Thursday, October 11, 2018

Two Books...One Boat...Two Views...One Mind

The blog has been uncharacteristically quiet for the last couple of months.  Part of the reason is that we've been sitting still in Beaufort, SC and there hasn't been much to talk about. But the real reason is that our writing energies have been going elsewhere...to new books.

It's an odd thing that each of us were writing new books separately and yet, somehow, managed to finish them both at the same time. As any of you who have written anything of any length know, those last few weeks before release are a flurry of edits and re-reads to the point that you have difficulty even focusing on the words. With each edit you think you're done, only to have a proofreader find yet another typo or formatting mistake. At long last, though, both are finished. And that brought up a whole new issue – how to release two such different books at the same time.



 I posed the question to a Women Who Sail writing group that I belong to, some of whom suggested that we should stagger the releases to allow for sufficient attention to each one. Great idea, but we wanted both books out in time for the Christmas gift giving season so there's insufficient time to do separate releases. Then there was the idea of setting up a marketing contest of sorts, allowing our readers to choose which book they wanted released first. After thinking about it, I realized I didn't want to pit our works against each other in such a way.

The longer I mused, the more I realized that the situation embodied our relationship. One of the reasons we have succeeded in cruising for so long is that we get along really well. We are a melded unit of nearly fifty years, with the kind of relationship that allows complex thoughts to pass between us with just a glance and a smile. Though we share that kind of bond, we also allow each other space to be independent characters, are happy in our own skins, and content to sit, sometimes for days, in total silence in each other's company. The new books are our individual reflections on two different subjects, reflections of two different individuals who happen to share a small boat as a living space.

Tj's is a short little book reflecting on the ways in which learning how to play a ukulele at age 63 changed his perception of the world around him. The uke was gifted to him by four of our grand kids nearly a year ago, and the book was birthed by far-ranging philosophical discussions between Tj and our eldest daughter about those changes. She – the poet writer – encouraged him to write them down, and Learning From a Uke – a small book for a small instrument was born. It's a short little book, thought-provoking and honest, that touches a bit on the difficulties of aging gracefully and the joys of learning something new at any age. It's one you can pick up over and over, each time finding something new.

My book came about because I was cleaning out and sorting the thousands of photos in my computer pictures folder the day after having another of the discussions we often have with new cruisers about how to get started. As I browsed through the photos, remembering those years of preparation prior to embarking on this adventure, many of them reminded me how easy it was to get totally wrapped up in the “how” of accomplishing it, and to lose sight of why I was doing it in the first place. I began to gather those in a folder and to write a short bit about each one. Being a writer, I wanted to capture in words the essence of this lifestyle that the photos captured so well. The Essence is a collection of those photos and vignettes that touch on what it means to me to live this life with the sea.

Both books are available in Kindle and print format; the print formats make for great holiday gifts. If you do read them, please leave a review on Amazon. It can't be emphasized enough how important reviews are to self-published writers. We also love to hear from our readers, so feedback is greatly appreciated – it's the way we learn to write better, and learning something new to improve yourself is always a welcome thing.

We hope that you take from them as much as they have given us in the writing of them.

4 comments:

John Jenks said...

Hi Deb.
I am in Australia and attempted to buy both the books on Kindle but I could only buy yours as the other was only showed as being available in paperback.
It may be an issue my end but a check may be useful by you to ensure both formats are in fact available.

John

Deb said...

John,

First of all, thanks for your support. I hope you'll enjoy the books.

I'll check on it in the morning. Someone else had trouble buying mine from New Zealand and they had to go in and change something so I'll see what I can find out. I did go back in and made sure that both books in both formats were set for all markets so clearly it's something on their end. They just merged their self publishing division with their Kindle division and have had a few hiccups.

I'll contact you as soon as I find out what's going on.

Deb said...

John try this link for the Kindle version. For some reason the two formats aren't linked but if you search the Kindle store it comes up. I'll get them linked tomorrow but in the meantime you can get it here. https://www.amazon.com/Learning-Uke-Small-Book-Instrument-ebook/dp/B07HYBYFMT/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1539391335&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=Learning+from+a+uke

John Jenks said...

Thanks Deb all good and book delivered.

Looking forward to the read.

John