Random Musings

Back in my writing shed and darn happy to be there

September 28, 2012

Tags: writing life, author, books, memoirs, fall color, writing shed, author events

Not only has the desire to write returned, I've had a sudden boost of courage. I'd avoided the writing shed for so long that I felt like apologizing every time I passed it. Well, I've been forgiven, and am working like crazy to reshape the sequel to the Scent of God. Trouble is, I keep slipping back into my old habit of editing as I go. I've worked on the same 10 pages for three days. I guess this proves I'm not a global thinker. Global thinkers don't get caught up in details but see the whole picture. Wanting to be a Global thinker, I just printed up every chapter I've got and plan to lay it out on the floor and create a map. Some authors tape chapters to the wall. I haven't got much wall space, but then neither do I have a lot of floor space. The writing shed is 10' x 10'.

I'm also now back on my feet and can manage five miles on flat terrain, three miles on hills and hiking trails requires hot baths and Advil. For that matter, hot baths and Advil take the ache out of those 5 mile jaunts as well.

Highway 61 is clogged with visitors heading north to view fall color which is at its peak right now. Our hills are flaming with maples and aspen. An evening drive into the hills as the sun drops toward the horizon demands belief in some greater creative power.

Best Selling Book

August 17, 2012

Tags: writing life, author, books, memoirs, independent bookstores, author events

Never underestimate the power of an enthusiastic bookseller. Yesterday, I learned that The Scent of God had made the best-seller list at Parnassus Bookstore in Nashville, "all because Heidi, one of the women at the store is crazy for your book and makes everyone buy it." The note was signed by Ann Patchett, who opened Parnassus Bookstore with business partner Karen Hayes to fill a gap left when two bookstores closed. What a thrill, especially as some book distributors say they can't get copies to sell even when customers request the book.

Last week, I drove five hours to sign books at Sister Wolf Book Store in Park Rapids. Sister Wolf is a popular independent known for it's exciting author and artist festival every summer that attracts people from all over. I'd had to cancel my appearance at that event due to a severe injury and was delighted when they requested I make a separate appearance when I was finally healed enough to commute a long distance. Again, enthusiastic booksellers directed patrons toward "the author in the store," making the signing, which can sometimes bomb (customers scurrying around the author and avoiding eye contact), a success.

I left Park Rapids later that afternoon and drove down to Little Falls, an hour and a half away for two events to be held the following day at Bookin’It Bookstore : a signing in the morning and an intimate three-course tea at the historic Waller House Inn later that afternoon. A good friend and book fan made arrangements for me to stay at the Franciscan Sisters Little Falls MN in a charming little hermitage where I recaptured the sense of quiet I so love. Bookin'it's cozy store was another wonderful surprise, introducing me to the lively owner Laura and her staff. Laura was everywhere with her camera during the tea at the Inn. We feasted on a delicious three course tea and the writing life and my work with an enthusiastic group of book-lovers at the tea. Then back to the monastery to rest before meeting two of that lively group for supper in town.

Those three great happenings launched me back to my computer where the response to my latest newsletter generated several hundred wonderful responses waiting for my replies, and into the writing shed to pick up the abandoned sequel to The Scent of God for a fresh look prior to an extensive rewrite.

I hope your week has been equally generous with you even though the halcyon days of summer are growing perceptively shorter and there's a definite hint of fall in the air here on Lake Superior.