It's been quite hectic around these parts lately so I've been neglecting this blog, along with many other things, like saaaay, cleaning. Writing is fun, picking up a dust rag or mop, not so much. Sooooo, what's going on?
I'm halfway through the UVA on-line class of "Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction." I've really enjoyed this class, but have to say it's been a lot of "work." The professor has done a wonderful job organizing it and I've been very impressed with the curriculum, including the guest authors and suggested reading list he's put together. I believe the book I'm preparing to write will be greatly enhanced by these last two months. I've also enjoyed interacting with fellow students on-line and even met one in the flesh. After this experience, I've become a huge fan of MOOC classes, but will not attend another one until at least the first draft of my book is completed. I haven't written one word since I began this class, and because of it have even more research to accomplish before I put the first sentence down. That reminds me...my essay on primary sources is due next week.
I'm still cataloging the film/entertainment books at the shop. I'm up to the letter T and have completed 999. There are five tubs of books whose author names begin with T and end with Z, to finish. I found an old New York lotto card in a book so I took it to Kroger and played the numbers for the $182 MegaMillion prize that's being drawn tomorrow night. If I win, I will still finish this insane task, because I am insane, and I know it will make my dad happy. Next up will be the sports catalog, and finally, the non-fiction/history ones. I know what my father meant when he said he'd never live long enough to read all his books. I haven't even begun to fool with the magazines or videotapes. This whole process is so time-consuming, and is just the beginning. I still have to create a website, ack!, and figure out how best to sell this stuff, or not. On the brightside, my husband's been happy because I've been at the shop way more than I ever have in the last 17 years. I've even been going on the weekends when he's in the back working on his wood.
As you can see he's been quite busy making cutting boards, hot plates, and Christmas ornaments from locally sourced trees that he purchased after they had fallen, or were cut down. He brings the trunks miles away, through the woods, on an unpaved road, up some mountain where they are milled. He then brings them back to the shop where he planes and stacks them. He's got quite the collection of exotic local woods and I fear he's become a wood hoarder. He refuses to use any other wood from say Lowe's, as he says our wood is superior to "that crap." I believe him. You can see how beautiful each cutting board is, but I don't know if you could realize how much work is put into each one. Those strips are all individual pieces of wood that he planed, fit together, glued, sanded, and finally sealed with a special oil for cutting boards.
He's selling them at the shop for $15 to $25 which is a steal! I've priced them on-line and have seen them elsewhere for way, way more. After the holidays, in my spare time, haha, I hope to set him up on-line at Etsy, or perhaps his own website. If you're local you can come to the shop, Acceleration Station, 1105 Delaware Street, Salem and check them out.
And while you're there you may see an autographed copy of my book, Fractured Facade hanging out on the front counter, which would make a nice stocking stuffer...hint, hint. Mention this blog post to Frank for a special $10 deal.
It's also available as an eBook on Amazon, for the Nook at Barnes & Noble, and for your iPad! As a Holiday Special I've generated a 25% off discount coupon if you buy Fractured Facade at Smashwords. Use this coupon code JT55Z at check-out. Smashwords supports pretty much all eReaders including Kindles.
Also, my short story, The Valentine's Day Curse is still free, and you can pick up your copy gratis at Amazon, B&N, iTunes & Smashwords. It would be great, and I would be ever so grateful, if you would consider leaving a review afterwards...every one helps!
And this year when you're out shopping please throw the locals a bone once in a while and support your local artists and businesses. We wouldn't be around without folks like you...a huge thanks! It's supposed to be beautiful today in Roanoke, but then it's getting cold by Sunday. Enjoy the weekend and bundle up!