Tag Archives: library

The fine art of getting going…

There is a foot race going on today. The Bluenose Marathon. Umpteen thousand runners and walkers going out to run a marathon or a half a marathon, or a 10k or a 5k or around the block…you name it.

Running is like writing. Sometimes you just have to put one foot in front of the other.

Damn that’s deep. A new-born gnat could drown in such profundity.

I’ve been trying to get my act together for a month or two now. Spent a lot of time and effort finishing up SINKING DEEPER. Then finished the working draft of my next release – due out this fall – which is now in an editor’s hands.

Work like that is always easy. You know that sooner or later that editor will hand it back to me and then all I need to do is to go through what was written and fix what was broke.

For me, that’s easy.

There is a third project underway. Another collection of regional history, only a different angle than just ghost stories. I’ve got that one all mapped out – so it is just a matter of writing it – which I am doing.

That’s not as easy, but still not hard.

And then there is a fourth project that I have just got underway. A YA novel, complete unrelated to either the region or Sinking Deeper. It is necessary for me to dig a little deeper and reach a little further than just my regional books. So I have started this new project. Wrote one whole chapter yesterday and another this morning. If I can get over the hump and push it then I should have a good first draft done before the end of June.

That’s a little harder.

I’ve also just slid a pitch to another publisher of YA for a work-in-progress that really fits a new line they’re developing. That’s just a shot in the dark. The story is all roughed out – so actually writing it won’t be hard at all – but selling it – well that’s another bag of potatoes.

I am also waiting to hear from a publisher who has had a submission for a very long time. Too long, really, but they are a company I would really love to work with – so I have rattled their door handle and buzzed their door bell and have been assured that my answer is in the pipeline – any day now.

Yet another reason to remember that writing is nothing more than waiting mispelled.

Only I’m not much on waiting. I am at my best when I have got something new underway. Ideally I like to have projects laid out for a year or two ahead. I like to have them sold and written and me working on something else. That keeps my fires lit and my engines humming.

There is a couple more e-books in the works and a couple more in the planning stages.  Strictly horror genre – very different from what I do now – but all part of the plan.

A blog like this is written as much for myself as my readers.

Take it from me.

A writer, writes.

Right?

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Something precious, gone forever…

Just about a month ago I recieved a note from Vikki at the Flying Dragon Bookshop in Toronto. They were ordering my book, Sinking Deeper.

I was very excited. Seeing my primarily Maritime market-base shifting slowly across Canada is just what I needed to hear about.

Now I have heard something else about the Flying Dragon Bookshop.

Something you might hear about other bookstores across this country.

They are closing.

(taken from their Facebook entry from today)
It is with heartfelt regret, that we announce today The Flying Dragon Bookshop will be closing its doors on June 30, 2011.We have in recent months explored opportunities to embrace the technological advances that have presented themselves with such rapidity in our industry. But at the end of the day we realized that for us, it was al…l about the books and the tactile, sensory experience they provide.

It is bittersweet that we have just received the 2011 Libris Award for ‘Specialty Bookseller of the Year’ from the Canadian Booksellers Association.

While we can’t imagine not being able to walk into the magical world of The Flying Dragon on a daily basis, we know that our futures hold wondrous adventures and we wish the same for all our loyal customers and our colleagues in the publishing industry.

We want to end the way we started, by talking about the books with you, our fellow booklovers. Please join us for Nina’s Summer Reads on Friday, May 27th at 9:30am.

We invite all our Flying Dragon friends, customers and colleagues to celebrate our wonderful collection of books that have been so lovingly chosen.

Until June 30th, in appreciation, we will be offering our collection at 20% off.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
~ A. A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)

I still remember back in 2008 when Halifax’s 169 year old bookstore, THE BOOK ROOM, closed its doors. It was like losing a close friend and I still mourn the loss of that store. I know, I am a cornball – but something is gone. Something that cannot be replaced.
 
I also remember watching Frog Hollow Books close its doors.
 
Little tiny nooks of culture and comfort – gone forever.
 
I am not here to rail against the 21st century.
 
Some of my best friends are e-books. I have written a few of them.
 
I am just here to tell you folks that one more monument to the love of a books is falling. They will probably put up a hair salon or a coffee shop in its place. That’s it – it’s gone.
 
There is only way to stop this from happening to your favorite bookstore. Get out there and buy a book. Ask the folks at Woozles, here in Halifax, about my deep-seated addiction for the written word. Ask the folks at the Bookmark and at Chapters and at any of the used bookstores in town.
 
I am a book-a-holic shop-fiend. I can’t walk into a bookstore without purchasing a book.
 
Please, catch this addiction from me. I am not talking bankruptcy. I am not talking about spending the kid’s college fund. All I am asking is to make it a weekly habit. Go to your favorite bookstore and buy a book.
 
Before that page finally turns.
 
Yours in storytelling,
 
Steve Vernon

Woodlawn Library Reading

Last November I read in the Woodlawn Library auditorium in front of an audience of nearly 100 school kids – all about the Grade 6 level. I put on a version of my young writers workshop and met with great success. They laughed, they clapped, they called for more.

The new Woodlawn library has a wonderful auditorium with seats recovered from the old Woodlawn theatre. It is an absolutely perfect venue for any sort of presentation. So, naturally, I was very excited at the prospect of reading my new YA novel SINKING DEEPER in this venue.

Unfortunately, the timing of the event worked out poorly. The nonstop cold and wet weather we’ve been having discouraged some of the classes from attending.

Also, May is a bad time of the year for out-of-school events. Most teachers have burned up their extra-curricular days and are busy gearing the kids up for final exams and the like.

So I wound up performing for an audience of about ten people – a few adults, a few parents and a few home school children who had come specifically to hear me.

Given that I had to travel so far by bus to get there on a cold and wet Monday morning I should have been discouraged but I choose not to give in to that bad feeling. I turned up the volume and gave them a full-out presentation – telling a few tales, talking a bit on the process of writing and reading a couple of short chapters from the book. Afterwards, I handed out bookmarks and talked to anyone who had further questions.

You see, that’s how you do it. A performer – whether they are performing with music, dance or written word – must be ready to perform at the drop of a hat for any size of audience.

Any one in a similar line of business as myself must strive to wrap their head around that fact. The show must go on. I have performed in front of audiences ranging from 500 to 5 – and I bring it, every time. If you win one reader over, then it was a morning well spent.

So, if any of you find yourself in a similar situation – do not allow discouragement to seep into your existence. If somebody has come out for you give them what you have promised. Your name is on the poster – stand up and deliver.

Like the man said – just bring it.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon