Archive for October, 2009

Hello world!

Where do I begin to write the story of how great…oh sorry couldn’t help myself. If you do not get that reference, don’t tell me, it will only hurt my feelings by reminding me how old I am.

Okay, so this is supposed to be about me well, let’s see, where do I start? I was born in a log cab…..I walked to school up hill both ways in the snow… Oh never mind that is ancient history, how about this; I run a successful Pagan festival and have for almost thirteen years now. I have been told that I am pretty good at herding, feeding, problem solving and getting large numbers of folks to all go in the same direction at the same time.  Some people told me I should write a book about it, some even insisted that I write that book. They told me that by writing about how to run a festival, I could help other people to do it well. It would also benefit the people who went to the festivals, and the authors that went as guests. In short, I would be doing a service to humanity. Hmmmm…like Mother Teresa.

Why is it that people always insist that other people write a book. If anything out of the ordinary has ever happened to you, people always say “you should write a book!”

“Wild Wolverines kidnapped me and kept me in a den under an oak tree in the great Northwest until I would teach them to line dance and sing like Garth Brooks.”

“You should write a book!” people shout. “Well,” you explain, ” I have an IQ of 42 and I can’t even spell wolverrine….wooulvrine…wowlennie…..that animal with mean claws.” Then you get a wink and a nod and a, “Yeah but you could get a ghost writer!”

If you have never written a book you have no idea what a process it is. If it can even be called a process. You have a ghost of an idea and so you sit and stare at the paper or the screen or the note book or the roll of toilet paper just hoping to be struck by you muse. Usually what happens is that you get struck by a cat paw belonging to a cat who would like some dinner “noooowwww” please. I knew that I knew what I was doing on the festival end of things. After all people came back year after year, we did not poison them or lose their children or set anything on fire. Or sure there was that one time, why can no one get over that. I digress. I knew the festival stuff, but how could I put it on paper? Where the hell would I even start?

I started and wrote about the festival on a legal pad. Then I rewrote, at one point I started over completely from scratch, then I started that over and simply rewrote the original. I turned it upside down and inside out until I was more or less happy with it. I tweaked it. I got angry at it. I cried. I laughed. I walked away from it and declared that I was done with the whole thing! Who the hell was I kidding. Everyone thinks they have a book in them, most people really do not. Who was I to think that I actually had some talent and that I could write a book that other people might want to read?! Maybe, I thought I should just run away and join the circus.

Finally, I decided that I would try it again. This time, I went to the computer and put all of my notes there.  It was a process that almost drove me to drink.  I had such a hard time scrolling up and down to see if I had written something that I thought I had written.  Computers are foreign territory to me. But I wrote, and then, I wrote some more. Then I edited again and again and again.

Finally I thought it was ready. I made a day trip to Chicago at that point, having nothing to do with the book. I knew I would be in airports and waiting rooms and would have time on my hands.  So I printed out my manuscript, stuck it in my bag and away I went.  I worked on it every spare minute.  But the time I got home again, I thought it was ready.  I typed all the corrections into the computer and sat back and basked in the glow of a job well done. I took 2 years to get that done to my satisfaction. Elephants carry baby elephants and give birth in that amount of time!

When the manuscript was finished, I had to get someone else to transfer it on to a disk for me.  I went to Kinco and shipped it off into the unknown. It was like sending a child off to college, I could hardly let go of the thing. I cried all the way back to work that day.  What if it really sucked?  What if they hated it? What if they decided they did not want to publish my book? Yikes!

But they did like it, they did publish it. Yea! Let’s talk about the publisher end of things for a minute. I was very lucky, I had a publisher who was interested in my project. I had made the approach, discussed the idea and was encouraged to tackle the project. Then I submitted the outline and a couple of chapters, and wonder of wonders, they liked what they read! So, away down the highway I went. Not everyone has such an easy time getting into print. Remember that and do not be discouraged.

Anyway, here we are, three years after I started, the book is in print.  People are buying it, liking it, and telling their friends about it. Gosh that was not so hard, I mean really, sorta of like childbirth. You forget how painful it was. I think I might write another one.


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