Monday, November 29, 2010


Yesterday and the day before I have not had a chance to work on this. I HAVE been able to figure out why a lot of readers find themselves so intensely present in the book I am working on, as if they were there with me.
It's because the book originated as a diary, I think. Originally everything in it had happened to me just a few hours earlier, at most; or sometimes just a few minutes. Even I am beguiled and am led back into the experience when I read it again. I don't believe this is because I am a world-class travel writer, up there with H.V. Morton, although I am not bad. Again, I repeat that I believe that it's the diary effect in action--coupled with WHERE it was in action. Had I written about daily life in a medium-sized, middle-class American town (if there are any such things left) I don't think it would have had anything like the same impact on my readers.
I am, I think, just on the verge of building a small group of people who are interested in anything I write. This is the key to my being useful and successful.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiiving Day Project Update

It's Thanksgiving, I am alone and working on the Bookbuilder project. Quite happy to be doing this, because I will have my turkey dinner later. And nothing could please me more than the prospect of holding this book in my hands and being able to share it with friends and strangers.
This morning I did a close editing of three chapters, improving them all at least slightly. I am considering writing and adding another piece to publish with the book as it now stands. This piece might be novella-length or less, inconvenient to publish on its own but completing the story of the original book, so to speak.
I'll have to give it some thought.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Where Things Stand Now

As I have indicated, I am about to produce a book from the ground up. I hope to have it finished and ready for sale to the public by March 30, 2011. If I succeed, as I expect, I believe the project will be of considerable interest to other writers, and/or would be writers--not to mention a source of great astonishment to me. Thus I am keeping this blog by way of documentation.
In this case I do not have to actually begin by writing the book. What I am doing is significantly re-writing a book of mine that is already in print, in a way, so that it will amount to a new book.
Is that doable? Certainly. How many quite different books do you know of that have been written about the same event? Say, the Battle of Gettysburg in the United States Civil War? Or something of smaller dimension: Picket's Charge in the Battle of Gettysburg? And there are many writers, artists, and composers who have made different versions of their own works.
So, what I am about to do is the same for a work of my own. As of now I am in the process of re-writing and editing it, after which I will be ready to format it, design it (or cause it to be designed, in a way that reflects my own interests, tastes, and--not least important--ability to pay). And, finally, I intend to make the work available as both a Print On Demand and an e-book. Of which I am the sole owner, and will be the sole beneficiary--other than the book's readers, who I hope will be attracted by its reasonable cost and attractive look, and will buy and read it with enjoyment. That's not only a benefit, in a lot of ways it is what writing is alll about.
If the project interests you as a writer or a prospective writer, or even just as a curious reader, I invite you to follow along.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What This Is All About

Justice for writers may lie in our own hands and minds. That is what I hope this blog will prove. I hope it will be a bracing reminder for me of what the individual writer can do to control his/her own fate, and to be treated like a professional. I also hope that, when I reveal it to the public down the line, it will help many others.
I have published several books. Good books, but niche stuff. I am very proud of them. And I have come to them from years of writing--and being paid for--other things, chiefly magazine and newspaper articles.
So that you understand this. I am a professional writer, who has been paid for almost nothing BUT writing.
But my last book fell into an abyss. I do not want to tell more of this story than I have to, since I want this blog to be about recovery from a bad move, and about well-deserved success in the end.
Suffice it to say, though, that, because of the state of my health when I was looking for a publisher, I let it be taken by an organization which treats neither it nor me--nor, as far as I know, anybody else--with respect. At the time I made my choice I didn't think I'd live long. I have lived long enough to deeply regret my mistake.
But what to do about it? Almost all the advice I received was, "Swallow it. Your book is gone. Let bygones be bygones."
Anyone who knows me knows that is not my style. In my next post I will outline what I decided to do instead. Beyond that the blog will follow my progress in doing what I set out to do.
So come along.