Just as I was going to bed last night, my iPhone dinged. (Yes, I’m one of those.) I checked and saw an email from iTunes Connect.
It took me by surprise. I didn’t recall right away what ITC was, and almost deleted the email as spam. But at the bottom was a note that a payment to my old bank had been returned, and had the name of an account I closed recently.
Then it came back to me. Two years ago, I published a children’s book as a favor to a friend with two adorable young girls. I learned a lot about the E-publishing world, which was my ulterior motive. I learned the creative phase is a lot easier than the marketing. I also learned a lot about the nature of the book business these days. Wowsers. (Did you know, for instance, that a ‘best seller’ on Amazon these days is one that sells one book a day? A friend who self-publishes told me this today.)
“Mermaid Sisters: First Dive,”was going to be the first in a series if it attracted any interest. It was designed for the iPad, or can be viewed in iBooks on a Mac. I realize now that this was, while fun to do, a mistake from a marketing perspective. Too limited.
I’ve sold six copies in two years, four of which were bought by long-suffering family members. I probably shouldn’t admit that, but yeah, I’m a force to be reckoned with in this brave new world, obviously. But hey, Apple wants to send me $6.20, so who am I to complain? I’m getting paid for a BOOK! Woo Hoo!
If you have daughters, granddaughters or friends with daughters who are at that age when mermaids have an appeal, I hope you’ll check this out. Maybe I’ll be able to sell six more copies in the next two years! (And the kids will love it. My focus group told me so. 🙂 )
I was randomly wasting time on the web when I stumbled across this earlier. At first, I thought someone had caught me in one of my surprise sneezes this morning. My sinuses hate the cold, dry air this time of year.
The truth is a lot more interesting. Ontario-based photographer Michael Davies timed this impressive shot of his friend Markus hurling a thermos of hot tea through the air yesterday in -40°C weather near the Arctic Circle. At such frigid temperatures water freezes instantly to form a dramatic plume of ice. For the last decade Davies has worked as a photographer in the fly-in community of Pangnirtung in Canada’s High Arctic, only 20km south of the Arctic Circle, a place that sees about two hours of sunlight each day during the winter.
Like an explosion of elemental particles,
Thrusting up with grace and power;
With arms cocked and balanced, ready to strain to Heaven;
Tender curves coiled, tensed, aligned, ready to fill the void with creation.
The eye pulls my spirit into the fertile chaos of life.
Courage, at last.
I step out into the fog, put the first foot on the dusty road, lightly, risking everything.
One of them, anyway. Some are real people in my life, too. Some are bloggers I have the pleasure of knowing, a little.
Every day when I sit down I jettison my rational side for a time and invoke whatever little bits of magic I can to get the words flowing. My friend the crane, here, is the first one.
It’s solid brass, made in India, poised on one foot. I feel the tension and thrill of the hunter flow into me when I put my hand on his back. I’m preparing to go hunting, too… for words, for ideas, for stories. I need to be poised like he is. I know the statue isn’t alive, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is how it makes me feel, how it makes me feel like it’s time to go to work, to open those little doors and windows in me and let the process begin to blow. Or, to ‘billow’ as someone said recently.:-)
I’ll bet you have some little rituals you go through to help, too. I’ve got a can of Unicorn meat sitting on the window sill in front of me for a little touch of magic, and a small turned vase made from black walnut that is just a piece of wonder. Touching it grounds me.
Further down is a clip from the Kenneth Branagh movie of Shakespeare’s Henry V. Listening to Shakespeare always gets my juices flowing. This ought to be mandatory listening in any leadership training course. But it’s something else that gets me in the mood.
These are my rituals. Do you have some? Could you share them in the comments? Who knows, something you say might be just the trick to help a fellow writer along.