Saturday, September 27, 2014

11,932 words

It's done.  Almost


I'm going to leave it alone overnight, then give it another full read-through in the morning, when my eyes are rested and so is my brain.  I've already seen a few places that need tweaking, and some of the photos need to be re-sized.  One may come out altogether, and another may be replaced.

But it's done.  All 11,932 words of it.

As some of you know, I'm a crafter as well as a writer. I participate in six to eight local art shows every season, starting in October and running through April.  Most of what I exhibit is jewelry, though I actually play around with other media as well.

But I've always been a rock hound, and Arizona is a great place to be one, so that's what I do.  And at every single show, people ask about the rocks.  They want to know if I really go out and find my own stones out in the desert.  (I do, some of them at least.)  They want to know if crystals are really made out of glass.  (They're not.)  They want to know what kind of glue holds the wire on a wire-wrapped stone.  (None; there's no glue used at all.)

As much as I love talking about rocks and gems at art shows, I also realize I'm sharing my 30 years of experience for free.  A few weeks ago I decided to stop doing that.  Or at least put some of my expertise in book form and give people something they can buy and take home with them.  I am, after all, a writer.

At first about all they'll be taking home is a card or flyer with the information about how to buy the Kindle edition, but I'm hoping to have an inexpensive (black & white photos only) CreateSpace paperback ready by the second big show of the season, which is our annual Artists' Studio Tour in early November.  I'm not sure about the price yet.  Color photos on the interior can quadruple the price on CreateSpace, but I'm not even sure how many pages this would come out to be!

Really Neat Rocks isn't a how-to manual, or a guidebook with maps to all the neat rock hunting places in Arizona.  It's just an overview, a casual introduction, designed and written for the person who doesn't really know much about rocks but still thinks they're really neat and would kinda like to know a little bit more.

From the Introduction:
One cold, snowy, gloomy afternoon in March of 1981, my husband asked me, "What would you think about moving to Arizona?" 
We were standing in the kitchen of our house in rural northeast Indiana, fixing supper.  The house was less than two years old; we had built it ourselves and hadn't even finished all of the interior yet.  Moving anywhere was about the furthest thing from my mind.
Yet my reply wasn't really an expression of surprise.  It had nothing to do with our particularly miserable Midwestern winter.  Nor did I think about leaving family behind or even the logistics of packing up and moving 2,000 miles to somewhere I'd never been before. 
Instead, the very first words out of my mouth were, "Well, they have really neat rocks there."

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Words, My Way, My Time

Over the past three week-ends I did something I haven't done for a very long time. 

I wrote a book.

It's not a very long book, and it's not a novel.  It's not even fiction.  One chapter at the beginning needs to be written yet.  I still have to add the illustrations.

Right now the hand-written (very) rough draft totals about 8,000 words, give or take a couple thousand.  I didn't really count, and my estimate might be low . . . or high.  I've transcribed about half of it into MS Word, editing and adding as I go.  That portion of it is about 6,200 words, with the one chapter still missing 90% of its needed text.  I'm guessing the final version will run to 12,000 words or so.  Roughly.

When I uploaded that 6,200 word partial into KDP last night on a draft/test run, it had exactly two typos.  And I hadn't even run the MS Word spell check, or done any proofreading.

I do not expect to get rich off this book; it's very much a niche item for which maybe there isn't any market.  Not even for one copy.

But what matters to me most right now is that there's no anger in it.

I can't tell you how tired I am of being angry.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

In the words of the old rhyme: Nobody likes me, Everybody hates me.

It's not their fault. 

And I'm not going to eat worms over it.

But it's true.

No matter what I have done to try to make situations better, I am met with opposition, antagonism, and lack of support.

There is sometimes some gratitude, which I appreciate, but there is just too little assistance.  I understand that people are busy.  And I guess now I understand that people really just don't care.  Maybe they don't like it that someone else does care.  Maybe they resent it.  Maybe that's why they don't like me.

To TB and R the BH, both of whom did help, my immeasurable thanks.

To those who reblogged and liked and commented, more thanks.

To the shills and the crappy writers who pay the shills, have at it.  Your books still suck.