CreateSpace and Me: New Developments

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This is where I get to suck it up and eat crow.  This is my new paperback proof!  It is finally here!

All hope is not lost after all.  CreateSpace, after my Customer Service call to them, fast-forwarded their process to get my proof to me ASAP.  While they had a slight oversight and failed to note that I had requested four extra proofs be sent, they are sending those overnight delivery today.  They should be here by October 1st.

What’s that you say?  You thought I had an October 1st deadline with the contest?  You are right.  And Charles Yallowitz, I owe you one…you were right too.  There WAS a way to work it out.

I called the prize contest coordinators in NYC, and they tell me to go ahead and send overnight to them, as they have items trickling in all week d/t mail and such, so they are not excruciatingly strict.

I do not expect to win the contest, but at least it is a way to get the book read, perhaps by some who could be influential in promotions.  An honorable mention would be delightful, but it isn’t an expected outcome.  Being able to follow through on my reader’s groups’ expectations of me, and get this book entered at all is the accomplishment.  I am very happy today.

Timelines Giving You Fits?

timeline image

If you write, or are even thinking about writing, you NEED this!  It is brilliant and it’s FREE!

If you struggle with timelines and need to know birthdays and ages, and ages at specific events in time, this is the program for you!

My new friend Vicki Thompson, from across the pond…yes the one who got me connected with the Scrivener courses at the perfect moment in time, has just done it again.

It comes to us via Wendy Clarke, and her exceptionally clever “new” husband (a keeper for sure).

It is called Wendy’s Story Timeline and it is available here, where you can also see the simple instructions.  No more scribbling out timelines that span five pages.  You can also see events in one character’s life relative to events in another’s at a glance.  No more marrying off your character at the age of eight!  The new version also has a DOB calculator.  How nifty!

It comes loaded with Kings and Queens, and some other historic events, but you can put anything in here, save it, and make more.  Feel free to pass this on, no fees, all she asks for is a comment and a post.  How truly generous!

I have already downloaded, played with this, and it is really simple.  Seriously, can’t wait to use it.

timeline details

timeline DOB calculator

Farm Life in Fall

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Autumn for The Community Storyboard prompt

Florida doesn’t have much of an autumn and I do miss the autumn days of my childhood.  The first thing that comes to mind is change in the leaves and harvest time.  The second is camping and Halloween. The final is the preparation for Thanksgiving.  These were family times, when my sisters and cousins were most active on the farm as we joined together for autumn events.

In Georgia, September in the foothills of the Appalachians meant the landscape changed from lush green to a palette of reds, oranges and yellows.  We would go on top of Pine Mountain and look down below onto the colorful valley.  You could see for miles and it made the world seem so big.  On the farm, summer days fading into autumn brought harvest time and that was always a most busy time.

The fresh garden vegetables had already been frozen and canned.  The sweet potatoes had to be dug, the dried corn had to be shelled for the livestock, and the fields and garden spots had to be plowed under.  The apples were the first tree crop to be welcomed.  Grandmother would pare the apples that we gathered from the orchard.  Bushel baskets of them would be peeled and sliced to lay out onto aluminum panels to dry in the sunshine.  Grandmother bagged the dried slices into old flour sacks and pillowcases to hang in the pantry for fried apples pies.  Later, the dried apple slices would be soaked in syrup of water and sugar, laid out on circles of pastry dough, folded over, and then deep fried to a golden crispy crunch filled with juicy sweet goodness. The whole house smelled of cinnamon and apples when these were prepared.

We would pack the fried pies in our knapsacks to take camping.  Sometimes we camped in our own back yard which covered acres and acres, and sometimes we would go into the mountains or out by the Chattahoochee River to camp.  The older cousins would pitch the tent and prepare the site, while us younger ones gathered firewood.  The nights would bring songs around the campfire with my cousin playing the guitar, and then ghost stories to make us shudder and cling to each other in fright.  The stories got creepier the closer we got to Halloween.  Come October 31st, we were ripe for the horrors of Halloween and spent hours planning our costumes and making them ourselves. Nothing much was store-bought except the makeup we creatively applied.  Door to door trick-or-treating was done between neighbors and family without any thoughts to stranger abduction or individually wrapped candy or treats.  Some would give homemade popcorn balls or candy apples, and others would give store-bought candy bars.  We gladly accepted either without question.

Once  Halloween was over, we would start preparing for Thanksgiving.  The hired help from summer was mostly gone for the season.  After pulling weeds from nursery plants for a quarter a row on hot summer days, we were glad to see the cooler nights and the frost covered mornings.  The cold mornings meant that the pecans would fall soon.  Once this occurred, if we had a bumper crop, we would get paid a quarter a bag to pick up pecans.  We truly learned the value of a dollar.  Cousins, aunts, and uncles were all involved in this process as the pecans were gathered up from the orchards for sell by the truckloads to the local pecan warehouses.  They would then be sent to Westin, GA, where they were made into pecan brittles, divinities, fudge, fruitcakes, and other candies & cakes that would be sold at Christmas time.  Again, the pecan pies would be made that were always served with fresh whipped cream at the Thanksgiving feast.

Thanksgiving was a huge event where family gathered from all over to give thanks for such a bountiful harvest and the blessings that had been bestowed throughout the year. The season of autumn was a long and busy season, but brought family together to work and to play.  We all seem so distant now with everyone living miles and miles apart, and families dividing, growing too large to keep up with.  Reunions are a difficult thing nowadays.  I miss the autumn of my childhood, but was glad to have raised my own family on a farm in GA, so my children had some taste of what my own childhood was like and the happiness found in it.

CreateSpace and Me: Bummed

race-horse-accident

I am suffering the complete loss or absence of hope.  I have already made a post about my anguish with CreateSpace.  This is another rant but it will be brief.

There was a rather prestigious contest that a reader’s group paid an entry fee for to nominate my book, “Red Clay and Roses”.  My only responsibility was to get four proof copies of the paperback to the contest judges by October 1st, and that won’t be possible.  Today, CreateSpace informed me that my proof copy will be shipped in five days.  Count the days.  Not going to be a possibility to get the proofs and get them FedEx’d to the judges by October 1st.   Needless to say, I am more than sorely disappointed.  I have failed.

I first started with CreateSpace on June 6th.  This process has taken entirely too long.  I wouldn’t be so upset if it had not taken three weeks for CreateSpace to get around to giving my book ANY attention.  I know my revisions were part of the problem, but again, if they did not make their process so very time consuming…well, enough.  I am happy that there is a service that provides POD to self-published authors.  Who’s to say my book would have won the contest anyway?  I am just nettled that my horse broke his leg coming out of the starting gate.

These Books Have Been Banned, Really???

I never even thought about banned books or political correctness when I wrote my book. I wanted to clearly stay in the era which was Deep South 1950s-60s. Without this element the book loses its meaningfulness. This one hits close to my heart. A must read if you are interested in avoiding censorship, or are opposed to censorship.