My 150th Blog!

Actually I would have passed this milestone months ago had I remained as active as I once was but so many things seem to get in the way.
I’ve decided that it’s time to start again.
A quick update on my books is probably the best place to begin. After much messing around and a long learning curve I have claimed my first book “White Wolf Moon” back from the vanity press that originally published it and it is now re-published under my name. My second book “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” has been under my name since creation and, with the republish of the first book, I feel a bit more in control of both of them.
The interesting part about republishing is that it gave me an opportunity to sit down with the original manuscript and correct some of the little flaws that had been nagging at me since it was first released. A missed capital letter here and a small spelling mistake there haunted me every time I thought about it but they’ve all been corrected now and I can put that book behind me. It seemed to take as long to go through it again as it did when I first wrote it.
I have three fairly interesting ideas for another book but only one has reached an ‘almost ready’ stage. I have devoted a good deal of time developing the storyline but it is so different from anything I have ever written that those second thoughts keep popping into my head.
My first two books were based on people and incidents in my life and required little or no research but this one is bobbing around in uncharted waters. I’ve had to research everything from brain-injuries to small engine repair and forensics. The storyline continually drifts into a mystery/horror theme and my comfort level in that area is pretty low. I have written scenes that, upon re-reading, I toss aside only to open them again a month later. I find myself reworking them and feeling good about what I had written yet, for whatever reason, the whole story didn’t sit well with me.
In July I gave up on it entirely and put the whole manuscript aside. I began a more comfortable storyline, this one lighter and quite humorous if I do say so myself. I’ve been working on it periodically while re-editing ‘White Wolf Moon’.
This morning (after uploading the revised White Wolf Moon) I decided to open that cast off untitled manuscript and read it from the beginning. I’m not sure I have ever been so pleasantly surprised. Parts of it I thoroughly enjoy, some parts I like and a few parts will remain cast off…or at least held in trust for possible inclusion later on. Maybe I just needed to get away from it for a while but I find myself digging in with more enthusiasm than I have had in recent times.
Taking back my rights to my first book had contributed to the mind clutter I seem to be experiencing lately but now that it’s done I have a little more space up there for other things.
Ah mind clutter. Sounds like a good topic for next time.BTW: The photograph has nothing to do with this blog…it was taken in the early 50s in Monlochy, Scotland. The ice-cream mooch is Mitzi, my first pet. I just felt a little nostalgic today…

My books thus far….

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FINALLY!

It’s been a learning exercise but finally “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” is online at Amazon.

The delays have been my fault. From writing the manuscript in the wrong (old, really old) Word program to not having all my ducks in a row when it came to actually uploading, I’ve made a few mistakes. I’ve successfully stumbled through them all and now I know better for the next time.

The process is actually quite easy and with this first step out of the way I’m looking forward to getting involved in the other Amazon programs but for now I’m taking a bit of a break and enjoying seeing that second title on my Author page. There’s an excitement surrounding me that I haven’t felt since I first googled “White Wolf Moon” and saw it listed around the world or since I opened that first box of hardcovers delivered to my front door.

So much has been learned but there’s so much more to go before I finish this journey.

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0143TGT58?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

In this sequel to “White Wolf Moon”* the usual suspects are at it again. Evan Morris and Danny Mann feature prominently in one misadventure after another. Evan’s confrontation with a rifle-toting hillbilly while researching the background of his wolfdog sets off a week packed with uncharacteristic behavior for the sixty-something ex-folk singer, from vandalizing a teen-ager’s car to a brush with the law in Edmonton, Alberta. These needed and oft times comedic contrasts to his staid life are overshadowed by the death of another former band member from the Sixties.

At the celebration of life “muck-up” Evan grapples with thoughts of a life that might have been and treads a trail of rediscovery with more questions than answers.

“Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” is about relationships and friendships that last forever, old rock and roll bands, a musician’s life on the road, and wolfdogs. It’s about finding that balance between what was and what is and realizing that it’s what we’ve done that makes us what we are.

*Every effort has been made to allow this work to stand alone. The chapter “Jenn’s Story” briefly recounts the contents of the first novel and any references to that first book have been clarified in the narrative or dialogue.

JUST AN UPDATE…

I know I have been lax with this blog lately but life and manuscripts seemed to have gotten in the way over the past few weeks.

Briefly…I just finished a word by word read-through of “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” and was quite shocked at the number of tiny mistakes I found. These were mostly missing words, a few missing dialogue tags, and one major continuity error. I’m relatively confident I’ve corrected everything but there’s still a part of me that wonders if I missed anything this time around. I have to trust that after three careful read-throughs by myself and some other people that I’m ready to take that next step.

I have had requests for hard copy editions (which I intend to publish down the road) but I’m going to check out all the options for e-publishing as an independent author first. A quick search tells me there’s a lot of work ahead to decide which way to go. I would appreciate any suggestions from anyone who has gone this route. It appears that Amazon has a package for folks like me. Has anyone had experience with this?

Anyway to all my American friends…have a happy Fourth. To all my Canadian friends…hope you had a happy First.

Cheers to all!

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BARKING AT YESTERDAY’S MOON

We all do it. In moments of quiet reflection our thoughts drift to a time when life wasn’t quite so complicated and we were younger. It doesn’t take much to rekindle the flame. An old song or perhaps something as subtle as a scent can send the mind wandering. Sometimes it’s just a flash thought, an image of someone we used to know. They appear in our mind then just as quickly disappear leaving us to wonder “whatever became of…”. Our wondering returns us to that place so long away and so far ago. We can visit and view through rose-colored specs but that’s about all. We can wonder “what if” until the proverbial cows come home but we can’t do anything about it. Besides “what is” will trump “what if” all life long and with all its ups and downs “what is” is always going to be what will be.

“The sooner we realize that life isn’t perfect…that everything isn’t going to magically fall into place after we get all those ducks in a row the better off we are. Every step we take in life has its own trials and tribulations. When we’ve finally sorted them through we take that next step and…more scattered ducks.”

The above is a quote from the sequel to “White Wolf Moon”, a sequel that finally has a title and a rough cover design:

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Like “White Wolf Moon” the title for the sequel jumped out at me while reading something I had already written. I’d included the line in a conversation between two of the characters months ago:

Danny put his hands behind his head, stretched his legs over Ginn and stared into the darkness. “You remember when we used to do this up at the ranch?”

“No more Danny, I’ve wasted far too much time barking at yesterday’s moon.”

“That sounds like the start of a great lyric.”

“It does doesn’t it?” Evan took a deliberate, thoughtful draw on the pipe then let the smoke drift lazily from his lips. “Although I think Ozzy might have something to say about it.”

As soon as I read that line I knew it suited the overall content perfectly. It encompasses the ‘feel’ of the story as Evan visits old thoughts and dreams emotionally as well as old neighborhoods and environments physically. The “moon” reference in both titles ties them together and the cover uses the same photograph minus the blue tint that I used on White Wolf Moon. Perfect for a sequel!

There’s also an inherent problem with writing a sequel. For those who have read “White Wolf Moon” there is little need to introduce the characters or their past/current relationships or adventures. These readers would accept references to the first book without confusion but I also have to be mindful that there might be people who assume that “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” could be a stand-alone. This has been one of the major stumbling blocks as I have had to make many minor changes to ensure that all these references are explained without being repetitive to those who have read the first book.

“Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” wraps up the stories of the characters and ties up a few loose ends but it’s also more fictional than the semi-biographical “White Wolf Moon”. From a rifle-toting backwoods adversary to a light brush with the Edmonton City Police Service, Evan gets himself into a few escapades that were not part of my life. What “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” does is answer the questions that readers of “White Wolf Moon” have asked me. They wanted to know more about Ginn, the white wolf-cross and her relationship with Evan. They wanted to get to know different characters better and to explore the friendship between Danny and Evan. I believe I have now answered all of their questions.

With all the changes I have had to make recently I am still a little behind but I’m nearly ready to run some hard copies to distribute to a few people that I trust to be upfront and honest about what I have written. Their opinions and critique will be the final step before publication.

Then the adventure begins.