Sometimes, when you manage the process of publishing books, when you don’t have your own research folks, use anybody as an editor if you use anybody at all, and you wrestle with file formats like PDF, JPG, Epub, Mobi and whatever else, it brings out the feeling that wouldn’t it be nice to be John Grisham or the Patterson factory because they have only to write with a smart editor to help them.
And then I think no, I like the stress, the challenge despite having to deal with so many things beyond just writing. When books don’t sell, which is always so far, it gives you something to hide behind, that I would be successful if and then list in my mind all the reasons including the ones I mentioned.
But there are compensations. Thinking about a book, like the one I am trying to write about the Jesuits in the northwestern wilderness, it takes me all kinds of places. I have admitted to myself that I am ill prepared to address the enormous reach of the book I think about, and that is what makes the whole thing worthwhile.
Just trying to get it right, enjoying your words whether anybody else does or not, is a pretty good way to start and finish the day.
I had hoped we, Rachel, the illustrator and I would have Return to Black Mountain ready for all the grandkids, great grandkids, nieces and nephews for Christmas. Rachel is doing her best, but being the illustrator and the designer is a lot to take on and she just might do it.
I look at my calendar nd saw I was projecting finishing Black Robes by November .I figure I have completed about twenty percent of the book so I have six days to complete the remaining eighty percent!
My idea about the book was to focus almost exclusively on the Jesuits, which is, in itself a very rich topic. But research has led me to think of a very different book, one that takes in the Interior Indian tribes, the military, our government and a dynamic very different than the one I began with. For example, the behavior of the Indian tribes in the area between the Rocky Mountains and the Cascades is loaded with possibilities, the life of one of the main characters, the son of an Irish immigrants brings the Seminole uprising and the Mexican-American war into the picture, and on and on. So much to understand as the backdrop to the story. To incorporate and distill all that pops up while keeping the plot and sub-plots in focus will be a challenge. In the back of my mind, what is the story I want to tell.
Stubs is complete! It is listed and sold on Amazon. Selling is the problem, as always. Writing, with some struggles was fun. As mentioned, it started with a forty year old manuscript which I ceased to follow after the title. It was a someone I knew, which I may have mentioned, also.. The ending in the book was quite different than real life but the result was the same. I started writing Stubs out of obligation to my earlier effort and had some doubts along the way. But I am pleased with it. I think it turned out well.
I don’t know if other authors, successful or no, feel the way I do but I really like what I write. I often go back and read and say to myself this is really good! Maybe its just me. In fact, the way I got hooked on writing twenty years ago when I read the first pages of The Circle aloud. Wow. It was an epiphany.
Still working on another children’s book and a fiction book about Jesuits in the American west in the 19th century. Fascinating subject.
Have submitted a request for a cover for Stubs. Will be sending a request to format the interior in next week or so. I think Stubs is a good story, thought of Sinatra signature song, I Did It My Way. It fits the man called Stubs.
Rachel showed me some of her artwork for Return to Blue Mountain. Looks good. She is taking the initiative to make her art work reflect and enhance the story.
Have not forgotten the Jesuits and barring a loss of enthusiasm will complete before the end of the year.
I completed the first edit of Stubs and it is a story, hopefully a good one with strong characters and no obvious inconsistencies or contradictions. I hope its not too preachy which I tend to do and a clear picture emerges of good guys and ladies, and bad ones, and flawed ones which elicit the reader’s sympathies.
The way my year shapes up, I hope to have Stubs, Return to Blue Mountain and Black Robes complete by the end of the year.
From the beginning, I knew but would not admit that I would not abandon Stubs, that I would throw the forty year old manuscript into the recycling can and forget him. So what I did was look at the old manuscript, shape it, and come out with the story of Stubs. Stubs was born eight years before me but his world and mine were not so different. I looked at the first draft last week and will rework it in a modest way and have what will be the best I can do. As I write, and it must be true of most writers I begin to form the characters to the point where they begin to speak to me, telling me what I should write what I should go back and change.
Rachel is working on the illustrations for Return to Blue Mountain and we need to have periodic talks on progress. Like Rescue, would like to have it ready for the grandchildren and great grandchildren for Christmas. On the near horizon, work on Black Robes, and continuing thoughts about the book.
On my mind is what Katherine the great did when the Jesuits were disbanded. She recognized what they had to offer and invited them to teach in Russia! Until today, the Europeans and their progeny just couldn’t and can’t get along with the Russians. A never ending tale, I guess.
Rescue on Blue Mountain finished, both printed and ebook versions available on Amazon! I added the exclamation point as an after thought since exhibiting expressive behavior is not in my bones. Need to ask Simple Nerds to post it as available on this website. Finished first draft of Stubs and will try to finish editing by end of June. Rachel showed me first pieces of art work and I am encouraged about Return to Blue Mountain. By the end of July I hope I am “into” the Black Robes book. Envision finishing before the end of the year. I think in many ways I rushed through the first version of Stubs and at this point I don’t want to do the same thing on Black Robes. It is too interesting and challenging a subject.
Rescue on Blue Mountain should appear on Amazon by the end of next week. Rachel, the illustrator is already at work on Return to Blue Mountain and we should finish before Christmas.
I mentioned Stubs earlier, that it was a forty year old manuscript stuck away in a file cabinet which I pulled to explore whether it would make a novel. So I began writing, telling myself if was a loser I would drop it in the waste basket. I thought of doing that several times.
Well, I have kept plugging away and the current novel has been reworked extensively and I just won’t stop until the story is complete and then I will decide whether to throw it into the wastebasket or not. It is only weeks away from that time.
Anybody reading this will know that anybody who has spent months reworking a novel like Stubs is not going to throw it away. It is a story, it does have strong characters, a beginning, middle and end. So why stop now.
I am anxious to finish Stubs and still on my plate is the Black Robes story which has undergone some changes in my mind and will be a very different book than what was envisioned when I made the decision to write it.
Have received approval from Createspace to publish Rescue on Amazon. Few more steps and should be done. Really appreciate the work done by Nick Caya and Word-2-Kindle in formatting the book. Nick has handled all the books formatting and in some cases cover design and does a great job.
The review of Your Land Is Our Land still sticks in my craw. Reading the book again, I can only conclude that my first impression was correct. The review was bogus, looking for reasons to pan the work that contains content objectionable to him or her. I was hoping for more, and criticism which dealt with plot, characters, continuity, etc. would have been welcomed. Honestly.
Been awhile since my last post. Am currently working on files to send to Createspace for Rescue on Blue Mountain. They should be ready this week. If all goes as planned the book should be out on Amazon in the next month. I do plan a second book Return to Blue Mountain which will be out before Christmas. Rachel said she will do the art work.
Have been working on the book Stubs every day. It’s like paying a debt to myself, to resurrect something I wrote forty years ago and filed away. Plowing through the old manuscript and editing and altering what I wrote has been tedious yet I am determined to finish and then go on to two books I would like to write. One I mentioned is what I now call Black Robes but will probably change the name and the other about Israel slash Palestine with a happy ending. I am among a very small and peculiar group who believes that and believes they see how that will happen.
I did receive a review of Your Land Is Our Land which the reviewer claimed she did not know it was fiction until Hitler was deposed by the German Army before World War Two! World War Two never happened in the book. I guess she assumed that all the fictitious characters in the book were real until Hitler showed up. She also said there were too many errors and they made it difficult to read the book.
A second reviewer said I just found a way to hide my bias about Jews by describing not only what was happening to Jews, but the Palestinians, for goodness sake. And of course, I do plead guilty to trying, through fiction, to tell the world that the Palestinians have been treated badly by the Jews and the rest of us, and mentioning that the Jews were treated badly by the Germans which was not sufficient to hide my bias. Read any good books with Palestinian heroes lately or ever?
As to the first reviewer, I admit to errors that might be found by a teacher of English grammar, and a few others, but how she could claim that it made her difficult to read the book sounded very much like a smoke screen. Somehow, pointing out what was happening to the Palestinians seemed to upset her and she said only people who understand the history of the two peoples should read the book. To others, I think she was suggesting, it might be upsetting. I hope she is right.
Having said that, I will pay attention to editing, recognizing there might be room for improvement. My opinion about the reviewer is unchanged.