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."


  1. Amazing. I spent 10 years in Bancroft, ON, Canada also known as the mineral capital of Canada. Every August our community center hosted the largest week long mineral festival of its kind, the Rockhound Jamboree, and attracted rock collectors from all over North America.

    I make jewelry as well (crystal, silver and natural stone) and now I'm really excited about your project. Let me know when it's up on Amazon. I'll be the first buyer for your paperback.

  2. Ah, it truly is a small world, isn't it!

    The Kindle edition is live now, and my next project is to figure out the formatting for a CreateSpace paperback. In amongst all that I have to start getting ready for this season's shows, the first of which is in less than three weeks. Yikes!

  3. Let me know when the paperback goes live (I hate what kindle does to photos) and I'll be there. Congrats on the book and good luck at the show.

    1. The paperback probably won't be much different from the Kindle since I'll have all the photos printed in B&W; color would quadruple the price of a paperback. I'm going to be posting other photos to the rock blog, though, where they should look MUCH better.