to these planners because of the layout and how easily it fits in with my life (more on that in a minute).

So, how do I use it?

Tools I Use

These days, I'm using colorful Sharpie art pens to write in events and things. I use stickers from The Glam Planner (YouTube beauty guru followers will be familiar with shop owner Elle Fowler, AKA AllThatGlitters21), and I use a variety of washi tape to mark off longer spans of time (like a river trip I went on recently).

Color Key

I've been using this color key for years...at least since college.  I was inspired by this video by - surprise! - Elle Fowler/AllThatGlitters21.
  • Pink - work
  • Orange - social
  • Green - travel
  • Turquoise - blogging
  • Royal blue - dates
  • Purple - misc. items
  • Black - to-do list items
  • Red - appointments/urgent

The Layout

My actual planning is very simple. I use my color key to write events (often putting them in clouds, pictured above), and then punctuate them with whatever "icon" stickers I have. I love these from Glam Planner because I can't get over how cute the anime-style characters are, and it's not too overwhelming on the page whenever I consult my planner on a day-to-day basis.

I also categorize my days. The Erin Condren vertical layout is separated into three boxes per day. The top box is To-Do (or important holidays, like birthdays and anniversaries), the middle box is work, the bottom box is social.

And that's pretty much it! Like I said, simple, but I love it. It fits my life the way I need it to. Do you use a particular planner? Let's talk in the comments! :)

My Favorite Middle TN Coffee Shops

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I'm a coffee hound. People who know me can absolutely vouch for this. I love a good cup of joe, whether it's something I make at home or something I choose to go buy at a local coffee shop or chain.

Speaking of local coffee shops, I've enjoyed trying new ones lately. In fact, one just opened up near where I go to church (more on that in a minute). But there's something about local shops that warms my heart (pun may or may not be intended), and hey, it's always good to support local businesses.

So, what are my favorites in the Middle TN area?

Barista Parlor

I wasn't about to write a coffee post without writing about this place. I've mentioned this place plenty of times before here on [Savannah] in Wonderland, and my opinion of it still hasn't changed...it's the best. From specialty coffee with fruit notes to homemade pop-tarts and other goodies, you can't go wrong. :)

Location: East Nashville, Downtown Nashville (The Gulch), Germantown
Website: https://baristaparlor.com/

The Frothy Monkey

This one's a frequent spot for me and my girls. I love getting caramel lattes here (hot and iced). My friends also adore their turtle latte. Also, they serve a great lunch and dinner here, so come hungry for a great time with your girls or your significant other.

Location: Downtown Franklin, Downtown Nashville
Website: https://frothymonkey.com/

Coffee & Coconuts

This is the new coffee shop that just opened near my church. I've only been once, but I can already tell this will be another coffee place for my girls and I. The beachy atmosphere is adorable, and the caramel latte I tried was pretty great! I'll probably plan on trying one of their specialty coffees next time I visit.

Location: Franklin
Website: http://coffeeandcoconuts.com/

This great coffee shop is one that's run by some family friends of ours, and their coffee is nothing short of phenomenal (If you're familiar with Puckett's in Columbia, this is where they get their coffee). I asked for a recommendation when they didn't have a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and they suggested a latte made with locally grown honey. Y'all, it was awesome.

Location: Columbia
Website: https://muletowncoffee.com/

Do y'all have any favorite coffee shops, in Middle Tennessee or otherwise? Let me know in the comments! :)

Quick disclaimer before I go: I am not paid to review these coffee shops, nor was I asked to review them. I am just here to share what I love with you guys. :)