Going Forward

For the last 2+ years I’ve wanted to focus my efforts on reading, writing, and blogging. I tried to do that last winter, but realized as long as our retail brick and mortar Gallery is open there’s just no time to do that too. I would have to wait until either the store sold, or we decided to retire and close it.

Well, at long last, we’re about to close. We’re now 91 days away from closing Gallery Escalante. The projected sales during that time will give us the means to pay everything off, and pay the absolute minimum expenses for the next year or until the building sells or is leased. During the process of deciding when to close, my husband Tracy realized he’s ready for a new focus as well. He’s been doing professional photography for over 15 years and is ready for a new path. The one he’s chosen goes with my jewelry business – he’s going to expand his Sandstone Jewelry business and do mostly wholesale. He’ll produce some very special pieces for me to use and the rest will go out as wholesale. A very exciting time for us both.

All things being equal, I’ll post a notice on Goodreads when I’m available for Beta Reads again. I enjoyed that adventure last winter, but found I really needed to put aside more time for the author to ask questions and go back and forth before I started reading someone else’s work. It was a great experience and I learned a lot from some wonderful authors. I look forward to being allowed to share their passion again.

In the meantime, I’ll keep writing on my blog, my jewelry blog and helping some very good friends establish their weblog for a business adventure. Those efforts and closing the store should keep me out of trouble. And if there’s any time left I’ll keep building creative and unique jewelry pieces which you can see at www.copperraven.com.

Mitchner & Clancy –

There’s a reason these two gentlemen recieve such acclaim for their writing – they never fail to set the stage.  The Best Sellers have learned to create the scene before the play starts and the audience is deeply involved way before they get 1/3 of the way through.

I’ve been beta-reading lately and it’s the one thing I see most often – I’m 1/3 of the way through the story before I can visualize the places and the “feel” of the setting.  And when I get to the end I know how to weave the story using bits and pieces of the end.  Oh, to write the beginning over – to grab the reader from the very first sentence and build until the climax.

In defense of writers, they have the story in their head.  They know the place, the family, company, group, and they know the end.  When they get done, some need to start again – this time describing the scene, family, and spirits to fit the ending.  Tell me what the homestead looks and feels like.  Describe where the story unfolds, the country, region, etc.  Remember it’s a global market today and not every reader will know your country.

Talk about the weather, history, current events.  Compare and contrast that to yesterday or tomorrow.  Create a hidden character whose shoes can be filled by your reader.  Most of my beta-writers can tell the story, and keep me reading to the end.  Setting the stage seems to be much harder.

 

The Strength to Take Criticism

I haven’t posted any reviews lately because I’ve been Beta Reading for a variety of authors.  What fun and how talented these women are.  And I think the most impressive part is their willingness to accept comments on their efforts.

I do believe writing a book is like raising a child, at least the first time out.  They grow inside you until you deliver the product to your own world.  Then you spend the next period of time developing them to greet the outside world.

And then the criticism begins – too big, too little, not focused, confusing storyline, etc.  You hate to think your child is less than perfect, but those that ask for feedback are the champions.  Their work improves and they write better.  As parents we get help from family, friends and physicians and we product healthier children.

And when the product is done and out on its own we have all those wonderful memories.  For the Author, you start another story.  For the parent, you can either start again with grandchildren or maybe write a story.  Either way, the process begins again.  Be proud of your success and unafraid to ask for comments.  I get better books to read and the world gets better people.

I’ll have a couple of reviews for you in the next month.  Until then – – –

Jana