Haven’t posted anything for a while. Progress on illustrations for Rescue on Blue Mountain encouraging though meeting the Christmas deadline is problematical but possible, even likely. See the mood change in a single sentence. Harford Community College was very helpful in finding an illustrator. Rachel Harris is a pleasant surprise; her art work looks really good.
So much to do on our property and on the farm, have neglected doing any writing. Hate to spend the great weather inside and it really helps to get things done before it turns cold. The old manuscript titled Stubs is where I spend the few minutes writing. The Jesuits are not on the back burner or even the stove top. Still an interesting subject which now focuses on their missionary work in the northern part of the land between the Rockies and the Cascades in the late nineteenth century. Resources are easy to find but pulling it all together is going to be a real challenge. I decided what I need to do is flesh out the characters likely central to the book.
What I have read of the manuscript Stubs doesn’t inspire but I read the few pages I have written and found myself interested in the character.
Back to my real project, repairing the snow blower. I am a real trial and error handyman, mostly errors.
Baseball has changed a lot over the years. With immediate reviews and sometimes reversal of umpire decisions accuracy is improved but something is lost. The great umpires and the good ones are put in one pot, all vulnerable to having their calls reversed. Lost is the heated exchanges between umpires, managers and players and discovery of who are the really great umpires. Other things have happened like the science of improving speed and power. Money made that inevitable. The baseball players in their builds, techniques and mannerism resemble something from a clone factory.
Then along comes the second game of the playoffs between Houston and the Yankees. It all came clear in the ninth inning with the score tied one to one. Pitching for the Houston Astros, Verlander. Why is that special. He started the game and he was still in there like three decades ago when the pitcher who started the game was likely to be in the game in the ninth. The new way is to replace pitchers, usually three or four, each one in there to throw as hard as he can for as long as he can. Gone with the new way is the pitcher matching wits with batters three or four times a game, the craftier and better man prevailing. Verlander brought back memories of all those pitchers who started the game and walked off the mound, winner or loser after the end of the game.
Verlander prevailed and we have the bottom of the ninth. For the Yankees, a specialist, to pitch one inning, and overpower batters is on the mound. He is approximately six and one half feet tall and throws pitches 100 miles and hour. To the plate to face him , a five and one half foot batter, perhaps one hundred pounds less than his enemy. First pitch, maybe 100 miles and hour and the little guy raps a single into center field. The little guy dances off first and takes off with the best player on the field hits a ball into right field. The right fielder fields it perfectly but the little guy keeps right on running. Millions watch as the little guy roars around third and heads for the plate, the relay throw likely to beat him to the plate. The throw was fumbled by the catcher and the little guy slides past on his belly, touch the plate as he goes by, and jumps up to celebrate.
It’s why I love game and its memories.
Think I found a student illustrator at Harford Community College!! Will wait and see. It has been a long search for someone to do the illustrations that also knows how to create a digital file that can be printed. Three months til Christmas and am hopeful that Rachel can do the job. There are sixteen illustrations, many of which I did myself and are adequate with touch up and the matter of meshing of the illustrations with the printed story. One of those learn as you go projects. Nick can give me some guidance since he was instrumental in getting my other books in print, I trust he will be helpful.
I have a month to month arrangement on SEO with a firm in Arizona. The first moth does not look promising. They are already telling me at the end of this month that the first one is always slow and but there is momentum. Since I am flying blind, I have to decide whether I take a risk on their credibility. Do I sign them for another month?
I love bargains. Big or small. Littles wins that I cherish. Travelling the Rockies in 1989 I found one of my best. Ice cream cones in St. George, Utah for 19 cents! Dessert time or not, I treated all five of us to ice cream cones. Last week and twenty eight years later in Miamisburg, Ohio I found another. $1.38 for three very big scoops of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup which Patricia and I shared. Since I paid $2.25 for a cup of coffee the night before at the same place, imagine the joy of sharing all that ice cream for $1.38. What made it really special is that it came as a complete surprise when the young lady handed me the bill.
In St. George, a big sign we could see from the highway, in Miamisburg a little slip of paper after we finished. I suppose that 19 cent ice cream heightened my sense to remember, because it was the day for memories-the beautiful western humming birds at the campsite and the day we were heading to Kanab and the hotel where John Wayne and the other movie stars stayed when they made John Ford westerns. Kind of a double dose of history, of cinema and the nineteenth century west.
I did give the pleasant young lady a two dollar tip.
Wondering how common it is to change the name of a book. Choice of title The Rift results in competing with a number of books called The Rift. The publisher I used apparently didn’t have an interest in pointing out that there were so many identical titles out there. Am leaning toward making the change but not in a hurry to do so. Ideas that pop in my head is the metaphoric figure of the Old Man who seems remarkable similar to the metaphoric Uncle Sam and the two Teutonic Knights who are transformed from living persons to spectral figures who move through time watching over the Von Mecklenburg family. At the moment don’t see any legal barriers but no certain nor do I see the negatives surrounding such a change.
Hopeful and wary regarding my self-imposed deadline to have Rescue on Blue Mountain published before Christmas. It was the same deadline I set for last year and failed. Concluding I learned something from that failure, I took this one on with a sense that it is doable. The narrative is in place, the art work and its integration with the narrative is the challenge. Keep plugging away. I am sustained by the vision of happy grandchildren and impressed parents on Christmas morning.
Working with my website and five books that are offered for sale is a challenge. Adding Web Creations as the search engine gurus just makes the process all the more challenging. On top of trying to find readers is the need to publish Rescue on Blue Mountain by Christmas. I was encouraged this week that I might be able to find a student or students at Harford Community College to do the art work and design. Would really like to have the book ready for Christmas.
Had a little run in with KDP regarding the E-book for The Rift over publishing rights. It’s settled and there is a Kindle version. The hardcover is temporarily not available because of some editing changes I made. Feel good about the changes.
I am both curious and hopeful at what Web Creations is able to do. I know I will have to do some self promotion but I hate doing that.
I hope by next week I will be working with students on Rescue on Blue Mountain. I have squirelled away a second Blue Mountain story called Return to Blue Mountain, so if they are able to deliver on the first I will see if they will also do the art and design work for that one.
A year ago I took upon myself the task of developing a quality website and putting all my books in one place. That involved concurrently working on books to get them published and finding a company to build a website. The result is that I have the website with five books available on Amazon. Very attractive website and the books show well. Since last year I discovered an old manuscript that I would like to polish and publish, two children’s books where I am searching for an illustrator to complete, and the germ of an idea built around Jesuits missions in the northwest in the nineteenth century. Facing me immediately is helping a company develop a search engine that brings people to my website and my books. Also facing me immediately is finding an illustrator for the children’s Blue Mountain books which I would like to have available for the grandchildren by Christmas! It forces me to ask myself, why? Why all these self-imposed deadlines and targets? I have to think about that.
On top of that there is always grass to be cut, painting and repairs to be done, fire wood to be cut and split, and a bunch of other stuff. Oh for the joy of quiet moments when I can actually write and then look fondly, most of the time, at those few pages I have written.
Self-pity is like a salve on open wounds. And you can pat yourself on the back at the same time. I feel better.
Yesterday, hooked up with an SEO company to see what could be done to make the world aware of my website and hopefully my books. Quinn, who contacted me, was persuasive and even more helpful told me her company worked on a month to month basis. Since I have no idea how this will work, although I am hopeful, this gives me freedom to decide on a month to month basis. Feel good about getting this rolling.
Tomorrow, will spend time looking at SEO managers and working on Rescue on Blue Mountain. Hoping to find an illustrator among students at MICA, the Maryland Institute of the College of Arts. Visited the campus and met a young girl walking down the street. I told her what I was looking for and handed her some flyers. Hope that works. Looking on Craigslist, found someone advertising as an artist. Got a call from him. He was calling from Pakistan! I politely told him it wouldn’t work. He said he understood. I really would like to have the book ready by Christmas to give to the younger grandchildren and the Jenkins kids. Funny thing happened at doctors office. He was showing film of my knee when I told him about The Black Lion and the Crocodile. He turned the screen to show me the book on his screen! From cartilage damage to book listed on Amazon.