Baby Groot, a tweetchat and my book.

My friend Linda B. and I went to see “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” on its opening day, and we were not disappointed.

A trash-talking and genetically modified raccoon, a musclebound alien with no social filters, a female assassin with green skin, the assassin’s mostly robotic sister, a (sorta) reformed space pirate and a super-adorable sapling version of the treelike giant alien Groot – what’s not to like?

Given my propensity for finding personal finance lessons everywhere, I went in with pen and paper. Although it was a pretty dark movie (outer space!) I could mostly read what I’d scribbled, and I skipped lunch with Linda in order to go home and write.


The result: “8 money lessons from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2’,” published over on the Clark.com website. Clark Howard, as you probably already know, is a savvy frugality wizard who’s written books and whose radio show is syndicated all over the country. It even plays up here in Anchorage.

It’s a popcorn movie for sure, so don’t expect deep thoughts. Do expect some wry humor and for a whole lotta stuff to get blowed up real good. Be sure to watch for the guy who played Kirk in “The Gilmore Girls.”


Join me at the tweetchat

Men are more likely than women to own homes. No single reason why exists; it’s a complicated situation.

This Thursday, the GOBankingRates website plans a tweetchat that focuses on the homeowner gender gap. I’m one of a few dozen PF geeks who has signed up to be part of the tweetchat, which starts at 11 a.m. PDT on Thursday (May 18).

Follow along with the hashtag #homeownergendergap or sign in with the TweetChat tool.

Bring your questions as well as your observations. See you there.


News about the sequel

“Your Playbook For Tough Times, Vol. 2: Needs And Wants Edition” has been edited, proofread and formatted. In the next couple of days I’ll be sending out the first of two e-mails related to the book. This one will feature a free excerpt of the new book and a discount code for its predecessor. If you have not signed up for this e-mail list, leave a comment below or e-mail me at SurvivingAndThriving (at) live (dot) com.

Production-wise, all that’s left to do is the cover. Currently it’s in the hands of a designer named Tina, with whom I’ve been exchanging e-mails about what I want.

Trouble is, I’m not really sure. I’m a word nerd, not a design savant. Besides, the subject is pretty abstract. Were the topic something like paying off your mortgage early, you could have fun with pictures of houses and deeds. If I were writing about cat videos she’d have tons of material.

I was able to give her a few suggestions:

  • No cutesy pictures of a sports-style playbook, or a piggy bank wearing a Band-Aid
  • Green is nice but please not an entirely green cover
  • Here are a couple of examples of PF books whose covers I liked
  • And, um, could you fix the title I sent? It should be “Needs And Wants” rather than “Wants And Needs.” #homersimpsonnoise

One of the reasons I chose Tina was that she looked at those two covers and gave me her thoughts on them; I also looked at her portfolio and liked what I saw. Her first design featured a photo of a small tree growing on a rock in the middle of a body of water, with a forest in the background.

I loved the underlying idea: You do you, and if other people want to follow the crowd then let them. But the forest and its reflection in the water were wildly busy and distracted the reader’s eye from the book’s (admittedly long) title and subtitle.


Back to the drawing board

But that was okay, because I bought the design package that comes with two revisions. Before Tina started over I got a little more specific:

  • Really liked the little tree on its own island; however, I prefer a graphic design over a photo
  • Something clean and unfussy, like some of the examples from your portfolio
  • No design on the back cover because there’s already too many words there

What I should have done from the start was flag two of her previous covers that caught my eye. Belatedly, I did. Since I have them, I thought I’d share them with you:



Tina and I last e-mailed on Friday. Hoping to hear from her by Wednesday morning. And if we can come to an agreement on what makes a great cover, she’ll be finding out what I think makes a great tip. She’ll think Santa Claus fell on her.

Once the books are available (Amazon, Kindle and here on my site) I’ll be writing about it. Boy, will I. And that second e-mail will have a discount code for the e-version. Again: If you want to be on the mailing list, let me know. I promise not to spam you with daily buy-my-book e-mails.

Thanks for hanging in there with me during my second trip through this complicated process. CreateSpace makes self-publishing look so simple. Spoiler alert: It’s simple, but it isn’t easy.

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  1. Janey

    I want on the mailing list!!!

  2. Can’t wait to read it! Love your writing style.

  3. Our sons went with their friends to see Guardians yesterday afternoon. (They were frugal and went to the matinee, of course.)

    Can’t wait for the new book! If I’m not already on th emailing list, can you stick me on there, please?

  4. Kathy Mueller

    I want to be on the mailing list too! Thanks

  5. Teresa

    Please place me on the mailing list. Thank-you:)

  6. Please put me on the mailing list.

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