Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It was a week for...


Last week was an interesting/different time. We drove to the Oregon Coast to spend a few days with friends. The four of us have been doing this pretty much yearly for more than a few. Farm Boss met him before meeting me. I met her when he began dating her. We go back fifty years with a lot of shared experiences. Fun to spend time with people with whom you have a long, positive history.


This year when we began to make our arrangements for going in December, we learned our favorite house was being remodeled and was not available, would no longer be what it had been. We had loved it for its eclectic decor, odd placement of rooms, kitchen, etc.  It had the best view of wildlife that I know of on the Oregon Coast as it overlooked a small cove with tidal pools, lots of birds, and seals. We could sit by a window and just watch for what birds would fly by. My favorites were the pelicans as I love how they soar in a long line, evenly spaced, just above the sea. So we were disappointed in its loss. The lady who had arranged our yearly jaunts in the past suggested another we might like. We made our reservations based on photos and her recommendation.  

That was set for mid December but the other couple got sick. We postponed it for early March since we had a lot of other activities to work around. Even that had to be rescheduled due to a conflict. Finally we made it last week, and it was great. The weather could not have been better-- 60s and sunshine to start although it grayed up the last day. By then we were packing up.

The house was a delight because it had been the home of an artist who made every corner of it into something special. It's amazing how much you can tell about the personality of someone through their gardens and home even when they have been dead eleven years, and their home is now a vacation rental. I'll be writing more about it for the other blog. Well, I might here later if I run down a little on the rest of what I've been doing-- which right now is all about writing and promoting.


The new Arizona based historical romance is starting off well. I got the first two chapters before we left but am rewriting and adding to my research as to what went on in Arizona in 1899-- hint: a lot. A lot of planning is happening in my head right now. I put off writing it when at the beach as I wanted to 'be' there totally. Besides, when I am taking a lot of photos (and I was taking a lot), I like to download and sort as I go. I also enjoyed good conversation time, food, watching the surf, and I figured the internal musing will be all to the good when I start in again this week.


Then came our return to the farm (all was well there) and Saturday when I had agreed to take part in an 'event' at Facebook which one of the writers for the anthology had done the work of setting up. I'd never done anything like it; so had no idea what to expect. I can't say I wanted to do it, but it was part of team playing. I knew I could, and I should.

When I took my own hour, I wasn't sure there'd be anybody there (other than my friend who said she'd come). I don't have the network some of these writers have. Some of that is my own doing. I don't do an email newsletter. I do a blog and blogs don't necessarily give you a list of people to invite to an event. I guess they could; but since I have never done the follower thing for any of my blogs,I haven't developed any lists-- and even if I had, not sure how many would be readers of my novels.

Fortunately there were enough who came to my hour and were very interactive, helping the event to work. I had prepared some things to write about but didn't use them with the way it developed. It was handy that I'd once done chat rooms as the whole thing went very fast, and it was a challenge to keep up.

I don't know how the anthology will do. I am insecure regarding how romance readers will like my own short story which is not exactly traditional for romances-- no boy meets girl and a couple who are in their 40s (adding it's about a psychic which might make some uncomfortable). That's the drawback to a cooperative kind of anthology. You are trying to put out something you will feel proud of, that depicts your writing, but also that will help the overall sales. How can you know it will when it doesn't have a publisher to say yea or nay? Anyway I did it and did the promotion. So we'll see about the rest. I hope the anthology does well for all those who put so much work into it happening.


On the week-end, we spent time trying to get a better cover for When Fates Conspire. We tried several before we got the right combo after I have no idea how much revisions. This first cover, for what will be a trilogy (each standing alone), had been particularly hard to figure out due to the complexity of its plot-- fate, consequences of actions, spirit guides, star-crossed soul mates and finally is there really anybody out there.

The second novella is written but not yet edited. I will edit it when I finish the historical's rough draft. I like to have some time between writing something and going back over it. I think it'll be out in late April and its cover is already done, much easier for what it took to create it.

There is one drawback to the new cover-- my husband has figured out how to do complex fonts... and it's making all the other covers jealous...


Finally, where it came to my first paperback, we discovered a disaster and I don't use the word lightly. It was the book where my husband learned how to do them (he does all my publishing). Through the idiosyncrasies of Word and CreateSpace, there had been some major glitches in formatting. And when I say major, I mean major. No paragraph indents when they had been there. Changing of fonts within paragraphs. I literally had no idea until a friend wrote to tell me what she had seen. Ack! That was not good news. I think it took my husband eight hours to get it fixed [finding conflicting style masks and buried codes]... I am just glad she told us as I hadn't checked-- irresponsible of me to say the least, but you know when you are writing, you are onto the next thing. Well, it's fixed now and when it comes back up, it will have no glitches.


in the family room at the beach house

So last week was a mix of good and bad. Wonderful time with friends. Intriguing beach house full of discoveries. Great opportunities for wave photographs. Followed by enjoyable time with the Facebook event-- even if I had worried about it-- but then that paperback goof, the need to redo a cover-- even with good results in redoing it. Questions of whether my short story holds up its own in the anthology (was it the story one reviewer said they disliked out of them all?) Will mine drag down ratings based on romance reader expectations? I have no clue, of course, but when you write something on your own, you are the only one who suffers if readers don't like it. That's not the case with an anthology.

Based on a lifetime of my own experiences, that's how the creative life is-- just not always crunched together in one week!.

3 comments:

Tabor said...

Sounds likes a tremendous bit of hard work and I cannot imagine how difficult working with html or xml or whatever code to straighten things out. He deserves a special dinner out or something! I would like to read how you make a trilogy 'independent' or 'stand alone.' What editing is involved?

Rain Trueax said...

This will be the first that I set out to make as a trilogy from the start and I haven't myself read many trilogies. The idea though is separate lead characters with an issue to resolve that seems resolved when the book is finished but when you see the next, you can see more was yet to unravel-- kind of like life ;)

When I do series, which I don't usually set out to do when I write a book, I want the stories to stand alone as in you don't wait for a character's story to come to a happy (or otherwise) ending.

In this trilogy the first is not so much a romance as about reincarnation and a soul mate concept from my November dream. The second carries forth one of the characters for a new story and in that case still paranormal but more of a real feeling romance. The third will be like that with yet a new character that the story revolves around. Each one has a plot and character arc that is ended when it's done but you have more of a full understanding of what was happening all along by the last one.

How (I think) you do that sounds like a topic worth a blog all of its own. Maybe Sunday as Thursday I have a guest author.

Rain Trueax said...

And on the work he did to straighten out that other book, it sounded nerve wracking to me too. Of course, he could have started over from the clean master but he was determined to fix the book from the CreateSpace file. The irony is we looked at the first proof we had gotten from them and the errors weren't in it. It's the weird part of the computer world how things can grow like topsy. I run into it with the blogs too sometimes. What you think you have from what you look at as you type it isn't always what ends up when you see the final version...