Wordy Weekend Links

This week I’ve been optimizing my etsy listings. I first heard that term as a bookseller when we revamped our displays to face-out (meaning the front of the book faced the customer) the newest and better-selling books. It was a genius move, because many shoppers do judge a book by it’s cover (which is why, if you’re self-publishing, you simply must have a decent cover).

And basically that’s what I’m doing with my pictures. I retook all of them, outside, on a white background, in the scorching heat. It was the best light I could possibly get without creating some sort of setup. All of my pictures have a cool, rather than warm, background, but I think I like the cooler background. It’s amazing how much better my store looks after doing this (still not open, that’s September 1st. Hopefully.). Of course, it takes time, and that’s why I hadn’t made a concerted effort before this. I estimate I’ve spent 40+ hours creating and refining 47 listings. Future ones should be quicker to set up, since I know how I want my pictures to look and some of the info is the same for every listing.

But a few times this week I’ve felt like my brain was fried. Anyway.

Ducks and SpongesI’m a duck, not a sponge, but Himself is a sponge. It helped enormously once I figured out his Myers-Briggs type, because suddenly the emotional vomiting made sense. Now we try to put barriers in place, to remember that it’s other people’s emotions, not his, and that does seem to help. An enlightening read.

12 Habits of People Who Always Have a Clean Home. I don’t have an organized house. It’s mostly clean, because I don’t do gross, but that means I only clean when I see grossness, not on any sort of regular schedule. I can’t, because I’ve prioritized my time, and homeschooling and my various online stores (plus the artwork that goes into it) come first. However, I found these tips to be on the nose, and many of them I’d already incorporated. I stumbled across this article on Pinterest, and it’s not new, if you care about such things.

A Voice for the Voiceless. I linked to this on Twitter and then hid for awhile; not because I was ashamed of the article, but because it is such a polarizing issue. For many, it’s no longer a rational discussion, and even well-thought out approaches are met with fury (both sides do this). And it should be a discussion. I say that as a pro-life feminist who is also a nascent historian; I’ve read women’s history, women’s lit, and I understand the despair that can happen when you find out you’re pregnant with an unwanted/untenable pregnancy and feel that you no longer have control of your body. I felt that way about each of my pregnancies, and they were all planned. Of course, as a pro-lifer, I am also anguished over the millions of babies who have not been born, who have no voice, no choice to make. Thus there is a dilemma. And saying “just don’t have sex” isn’t an answer, that’s never been plausible. Instead, it is my worthy opinion that birth control should be widely available, women of any freaking age should be able to get their tubes tied (most doctors won’t do it before a woman is 35 or has had kids), and women should be made aware of how their reproductive cycle works, because knowledge is power, and many pregnancies could be avoided (or happen, if you’re trying) simply by being familiar with how your body works. And if all that fails, I would love to see more programs in place to help women either place the child for adoption or help them raise the child (because they can be expensive).

Six Money Messes to Clean Up Before Your 30’s. I read lots of financial advice, because we’re starting this whole gig rather late. We were 22 and 24 when we got married; we moved to a new state to start a job with regular hours and a 401k, then left that to go back to school, and now we’re back at a job that matches our retirement contributions at the worthy ages of 31 and 33. We’ve also got student loans we’re paying off, three kids, etc. I was really pleased to see that we’ve accomplished some of these, and we’re working on the ones we haven’t. As I tell my younger brothers, it’s never too early to start planning for the future/retirement.

And that’s it. I hope you wonderful people have an amazing weekend. Art on!

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