So here it is…the first day of my new retired life. The holidays are behind me, the house is put back to rights and it’s time to settle in and get serious about this new existence.
Today started with a big snowfall so my day started with a big shovel. ‘It doesn’t matter,’ I thought, ‘I’ll get started on the blog post when I’m done’.
I had planned to get into details on the cover photo and perhaps the author pic for “White Wolf Moon” as both have received quite a few good comments but it was not meant to be.
When At Second Glance Books in Kamloops closed I captured an old white chair with the intent of using it as a guitar practice/recording chair. I’d spent a lot of time in that chair phoning people to remind them we had books on hold for them so it has a bit of a nostalgic feel about it. It’s more of a stool with a high back and it’s covered in at least three layers of badly applied paint, the top coat being a plastic finish. My first thought was to let it stay the way it was but there’s this part of me that can’t leave things alone. Our house has many end tables, bookcases, and night stands that I’ve picked up at flea markets and yard sales and refinished so what’s one more piece?
Here’s where it all ties together. I won’t get into the trials of stripping the old paint off this chair. Suffice to say it has been a nightmare thus far and will probably get worse. The top layer of paint just plugs up power sanders and melts into a globby goo if I use stripper on it so the whole chair will probably have to be hand-sanded. I decided to spend an hour working on it and quickly realized how much I’ve missed doing this sort of thing. Some call it a type of Zen…I don’t know. I do know I’m pleasantly relaxed while doing this and I also love the “Hey look what I did” sense of accomplishment at the completion of the project. As I worked I started thinking about a lot of things concerning the book. The first is that I’m oh-so-close to breaking even on the initial cost of publishing. That was my goal at the outset so I guess it’s time to set another goal. Another thought that crossed my mind was some of the reaction to the book. Everyone that pre-read it felt that the target market would be females, 50 plus. It sounded right to me but the comments aren’t necessarily bearing this out. Some of the best and most insightful comments have come from three 60 plus males. One had been in Beaumont Park in San Francisco in 1967 and he felt that, even though I’d softened it, I had captured the atmosphere perfectly. He asked when I was there and I had to confess that it was in the early 70s. The interesting part about his comment is that nowhere in the book did I mention the name of the park. He picked up on it from my description. Another fellow asked about my song references. I scattered song titles, lyrics, and artists names throughout the book in place of dialogue and he’d picked up on most of them except the one at the end. I explained the final reference to him and got a groan in return. Hey…I never promised they’d all be brilliant. The third 60 plus male commented that I’d described his ‘gang’ from back then as if I’d been there and he thanked me for the memories. Some interesting comments have also come from slightly-under and well-under 50 year-old males and females so my target market analysis seems to need tweaking. This is a good thing.
While sanding the beast chair a lot of thoughts crossed my mind. Some of them were lyrics I’m attempting to write, an idea or two for the blog, a couple of scenes for the sequel to “White Wolf Moon”, and an even more interesting idea for something totally unrelated to the sequel.
Considering this was to be a snow day I did get a lot accomplished, at least in my head, and I find myself hoping that there will be more days like this down the road…without the snow.