“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

New Book Coming Soon

About my Book
I’m in the throes of frustration.
I’m scared.
I’m nervous.
I’m procrastinating.

I just wrote the above four sentences perfectly says my grammar checker “Give yourself a pat on the back.”

Well, that’s a first.

A post by Jaq D Hawkings didn’t help my anxiety when she spoke of uploading her book to KDP (Kindle publishing). She checked everything, thinking she had corrected all the typos, had all punctuation correct, and the manuscript formatted correctly only to find she left out the page numbers. And so it goes, back to the file, correct, repeat. And Hawkings is a seasoned writer.
We have a saying in our house that I must paint a room three times to get the color I want. Well, I don’t paint the entire room, but this extrapolates into writing.

The brain is a marvelous mechanism, but sometimes with writing, it can do you wrong. You make a mistake, and the brain fills in what it believes ought to be there. You go on your merry way. BUT THERE’S A MISTAKE. And someone will find it—but not you.

No matter how many times you’ve gone over, reread, proofread and edited a manuscript, there is always something that could use a tweak.

“When you finish a manuscript,” wrote somebody smarter than me, “go back to the beginning and rewrite it for then you will be a better writer.”

But I wonder how many times you can do that.

You see, I have worked (played with) this manuscript for over 40 years. I wrote, rewrote, changed the title about fifty times, then went back to the original one that motivated me in the first place.

Song of Africa, that’s it. And I’m going to publish it under jewell d, because I like the name.  It’s more lyrical than Joyce Davis.

Miss Sara Rose had a dream of riding a river in Africa.

In researching Africa in the San Diego Library, I stumbled upon Izak Dinesen’s book, Out of Africa. (Izak Dinesen is Karen Blixen’s nom d plume. It means, “to laugh.”) and from it I read Dinesen’s beautiful prose:

“If I know a song of Africa, of the Giraffe, and the African new moon lying on her back, of the ploughs in the fields, and the sweaty faces of the coffee-pickers, does Africa know a song of me?”

And fell in love.

This discovery happened long before the movie Out of Africa came out, and later after reading Dinesen’s short story Babette’s Feast, I waited eagerly for the movie and yesterday, googling it, I found that it won the Academy Award for The Best International Feature Film in 1988 (Denmark).  Last night I watched it again. If you love artists, watch this movie.  When the Nobel prize went to Hemingway instead of Dinesen, Hemingway said, “It should have gone to that beautiful writer.)

My publishing company didn’t want another book about Africa, although mine isn’t really, it sort-of is, really it’s about the people who love it. The setting focuses on Africa, but the story spans three continents, includes four love stories, a Peace-corp volunteer turned peanut farmer, a River-boat Captain, an illustrious boat named Rocinante, a mystery, a lost painting, a spiritual quest, and the search that connects the people.

It’s my book, my story, and I believe in it.

However, my anxiety is that I can’t get my manuscript perfect enough to show it to the world.

And in thinking of Indie publishing, and putting it on Amazon has me in a stew.

Will I ever get it together? Time will tell.

But I can’t wait another 40 years. And it takes two years to get a book published with a conventional publisher.

So, it’s Indie for me.

My story is about three women, how they connect, and the ramification of one person having a dream and acting on it. Miss Sara Rose, who began it all, Sara Andrews, her namesake, and Patrice DeShane, Miss Rose’s inherited granddaughter, the child of Africa.

“And please,” to quote, Katharine E. Hamilton, “Do not make the mistake of assuming an Indie Author's work does not measure up to a traditionally measured book. Don't give us the small head tilt and the stink eye... when honestly, sometimes the opposite is quite true. Janet Evanovich, Colleen Hoover, E.L. James, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe... all started out as Self/Indie Authors ... Mark Twain started his own printing company to put his books out!” 

Song of Africa, soon to be a major motion picture.—in my dreams.

When J.R.R.Tolkien, released The Lord of the Rings, he said, “I have exposed my heart to be shot at.”

I'm about ready to set up my target.