Friday, June 23, 2017

My thredUP review


Awhile back, thredUP asked their customers to write a review of their site. And because I'm so conscientious, I wrote one ... within six months. They didn't offer compensation, but just asked customers to spread the word. ThredUP.com allows you to buy and sell secondhand clothes (and some accessories) online. Right now it only has clothes for women and kids; apparently it hasn't been cost-effective to sell men's clothes.

I like to go to thrift shops -- they're better for the environment, and have low prices -- but I find it overwhelming to try to find brands and styles I'll like. ThredUP does make searching for clothes easier for me. Their prices are reasonable, and I can sort by brand, size, color, etc. They frequently have 10% off coupon codes as well.

The clothes arrive in a cute cardboard box wrapped in tissue paper. There's no plastic bags, unlike other stores, so everything is recyclable. You have 14 days to return items if you don't like them. I've been seeing a lot of items that are "final sale," though, which sometimes makes me skip them.

The clothes have always been as described, but they used to arrive with a floral scent that took a few washes to get out. The latest box didn't, and the scent hasn't stopped me from buying.

So, that's buying. Sending clothes to them -- and potentially getting money for your clothes -- is easy. You request a bag, and it arrives in the mail a few days later. Then you pack it with clothes, wait in line at the post office (or schedule a USPS pickup) and mail it off. They subtract $6.99 from the payout (was $4.99 or so when I tried it) to cover shipping costs, or you can opt to have the proceeds donated to charity. I picked clothes that were in good condition but not a good fit for me: too big or too small, or the wrong style.

Is it worth it to send stuff to thredUP over a charity? I'm not sure. I sent them a bag, but it will still be a few weeks before I find out my payout. If you have expensive clothes, you might want to try selling them on your own first. And it may be more eco-friendly to give them to a charity shop in your area.

Fast fashion has created a trend where clothes are bought and discarded quickly. Hopefully secondhand shops (both online and brick and mortar) can temper that a bit. Any thoughts?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

April Check-In

Spring is finally upon us, and I started working in my garden.

A post shared by Laura E. Bradford (@lauraebradford) on

I have been wondering if I should release Saturnine in print, but there hasn't been that much demand so I'll wait a bit on that. I suppose I should actually do some marketing first.

I have some notes for a third Flyday book, but as I said, I'm not sure there's much demand for it. I've got an outline and a few chapters of a YA novel written, so I'll try to keep working on that.

I haven't been on posting Twitter as much lately, but if you send me a message I'll get it. Happy spring!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

What to do when you have too many ideas


I've stepped away from my series for a bit, and I'm writing some stand-alone books. My current work-in-progress is a YA novel, but right now I have too many ideas. Some writers might say that's a good thing, but when I have ideas for six books I want to write, the process gets muddled. When I come up with a great plot event, should I use it in my current book, or save it for a future book? If I'm struggling with the current work, should I slog through or switch to writing something else?

I try to stay on the same book, but it isn't easy. The project I'm working on now? I've been writing it, off and on, for the last few years. I try to outline, but I don't view writing as re-discovering a story that was already there, like a paleontologist chipping away at stone and finding fossils. I write drafts upon drafts as I edit, plan, and shape. In other words, I write like someone taming a wild horse.

When I get an idea for a future book, I write it down in that novel's file, but then I have to return to the main project, or it will never get done. If I'm not sure whether to use an idea now or save it for later, I use it now. There will always be more ideas.

And the ideas I get when I first start a book are always the fun ideas, the exciting premise. But actually writing an entire book--the nitty-gritty of character development, fixing plot holes, and rewriting and editing--is hard work and takes more than just creativity.

Right now I'm taming horses (that is, making sure the plot makes sense) and keeping a running file of stray ideas that haven't been assigned yet. Hopefully I'll be able to make it through this book, and write many more.


Photo by Unsplash.

Friday, January 13, 2017

On the Shelf: Book Riot's 2017 Challenge

A friend of mine pointed me to Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge. I considered myself pretty good at selecting diverse books, but lately most of my reading has consisted of nonfiction, and I need to shake things up a bit.

I'm currently reading Neurotribes by Steve Silberman, about the history of autism, and on just about every page I feel an almost static shock of recognition. As for novels, I'm reading through Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie's excellent Half of a Yellow Sun.

But reading through the list made me realize I do box myself in. Read a book about sports? I had never thought of it, but after scanning through the list, I realized there are some interesting books about running I'd like to read. I've never been too fond of travel memoirs, but I stumbled across an interesting one while looking for recipes. Since Book Riot recommended I read a travel memoir, I added The Sweet Life in Paris by David Leboviz to my to-read list.

There is a library close to my job, so I'll attempt to check a few items off the list. I don't think I'll be able to get to all 24 suggestions this year, but the challenge opened up some ideas about great books I could be missing out on.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Looking for guest posts

Hi all, I've featured some guest bloggers in the past (see examples on the sidebar) and want to open it up again. I want to highlight indie writers, but any writer is welcome to apply to have a post about their writing experience, a new book, etc. Please e-mail me at laurabradford08@gmail.com with a brief summary of your post for consideration.