baseball, indie book, Red Sox, self-publishing, waiting for spring, writing

Another fresh page to soil

aka: a warm and hearty welcome.

 Well here it is…my first official post made directly from my new blog. You’ve probably already noticed that I’ve imported all of my old blogger posts so it’ll feel more like home. Hopefully you’ve also noticed the new pages up yonder, namely my new About Me page, Indie book page, and – yes! – a Waiting For Spring page (don’t worry!!! No spoilers!!) There’s a new poll on the WFS page. I’ll be adding some new stuff in the next few weeks, and will keep you posted on the changes. 

In other blogging/writing news, I want to direct your attention to a new indie publishing blog that got its official kick-off today: Publishing Renaissance. Contributors include Zoe Winters, Moriah Jovan, Rae Lori, Robin Altman, and myself:

We are a group of indie writers putting our work out into the world and trying to navigate the web, social media, and all the new opportunities available.  Each of us has different perspectives on what it means to be indie, why we’re indie, and the unique challenges that indie publishers face.

What we share in common is a desire for community with other indies, and a goal toward raising the quality of the work put out by indies.

Today’s post is entitled The Ever-evolving World of Indie from a guest blogger, Mr. Cliff Burns, whose very excellent blog you can read here. For now, you’ll find the link to the blog itself, as well as to each contributor, in my blogroll. Those links will have a more prominent spot in the sidebar very soon…

varitekIn the meantime, if you need me you’ll find me alternately praying to the baseball gods for Captain Jason Varitek’s safe return to my beloved Red Sox and cursing the name of Scott  Boras, his agent. There is not enough profanity in the English language to express the bitterness and near-hatred I feel for that man. I’m hoping that at least one of my faithful readers is bi- (or even tri-) lingual and can help me out in this regard.

baseball, Readers And Writers Blog, Red Sox, waiting for spring

Some of This and some of That

Ah, yes, another potluck post.

1. My Internet Explorer is pulling a mini freak out on me. It won’t let me visit websites, blogs, etc that use Site Meter. This is very distressing since I use it on this blog. At least, I did until I figured out why I couldn’t get on here and deleted the Site Meter thing-a-ma-bob. So, if you have Site Meter on yours, and are wondering why I haven’t visited you…that’s why. I’m not a computer geek, so I’m not exactly sure what I.E. has against S.M., but I hope they kiss and make up very soon. Is anyone else having this problem????? [UPDATE: Looks like it’s not just me. Check out this article.]

2. I have to weigh in on the Manny Ramirez thing. If you’re not into baseball, feel free to skip ahead to #3. Basically my thoughts boil down to this: Thanks for the laughs, Manny, now good frigging riddance. The Hall of Fame awaits you, no question, and deservedly so. But no amount of homeruns can make up for selfish bullshit you’ve been pulling all season long. Oh, how I long for the days of real baseball! Before it became a haven for soulless, money hungry agents like Scott Borasshole. To quote my hero, Bill Lee: “That was real baseball. We weren’t playing for money. They gave us Mickey Mouse watches that ran backwards.” (Imagine what my thoughts were before I boiled ’em down…)

3. I’m going to a Portland Seadogs game tonight!!! Whoo hoo! (Ooops…I guess those not interested in baseball should’ve skipped ahead to #4.)

4. A Waiting for Spring reader emailed me yesterday wondering just what the hell Watermelon Tourmaline is. It’s a pink and green gemstone that–when cut just right–looks like watermelon slices and–when cut another just right way–is just plain beautiful. I used it in WFS for a few reasons. 1) it was once mined in Maine. 2) it went along well with the color motif that runs through the book. 3.) its ‘energies’ (if you believe in that kind of thing) are love, healing, and power…also very important themes in the story. 4.) a few years ago I fell in love with a tourmaline ring I saw (but couldn’t afford to buy) at Bennett’s Gems & Jewelry in Belfast, Maine. I figured if I couldn’t have it then Tess could. Here’s a website that’s chock full of information about tourmaline, including lots o’ photos.

5. Chapter 20 of Waiting for Spring has been posted at Readers & Writers Blog, along with Chapter 32: Hillsborough of Gerard Jones’ Ginny Good. Check ’em out!

6. Have a great weekend!

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baseball, feedback, Mom, q and a, Red Sox, waiting for spring, writing

Writers love feedback!! So do mothers!!

I have joked in the past about the thousands of emails I receive each week from readers of this blog. Today, though, I speak the truth when I say I’ve gotten four different emails from four separate readers (none of whom are related to me by blood or marriage) in the past week with lots of feedback, and some questions, about Waiting for Spring. I’ll be honest…I’m wicked excited about that.

So far, the most commonly asked questions have to do with the characters; namely whether or not any of them are based on real people. The answer is a resounding NO. I especially want to make it clear, for the record, that Tess’ mother in no way resembles my own mother, who is the very model of a modern supportive Mom. She’s had a copy of a poem I wrote about banana bread hanging on her refrigerator since 1984. Or, to be more precise, she’s had the poem hanging on three consecutive refrigerators since then.

Another common question: Are New Mills, Brookfield, and Westville real towns in Maine? Again, the answer is No. Struggling mill towns are a sad reality up here, so it wasn’t difficult for me to create this fictional world, but Portland and Bangor are the only real places visited or mentioned in my novel.

Finally, a rather touchy subject: Yankee fans. I don’t hate them. I have a very good friend who happens to like…that team. We simply choose not to talk about baseball. This makes for very long and silent summers…

Stay tuned for more Q & A, and feel free to send me any of your feedback and/or questions. You can either email me at rjkeller.wfs@gmail.com or you can put ’em in the comments section of this post. Just one request: As a courtesy to those who are in the middle of the novel, please don’t post anything spoilerific here at the blog. Thanks!