New Journal

I recently finished my journal that came with my cover. So excitedly I went new journal hunting. I found out that the refills I used to use in my old journal cover will fit the new cover. They are produced for Barnes & Noble in Italy and come in the 6×8 size.

The pages are a smooth cream color and resist fountain pen ink bleed through admirally. The lines are the right distance apart, neither too wide or too narrow. That was one complaint I had about the notebook received with my cover. The line widths were huge, in my humble opinon. And I have lots more pages for writing. My previous notebook was 200 pages. This monster is, I believe, 240 pages with a ribbon page marker. Which makes the cover look stuffed, but that is okay, leather is forgiving and will adjust. (I hope)

Friday Night Fun

Tonight I was left to my own devices, so I took myself for a spin out on the town. I headed for Jacksonville, the home of Camp Lejune Marine Base. Also home to best used bookstore that I know, The Bookend. 

I have been visiting and drooling over the Bookend books for about half of my life. Mr. James is the owner and he is awesome. He knows every book he has in stock and if he doesn’t haven’t it, you probably don’t need it. (That may be a slightly stretching it but not much.) For tonight’s viewing pleasure he had the leather bound editions of the Louis L’Amour westerns released back in the mid-90s, and the more mundane books. He showed me some orginal paperbacks of Kull, Conan, and Soloman Kane. Now if you don’t reconize those names they are all characters written by the late Robert E. Howard. 

Mr. Howard is most famous for Conan and the creation of the whole sword and socery genre. Impressed yet? Kull was Conan’s great 2 or 3 times back grandfather. And then the strangest and leaser known Soloman Kane. A purtain do-gooder/evil banisher, Kane is at war with himself over turning the other check and being the avenging Hand of God. Very interesting fellow. There was a movie done a few years back that didn’t quite do him justice. Anyway that is a discussion for another day. 

Mr. James normally closes up at 7pm and I got there a couple mins before 7 pm. I know what you’re thinking, there isn’t anyway you could have looked books in 5 minutes. Well see it pays to have been an iregular regular of the best used bookstore in Jville. Mr. James stayed open and let me look for about 20 mins beyond his closing. (See told you it is the best.) 

So after making my purchase, I headed on to other locales of interest. Namely Staples to see if they had a fountain pen with my name on it. I looked at the pens and the notebooks and other stuff and wondered how much longer we will be able to shop at a physical store. Compared to the pre-Amazon days, there was very little stuff in there. Most all the desks were gone. I loved going and looking and the desks and trying to pick “the one” that was going to be the home of my writing. (A girl can dream.) Trying out the chairs and looking at the cool stuff we thought would keep us organized and on track. (Still dreaming) I don’t know brick and morter seems to becoming a less sure thing in the future. Also discussion for another day. 

After Staples I took a gander through 2nd & Charles. Count ’em that is two bookstores in less than 1 hour. Do I know how to party or what? I browsed, hunted and meandered through the store until I realized it was almost 9pm. The mall closes at 9pm and I was supposed to be picking up some stuff for Hubby. Oops. 

So I dash out with my new to me books and headed for the mall. I walked in Barnes & Noble just to hear the mall is now closed and the gate will be locked blah blah. Catch that did you, bookstore number three. I pursued and browsed and looked and drooled. I did heed the siren call of a cup of Earl Grey and a blueberry scone. Now if I had properly prepared myself, pen and paper would have joined the party. Alas they remained in the car with my newly aquired books. 

After B&N shut down, I headed over to 5 Guys Burgers. They do a meaty real burger that is so tasty. They too were closing but nice enough to let me order. The food was awesome, thank you again. So I happily drove home to take pups out and wait for Hubby to get a load of his burger. It is huge!

And that, dear friend, is how to party in eastern North Carolina on a Friday night. Cheers, james

Smashwords and Indie publishing

This is a topic I don’t think I have ever mentioned in this blog and that is publishing, tradional or self publishing. A bit of background, after I got my Nook I spent a lot of time reading the free books, usually they were self published on Smashwords and the first book of a series. There were quite a few gems, JD Nixon and both of her series, Heller and Little Big Town. And then there were some books that were good, however I didn’t continue the series. Then there was one book that I loved and I bought the second book and the author started strong like the first book, but then character names and other important details started getting tangled up. This book wasn’t ready for public consumption, it needed a thorough editing and proofreading. I never finished the book much less the series. It wasn’t the only time I got burned by an author trying to push a book too fast, but it was one of the more disappointing. I felt a strong connection to the story and the characters. 

So the question becomes when do you know your baby is ready to be published? I rarely think this far since my own writing is still firmly in the first draft stage. However in my more busy writing times I can feel it whisper in my head. “Now? Is it time yet?” and I have to pull on the reins, not yet. 

In those moments when I do think about my stories the tradional publishing scene doesn’t really appeal to me. Maybe I am more of a control freak than I care to admit, but turning my babies loose in the hands of the major publishers gives me chills. I like the way Smashwords works, as an author have complete control over my books from setting the format to the price. I haven’t thoroughly delved into how they make their money and that is okay for right now. 

I am still working thru about 4 first draft projects. Crazy I know but when the idea hits you strike while the iron is hot. Each project has different strengths and weaknesses. I feel what I learn working on one story applies when I work on the other ones. 
Cheers, james

Do you journal?

Since joining the Innovative Journaling Facebook group I’ve noticed journalers seem to cover every walk of life. One member has been journaling over thirty years and has a whole bookshelf for the journals. At the same time there are men, women, young people all keeping a record of moments in time. There are some awesome journalers that draw, paint and use other methods of media. A lot of them are long time fountain pen users or novice fountain pen-ers, of which I fall into. In fact I ordered three Hero medium nib fountain pens. Lot of mixed reviews on these pens, but all agree they are a great starter pen. So this weekend maybe I can get to a Michaels for some ink. I don’t think my local Staples sells bottled ink. The pens I have are ones that you fill directly from the bottle. Wish me luck on finding the ink locally and getting started learning to use a fountain pen.

In my journal I write on a Barnes and Noble 6×8 lined journal refill in a green Wilson leather cover. So I never thought about sketching or painting or anything else, but write in it. Then I got my Primer journal from Innovative Journaling with the scariest thing, unlined paper. I have always steered away from unlined paper because my writing isn’t straight and travels slanted across the page. But it was a small page and I decided I would try and if I couldn’t bear looking at the results I could … you know. Anyway since then I’ve written smaller, neater and yeah my lines wiggle and wobble. I feel freer like those lined pages were jailers bars imprisoning my creative flow.

I used to try and keep a daily journal over the years, but I have settled into more of a important thing vs daily. Weird dreams, life events, needing to vent and exlode without restraint, those are the big things I write about. Then the days I feel restless as if the words are right under my skin crawling about and I have to write them out. Okay that is kinda super creepy. Lol.

So my question to you is do journal? Daily, big stuff, little stuff, for your kids, or for future you or future generations? Lined vs unlined paper, writing, sketching, doodling, painting, scrapebooking? All of it counts, all of it records a snapshot of our thoughts at that time and place.  Cheers, james

Writing Break to Knitting

I have a tiny little confession to make: I haven’t been writing this month on my works in process. I’ve been knitting and reading, lots of reading. I can’t seem to pull my stories out of a blue funk. Owl is stuck, actually I am stuck on how to move the story forward. I need two of my characters to get out of their sickbeds but I need them to be there to train the youngest member. I have sent one team member out and he is running but I haven’t a clue as to what he is running from or running to. Emilsa is battling my skittishness on writing about certain topics i.e. rape, sexual slavery, nasty, nasty stuff. That is where the story is taking me. I just don’t know if I have the stomach to write it.

So to let matters rest and meld, I have picked up my knitting needles. Currently I am working on a small for lack of a better term worry rag. It will be as big I need it to be. It started out life as a ball of yarn for nephew’s blanket. However lovely aunt that I am, I didn’t buy enough yarn and they don’t sell that color anymore. I am slowly learning when you buy yarn and you think you have enough, buy extra cause you’ll need it.  And should you find yourself with excess then it might come in handy  for another project. And you could trade it for other yarn or stuff if you find a willing partner.

However I did find my nook needles and my nook keyboard two wholly different nooks there. One is a knitting crochet hook with a string attachment. The other is my Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader keyboard. Love this little keyboard, perfect size and works with both my Nook HD+ (Thank you Mom) and the Toshiba Encore Mini ( Thank You Hubby). Tonight I am writing on the Toshiba to see if they would play nice together. The answer is mostly, there seems to be a short delay between my typing and the words appearing on the screen. Sokay, it doesn’t seem to bother my typing. I must say it sure beats typing on my phone. Boy, have I rambled on tonight, not exactly the post I was thinking I would write but an accurate mindset for me right now. Cheers on this raining Friday night, james

Clearing my mind

I have reached page 20 typed of Owl Story only I have 65 1/2 pages handwritten. Oh well I got to handwritten page 63 so couple more pages and I will be caught up again. 

I have started a couple other stories besides my main two. Although they are still pretty sketchy in the story details. I am not sure having mulitple stories going is really good for me or the stories. 

I grilled supper tonight, oh it turned out well. Two small sale pork tenderloins and a sliced chicken breast. I cheated I didnt make any sides to go with the meat. Hubby doesn’t know so its alright. He will have a salad with the meat so it won’t effect him negatively.

Trying get back in the swing of posting something even if I am just rambling. I tried to talk about writing.

Oh by the by I am reading The Liar’s Companion by Lawrence Block. I have read several of his other writing books. It is pretty good, especially if you get the three books for $12, the name escapes me. But search Barnes and Noble for his books and you’ll see them. Cheers,