Journey to Publication

Journey to Publication #1

On my homepage, I mentioned that I wrote a novel ten years ago. Lately, I have felt the urging to dig it out again and try to relearn the publishing business which has changed so dramatically in ten years… not to mention since the 70’s.

Publishing is not new to me. In the 1970’s, my husband and I wrote and illustrated books and magazine articles as a way to make money when we lived on our sailboat, but publishing was so different then — portable typewriters, carbon paper, and snail mail.

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Nowadays, the market is so glutted with self-published books that standard publishers need a guaranteed return on their investment.

Nowadays, unless you’re Stephen King or Annie Dillard, a publishing house will not give you the time of day without an agent.

Nowadays, an agent will not give you the time of day without an “on-line presence,” and a “following.”

So, the website.

In February I attended my first Florida Christian Writers Conference at Lake Yale Conference center. Fabulous! Hundreds of professional and aspiring writers who love Jesus in one room! I was very encouraged by the response to my novel from a NY Times bestselling author. Also, a poem I wrote won inclusion in a soon-to-be-released book. So, that was encouraging.

However, from all sides I learned that my manuscript of St. Anne’s is about twice as long as it should be for consideration by a standard publisher. I also learned that belly-aching about how much harder it is to publish in today’s marketplace is sort of stupid really. It is what it is. So, no more belly-aching. Promise!

Nowadays, I spend a couple of hours a day mercilessly editing St. Anne’s, and I spend more than a couple of hours a day trying to learn about how to use domain names, servers, hosting services, et al. Then I study even more to learn how to use this software to prepare these web pages without accidentally pushing the wrong button and erasing everything I wrote for the past hour. AAGH ! It has happened a few times. Oops, that was belly-aching, wasn’t it. Sorry.

Please pray for me that I continue along the path God has set before me, that Satan, that old discourager, is kept at bay, and that I finally succeed in entering the 21st Century, technologically speaking.

So, the website.

Thank you for reading!

Jane

Alaska

March 27, 2018 Alaska Adventure

20180324_103429Our first drive to Alaska was in 2001…

… when we took our Astro Van and a camper up there to live in while we worked on building our house. We entered Alaska via the Al-Can Highway, which was only partially paved back then, much pot-holed, and rather desolate for long distances. We never passed a gas station … we always stopped and filled up, for we were warned that you never knew how far away the next one would be. Remember, this 17 years ago, before we had driving technology!

We arrived “home” after eleven days on the road. Our building site was marginally ready, so we parked our camper in our neighbor Ben’s driveway. He let us run an electric cord to it, and a hose from his well. In Alaska, most folks are eager to help one another, and we certainly found this to be true on Lumberjack Lane. Yes, that’s really the name of our dead-end road.

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Backstory: On our vacation trip in 1999, we fell in love with Alaska and, on a whim, bought an acre and a third near Soldotna and the Kenai River. We tied neon-yellow plastic tape around all the trees we wanted cut out, and contracted with a land clearer and a well digger to take care of doing some work while we were back in Florida.

In 2000, we did not go up . We stayed home and saved money to pay for the work going on in our absence. Our neighbor Ben oversaw the preparation of our lot. He was having the same work done on his property, so he did that for us too. Amazing man! We had the trees removed, the house site and a short driveway prepared, a well dug, and septic system installed.

In 2001 while we were there again we …

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…discovered that we needed to raise the house site about a foot, so we hauled in more gravel,

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smoothed it out, and…

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poured the 24 x 28 foot slab. Below, Tom is shoveling dirt over the exposed blue styrofoam insulation to keep the wildlife from eating it over the winter, all under the watchful eye of Mama Moose…

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and her precious baby.

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Mama moose have learned an advantage to giving birth in areas inhabited by humans. Berries and baby moose are the mainstays of a Grizzly bear’s diet until the salmon start to run in late July. A mama moose knows that bears are hesitant to venture close to people, so their babies are more protected there. A couple of years ago, a moose gave birth in a grocery store parking lot!

Moose are not at all afraid of people, though. We are very careful not to get between mama and baby. Cute though, aren’t they?

So, we put our vehicles in storage, and flew back to Florida until the next summer.

NOTE: These old photos were taken with my old 35 mm SLR film camera, prior to digital.