Blog

1. Even if you start out thinking, it's enough just to publish a book even if only my mom reads it, you will eventually start thinking bigger. Like, I want to sell a bunch of copies! Oprah, are you there?

2. Even though you carefully did not base any characters on living or dead people, you start wondering if people will think it's THEM in the book,

3. When your friends buy it in droves, you might be scared they won't like it and have wasted $16.95.

4. Speaking of $16.95, you will get 10% of that with each book sold.

5. You often will wonder if people... Read More...

When you sign with a small publisher, they don't have the money to send every author out on a book tour. I have no regrets with my publisher at all, though it would be nice to travel and get paid for it. (I guess that's called "work travel" and I've done plenty of that this year.) However, I have good friends with independent bookstores in their outdoorsy towns who want me to come there. I want to go there! But it's all a matter of finances. I have an author friend who did a DIY book tour, and it did seem to pay off for her, however, her book was a timely story collection about war, which... Read More...

I got my book in the mail today! And the first thing I thought was...it's so...tiny. It's not many pages at all, and I spent so many years  on it. Shouldn't it be more? But it is what it is, I could have put some filler in, in the end though, it's like living on the outer coast of Alaska....stripped down to the essentials. Of course now it seems much more real, and I've started thinking toward its debut in a month or so. Will there be good reviews? Scathing ones? What will some of my long lost friends think, will they be looking for themselves in the book? They aren't there, but it is... Read More...

Hello out there! Does anyone read this? I've been absent for a variety of reasons: house under evacuation order, working on fire support for the past three weeks...

Once I let a co-worker read an essay I had written. "It's so..personal," he said. Well...that is what memoir is supposed to be. Isn't it? I've always written this way. If you don't put yourself in the fabric, it becomes a dry recounting of facts. We've all read books like these. Of course, it is a fine line to balance. We've all read books where the author overshares. Sometimes the scale is tipped dangerously toward pity... Read More...

Let's just admit this up front: I can be an envious person. I am envious of people who can retire. I am envious of people who can retire and never have to work again. I am envious of people with glossy hair. I am envious of people who don't feel the need to count calories yet can eat massive quantities of chocolate. Should I go on?

No. But one thing I am not envious of, and have come to terms with, is that I will probably never be a person who just writes for a living. There is a rare breed, the people who have hit it big and the hustlers who make it happen. I would love to be able... Read More...

It's a classic Catch 22. Your publisher wants known authors to read and blurb your book, but you don't know any. After all, if you knew a lot of them, you might have been able to use connections and get published before. What to do, what to do! This was the part, so far, that I have liked the least.At any rate, the blurbs came back this week, three of them. And they were outstanding. I guess in the back of my mind I still expect people to say something like...Well...this wasn't that great...Or, What drivel!  I know I believe in Geography, but does anyone else? These three... Read More...

So the other week I was asked to write a dedication for the Geography of Water. And get blurbs. The dedication was pretty easy--but it is a secret, you will know in November! The blurbs were to the authors who said they would read the book, and all but one agreed. I was disappointed when the person said that they couldn't, but I had to honor it. It's no big loss anyway, since the two writers who said they would are Alaska writers which makes more sense. It's definitely hard to get blurbs until you actually know well-known writers. We have all seen blurbs by people who are obviously just... Read More...

Things with THE GEOGRAPHY OF WATER are progressing! I was assigned a nice copy editor who pointed out things I never knew before, despite being an English major. Like this: "towards" is the British way of saying it; apparently here it is "toward". As in. I made little progress TOWARD finishing the memoir. Also, the preferred spelling is "ax" not "axe." I'm grateful there are people who love to copy edit. I am not one of them!

I also got to see the "text layout" of the book. They ask my opinion which is very sweet. My reaction is usually, What?! I'm just glad you are publishing the... Read More...

I have stories in my head. I am to the dreaded middle of my kayak/divorce/Alaska memoir and still in the dreaming phase of my novel. Yet it's been hard to stay focused. Why? Well, it's summer. Here it is short and sweet, and I don't want to be inside. I do enough of that for work, and at the end of a ten hour workday, the last thing I want to do is sit and type. Yet the clock is ticking. I want to write more; at the very least these books want to come out. It's a familiar battle.

I'd probably do better to live again in a desolate and rainy climate, though my fitness would suffer.... Read More...

Through a lucky set of circumstances I was referred to an agent and signed a contract with her a month ago. I will say more later as things develop. Right now it's like being on a first date. Do I sit by the phone? What's going to happen? In my real job I need to get things done. I work in billable hours, so there is no time to be wasted. On conference calls, I often mute the speaker and type away on another project. If a co-worker wants to chat, disaster! I am finding that the publishing world, at least as an author, does not work like that. I can't just snap my fingers and sell a book. I... Read More...

Pages