Monday, June 24, 2013

New Blog Site

I started this blog thanks to my good friend, Jan, a couple years ago.  Then she and some others encouraged me to keep writing.  The result turned into a bloody book!  Now I have a website with a blog component and that's where I have begun to share more book related things.  So, if you'd like to follow me around on a perhaps more regular basis visit  Of course, I'd love you to order my book while you're there.  Since the book entered the world nearly three weeks ago I have yet to receive a negative review.  There's even a discussion group forming in the midwest.  I'll try to report in here sporadically, but time restraints have become a challenge.  Love you all, all the time.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Birth Announcement

Yesterday, my book became a reality as it came off the printing press.  The twenty month pregnancy finally ended.  Nearly a pound, the little guy measures nine inches long, six inches wide and is wrapped in a paperback cover.  Tomorrow, the load gets packed in a truck and will make the trip from Minnesota to me.  With an ETA of late next week or early the following one, I can begin to process the orders I already have and share a piece of my soul in each package.  So far they are destined for eight different US states and two other continents!  Of course, more orders are always welcome at my website.

I forecast a busy summer.  My collaborator, Uta Mooney arrives the last day of May for three months and we have already been selected to participate in two local art walks in Mill Creek and Edmonds, WA, as well as one in Portland, OR.  Uta will be exhibiting her Cabin 108  inspired paintings and I hope to sell some books along the way.  We are determined to promote each other successfully and spread the word as far and wide as possible.

Yep, new addition to my family and I'm already looking for other locations for the little guy.  Any word of mouth (positive preferred) would be greatly appreciated.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

No More Almost

Delete 'nearly' too.  Yesterday, I completed my transformation and became a professional writer as I launched my website for my new book, Cabin 108, and began accepting orders.  So, I didn't get many but I got enough to prove that people will pay for my words.  More will follow as delivery of product nears by the first of June.   The proof copy sits on the table downstairs right now and will be in the printer's hands by Wednesday.  Two weeks to produce and a week transit time after that.  Presto!  I can begin fulfilling orders.

Would have told you two years ago, even one year ago, you were crazy to think I could write and publish a book.  But that's where I am.  So much going on lately.  My publishing coordinator told me in a meeting that my book is a thousand times better written than 50 Shades.  She's only been in the publishing business for 30+ years!  Settled on a company to warehouse and distribute my novel to bookstores and libraries.  Bought packaging supplies for direct sales, which I need desperately to make this venture viable.  Calculated postage for domestic and international sales.  Figured out how to put a "Buy Now" button on my website.

The learning will continue as I enter the world of literary marketing, promotion and publicity.  I'm already working on events to spread the word.  Perseverance, passion, determination and hard work got me this far.  So many chances to give up and walk away, but I refused.  Cabin 108 became an obsession that wouldn't let me quit.  

For now, I will leave you with the cover of my new book.  Based on a painting by Uta Mooney with beautiful model, Jacqueline Davey, and graphic design by Laura Zugzda.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Choose Love

Like many last week, I watched the Boston marathon tragedy unfold.  My book didn't seem all that important as I witnessed on television two apparent people full of hate with a disregard for human life, selfish, greedy and actively engaging in the promotion of bombs and arms intended to kill.  Sadly, they possess many of the same characteristics of our U.S. Congress.  To counter all that hate, I experienced a most beautiful 60th birthday party my family put together last weekend.  Wallowing in the love of friends and family, present and past, in the form of memories, cards and photos, I experienced a serious love hangover the day after.

But, I am back in business today and my book moves forward.  I approved the layout tonight and that leaves only the back cover graphics before going to the printer.  Right now my publishing team fights over which photo of me belongs in the book.  What a strange way to wrap up the journey.  I suspicion they'll compromise and I'll see what they agree to in the next day or two.

The next step will involve the printer creating a one-up proof copy.  I had to look that term up online and it means a real live book with "proof" printed on the last page.  Apparently those copies can become quite valuable when a book succeeds.  Of course, that's where my book is destined!  Once I approve the proof copy, production begins and I could have books in hand within seven or eight weeks.

My website nears inception where I will offer my book for sale through PayPal and credit cards.  These are crazy times with hate and love and trying to do the right thing.  Last August, my daughter got married and in my "father of the bride" speech, my message to the newlyweds was "choose love" and  my message remains the same today.             

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Anxious To Begin My Next Book

Another whirlwind week blew by as I polished off the dedication, acknowledgement and all the peripheral things that go inside the book.  I also made a final decision for the front cover and it grows on me the more I look at it.  Unveiling may coincide with my official launch and offer to purchase my book, Cabin 108.  The back cover remains the only thing left before printing.  I expect to complete that this coming week

This week, I also set up a business banking account, received my business license and created a PayPal account.  Disappointed to learn that I apparently cannot link a PayPal account here which means I need a hosted website.  Perhaps the Universe intends to take care of that because I have a friend of a friend of a friend who may help me out of this dilemma.

The next fiasco happened when I started looking at my state retail tax collecting responsibilities.  Five years ago, the wisdom of our state legislature passed a regulation that tax should be collected based on the destination of the product, not it's origin.  Every city, county and jurisdiction determine their own tax rates which makes it ludicrous for a small business to calculate accurately when offering product for sale online.  Surely, some companies have developed software to accommodate this atrocity, but I can't afford such luxuries.  Too bad legislators don't live in the real world.  It leads me to ponder how I must report such sales to enable the government to distribute the taxes collected to the appropriate jurisdiction.

In the last year and a half I reinvented myself; I am a writer now who just wants to write.  With little interest in accounting and tax collection regulations, just leave me alone with my pen and paper.  Maybe I always was a writer, but never truly acknowledged it fully before.  Looking back at other things I've done, I see someone who went from dishwasher to restaurant manager, from flunky purchasing clerk to business owner.  Nothing stops me from doing the same in this field.  Maybe this book is my "dishwasher stage" in my writing career.  Maybe it'll surpass everyone's expectations, including my own.  We shall find out reasonably soon.                    

Thursday, March 28, 2013

On The Verge

Goodness, I haven't visited blog land in a month.  So much happening so quickly.  Draft three turned into four and then five.  It all came down to one sentence and, as of yesterday, my manuscript is complete.  Over three years ago, I wrote a short story and it morphed into a novel that I shall publish and share with the world very soon.  I fear to predict a date because I walked blindly into editing and roadblocks cluttered my path.  But I put in the work and eradicated all my editor's red markings.

The last big decision pertains to the cover.  I thought I had made it, but my support people questioned my choice.  Although I own the final decision, I must listen with an open mind.  More ideas come forth to consider and I like the concepts.  Now I hope to incorporate them into an even better cover that will draw people to pick it up, read the magic blurb on the back and pay for it at the cash register.

Never dreamed I'd write a book, yet here I am on the verge of becoming a professional author.  The growth during the process astounds me.  My writing improved, my education furthered and today I am much more prepared to write another book and I intend to do just that.  Maybe a sequel, maybe something far from it.

Certainly, every new published writer envisions massive success and recognition.  In that regard, I conform, but not in any other.  The first chapter will shock many; those who hang around for more will fall in love, cry, and laugh.  Mediocrity no longer resides in my house.  Mark my words, this book has a destiny of its own and I am just coming along for the ride.      

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Draft 3

It took a month to complete my third draft of Cabin 108 and, finally today, I sent it to my editor for review.  Changing one small thing can have a domino effect and require many other alterations.  Each rewrite has improved the story and the words.  My hope is I am now past the major hurdles and can get down to quick, easy fixes.  That will all be determined by what my editor comes back to me with in a week or two.  Hopefully, her workload is light right now.

I am more active on Facebook promoting my book.  Please like my page there for a chance to win a print of one of Uta Mooney's amazing paintings she did based on my book.  A random drawing will be held when I get 100 likes on my page.  It is currently at 70.  Spread the word; tell your friends.  I am going to have to sell a lot of books to make this labor of love pay off.  It's been a year and half effort and I am inching toward publication.

Uta is planning to return to the United States this summer and we already have plans to display her work and mine in Portland, OR, thanks to a friend.  Details will be forthcoming as they become finalized.

For now, I will leave you with the beginning lines of Cabin 108:  

Cabin door Number 108 stared at him as he sucked one more deep breath of the warm, summer breeze. His fingers curled into his sweaty palm, and he knocked meekly three times. The crescendo of silence nearly made his brain explode. The sound of an unlocking deadbolt broke the still, and he watched the doorknob turn. Had the moment he waited so long for finally arrived? Blood, hotter than lava, spewed from his heart as the door slowly opened. Leg tremors quaked the earth below. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Latest

Haven't had much time to share here lately.  Been busy with editing my third draft which should be complete next week.  Then that will be hurry up and wait until my editor responds to it.  Last weekend was crazy, not only didn't my daughter come for a visit, which always livens up the house, but Uta Mooney's solo art exhibition based on my book opened.  Check out a video she made before the doors opened here!  It was a huge success.

                       I didn't handle all the pressure well.  This is South Australia's first impression of me.

                There was nice article in an online newsletter about the exhibit  you can see here.

   Oh, and I can unveil the full portraiture Uta did of me now titled "The Writer".

Monday, February 4, 2013

Crazy Fun Times

As promised, my editor sent back my second draft a couple weeks ago and I have been working on it non-stop ever since.  I must say I thoroughly enjoy the challenges she throws at me.  Refitting the key pieces, the story is evolving, the characters developing, the ending no longer clear.

But, today is a big one for another reason.  My buddy, Uta Mooney, is setting up her exhibition of paintings based on my to-be-published book.

This is outside Gallery M in Adelaide, South Australia, where the exhibit will be displayed.  
It opens February 8th.

Not sure you can read the gallery newsletter, but the article on the bottom explains the concept and inspiration.

This is the back one of the canvases Uta will hang on the gallery walls of the imagination.

These are a few phrases from my book that are spread out on the gallery floor during set-up.

I am going to be the most famous, unpublished author in Australia before the week's over! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Monday Monday

Everything that was grim last year at this time has subsided and been replaced by new hurdles.  So much growth, change and knowledge transpired in the past twelve months.  One thing I've done is look back at those I have known before they became success stories.  They didn't concern themselves with issues outside their idea which became dreams.  Instead, they marched forward pouring passion into it and going the extra two miles to make it become real.

That's where I am now.  My Cabin 108 dream has consumed me and won't let me go.  Other serious issues loom, yet they have taken a backseat until I finish this mission.  Makes me crazy waiting for my editor's response to my second draft.  So much rides on it and the the timing of making my book a reality.  Let there be no more massive rewrites and delays.  Show me the finish line.  

To stay busy, I started a Facebook page to shamelessly self-promote myself and my novel.  Pleasantly surprised by the response, you can check it out here.  I also needed to address home and auto insurance and decided to switch carriers.  Yesterday I met my new agent and pre-sold a copy of my unpublished book.

Yep, my idea, my dream, my passion and purpose is wrapped up in making Cabin 108 a success.  This afternoon, I got a note from my editor saying she expects to deliver my re-edited manuscript back on Monday!  This going to be one long weekend.  Till then this will be my theme song

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Journey Moves On

With the holidays behind me, I put on my tool belt and locked myself in Cabin 108.  An imagination carpenter, this rewrite was a major remodel.  I tend to write like people talk.  "It was just us" is improper English; it should be "It was just we" or "It was I".  Who the heck talks like that?  Seems to me the written word should reflect the spoken word and not the other way around.  What a job.

Today, I finished the project and my second draft is now in the hands of my editor for inspection. I embraced most of her suggestions, resisted a few, and the story is now tighter, more developed in character description, growth and story line, yet I stayed true to the message.  Now it's hurry up and wait for my editor's response which will probably take two weeks.  I am already over budget with editing costs, but it's a critical piece of the process if my name is going to be attached.

I have no idea how many hours I have put into this project from start to finish, but I will feel no guilt selling each copy at full list price.  There is no doubt there will be a third draft, but my hopes are high that the issues will dwindle with each ensuing revision.  Proud of myself for getting this far, I have invested too much to give up now.  This is my baby and another milestone has been reached!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Word Repairman

With the holidays behind me, I locked myself in the cabin and got serious with my second draft.  Unlike the Maytag repairman, I have been busy switching out parts, adding, deleting and altering words all over the place.  Took awhile to get comfortable with the Track Changes program in Word, since I had never worked with it before.  The process has been fun, had two chapters done before Christmas and have nineteen done with two to go.  Feel like an imagination carpenter doing a remodel.