Winter is one-third over. I’m thinking of panicking because I’m not where I planned to be at this point. I can blame my husband’s surgery partly. But only partly. I know that if I want to catch up to where I should be now I’d better get busy and get some real writing done. Get Earth Legend finished and on the market. And it’s dancing in my head just waiting be be put down on paper. So I’d best ignore all that snow outside and get going.
We’re putting together our second jigsaw puzzle this winter. As I pore over the places still waiting to be filled in by all those pieces scattered around the puzzle, I think how much this process is like writing a story.
First you put the edge together. You lay out the outlines of the story. Second you choose those pieces that will separate the puzzle into smaller, manageable segments to be worked on later. You divide the story into major parts. Third, you start the slow process of filling in those segments. You begin writing scenes. Fourth, you find the pieces to make the puzzle whole, filling in the places that got missed earlier. You splice the scenes together and weave them into a story, creating new ones when needed, eliminating ones that serve no purpose. Fifth, you stand back and look in awe at the picture you have created. You put the story aside until it is cold in your mind, then you read it from start to finish to see if it has the feel you wanted.
They both are done best with no hurry and they both are accomplishments of note.
I did something a few minutes ago that I do once in a great while. I went to Amazon and looked up the books and stories I have there. Just in case something is wrong or different or changed since the last time I looked. And this time something was different in a good way. There were several new reviews of my work and they were all positive. Some very positive.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, whoever you are. Good reviews not only help other people decide whether to download my books and stories, they also tell me that I’m doing something right. And, though selling books is good, knowing they are worth reading is priceless.
The explosion of self-published books out there has led to an explosion of another kind. Web sites promising to publicize those books. Because without publicity, books don’t reach many readers. I’m currently checking out a number of such sites to try to figure out which may be the best places to publicize the particular kind of books that I write. It’s slow going, checking out all these places, but it’s kind of enjoyable because, in the process of looking for publicity for my own books, I’m learning a lot about the business end of the book business.
Some specialize in electronic books, some in print books, and some seem equally comfortable with both.
So which is better, a place that just handles the kind of books I write or the kind that handles every kind imaginable? Should I go for specialized places that target my readers? If so, who exactly are my readers? I find I must face the fact that I don’t truly know and that admission forces me to acknowledge the fact that I have some heavy-duty work ahead of me before I decide where to put my limited marketing budget.
The work of a writer is never done.
We saw snowbirds in the field behind our house this morning. They are a warning of cold weather to come. They normally live in the arctic where they eat microscopic things that live in the snow. Mites, perhaps, or lice. Don’t know what for sure, just that they actually need snow and that means they need cold weather. They come south when the wind comes to us straight from the arctic.
So it’ll be cold today. We’ll go for a drive somewhere to make sure the SUV battery is full. Probably stop for lunch if we can find a place that’s not already full with other people doing the same thing. Town will be busy today, the opposite of what you’d expect when it’s truly cold. I believe the temps are supposed to be in the minus thirty degree range.
I suppose people in northern Canada and Alaska laugh at us because we think this is cold. But I suspect they have extra batteries in their vehicles and when the temps drop to whatever they consider truly cold that they just look out the window and put another log on the fire.
As for me, when we return from town, I’m going to hit the computer. And perhaps pull the curtains so I won’t see those harbingers of cold weather. Or maybe I won’t because they are pretty. They appear to be the size of wrens, though that could be because I’m not close enough to see their true size. They appear gray against the white snow but when they fly, they seem to be snow white. Lovely, small birds who thrive in the cold.
Just saw a news item. This January has officially been the coldest in the USA in a century. I thought it was cold, but I still like winter. I like the white of it, the snow piled in sculpted waves everywhere and hanging on tree branches. But to be completely honest, one of the things I like most about it is the fact that I don’t have to go out into that cold, white world. I curl up in my warm house and look outside and think to myself that it’s awesome and beautiful. then I pull a quilt a little closer around my shoulders and take a little snooze. Life in the winter is wonderful.