The Ghost of a Thousand Lives

Ghost?!

Ghost?! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Muse made me do it …

The Ghost of a Thousand Lives

Where is the crown that makes you king?

Where is the sword that shines of courage?

Where is the stare that froze a thousand fires?

Where is the fire that melts an iceberg heart?

Where have you gone, the eyes cannot see,

If not but a speck of the brave, nor a sunshine ray,

In the depths of the soul, the hero is lost,

All that remains … the ghost of a thousand lives.

Book Pricing – A True Mystery

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de...

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de eBook Беларуская: Фотаздымак электроннай кнігі Русский: Фотография электронной книги (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Book pricing has always baffled me, and with the introduction of eBooks, now more than ever.  To illustrate this, let me compare a novel, which undergoes a creative process that can last months or years, to a painting, or to a magnificent cake, both creations by artists, but creations that take less time to complete.  For example, many paintings start over $100 and reach the thousands in price – famous paintings, millions.  An elaborate cake can reach hundreds and thousands in price, and it is consumed in no time at all, and it ceases to exist.  The painting, an original will last many lifetimes, and most likely will appraise in value.  Considering these examples, and all the labor that goes into making a novel – whether the story is published as a hard copy or an eBook – why is it that we allow it to sell for 99 cents, offer it for free, or price it so low?

What makes a painting or a cake more valuable than your novel, your story?  I don’t know the answer to that question, but it may have something to do with supply and demand in some way, or the fact that people will collect original art, eat cake, and only pay big bucks for first editions of a famous author.  It is one of those things that do not make sense when you think about it from the creative process aspect.  This is why college textbooks sell for more money, hundreds.  It has to do with buyer’s purpose/need (and who knows, maybe buyer’s remorse as well).  Some novels have change the world, have touched lives, but once the cake has been eaten, and the painting hanged, the writer is left with royalties, and the satisfaction of touching (at least) the life of one reader (or more).

Still, it boils my blood to see a novel selling for 99 cents, when it may have taken many years in the creation process.  Here, the conventional rules of pricing do not apply.

What do you think about this issue?

Watercolors

I have been in the painting mood and decided to try art this morning.  The rule, to paint whatever came to mind.  One of the paintings is called “I want an iPhone”  and was probably inspired by today’s news.  The other painting, might have been as well.  Here are pictures of both.

“I want an iPhone”  watercolor

“Not a Paintball Game”  watercolor

 

Here are a few, which I painted at the beginning of the week.

 

“Moonlight Dreams”  another watercolor inspired by my companion of 20 years – Misty.

I think I was thinking of her when I painted these too – “Tis’ a Hallow Night” and “Sweet Dreams are Made of Mice” although I was looking at Piewackett when I painted the second one.

 

“Tis’ a Hallow Night”  watercolor and pen

 

 

“Sweet Dreams are Made of Mice”  watercolor and pen

 

This one just came to me, “The Grass is Greener”

“The Grass is Greener” watercolor and pen

 

I decided to paint the farmhouse as we discovered it, the first time – a dilapidated old giant with foliage growing all over, broken windows, doors, steps, concrete, and a no trespassing sign.  I will hang this painting in the living room once we complete the restoration.

“Old Giant” watercolor

 

And of course, I found the best way to stretch a watercolor painting.  Here it is.

How to stretch a watercolor “the cat method.”  Muni Mu doing her duties as painting stretcher.

  1. Slightly, wet the back of the dry painting.
  2. Place a towel underneath, a mat, and place a cat on top.  The weight and heat will do the job.

Some of my paintings are available at The Owl, Book and Candle

 

 

Book Progress

This is a short update on my writing progress – it has been a while since my last post about my novels.  Currently, I am working on final revisions for two novels.  I have decided to work on the third novel which is semi-organized in paper and thoughts, and will postpone publishing for now.  There are a few reasons for this, and I rather wait until I straighten some issues.  In addition, my uncertainty about looking for an agent and going indie has cleared up.  I find that the wait helped me understand indie publishing  a bit better, and although not my intention at the beginning (I was thinking about going the traditional route), now I feel that the right path for me is indie publishing.  This path seems to agree much more with my personality, work ethics, and working style.

One thing worries me; there seems to be a self-publishing frenzy going on now, and tons of poor quality work out in print.  In addition, there is the conflict with pricing issues between Amazon and publishing houses, authors and publishing houses, and everyone and their neighbors … It is obvious that this frenzy will subside eventually, and hopefully, the writers looking for a quick buck will dwindle as well, and just as with an ice age, that the writing environment clears up.  These things concern me now and weigh heavy on my decision to self-publish.  Added to issues of a pending move out-of-state, financial, and lifestyle changes, the best path is to wait and keep writing the third novel.

A friend told me that I was risking missing the boat by waiting but I disagree.  I don’t think anybody’s boat goes missing just because one decides to wait until the time that it feels right (and that is a personal issue and different for everyone).  However, I happen to agree with chasing opportunity when it knocks and if you feel ready for the chase.  Many times, “just jump now” works; other times, you may find that the abyss could have been avoided if you just waited until your foot was touching ground.

How do you feel about the self-publishing frenzy going on now or about self-publishing in general?  Feel free to share your experience in the comment section.

Ugly Tomato Contest Finalists – Please Vote!

This post from The Soulsby Farm had me laughing so hard that I had to share it with you.

Two Barn Farm

Thank you for everyone who sent in a pic for our 1st Ever Ugly Tomato Contest. Please view the pictures below and vote for your favorite-most ugly tomato. The winner will receive a $20 Gift Certificate to The Zoey Zoo (great 1 of a kind whimsical illustrations with themes such as animals, insects , vegetables and more!) and 5 packets of heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Seeds.  Runner up will receive a prize as well.

Vote as often as you like. Post on Your Blog of Facebook Page and get voting. Winners will be announced in two weeks on September 23rd. Just click on the poll with the number of the picture you like. You can vote for up to 3 tomatoes at once. Good Luck Finalists!

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Dear Child

Photo by M. Diaz

 

 

Dear Child,

Find me in the stillness of your soul, in the nature of things, their purity, their essence.  Find me in the song of the day, the sounds of a new beginning, the voice of a start as pure as the essence of your soul.  Dear child, find me in the time, the seconds, the hours… find me in the voice of the unknown yet to be revealed.  Find me, but most of all, find yourself, for there I reside.