Monthly Archives: February 2010

Have you ever self-published?

The opportunity finally arrived.  February 15 I received a reply that the publisher was interested in my children’s picture book!  Of course I was excited, but I was aware that it was not simply a matter of them publishing my book.

It would mean some expense for me, so I needed more information.  During a very informative telephone conversation with a very pleasant publisher, we discussed many things about the process involved.  I learned that I would have a major say in the layout, illustrating and publishing of my book, and I also learned how much it would cost me.  Besides the money it would mean a lot of time promoting and selling my book to get my money back and then begin making a profit.  But …  she will not publish a book she does not believe will sell … and she believed in my book.   What to do?

After much thought, discussion with my husband, prayer, talking with writers who have much more experience than I, and looking at all the angles, I made my decision.

I listened to my husband.  I said no thank you.  Was it painful you might ask?  Yes, very, but as disappointing as it was I know it was the right decision for me.  Why was it right for me?  Because I know myself well enough to foresee that it would be a difficult thing to self promote and sell my books.  I would lose.  I would be discouraged.  That is not the path I want to take.

How delighted I would be — a published author of children’s books!  But it is not yet the time for me.  So, I have decided that I need to take more time to practice my writing, to connect with other writers, to learn, learn, learn.  My time will come, I believe that, when it is the right time and the right path for me.

So now I’m asking:  How about you, have you ever self published?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

How did you find your ‘voice’? and book review: A Black Tie Affair – by Sherrill Bodine

My question today is “how did you find your voice”?  Or are you one, like myself, who is still making that discovery?

What was your “eureka” moment – when you realized that you had discovered the writer in you?

Did it take you a long time to unveil your true style?

What I am finding through my reading is what I do not want to write, or what I am currently not interested in writing.  I am not a person likely to spend loads of time on research, so I don’t think I could write good nonfiction historical stories, for example.  I also will not write erotica or horror or sci fi.  As far as novels, not sure that is what I can do, either – yet, anyway.

There are styles I really enjoy in what I am reading, so I will keep discovering what appeals to me that way.   What I do know is that I enjoy writing for young readers, and stories with a little bit of  humour, stories with good ethics, and so on.  But, I am still a beginner since I have not allowed myself much time nor the thrill of really setting ‘my muse’ free.  🙂

A Black Tie AffairNow to mention the book I won, A Black Tie Affair by Sherrill Bodine.  Today I got a chance to read it to the end. It is well written; pulls you back and forth in the lives of the two main characters; includes some mystery, romance (I skipped over the erotica since I’m not comfortable reading that), lots of fashion detail and has an odd little detail in the ending.  Sherrill Bodine can certainly write and if that is the type of book you enjoy then you may want to pick this one up and her other one, Talk of the Town.

You can find A Black Tie Affair listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

So, back to my main question … how did you find your voice?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

101 great books to read

A friend who loves books directed me to this list tonight.  It is called “101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers”.   Some titles are also on the ‘100 books’ list I posted here in January.

Have you read any of these?  I did even worse with this list than the other one, having read only four of these and parts of four others.  (If I get bogged down I usually put the book away to pick up later – much later.)

TITLE                       AUTHOR
1. Beowulf   –  —
2. Things Fall Apart  – Chinua Achebe
3. A Death in the Family  – James Agee
4. Pride and Prejudice   – Jane Austen
5. Go Tell It on the Mountain  –  James Baldwin
6. Waiting for Godot  – Samuel Beckett
7. The Adventures of Augie March  – Saul Bellow
8. Jane Eyre  – Charlotte Brontë
9. Wuthering Heights  –  Emily Brontë
10. The Stranger – Albert Camus
11. Death Comes for the Archbishop  – Willa Cather
12. The Canterbury Tales  – Geoffrey Chaucer
13. The Cherry Orchard  – Anton Chekhov
14. The Awakening  – Kate Chopin
15. Heart of Darkness  – Joseph Conrad
16. The Last of the Mohicans  –  James Fenimore Cooper
17. The Red Badge of Courage  – Stephen Crane
18. Inferno  – Dante
19. Don Quixote  – Miguel de Cervantes
20. Robinson Crusoe  – Daniel Defoe
21. A Tale of Two Cities  – Charles Dickens
22. Crime and Punishment  – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
23. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass  – Frederick Douglass
24. An American Tragedy  – Theodore Dreiser
25. The Three Musketeers  – Alexandre Dumas
26. The Mill on the Floss  –  George Eliot
27. Invisible Man  – Ralph Ellison
28. Selected Essays  – Ralph Waldo Emerson
29. As I Lay Dying  –  William Faulkner
30. The Sound and the Fury  – William Faulkner
31. Tom Jones  – Henry Fielding
32. The Great Gatsby  – F. Scott Fitzgerald
33. Gustave  –  Madame Bovary Flaubert
34. The Good Soldier  – Ford Madox Ford
35. Faust  – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
36. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
37. Tess of the d’Urbervilles  – Thomas Hardy
38. The Scarlet Letter  – Nathaniel Hawthorne
39. Catch 22  – Joseph Heller
40. A Farewell to Arms  – Ernest  Hemingway
41. The Iliad  – Homer
42. The Odyssey  – Homer
43. The Hunchback of Notre Dame  – Victor Hugo
44. Their Eyes Were Watching God  – Zora Neale Hurston
45. Brave New World  – Aldous Huxley
46. A Doll’s House  – Henrik Ibsen
47. The Portrait of a Lady  – Henry James
48. The Turn of the Screw  – Henry James
49. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man  – James Joyce
50. The Metamorphosis  – Franz Kafka
51. The Woman Warrior  –  Maxine Hong Kingston
52. To Kill a Mockingbird  – Harper Lee
53. Babbitt  – Sinclair Lewis
54. The Call of the Wild  – Jack London
55. The Magic Mountain  – Thomas Mann
56. One Hundred Years of Solitude  – Gabriel García Marquez
57. Bartleby the Scrivener  – Herman Melville
58. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
59. The Crucible  –  Arthur Miller
60. Beloved  – Toni  Morrison
61. A Good Man is Hard to Find  – Flannery  O’Connor
62. Long Day’s Journey into Night  –  Eugene O’Neill
63. Animal Farm  – George Orwell
64. Doctor Zhivago  – Boris Pasternak
65. The Bell Jar  – Sylvia Plath
66. Selected Tales  – Edgar Allan Poe
67. Swann’s Way  – Marcel Proust
68. The Crying of Lot 49  – Thomas Pynchon
69. All Quiet on the Western Front  – Erich Maria Remarque
70. Cyrano de Bergerac  – Edmond Rostand
71. Call It Sleep  – Henry Roth
72. The Catcher in the Rye  – J.D. Salinger
73. Hamlet  – William  Shakespeare
74. Macbeth  – William Shakespeare
75. A Midsummer Night’s Dream  – William Shakespeare
76. Romeo and Juliet  – William Shakespeare
77. Pygmalion  – George Bernard Shaw
78. Frankenstein  –  Mary Shelley
79. Ceremony  – Leslie Marmon Silko
80. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich  – Alexander Solzhenitsyn
81. Antigone  – Sophocles
82. Oedipus Rex  – Sophocles
83. The Grapes of Wrath  – John Steinbeck
84. Treasure Island  –  Robert Louis Stevenson
85. Uncle Tom’s Cabin  – Harriet Beecher Stowe
86. Gulliver’s Travels  –  Jonathan Swift
87. Vanity Fair  – William Thackeray
88. Walden  – Henry David Thoreau
89. War and Peace  – Leo Tolstoy
90. Fathers and Sons  – Ivan Turgenev
91. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn  – Mark Twain
92. Candide  – Voltaire
93. Slaughterhouse-Five  – Kurt Jr.Vonnegut
94. The Color Purple  – Alice Walker
95. The House of Mirth  – Edith Wharton
96. Collected Stories  – Eudora Welty
97. Leaves of Grass  – Walt Whitman
98. The Picture of Dorian Gray  – Oscar Wilde
99. The Glass Menagerie  – Tennessee Williams
100. To the Lighthouse  – Virginia Woolf
101. Native Son  – Richard Wright

So how did you do? Are you looking forward to reading any of them?  Or have you already enjoyed any which are now among your favourites?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Writing from prompts

Have you ever had the fun of being challenged to write using prompts?

One of the writers chat rooms I visit did this writing exercise last evening.  I must say, I was apprehensive at first, and a little nervous having never attempted this before, but by the time we had done a couple I was right into it.   In fact, the challenge ended much too quickly.  I couldn’t believe it when someone said it was two hours well spent, it didn’t seem that long at all!

Here’s what we did.  We were given a prompt by our room moderator, and had about ten minutes to write according to her scenario.  When we felt we had it the way we wanted it, then we posted to the room.  It was fun!  And it was hilarious!  Some of the participants came up with the funniest lines and ideas that I was laughing most of the time.  My nervousness left as I sat thinking and waiting for ideas to formulate in my mind.  Of the eight prompts we were given I managed to write something for all of them.  On five of my writings I received very encouraging comments from the other writers in the room, and comical remarks on the first one I wrote.  The other two fell rather flat, but that’s okay.  I got some story ideas started!  And I learned a little about where my strengths are and where I either need work or had better not venture.  🙂

So, tell me … have you ever done this?  And if so, did it generate a story that you did something with later?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Delayed surprise!

This is my second posting today, but I want to tell you about my surprise.  Our yesterday got all turned around – the  way life happens sometimes –  so we forgot to pick up our mail.  When my husband brought it in early this afternoon … yippee!!  The book I won – A Black Tie Affair by Sherrill Bodine – had arrived in Friday’s mail!  It was postmarked Jan. 26, so took about 11 days to get here from Florida.   That’s not bad.

I am excited to read this book, which just became available January 1.   Sherrill personalized my copy for me and included a publicity photo of herself.  Also, in response to her note on an included postcard,  I will be writing to Sherrill to let her know her book has reached its destination.

The next time I mention A Black Tie Affair it will be to share my thoughts about it.  🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Are you an information gatherer?

It is a beautiful but very cold wintry morning here in NS, but I don’t mind much since I’ll be inside most of the day.  🙂  It’s a great day for writing or reading, so I will get some of that done later today  (I hope!)  as I am not one to play in the snow anymore.   BRRRRRRRRR

I continue to post on my page called My ‘have read’ list, adding to it as I finish a book.  I’ve added to it twice this month.  Eventually, there will be books added that I finish reading this year but started months ago.  Often I will take a book with me to read while waiting for my turn in the doctor’s office or some such place.  Because of that it takes longer to finish those ones.  Do you do that or do you just hope you will find interesting magazines on hand when you get there?

Are you one who prefers to make conversation with the people around you?  I did that last week, talked with the lady I sat next to in a waiting room, and it was quite interesting.

Are you a watcher and listener?  Do you get story ideas that way?

What are you reading these days?   Or what are you brainstorming about now?  Or what is it that are you listening for, searching for, gathering tidbits for?  Do tell!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂