Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Adventures Abroad

I'm in Bratislava for a night or two, and it was already dark when I got here, so I was prepared for an adventure finding my hotel...or so I thought! I arrived at the main train station safely, found the buses right away, got my bus ticket with ease, and lo and behold - my bus pulled it! I took it to the correct spot and that's when the fun began. The instructions for getting to my destination from that stop are for people arriving at that stop by train. I found out, thanks to a couple nice women, that I was not quite where I thought I was when I got off the bus - I needed to go underground under the train tracks and up the other side. Once there, I quickly got my bearings (verified by asking another nice lady) and headed down the semi-lit road ready for a 10-15 minute walk. I again verified my location (by asking a nice man walking in the opposite direction - streets aren't always clearly labeled, and it was dark) and when I got to my turning, everything was fine. Or so it seemed... I was supposed to take a left and quick right to get to the hotel, but there was no left and it was blocked off by high fencing as though under construction. After some though, I skirted the fencing and found myself on an overgrown dirt path. IN THE DARK. I made it to a bit empty parking lot area and took my designated right turn...which lead me to more empty parking lot and then nothing. I figured out, judging my my tiny map (I had my flashlight) and the way I'd come, that my hotel was just to my right...on the other side of a wall of trees. I had some indecision as to what course of action to take, but ultimately I backtracked to half-way up the dirt path, where I remembered seeing a fork in the trail. I took the fork, which did not take me to the other side of those trees. It did take me to a parking lot between the backs of two buildings. I walked passed a run-down camper and some cars, thinking I must by walking along the back of the hotel. I rounded the far end, and there it was: the signage! I entered the hotel restaurant, and got directions to the lobby, where I checked in. Tomorrow before I head out for my meeting, I will ask the front desk person the best way to get there (it's back the way I came). Hopefully, I won't have to brave that dirt path through the jungle for a third time. :)

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Random Walk's "Mission Stage One Complete"

Those words are uttered by Colonel Derek Williams, Mission Commander and Pilot of Air Force Space Command's first manned mission into space. They are the last words spoken in chapter one of my science fiction novel, Random Walk, after the crew achieves orbit around the Earth.

I too, have completed what I consider to be Stage One of my mission: writing the book! I finished the draft at the end of July, but I only just completed my developmental revisions earlier this week. With those done, the story itself is now locked-in; there will be no major changes.

That's a significant benchmark, but when you're independently publishing your own novel, it's only one stage of the work. So now, as I wait for my editor to return the manuscript again, this time with copy edits,* I am my shifting mental and creative gears for phase two: production & marketing.

To that end, I read IngramSpark's user guide yesterday to make sure I remember how  to upload my book and understand the extent of their services; I've started sending out requests for blurbs and drafted a press release; I'm working on a synopsis, back cover copy and front and back matter.^ I'm even starting to think about a book launch party!

So as I turn the corner of the midweek and prepare to enter the weekend, my hands are full with grading a writing test I gave my 3rd year students, and juggling all the little, important, time-consuming tasks associated with actually producing and selling a book. It's a busy time, but I'm excited to see how it goes. :)

*Minor changes, like misplaced commas, spelling consistency for proper nouns, awkward phrasing, etc.

^The copyright, acknowledgements and about the author content.