Monday, November 1, 2010

New adventures on and off the page

And so begins National Novel Writing Month 2010. It’s Day One and I’m already behind, because I was up early this morning not writing but moving furniture. Avoiding the blank page? No. Getting ready for a visit from window installers, so no peaceful haven for me on this day. I’ll do the writing in public thing (shudder) and spend the day 1) at the local coffee hangout 2) at the library 3) at the downtown deli when growling stomach forces me out of the library.

Yes, today will be an adventure, but tomorrow my early morning writing will be brightened by the rising sun through new windows.

The fall has also brought the arrival of my reprinted book, Ipswich: Stories from the River’s Mouth. This project has been a different kind of adventure as I learned about the world of self-publishing. After bad match last year (I’m sorry, but I can’t work with a company staffed by people who aren’t able to answer basic questions) I went back to the drawing board—okay Internetand did a bunch of research until I found a wonderful printing company. They answered all my questions and turned my files into a beautiful paperback edition of the book.

The best thing about the project for me is the cover art, a watercolor of the Ipswich River by my dear friend Robin Silverman, who passed away a year ago. When I first started the project of republishing, I asked her if I could use one of her paintings, and she graciously said yes. But then I ran into the bad match with the printer, and the project stalled. When I got back on track with it this summer, Robin was gone and I didn’t know where to find the painting I had chosen. Friends to the rescue: hers, mine and ours. A page from a calendar Robin had printed some years back became the cover image (hanging in one friend’s store, remembered by other friends). I borrowed the sheet and had another friend make a digital image of it, and yet another friend designed the cover. I smile every time I look at it, knowing how much friendship went into it.

So I set my feet on the path of another adventure: publisher, marketer, hawker of my book. "Getcha Ipswich hist-ry heah!"

November’s going to be a busy month.