Keeping on Task

I’m making a list and checking it twice. It’s actually not that kind of list, though I’m doing my best to embrace the cooler temps and the Christmas decorations already adorning the stores. As always, I’m amazed at how quickly time passes. I’m still in my summer state of mind while others are excitedly pulling out their sweaters. I tend to move at my own pace and not worry too much if that pace doesn’t match anyone else’s.

Okay, maybe I’m a little envious of my author friends who write at a pace where they produce multiple books in a year and my running buddies who run at a pace that qualifies them for wave A of the PTRR. Both are paces I’d love to achieve but I accept that my life may not yet allow me to attain these levels. To keep me on track with my own pacing, at least when it comes to writing (running involves a different process, though possibly with an equivalent amount of sweat and tears) I use to do lists.

Which brings me to my update for this week. I have made that list, my Indie Pubbing To Do List, and I’m checking things off. The featured picture for this post is my actual list. I wrote it on my fun little note pad (with its nice summer theme), because I’m determined to make this a fun process. This pad opens like a book and the list continues onto the next couple of pages. I stopped, because my to dos may change before I can get that far.

I think the most important thing, that has happened this week is that I’m actually visualizing “Passing Rain” as a finished product. Previously, it has been more of a vague hope to send it out into the world. Now that I’ve mapped a draft of the path it will take in getting there, it is already becoming more real to me. So, even if I haven’t checked as many items off this list as I might have hoped, actually seeing this as a reality feels like pretty good progress to me.

How is everyone else keeping on task, especially as we’re heading into the holidays?

Read about the dream that inspired me to write Passing Rain: From the Camel’s Mouth

Going Indie

I feel comfortable enough with this decision to announce I’m going Indie! What does this mean, my non-writing friends may ask. It means I’m taking control of my writing destiny by self publishing Passing Rain, and if this goes well (and probably even if it doesn’t) I will likely also self pub the paranormal series I have brewing on a back burner, once I write it, of course. 🙂

I shared this with a running friend last night and his reaction was, “Isn’t that like a last resort?” I dare to say for the savvy author these days it’s a great way to go. Not that traditional publishing isn’t still a perfectly sound option in some cases. For me, though, the indie road makes sense.

Yes, it’s lots of work and no, there are no guarantees, but for many authors the e-book revolution has made this not only an acceptable, but often better way to go. Self publishing has taken on new meaning in this digital age.

So rather than get overwhelmed by the huge learning curve I’ll have, as well as the mounting entries on my to-do list, I’m taking a deep breath and starting with The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing by The Indie Voice: 10 NYT Bestselling Authors. Thanks to Stephanie Bond for the recommendation. So far, this book has given me more new resources than I’ve had a chance to follow up on, and it’s had me chuckling through my lunch break in my cube. I’m sure my coworkers at my day job are wondering what I’m finding so amusing. Can I just say Dorien Kelly’s chapter, Revirgination (When Traditional Authors Go Indie) cracked me up? If learning this new landscape is going to be this much fun, I’m in for a grand time.

I also have to say thanks to Wendy Wax for sending me Jane Friedman‘s Electric Speed newsletter. I immediately subscribed. It’s full of industry information geared toward author entrepreneurs. I kind of like that term.

If you’re an indie author (or are researching them)and have other resources to share I’d love to hear them!

If you’re not an author, but have questions or thoughts about this whole self pubbing thing I’d love to hear those, as well. As a reader, do you know or care who publishes the books you’re reading?

It’s a brave new world and I look forward to navigating it, one step at a time!

Read about the dream that inspired me to write Passing Rain: From the Camel’s Mouth

From the Camel’s Mouth

I stood in a high place, both a church and a courthouse. Dark masonry covered the walls, while light flowed through stained glass windows in splashes of yellow, pink and blue. Respectful quiet permeated the space.

Before me stood three camels. Their size and the muskiness of their scent drove me back a step. A commotion broke out among the handlers of the one to my right. They spoke in rapid dialog in a language I didn’t understand, but their distress was evident none-the-less.

Something was stuck in the camel’s mouth. It knelt before me and its mouth opened like a computer-generated image. I hesitated a moment, then reached in with both my hands.

My fingers closed around an abundance of long, slender objects. They slipped as I gathered them and pulled them from the opening. Light fell across my hands, revealing pencils, pens and paintbrushes, too many to count. Again I reached into the camel’s mouth, withdrawing a second bundle and then a third.

The load was more than I could comfortably hold. I glanced around for a place to lay my burden. A door stood ajar off to one side. I entered to find court in session, the judge in her raised chair at the front. I glanced around quickly, not wanting to disturb the proceedings. No shelf, counter or cabinet presented itself.

The judge caught my eye and gave an almost imperceptible shake of her head. With that, I understood the bounty from the camel’s mouth was mine to keep.

This is the dream that directed me to write, “Passing Rain,” my story relating the events in my life from late 2004 through 2006. I interpreted the dream as saying the camels represented those three years. I researched dream meanings for camel and both “long hard journey” and “great sadness” struck a chord in me. I’d pulled creative tools and writing implements from the camel’s mouth (the mouth representing expression/communication). I had my directive. I had to write about those years.

My memoir is complete. Now what? Follow my journey here and discover with me where this project will land. Will it catch the interest of a mainstream publisher? Will I self publish it? I don’t yet know, but I trust it will end up where it is meant to be and if the only purpose in my writing this was for my own cathartic process, then I’ve accomplished that, at least. For my daughter, Jessie’s sake (aka Rain), though, I do hope our story will touch at least one other life and make all she experienced that much more meaningful.

Read an excerpt from “Passing Rain” here.