Free eBooks This Weekend!

If you love a great short story–and who doesn’t?–you can’t get much better than the ones over at Cold Moon Slivers. And the best part…they’re FREE from now until Tuesday evening for your Kindle!

There is something for everyone…one thriller, one scifi, and one fantasy. Stop by and download a few!

GET IT NOW!

Books As Works of Art

For quite some time, I’ve been of the opinion that books are not only labors of love but also works of art. The writing is, of course, the heart of the book…without a doubt. But there is something to be said for a beautiful cover, for an appeasing layout, for the details—be they flourishes around the page numbers or scrolls at section breaks—that show someone thought the book was worth the time and energy to make it special visually.

The same can be said for other documents, too. If you’ve been reading our Facebook posts, you’ll find that we’ve been working with a craftswoman at Threadlock Press to produce copies of our catalogue. She does beautiful printing the old fashioned way. I was gifted a book of poems she printed, and I when I decided that I wanted something beautiful to give away, I knew she’d be the person to work with.

What I’ve really been enjoying is her updates. She’s been sending me email messages with the status of the project, and these emails include pictures. I’m getting to see the process, which has been exciting!

After I sent her the content for the catalogue, we discussed the cover page. I sent her my logo, and she carved a linocut of it for the cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She also set the press name and our slogan. Check out the candle she used for the “I” in the first word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are using really beautiful paper, which she ordered. It hasn’t all arrived, but it’s starting to come in. She has begun cutting what is here so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the paper here, some of the printing has started.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m so excited about this project. It’s great that we have a catalogue coming together. And even more exciting is that this will be a beautiful booklet that I will be proud to hand out.

Instant Gratification

A long time ago, I read a quote that said something to the effect that Polaroid pictures were going to be the undoing of our society. It took me a while to understand that. I mean, how does a photograph that develops in an instant hurt anything? Who didn’t love the excitement of taking the blank picture as it zipped out of the camera, keeping the front of the picture dark (although you knew you were going to turn it over to take a peek), and then shaking the picture or blowing on it to make sure it was dry. Boom. Instant gratification.

What could possibly be wrong with that?

Maybe it’s my age or maybe it’s simply the era in which we live, but I finally get it. I love technology and that I can make just about everything I want when I want it on my computer. I like that I can get pretty much anything I ever imagined delivered to my house the next day. I adore that I can stay connected and pretty much hear from anyone at any moment of the day.

It is awesome, really. But it leaves me breathless.

When I started the press, it didn’t take me long to figure out that there were choices to be made. There was only one person—me—to start, and I had to figure out how I wanted to budget my time. Did I want the instant gratification of whipping out one book after another, or did I want to slow down and do things the way I thought they should be done? I choose the later and found that it, too, had its pitfalls. It meant making the decision between turning out a high volume of ok books or spending time picking out just the right font for the cover of a book I loved. It meant sometimes trading prompt email responses for spending time on the phone with an author who is stressed about edits and needs to talk them through.

There are still lots of places in my life and in this business that need to be Polaroid. It’s just that sometimes, we all need to breathe.

April is National Poetry Month!

Since 1996, people, libraries, and schools everywhere have been celebrating National Poetry Month.

It’s wonderful that we have a designated month to celebrate, but I know I couldn’t wait until once a year to read or write a poem. It’s just way to long. So grab a book to read (some favorites of mine are listed below) or find a pen and celebrate poetry now!

The Hell with Love: Poems to Mend a Broken Heart:  A reminder that poetry can be fun!

Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West: Beautiful, passionate poems.

100 Selected Poems: Just because I like e.e. cummings.

What We Carry: Real poems from a real (amazing) poet.

River of Stars: A wonderful collection of poems by our very own Vonnie Winslow Crist.

Free ebooks for Valentine’s Week!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Cold Moon Press. We love our readers…and we’re giving away free ebooks to show it! Throughout this week, you can get a short story for your Kindle from our new line, Cold Moon Slivers. Find out how by clicking here: http://coldmoonpress.com/coldmoonslivers.html

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes…Literally

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to spend a day in JK Rowlings shoes…well, now you can. http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/another-day-another-odd-literary-collectible-for-sale-j-k-rowlings-boots/

Published in: on September 16, 2011 at 8:41 am  Comments (1)  
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Is Your Heart in it for the Long Haul?

There you are…smack dab in the middle of a long project. The electric that was in the air during the thrilling newness of it has the spark of, well, a sock with static cling attached to a pant leg. And the finish line seems a million miles (or weeks, or words) away. Here is where you have a choice to make: do I have the heart to stick this out for the long haul, or do I move on?

This feeling is normal in many jobs but especially so in our field. Whether you are a writer, an editor, or a publisher, you are constantly challenged to stay motivated. Many of our projects take months, often up to a year or more, to complete. Couple that with the fact most of us do this work as a second job or a hobby and it can be hard to not only find time but also stay interested and motivated.

If you decide to stick with the project, here are a few things you can do to keep going.

  • Set smaller goals to meet on the way to project completion. Write them down with a firm deadline date. Then, once you’ve reached the goal, do something to celebrate.
  • Get other people involved. This field tends to get a bit solitary. Get interaction (and accountability!) through writing groups or other types of peer review.
  • Take a break. If you need to step away from a project, take some time to research, do some planning, or begin your marketing. That way, you’re still moving forward.

What other methods do you use to keep motivated over the long haul? Leave a comment!

Who Are Your Favorite Poets?

Just when you think spring can’t get any better, you look on your calendar (well…at least on my calendar!) to discover April marks the beginning of National Poetry Month, a time dedicated to celebrating and recognizing poems and poets. Since poetry has a special place near and dear to my heart, I thought I might share links to a few books that I think are great! What are your favorite books, and who are your favorite poets? Why? Leave a comment!

The Hell with Love: Poems to Mend a Broken Heart:  A reminder that poetry can be fun!

Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West: Beautiful, passionate poems.

100 Selected Poems: Just because I like e.e. cummings.

What We Carry: Real poems from a real (amazing) poet.

River of Stars: A wonderful collection of poems by our very own Vonnie Winslow Crist!

E.B. White & Planning a Sunday Afternoon

I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. This makes planning the day difficult. ~E.B. White

I started writing this blog with the good intentions of making it a technical piece, a nuts-and-bolts guide to something dealing with the business of writing. When I saw this quote, I knew that today was not the day to write such a thing.

As a (new) publisher, I like the idea that every morning is a new beginning, my “do-over” from the challenges of the day before. There is a whole new day ahead of me where I can make better choices and be creative and do something for someone else—even in my very own, tiny way. Maybe those things sorts of things don’t change the entire world, but it’s awfully nice to see the look on a writer’s face the first time they see their book in print!

There are also a lot of other good times that come with this new endeavor. I’ve met some amazing people I might never have met, attended events I might never have attended, and taken risks I might never have otherwise taken. Last Sunday alone, I spent a day with writers, musicians, artisans, and dozens of Fair Folk.

All this does make it tough to plan a day. I have a four-page to-do list on any given day and a calendar full of nearly illegible scribbles. Lucky for me, while I love having some routine in my life, I also thrive when no two days ever look exactly the same.

My plan for today? Spend some time with a few of my favorite little people, cross a couple things off of the ever-growing Cold Moon/Book Mark It to-do list, and let the dogs walk me before it rains. And maybe I’ll grab my tattered copy of Charlotte’s Web before I change the world.

Published in: on March 20, 2011 at 12:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Magic of February

There has always been something magical to me about February. It is still cold, but we are bridging to spring. With that knowledge, I relish the snow, knowing that any one of them could bring the last flakes to fall until the end of the year. If I close my eyes, I can see a sprite skating across ice-laden pine boughs of the trees in my yard.

Then, there is Valentine’s Day, of course, which I celebrate as a most sacred holiday, second only to Halloween. I imagine a modern Cupid, mischievous as ever, plotting how to get two awkward, flawed people to finally realize what is right in front of them.

And finally, the birthdays of a few of my favorite writers nestle in toward the middle of the month. Maybe there stories aren’t necessarily about magic, but there is magic in them…sometimes in the plot, sometimes in the characters, but always in the writing.

Kate Chopin, February 8
I read The Awakening at least once a year. I remember the first time I read it…sophomore year of college in a women in literature class. There was something about it that changed me. The writing was as smoldering and dream-like as Louisiana itself. The copy I had in college, now replaced with a hardback, was laden with notes made in the margins and dog-eared pages (both habits I dislike, but I felt a compulsion to remember each beautifully spun phrase). As a writer, I grew by reading it, finally making the connection that the language of a story is just as important as any other single element. Read this bit from her novel.

The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in the abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation.

The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.

Toni Morrison, February 15
You pretty much can’t go wrong with a Toni Morrison book. The language is complex, pulling you feverishly through the story. Several years ago, I picked up a copy of Paradise. I was hooked. It was, literally, one of the best first lines I’ve read of a book. Yes, there is magical realism in this book. But the language is also magic. I was enchanted with the very first line I read:

They shoot the white girl first. With the others they can take their time.

Tonight, if I’m lucky, I will write a sentence or two with a bit of magic in them. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll imagine what creatures lurk outside in the light of the waxing moon.