Sunday, March 31, 2013

Finding readers?



I'm not sure how to find people to read Mermother. I'm lucky to have some very tolerant friends who plowed through the first draft and felt it had promise. But beyond these brave souls, I'm not sure what to do. It seems horribly presumptuous to impose my book on others. I have told people I know. I have asked Vancouver Island Regional Library. I have asked 28 local booksellers. Now what? Sometimes you find something good in surprising places so I will not lose hope. 

Tomorrow I start It's Personal again so Mermother will have to fend for herself. 

I read this article about Stephenie Meyer and it steeled me for any negative feedback I might get. 


This article and the reader comments seem exceptionally cruel and irrelevant. At least she has made a good living from her books. 

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

How to Write a Book by Pippa Middleton #pippatips

1. Books are long. You will need a lot of words. Or flattering photos of yourself. 

2. A good book makes sense. Somebody should look into that. 

3. Ignore people who criticize your book. Go complain to your mother or the British Royal Family instead. 

4. If anyone gives you money for your book, you must spend it at once on sound investments like designer clothes and tropical vacations. 

5. If people still complain about your book, you can write articles instead. Articles are shorter than books. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Piotr made me

My dear friends Piotr and Kate only read by Kindle. They are sophisticated. So today I made a Kindle version of Mermother, just for them. It's strange--I think Mermother looks better as a Kindle file than a paper copy. It might be the font. Was Garamond a big mistake?

I was rereading some of the better parts on the Kindle previewer and I don't know where all these ideas came from! The dialogue alone. I exhaust myself, I really do. I'm hoping It's Personal will unfold more easily even though it's not complicated enough to be the foundation of a trilogy. As I'm rereading Mermother, I'm almost cackling as I think of all the injustices Briony will return to in Hard Salt. She's ready. And she's very irate.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wai-Kay made me


My friend Wai-Kay in Vancouver didn't like the description that I'd written. She felt I'd ruined the surprise. So we redid it together.

This is from the Amazon page for Mermother. Imagine, my humble effort on Amazon??

April 1st I restart It's Personal. I'm gearing up. And wondering what I'll do re a laptop. Mmmm.

(Image credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The triumph!

At last Mermother is published. 6am this morning. What a difficult birth this has been. And now it's done. :)
If you want to buy a copy, it's available here:

https://www.createspace.com/4196321 

This book is a fundraiser for the International Ocean Institute.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Inching closer

I've had enough of nightmare proofing and am finally letting it go. I'm just waiting for the reviewers to approve it within the 24 hr timeframe and then it's showtime.

The minimum I was allowed to charge for the book was $5.22. If I went below the amount I originally specified, the book couldn't be sold in Europe. So this is the amount I picked. I will make a whopping $1.06 on each book, 53 cents of which is donated to IOI. Anyway, it's been a learning experience.

Formatting a book is hard. That I now know.



Here is the final cover. CreateSpace wasn't able to fix a tiny but irritating glitch in my plain white cover so I selected an photo from Parksville.

(Image credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Proofing again


That is, when I'm not taking photos of adorable miniature donkeys. :)

I will have to bite the bullet soon because It's Personal is waiting for me on April 1st.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pudding and proofs



Before I left for Parksville my three proofs arrived. Never have I felt so frustrated getting a box open! I could barely breathe as I tried to get past the packing paper. Anyway, proofs are a very good idea. I discovered a strange line on the cover that needs to be fixed, for example. CreateSpace would like me to order more proofs but I don't have the energy, money, or patience. I tried rereading Mermother last night but I am so sick of it, I really couldn't. Sometimes when I read an excerpt Briony sounds so eager and that annoys me. 

My love thinks I should mention that I wrote a significant portion of Mermother on my iPhone. He was watching my mad phone typing skills at the pub. We had a delightful rice pudding after dinner. With a big blob of strawberry jam!

(Photo credit: E. J. Wolfe)


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rejection notes


I wrote a paper and submitted it to a journal. They rejected it and (kindly) provided their reasons. The thing is, I completely agree with them.


1st Reviewer's Comments
Accessibility
The article is chatty and aimed at a very broad audience. There is no issue with its tone or approach. However, it is only engaging at a level of mild interest. See further for more details.
Usefulness
I'm not sure of the purpose of this article and that, in essence, may be its downfall. The term, "x" has a particular significance and readers are likely to want to know more about how it may be applied, practiced, assessed and reviewed at schools where it is successfully adapted as a programmatic model. This article sets up a series of interviews where the subjects are not aware of the current specific term and so are speaking from their own experience, but clearly not that of practicing the specifics of x according to the x Foundation or other organizations.
Insight
Unfortunately, the author holds back from any analysis so it is hard to see what insights there might be, other than the fact that x connotes a wide range of responses, and few at this school seem to know its contemporary application as a specific model of teaching and learning. Unfortunately, I don't recommend this article for our journal  at this time. The article needs to demonstrate more reflection and intention.

2nd Reviewer's Comments
I did not find this article to be very engaging. The responses to the interview questions are typical, and therefore not very insightful. There are examples from practice, but none that really speak to the broader issue of how to achieve x for all of our students. Each teacher interviewed has some insight into their own practice, but there is no reflection on the data from the author. I think that the teachers' insights could be a valuable resource if looked at more broadly—if the author could look at all of the information to make connections, find overarching themes, and summarize his/her findings.

(Image credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Don't be a victim

I found this phrase on Pinterest. I don't belong to Pinterest but I enjoy occasionally looking at what people post on there. I like the accessibility of the pins.

This sums up the primary underlying theme of the second Mermother novel, Hard Salt. It's a lesson that many of us have to learn and remember. It's a great concept to teach your children also.

(Image credit: http://www.livelifehappy.com)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Vacation = reading with abandon

I'm all ready for Parksville! Can't wait to plunge head first into whichever one seizes me with its pages. I have no fear of aging or being alone - as long as I have books. Quality books, I should add. I have been trying to read two innocent unnamed novels at home but it's been slow going.

Book Links:
Holy Fools
Nature Girl
A Spot of Bother
Charming Billy
A Hard Rain
Pretty Little Liars
The Map of Love
The Last Song
The Winter Palace

Author Links:
Joanne Harris - http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk/
Carl Hiaasen - http://www.carlhiaasen.com/index.shtml
Mark Haddon - http://www.markhaddon.com/
Alice McDermott - http://writingseminars.jhu.edu/faculty_directory/mcdermott.html
Alice doesn't seem to have a personal website? I look at her job and think that's what I should have done. Sigh. Dave doesn't have a site either. He is a coworker.
Ahdaf Soueif - http://www.ahdafsoueif.com/
Nicholas Sparks - http://www.nicholassparks.com/for-writers/craft
Eva Stachniak - http://www.evastachniak.com/

I liked Nicholas' the best so far. He put a lot of effort into helping other writers which I think is very kind and something I would like to do also.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Book dedication

Mermother is dedicated to Margaret deWeese, a dear family friend who passed away from cancer recently. She was a mentor to me during the past 5 years and I miss her terribly. For whatever reason she believed in my writing and thought something would come of it. And now something has. I wish I could present her with a copy of my novel. She would be pleased.

This photo is of Whiskey Point. I used to swim here when I was a girl.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Now what?

Last night I barely slept. I don't have a story to absorb me now - not my own or anyone else's. I should have read myself through the night. Instead I tossed and turned until the morning at which point I fell asleep and had a heavy dream which lurked in my mind for most of the day.

Mermother is not artistic literature. At best it is pulp fiction. I am under no illusions. But it kept me occupied and now I feel lost without it but too spent to work on anything else. I just tried reading a bit of the first chapter but I am sick of every sentence after so many proofs.

This is one of my big discoveries. There are many false finishes with a novel - you think you're done but you're not. Now I know that it's not over until the novel is bound and by then you'd better be content because you've made the final commit. That's what we call it in software development. There are so many crossovers between writing and coding - I was amazed to discover this.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Mermother editing studio

I've done a lot of my writing and editing at work - after hours, I might add. Which has resulted in some late nights and neglected social life. It's been worth it though. I'm so proud of my self-discipline and have much more respect for those who accomplish things strictly on their own initiative.

Everyone should write a novel. It's an inimitable journey.

My final proof is done.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ok, I thought this was really cute and couldn't resist.

That baby is seriously asleep. Just like a mermaid should be. The blanket reminds me of the pearl beds in Mermother.

(Photo credit: http://cdn.indulgy.com/IC/1A/BC/241083386272216264PUTxSCXcc.jpg)

IOI fundraising



Not everyone is keen on ocean preservation but I am. I see the sea five times a week, minimum. It's a big part of my life.

I'm publishing Mermother as a fundraiser for the IOI: http://internationaloceaninstitute.dal.ca/

Methinks it's a valuable use of my time plus more interesting than just random self-publishing. One must be interesting, at least to oneself.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hard Salt and Drawn Deep

Those are the titles of the second and third books in the Mermother trilogy. I set up their blogs today although of course there is no content. I know roughly what happens in each book but no writing yet.

http://hardsalt.blogspot.ca/
http://drawndeep.blogspot.ca/

Hard Salt is very intense compared to Mermother. Briony gets up to some serious mischief.

It's such a relief to me that at age approximately 35 I finally figured out what I wanted to do. Be a novelist. These were the other options: dancer, palaeontologist, lawyer, optician, housewife with MANY children, actress, pilot, and forest ranger. Let me know when you figure out a common theme.

I'm very tired and looking forward to my brief vacation in Parksville. Yay beach! Yay forest! Yay away!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Housekeeping

For the past couple of days I've been proofing. But proofing isn't enough for me. I need to recognize the patterns so I can reduce my error rate. Here are the culprits:

- Changing sentence structure. Wow, do I need to reread carefully unless I want surplus "that" "and" "so" thrown around.

- Using multiple word processors. Enough said.

- Formatting manually. This results in me losing my periods which is always an eye opener. Sentences at the end of a paragraph are particularly vulnerable.

I have also been on the phone to the IRS trying to set up potential sales in the States. I'm thinking I will have to do this during my vacation. Or by fax instead. Sigh. It's a lot of work.

Erin has agreed to read a proof which warms my heart. :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I've been busy...

I finished writing Mermother and have been hard at work formatting it for self-publication. I'm putting it up on CreateSpace which has been a major learning process in itself. It's fun! I'm enjoying myself.

(The second novel has been on the back burner.)

I have promised myself and one other that I will not write again until April to give myself a rest. I'm very burnt out, especially with the proofreading. My printed proofs should be arriving around March 25th so until then I'm on vacation. :)

This is the cover that I ended up choosing. I wanted something simple.

I also ended up selecting Garamond as my font. I am still fond of Minion but Garamond seemed to be the right choice.

(Image credit: E.J. Wolfe)