HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!

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WordPress just congratulated me on my first anniversary with this blog. It seems longer than that somehow although I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s that I relate this to the release of “White Wolf Moon” and the process of getting the book into print took much longer than I had expected (it’s the old first-time learning experience thing). It seems like I have been living with that book forever but it too has only been out there for a year.

I remember when Friesen Press first suggested I have a blog. Panic and uncertainty set in but they dragged me backwards, kicking and screaming into this new world. This was the first promotional avenue to be traveled outside of my comfort zone. I’d already set up WWM on facebook but having a few years of experience with my personal page I was at least venturing into familiar territory…this blogging thing was uncharted terrain.

You’d think that after a year I’d have a handle on what I’m doing. I don’t.

Initially this blog was to be a “buy my book” vehicle but you can only say that so many times and in so many ways before it becomes hack ‘n crass. I started venturing “off-topic” and was pleasantly surprised at the positive reaction. A facebook friend (whom I have never met) has a wildlife/photography page and she rarely strays from that topic but she elected to voice an opinion on the current political situation in her country, America. Some people were downright rude with name-calling and the like and many ‘de-friended’ her. How dare she!! This wasn’t what they’d come to expect from her.

Rightly so she stood her ground. This is, after all, HER page and she can do with it whatever she wants.

Here is part of my long-winded comment on her page: “Living in Canada I’m in no position to really comment on the political climate or actions in the U.S. and will never do so but to those who are taking **** to task for the content on HER page…she, like all of us and like life, is more than a singular issue. I love the photography and stories but I will always read her opinions on those other issues. Some of them are admittedly pretty foreign to me but I respect her right and congratulate her on taking such an honest position…so few people do that these days. These ‘drifts’ from the expected content don’t take anything away from the great work she’s doing. I have a blog to promote a book I have written but I will on occasion use the forum to rant about the wolf situation or music, dust bunnies…whatever. It’s my blog and I can do with it what I wish and I have never had a complaint about anything I have written. I know some of my readers skip by those posts that they don’t find of interest and that’s their prerogative…I can’t please everybody all the time.”

Within twenty-four hours she had over 150 comments echoing what I had said.

I’ve tried to analyze what piques most readers interest but other than one (my post on ‘real book people’ that garnered 86 views in one day) most of my blogs seem to be quite balanced as to the number of hits, regardless of the topic. I think this is good?

Whatever…it’s still a learning experience. I’ve said my piece. Now it’s time to move on.

Like the sudden resurgence in downloads of “White Wolf Moon”, this blog anniversary is one of those little things that makes me feel good. The first book has far exceeded my expectations. This raises my spirits as I plow through finishing the second.

If all goes well with a little painting/restoration project I hope to finish up this afternoon, my next blog will also be off-topic. This one will be about thrift-shops and looking beyond the surface.

Having said all that…buy my book!

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LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

Darkward

It has been a rough month for writing the sequel to “White Wolf Moon”. Another three sales this past week have given me a little boost but the frustration of being unable to put new words down became…well…frustrating. I haven’t neglected the sequel, far from it. I have my time-line of events to be included in this book but not the wherewithal to flesh them out. Life just kind of got in the way. The past month has not been wasted though. I’ve been tweaking previously written chapters, smoothing and polishing dialogue and quite enjoying that process.

I write scenes as they come into my head and sometimes they aren’t necessarily in chronological order so what I’m working on now is like a series of scripts for a half-hour sitcom when it should be a made-for-television movie. Each part stands alone and just needs to be tied together in a cohesive presentation which shouldn’t be all that difficult but until a few days ago had been. Now comes the reason for this blog.

When should the title of whatever you are writing be established? Should you come up with a title first or somewhere in the middle of the process? Perhaps when the draft is completed is when you should give it a name.

I’ve always referred to this as “the sequel” and in doing so I always have snippets of the original book in mind. This may seem appropriate and shouldn’t be a problem but what I’m writing now is quite different from the original. The same characters, yes, but the leaning (while still following the same format) is more in-depth with regards to the characters and explores relationships and scenarios in greater detail than “White Wolf Moon”.

Last week I forced myself to come up with the working title “Of Old Men…(& Wolves)” and something wonderful happened.

I sat down at the laptop, read the title a few times and realized that within those words a theme simmered. As rough as it is that title gave me the boot I’ve needed. Three scenes and 4,800 new words later things are beginning to roll again. I’ve also managed to seamlessly stitch earlier elements together…all because of a working title.

Or is it?

Now, instead of opening a “White Wolf Moon 2” file, I click on “Of Old Men”. The page that appears on my screen has a new ‘feel’ about it. It’s like the whole process is starting again, now…today. I’m looking at what I’ve already written with different eyes and approaching the new material with a fresh attitude.

It’s also time for me to spend some money and renew my publishing commitment with Friesen Press. Up until a few days ago I was questioning whether or not I should. Sales are scattered and come in waves, tiny waves mind you. As I said at the outset three new recent sales have made the decision for me. It’s slow and relatively steady but without that distribution it would be non-existent and there’s always the chance that the book will find a little niche and catch on. The dream is still there, the one that prompted me to self-publish in the first place.

Regardless of how any of this turns out I am pleased with what I’ve done. I certainly would like a bit more success but I’m content with what has happened. I won’t be one of those people who says “I’d like to write a book.” but didn’t. I’m going to be one of those people that did…twice.