Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's A Beautiful Day

It's such a lovely day today! Beautiful sunshine. Lovely blue skies. Days like this make a person glad to be alive.
I took a picture out back just to illustrate. We have such a beautiful view of the mountains from our patio - if you look through the Pacific Power poles.
Hmmm. I hear they're putting in fiber optics one of these first years. Then these poles will come down and I certainly won't cry. In the meantime I think I'm gonna plant trumpet vines at the base of each one. Doesn't that sound like a plan? It won't help much in the wintertime, though. Too bad.
On the home front, Lili finished off her last night in the play Monday evening. She actually did two shows Monday - one right after school (for the school faculty) and the other one Monday night for the general public. Rick, Steve, Jennifer and I went as guests Monday night.
Lili was glad when it was all over and so was I.
This is the first time I have been involved in any of Lili's school activities since I drew ballerinas in basic positions for a demonstration she did when she was in about second or third grade. I've always been so tied up with things Larry needed that there hasn't been a lot of time for Lili. I've never been convinced she really wanted my involvement, anyway.
This time I decided I was going to get involved because she'll soon be gone from home and I wanted her to have at least one memory of her mother doing something with and for her at school.
I'm glad I made that decision. I don't know if she really wanted me there or if she didn't, but I found out this is the last play the seniors will be in so if I'd waited, I wouldn't have had the chance. And who knows? Maybe some day she'll actually appreciate the fact I made the effort.
So there you go. Once in a while I might manage to get something right. ...Not too often but once in a while.
Apart from that, I have my book all printed out and ready to take to the publisher later this week - with the exception of the photo pages. I printed the book on my own printer but I'm taking the photo pages to be professionally done. My printer does NOT do well with photographs.
I would have had the photos printed out already but I was waiting for one that I didn't have. It came yesterday and I cropped what I wanted from it and added it to my photo section this morning.
Tell you what...don't ever let anyone try to tell you that writing a book is easy. I fight with Microsoft Word nearly every day - why in the world do publishers insist on using Word? Word Perfect is so much more user friendly!
I've searched for information and rechecked what I've received just to make sure it's correct.
I've written and re-written and re-written some more.
I've stood, for hours, before my printer hand-feeding paper through it because at the moment I can't afford the $50 it would cost me to have this printed off at Kinko's. (I'm making myself a promise that when I make my first million [yeah, I know - in my dreams] I'm gonna buy myself a fancy printer so I don't ever have to do this again.)
And I've re-read and edited all 300 pages until I'm absolutely sick of it.
It's time to quit. If it isn't good enough to go to a publisher now, I don't think it's ever gonna be.
So I'm hoping to take it to the publisher of my choice this coming week. I'm planning to attend a writer's conference in Provo, Utah and the publisher I've decided on is just 5 miles away. And I don't have to have an agent in order to submit to them. So...wish me well. I'm sure I'll need all the good wishes you can send.
In the meantime, I interviewed for a job this past week. I highly doubt I'll get it - they said they'd probably be hiring from in-house - but the interview went well and I think both sides were happy with it.
If I get the job, I'll be doing mortgages with the same company where Richie works. That would be nice. Good money and a good working environment. Probably an interesting job, too.
But if I don't get it, I won't cry. I have another book I want to write, anyhow.
So we'll see. I really don't know where my life is heading right now. I want to write. I want to make money as a writer.
And some people do.
Some don't.
I can't afford to spend the time I've spent on this first novel and only come out with a few thousand dollars as an advance. I've invested too much time and money into the research and writing.
I haven't minded this time. I had a lot to learn. But I'm not willing to invest equal amounts in another book without earning a good hourly rate. For this book, although I haven't kept track of the hours I've spent on it, I figure it's several thousand and at that rate I'd probably need an advance of at least fifty grand just to break $7.00/hour.
Maybe I haven't spent a full 7,150 hours on this book but it's been close. Many's the day I've spent between 12 and 18 hours working on it. And I first started it eleven years ago. True, I haven't worked on it all this time. I got it about halfway done and let it slide for several years while other things took precedence. . .such as running the ranch I was writing about. But, still, i've spent a lot of time and energy working on it.
And so we'll see if it was a worthwhile investment of my time or if it wasn't. Readers tell me the book is interesting. The question is whether a publisher will think it's going to sell. THAT is the $64,000,000 question now.
You can bet if it sells I'll be telling everyone on this blog! :)

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