Are You In? - (R-U-N)

Welcome to my journey of writing, editing and publishing my first independently published novel, "Fish and Grits". Although this blog is about the adventures of publishing it is an inclusive journey, open to all who chose to join me on the path. It is not only my story, it is also your story, your dream. The "Are You In Campaign" is a partnership of people, spirit and vision. It is a connection - a power grid that grows stronger with each person who supports another person. It is about encouragement, wisdom, and advice. ARE YOU IN? Together our dreams can light up the world!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Art Sanctuary Dinner and A Reading

Recently I attended the Art Sanctuary's Volunteer Celebration which was a wonderful event dedicated to the people who are the backbone of our organization.  Held at the home the Founder and Executive Director of Art Sanctuary, Lorene Cary, the evening was memorable.

A warm Tuesday at dusk, the evening air over-flowed with the sweet taste of music and art, laughter and conversation, questions and answers.  It was a night  pregnant with  gratitude and thanks to a group of people who'd un-selfishly sacrificed their time and energy throughout our 2009-2010 Artistic Season, highlighted by the kind and generous treatment of the Art Sanctuary Staff and the North Stars Teenagers. 

As volunteers arrived they were warmly greeted and treated like honored guests for the evening.  "There was an electric vibe in the room," one of the volunteers, Enyotta Watkins said remembering the night.  Event Volunteers mingled with North Star parents, Board Members and Staff sharing magical moments and suggestions for improvement. North Star Teens would not allow us to touch our plates as they rushed to serve us food and drink to show their appreciation.

"The dinner was very informative.  It gave the volunteers the chance to share their opinions on how Art Sanctuary can "make it better"," said Pam Payton.  She added, "The environment was very friendly and it was great to meet people that you normally don't have a chance to talk to because you're working."

Delicious light fair, cool drinks, royal service, and my first reading.  What a night!

I had the opportunity to read a segment of Fish and Grits, and then listen as Lorene read from If Sons then Heirs.  My first reading from Fish and Grits, and it was an amazing, humbling experience.  That's what I love about this organization - Art Sanctuary gives opportunity to the seasoned professional and the "new kid on the block".

Dinner and A Reading - Art in the Community "for real".


A Book is Born

I'm exhausted - Isn't every mother after the birth of her child?  But Fish and Grits is finished the copy editing stage, which felt like labor and delivery to me.  This is the segment when the book is totally out of your control and you can do nothing else but PUSH PUSH PUSH and hope your kid comes out with 10 fingers and 10 toes or in the case of a book, no errors and no holes.

Working with your copy editor is like working with your obstetrician, both of them open you real wide and sometimes you see things you don't want to see.  Whether it feels uncomfortable to you or not working with a copy editor is as good of an idea as working with your doctor is.  Through the process can be painful at times, the end result is worth the hours of back and forth.  Your copy editor, if she's good, like mine (who was great) will help you take your book to the next level.  Don't ever think you can't get better or the story can't get better - We can all "Make it more better" as Denzel said in Mo' Better Blues.

I'm constantly reminding myself that before a mother takes her child home she plans for the homecoming.  The homecoming of Fish and Grits involves me locating a publishing corp. that I trust with my project (I'm sticking with Createspace), plotting out an marketing course and building a marketing team, writing/re-evaluating my budget, considering distribution courses of actions and options. All of which takes patience.  Unfortunately for me, patience is my biggest weakness.