November 11, 2012

Silence

Before the storm it was: getting ready for winter, cleaning off the porch, manning the tack sale, doing the books.  During the storm it was: scared of the roar, when will the power go, will the roof stay intact.  After the storm it was: silence.

It is beautiful to me that when the power is off there is total silence.  No fridge cutting out or hot water heater blurbling from the garage, or upstairs neighbor's washing machine or radon fans.  Just silence.  Though we only had 4 days of silence it was enough to make me understand why writers of Jane Austen's era could write so much easily.  Granted I didn't have my keyboard with which to peck away furiously but I did have the good old yellow lined paper. 

I wrote for days on end.  I sat in front of the living room window where I had moved my dining room table and I was disappointed when daylight turned to night.

But then, when the darkness fell, I put on my reflective bands and walked in the silence.  And finally, when it was still early and I wanted to stay awake, I gathered with friends by (battery powered) candle light and we laughed and huddled and were happy to be dry and alive.

Now is the aftermath.  I want to encourage you to contribute where you can.  Whatever charity takes your fancy.  Or, if you live nearby, volunteer.  After the silence there comes the time to work.

September 20, 2012

Wonderful Book Promotion

One of my fellow authors is also raising money for Riding With HEART, a place close to MY heart.  Please support her as she gives all her profits on her launch date to this wonderful place.

May 29, 2012

Format Wars


(for Lora and Lexa – a plea for compassion)
I’m in the midst of reformatting my first book.  You learn as you go along in self publishing and in learning you go back and revisit some (not all) things.  I got to thinking (as I was reading someone else’s book on Kindle that was badly formatted) about the two format wars that I have had with my two editors and I wondered why I had them.

Both of these ladies are professionals. As such they wanted my final product to look as if it came from one of the top houses, well formatted (both text and cover) with elegant fonts and proper pagination.  The wars I had were not really over the looks of the books (both looked really good when they got finished with them) but over the software and font availability they offered me.
You see, I’m also a cheap, self published author.  I can’t afford the In Design program or the purchase of a $199 font when other, acceptable alternatives are available.  It isn’t so much the finished product that was the problem, it was the fact that in order to change anything I wanted in the book I would have to go to someone that had those programs on their computer to get things changed. 




This thought makes me shiver.  One of the reasons that I am a self published author is because I like to do things my way, and, where appropriate, I would like the freedom to change things, correct errors that both the editor and I miss and then republish the book on my schedule.  This is one of my primary failures, I revisit things.  But it is the advantage of self publishing that I CAN do that.
So, sorry Lora and Lexa, I will always ask for my document back in word format and I will always ask for a font that doesn’t cost more than a buck fifty.   It’s a prerequisite of working with independent authors.

May 9, 2012

Being tossed in rough seas

As I previously mentioned, I write when my characters "speak" to me.  Adelaide (she of The Shepherd's Image) has been talking alot lately and, for awhile I felt that there would be two more books out of her.  Then the other day I got completely fed up with her and decided to work on something else.

Ha.  You know what happens when you start planning something and you are a creative. 

I discovered (after I had plotted in my head a completely different book not starring miss talkie) that what Adelaide has been doing is talking herself out of doing the hard work of reimagining the church.  It's happening in the greater church right now and she was trying not to join into that conversation. 

Well guess what, Miss Adelaide, you're going to have to start thinking outside the box.  You will have to become the church to find out what to do to fix it.  So there.  Get to work.

Questions:  Am I talking to myself?  Should I see a shrink?

May 8, 2012

New Book Review of IN SEASON

Lovely review of IN SEASON today at the Horse Book Reviews blog. Thank you Sharon.

May 3, 2012

Folding up my pointer

Well, my time as a school teacher is over for the moment.  No verdict yet as to whether I will continue with this but I know it was something that was on my bucket list and which I think I did with relatively little damage to my students.

This was a really great class.  They were responsive and full of energy and attentiveness and almost all stayed until the bitter end.  In fact, when I left they were all still milling and talking!  On to more bucket list things.

May 1, 2012

Christian Fiction or Christian Fiction


A friend of mine and I got into a discussion last night about what really is Christian Fiction.  She considers my books Christian Fiction and I don’t and in talking about it we realized we were defining Christian Fiction in different ways.  I Googled around and found this blog with a wonderful explanation of the different types of Christian Fiction and I highly recommend it to those who are interested in distinguishing the two camps: Decompose


April 30, 2012

Visuals are important

In my writing world visuals have always been important to me.  While writing In Between Goodbyes I always had at hand the painting I had done that would be the cover and a crudely drawn plan of the basement apartment.  Because I knew the lay of the land where In Season was set I could always visualize where my characters were milling around.  The Shepherd's Image was a bit different  but I St. Francis was a place I knew intimately in my youth and, of course, General Seminary is always in my heart.
So now Adelaide is back in my life and I am visualizing all sorts of churches around Turner City.  The below (which I hope will become the cover) is how I see St. Peter's, a church on the reservation overlooking Turner City.

April 29, 2012

Truth in fiction

I think I resemble this idea:


"A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth and that is why we call what he writes fiction." - William Faulkner

April 26, 2012

Caught ya





Just waving at my students when they visit.

April 22, 2012

Hippity Hop

Well, the blog hop is over and I would like to congratulate Joy, Cathy and Liz on winning copies of my books.  I hope you enjoy your reading!

April 9, 2012

Authors In Bloom Giveaway Hop/Enter to Win A Nook/Enter to Win a Kindle!



So here I am hopping around a blog hop…the first time I’ve participated.  I’m asked to offer you a gardening or cooking tip.  Arrrrrruuuuughhhhh.  Because I am sort of a gardener and not much of a cook I decided on gardening.

Actually I am a gardener of some note if you count successful gardening in a space the size of a large tabletop (3’ by 3’) characterized by 6 inches of soil under laid by a particularly impermeable layer of clay and shale and getting a total of 52.5 minutes of sun every day just before sunset as an accomplishment.
But I also like my tiny patio and every year I try to follow my philosophy and work with what I have.  My Buddha over looks it and I try to accessorize him with potted plants that save him from the sun.




In the small garden space I plant herbs.  Actually the oregano plants itself every year.  If I’m really lucky my pumpkin from the previous fall will grow where it is buried when it becomes too mushy to stay in the house.
Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.  I believe in creating my quiet space so that it pleases me, not for the judges who come around every year to judge the condo’s best gardens.  As I plant the shady herbs that are the only things that will grow in my damp, dark space I find that I am pleased by their subtle aroma and green texture.  Flowers are nice but they don’t calm me the way my herbs do.


So thank you for visiting.  I am giving away one hard copy of each of my books, In Between Goodbyes, In Season and The Shepherd’s Image or the Kindle equivalent if you so desire.  In order to enter this giveaway you must do two things.  The first is to visit my website at http://www.christinawible.com and peruse the descriptions of the books on the tab marked BOOKS and decide which book you prefer to have if you are chosen to receive a book.  The second thing you must do is go to the CONTACT tab of the website and send me a request.  You just have to enter your first and last name, your email so I can contact you if you win and in the body of the message include the name of the book that you would like to read.  Please note if you want a hard copy or Kindle edition.  On the day after the giveaway ends I will notify the winners. (I will ask that the winners review my book after reading it on Amazon.com but it is not a requirement of the giveaway.)  I really am not willing to ship internationally so this contest is for US READERS ONLY.

Don’t forget to visit the other authors involved in the hop, conveniently located on the Diane Vanetta's page.



Finally I guess you want your phrase:

Line 68: Seek instead the gardener who nurtures.

April 7, 2012

Coming Events

This year I will be participating in the Authors in Bloom blog hop.  Tune in here on Monday to see what goodies you can earn by continuing to be a bunny.

April 3, 2012

Buying vs BUYING on Amazon

If you haven't explored the intracacies of Amazon.com some of you may not realize that when you purchase a book through the NEW/USED other sellers portion of the listing for the book on Amazon it is the same as purchasing through a used book store.  Not bad when you see some of the prices that are offered but from the rarified perch of an author, not so good. 
You see, an author gets nothing* when you buy those used books.  This might not be a problem for JK or John G or Stephen K. but it is a definite problem for authors who can count their monthly sales on their fingers and toes.
Several friends of mine have emailed me "I just bought your book on Amazon."  I look at my stats.  Nothing.  They may have bought my book but I'll never see the revenue.

*So I have learned to be crafty.  I am not only a primary author on Amazon, I am a secondary seller.  When you see the cheapest price for my book on Amazon from a NEW/USED seller that seller is probably me.  As yesterday's post warned.  Watch it.  I may deliver it to your doorstep.

April 2, 2012

Greed will get you into wierd situations

This is my (music in the background) Twilight Zone moment of the day.  You see, the greedy b* that I am I not only have Amazon sell my books but I am always the lowest price secondary seller of my own books in that section of Amazon.  I'll give you a sec to get your mind around that.  Ready?  Today I got a notice from Amazon that one of my "used/new" books had sold.  When I pulled up the address to mail the book...it was a friend right here in town.  Question: Should I show up on her doorstep tomorrow, book in hand?

March 30, 2012

Book Signing Reminder

Just a reminder:  I will be signing my books at the TACK SALE and BOOK SIGNING at Riding with HEART tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the farm at 639 County Road 513 Pittstown NJ.



 The open house will provide an opportunity for the community to learn more about equine assisted programs at Riding with HEART. There will be demonstrations of hippotherapy and equine assisted learning as well as the opportunity to take sample lessons throughout the day.
 Michelle Labriola, certified John Lyons instructor of natural horsemanship, will be giving a live training demonstration from 11:30 a.m. to12:30 p.m. She has recently moved from Saratoga, N.Y. and is now basing her training business out the farm. She will be teaching riding lessons this spring to both children and adults with an emphasis on safety.

The tack sale will run throughout the open house with great deals on new and used tack, riding attire and barn supplies. Light refreshments will be served.
 Riding with HEART is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for physically and cognitively challenged adults, children and their families and to provide opportunities for youth development through our diversified equine assisted programs.
 The organization’s next group of programs begins April 9.
 Visit ridingwithheart.org or call 908-735-5912 for more information, to learn about volunteer opportunities or to make a donation.

March 25, 2012

Observation and Writing

This is where my theological training and my writing intersect.  Without the ability to observe I wouldn't be able to write.






On The Spot Equanimity "An on-the-spot equanimity practice is to walk down the street with the intention of staying as awake as possible to whomever we meet. This is training in being emotionally honest with ourselves and becoming more available to others. As we pass people we simply notice whether we open up or shut down. We notice if we feel attraction, aversion, or indifference, without adding anything extra like self-judgment. We might feel compassion toward someone who looks depressed, or cheered up by someone who's smiling to himself. We might feel fear and aversion for another person without even knowing why. Noticing where we open up and where we shut down-without praise or blame-is the basis of our practice. Practicing this way for even one block of a city street can be an eye-opener.”  Comfortable with Uncertainty

March 23, 2012

I'll give you wait...

So yesterday I write about waiting for inspiration, the state I was in at the moment.  Today Adelaide won't shut up in my head.  Perhaps that is a way to deal with writer's block?

March 22, 2012

Waiting

Some writers use helpers to trigger an end to what they refer to as their block, they read books that give them writing suggestions or work their way through lists of writing assignments.  I prefer to wait.

Writer's block is the bane of most writer's existance.  It sneaks up unexpectedly and suddenly you find yourself cleaning the bathroom instead of typing away.  Now, anyone knows that cleaning the bathroom is the last thing you want to do but sometimes it's preferable to sitting in front of a screen or with pen in hand and just staring.

I prefer to think of writer's block, though, in terms of the growing season. (Yeah, I know, I've lived in a rural county too long.)  Everyone, no matter what their profession, has the fertile summer, the time when ideas come shooting out of your ears and you can't implement them fast enough.  But we also have times when the beer and the Yankees take over and we sit, like mindless blobs in front of the television with no productive time in sight.

Instead of trying to force productivity during those times, I liken them to the winter.  Oh, I know, winter is so bleak.  But we can't force it to become spring.  Nature doesn't run on our timetable.  We have to wait it out.  Even though we can't see what is happening below the surface there are seeds germinating.  We impatient humans just have to wait.

So until the words come, I will write in my blog, sit in front of my spinning wheel as the fiber turns to yarn, watch the Yankees and clean the bathroom.  Something is germinating.  I just have to wait.

March 18, 2012

Quote of the day



"I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”


Joan Didion

March 5, 2012

It is all about Free market and Change


Okay I said I was going into hibernation but I have to respond to Sandra’s comment on my post of March 1st.

Just so you all understand where I am coming from in the first place, I publish my paper books using Amazon owned CreateSpace and I publish them as ebooks on Kindle and on Barnes and Noble’s Nook.  Barnes and Noble also carries my paper books.  In my March 1st post I was not referring to a decision to publish on Kindle but just to use one of the publishing plans it is offering to its authors.  I already publish and will continue to do so on Kindle.

To me, the whole discussion centers around free markets and change.  When I wanted to publish my first book I wrote over 100 letters to agents and to traditional publishers asking them to publish my book.  Many politely refused, some didn’t even reply.  It was a heart wrenching experience but I accepted it as reflective of what is going on right now in the publishing industry.  Traditional publishers are becoming more and more exclusive in their selections as the sales of paper books gives way to the use of reading devices.  It’s called progress.

Yes, progress in a free market economy can be brutal.  Yet, just as Amazon in the form of Kindle is refusing to list some publishers, so independent books stores do not carry some publishers.  And for the same reason!  The publishers will not give either Amazon or the Indies enough margin to make it worthwhile for them.  Horrors!  Amazon and Indies in the same boat. 

But it is true.  For an Indie book store to survive these days it must trim its cost of doing business.  In the same way any merchant operates on the back of its’ margin so does Amazon.  In the case of the Kindle books that Amazon recently rejected it is wholly possible that Amazon did not feel the price point at which the publisher wanted to place their works was an acceptable profit point for Amazon.  The Indie store doesn’t always have the same clout as Amazon but this war with the traditionals might be something that eventually benefits the Indie book store.

As for me as an author.  I had no clout with the traditional publisher.  To be fair using the same logic as above, they felt as if they would not make money on the novel of a untried author.  It is their prerogative.  BUT.  I wanted to publish.  Amazon said, come in, make yourself at home.  Oh you may only sell a few copies?  Well we’ll let you give it a try.  No agent or traditional author said that to me and my local Indie bookstore was even less helpful.

It’s about the free market and change.  I will go where I can accomplish what I want to and if someone wants to give me a chance then I will be grateful to them.  I may not accept every offer they make me (after all we don’t buy every new fangled gadget on the market) but I will take advantage of things that forward my dream for me.  Bring it on Amazon.  We all need change, whether we like it or not.

March 1, 2012

Do I or Don't I? Kindle Exclusive




There has been alot of buzz lately surrounding the new Kindle exclusive offering.  I've been mulling it over.  Basically it allows you to put your kindle book out there free for a max of 5 days a month and then publicize it.  It requires you to delist your book from any other ebook source.  I don't think its for me but here are two blog posts which discuss the pros and cons.




February 29, 2012

Automatic Writing


Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself—it is the occurring which is difficult. ~ Stephen Leacock

I found this quote this morning while looking through a selection of quotes from writers.  What struck me about it is that I have the exact opposite problem.  I have ideas racing through my head all the time.  it is the jotting down that is difficult for me. 

Actually it's not even the jotting down but the finding of the time to jot down.  Sooner or later my brain overloads so much that I have to write or collapse.
 
These overload times are the times that are most enjoyable for me.  I sit in the library and the words pour out of my fingers as if I am doing what the turn of the century spiritualists called automatic writing.  It is in those moments of creation that I am certain that I am a writer.

February 28, 2012

The new nest

Permit me to sit and gloat for awhile.  I usually write in the library.  That is to say I write purely creatively in the library.  I sit at a table with my AlphaSmart in front of me, stare off into the distance and mind dump.  Then, when I get it home, I upload it to my pc and start the slog of making it look like English.  For this I need space.
For some time, now I have had my computer desk in the den and my handwriting desk in the living room.  I have no idea why I didn't connect them before, but this week (and largely because a very nice chair sale in Staples) I found myself with a new desk chair.  Why not share it with my writing desk and my pc desk?  Hence I combined the two, added a small bookcase that has been amouldering in the garage and voila!  I now have a nest.  Thank you Diane Chamberlain for the apt description. 
I find myself nesting there everyday.  Not sure it will replace the library but I'm getting a lot more work done.

February 27, 2012

Enjoy



Enjoy with me the Oscar (TM) winning short:

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011) 

February 25, 2012

Revisions...they happen to the best of us

"There are days when the result is so bad that no fewer than five revisions are required. In contrast, when I'm greatly inspired, only four revisions are needed." - John Kenneth Galbraith

February 24, 2012

Quote of the day

"I should think it extremely improbable that anyone ever wrote simply for money. What makes a writer is that he likes writing. Naturally, when he has written something, he wants to get as much for it as he can, but that is a very different thing from writing for money."

P G Wodehouse   



February 17, 2012

Signs of the times

Not sure the attribution is correct but it sure got my attention:


'Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents and everyone is writing a book.' -Cicero, circa 43 BC

Really?

Listening this morning on PBS about how Julian Fellows created the situations on Downton Abbey, I am reminded that all of our "stories" come from somewhere.  Writers just take the single incidents we experience or hear of over the years and create a world that includes them.

Click here for  the link toFellowes discussion.


February 16, 2012

Groan

Getting ready to teach

Attended an instructors meeting today for the Lifelong Learning at RVCC. My class has reached the requisite number of students so I will be teaching! (It was on the bucket list so excuse the enthusiasm.) There is still room for additional students so have a look at the catalog here (click on courses) if you are local and interested. The fee is nominal and I promise I won't give any tests.

February 4, 2012

How did I neglect to post this?

Run right over to Amazon.com if you want In Season on your Kindle.  From now through the middle of February you will find it on sale for 99 cents.  Can't miss this one!

January 3, 2012

Beginning of the year CONTEST!

I have four books in the hopper right now, described below.  Being very ADD I have no idea which book to work on next, soooo I want you to choose.  No guarantees that what you choose will be the one I publish first on BUT the person who makes the most compelling case (yes I'm asking you to write) will win a signed copy of my book of their choice including their choice of a future book.....go to it and post your response here.

Loft is a women's novel, once more set in New York City. It is huge and getting bigger by the day. Right now it is being picked apart. It is waiting for the big breakthrough rather than the little bursts of independent ideas that have characterized its birthing. While my pitch for it isn't quite ready, I can tell you that it involves garment workers (alive and dead), factory owners, acting teachers who also write plays and opera singers who fall in love with writers.

Remarkable Likeness is the tale two women who meet just post WWII in Germany.  One is an English pianist and one a holocaust survivor who is also a pianist who has revenge on her mind.  Which one is which?


Adelaide II hasn't a name yet but you guessed it, its a continuation of The Shepherd's Image.  Church building or tearing down, Adelaide is faced with challenges every bishop sees in this day of fading mainstream denominations.  How will this unconventional bishop approach them?

Two Rooms  I think it wants to be a novella when it grows up. It is a different kind of love story. Perhaps it is a faith story. I think it wants to be a novella when it grows up.