3 October 2010

Pub date Tuesday

One day to book tour

"Rose In A Storm" is officially out Tuesday. Publishing is changing so rapidly that this tour will be different from any of the others. I'm eager to get on the road, and get into bookstores and talk about the book. It's great to talk with readers, and hear stories and get a different perspective than the farm can offer me. I like this book a lot, and I guess when all is said and done, that matters the most. Life will be strange for a month or so, as tours are intense, confusing and distracting. I am always glad to go, always glad to get back to my life, and write some more.

Rose and the sheep

Saying goodbye. For the winter

Rose keeping the sheep in place so they could be loaded up onto a trailer and taken back to Vermont for the winter.

Fiber Chair. Rita Quilts.

Maria's Fiber Chair. New kind of quilts

Signing notecards all afternoon. Lots of fun, beautiful day, walking dogs, taking photos. Maria's great fiber chair, which she made a few years ago and gave to me, graces the living room and the sun caught it this morning. Have a new chess partner, Ben Osterhaudt, a gifted carpenter and great friend. We split two games. I can't wait for winter.  Maria is working on a great new project – "Rita" quilts, a kind of story quilts with attitude. You can check out the first drawings for "Rita" on her website.

Facebook and this writer’s life

Fall, Big Barn

October 3, 2010- Beautiful Fall day, at last. Facebook is much in the news these days, for all sorts of reasons. Got me to thinking about the profound impact Facebook has had on my writing life, almost all of it positive. Publishing has changed, and writers are more responsible than ever for getting their messages out themselves.  Facebook is an experiment for me, especially in the publication of my first novel in a decade, "Rose In A Storm," out Tuesday.

I have used Facebook in a variety of ways. Pre-orders for "Rose" are up very sharply from previous books, in part to my posting messages about pre-orders on Facebook.

During last year's book tour, for "Soul Of A Dog," more than half of the people coming to my book events said they learned of the readings on Facebook. Facebook has allowed dog and cat and animal lovers as well as people who just like my writing to find me easily.

I see my blog, bedlamfarm.com as a monologue. My message. I see Facebook as a dialogue. I have posted many queries and messages about animal grieving, dogs, rural life, family farms and other writing topics on my Facebook page and have learned a tremendous about these subjects. Facebook has become an invaluable research tool

The day when writers could hole up on farms or mountaintops and send their messages down the mountain are gone, and good riddance. Writers benefit from talking to readers, learning about how their writing is received, getting stories as well as sending them off. I have just finished a book, "Dancing Dogs," a collection of short stories about the emotional connection between people and animals, and many of the stories were inspired by Facebook messages or posts and photos.

There are many real issues about Facebook – the use of it to sell things, invade privacy, project cruelty – but I have found it to be powerful and liberating tool. I don't really know how "Rose In A Storm" is going to do. If it does well, I will have to concede that Facebook has been a significant part of that. I am always experimenting on Facebook. Tuesday, when "Rose In A Storm" comes out, Rose and I will be at the Barnes & Noble in Saratoga Springs at 5 p.m. to sign books. This is an unofficial event and I have only mentioned it on FB. So I want to see if anybody shows up at this odd time in this little-publicized way. Even a small number would be revealing. And I will of course, keep everybody posted. On Facebook. From my Ipad which I will bring to the store.

And I will see "Social Network" Monday with Maria and will watch it from many different perspectives and as one who has greatly benefited from it. I wish for all writers who need to get their messages out that they find a way to use these powerful new and sometimes disturbing technologies in useful ways, as I am learning to do.

October Light, the milkhouse

October Light, the milk house