Books and Such

Earlier today I was talking to a friend that was half way through my book The Halley Branch. She had picked it up a few years ago, but this was the first time she had gotten a chance to read it. She it was fun listening to her, particularly since she was enjoying it so much.

I often think of the bad side of my books like the Halley Branch. I think I fixed a lot of writing issues when I did my next book, The Old Mill, but even there, looking back I see so many things I feel I did wrong. Looking at how well these books have done 🙄, I am as often as embarrassed by them as proud or anything else. I mean, some, like the two fantasy novels, sold in single digits int the three years since its release, even when I tried to give it away.

I had been working on a new book of short stories. My other two books of short stories are both pretty eclectic and the stories tend to be on the shorter side. For this new book, I had picked only sci-fi stories, and the average length was much more than in the previous two. I had done several editing passes and was pretty close to putting it out.

Last May I sent a beta copy out.

Crickets.

In August I tried again.

Crickets.

I haven’t touched it since and figured, “Oh well, The Old Mill, published in January, 2021, would be my last book.”

I went on to other things.

So, seven months later I run into this friend talking about one of my books.

Hmmm. Maybe I’ll start the next round, perhaps final round, of editing this weekend.

I did talk about this book of short stories several times, including this post about editing it, that I wrote in July last year, right about the time I stopped….

22 thoughts on “Books and Such

      1. Prior...

        Sometimes those breaks can be refreshing and other times maybe you wonder where you left off and where the ideas were heading!
        Hope you have the freshness in returning to it!
        I am working on a non-fiction about understanding change
        Because in 2020 I did some zooms and webinars and the topic of change came up again and again!
        So I made the outline and TOC and have 30% of the content but closed the files and have not wanted to open it – yet! Hahah

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Sometimes it is refreshing to take a break. Going over the book, I am finding few issues or mistakes – I think I had done my “final” edit before, so this little cleanup should go quick :)
          “Change” is a great topic to take on, and so meaningful today. Yeah, as with me, sometimes the hardest part is just getting that start, and once you are into it, momentum takes over. Hope the writing goes well :)

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          1. Prior...

            Oh Trent – the topic of change was really hard to tackle because it is enormous and at times it was like being puked by a riptide –
            Padding a vast amount of water and no progress!
            But then I remembered the intention Nd what led to it and that reminded me of my narrow audience and that led to (finally) the working outline and TOC! Whew!
            And best wishes with your edits

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks! As you’ve seen, I haven’t given up writing, I just haven’t been spending time on longer, more involved works. I think once I get through these stories, I might be ready to move along…

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  1. marina kanavaki

    In painting, it has been said by a great master [don’t remember who though] that when unsure about a painting, leave it aside. When you come back to it months later you might realize it’s finished. Or magically come up with a way to finish it [says I]. So no crickets, my friend! It’ll come. In a fair world, us creatives would be able to effortlessly live off our arts… but… ;-)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      That is pretty sage advice. Getting back into this work will be difficult, but once I am going, not bad. And I have continued to write stories for the blog, if not major works, so..

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  2. Marilyn Armstrong

    My book, when it first came out did better than I expected. I sold slightly more than a thousand copies. Garry still had some media connections back then, so I got some free PR and that helped. Now though, it embarrasses me. I don’t think the world is worse because I haven’t written another book. Blogging is fine. And drawing pictures :-D

    I always wonder if all authors find their early work embarrassing. I’ve heard Stephen King say this about “The Stand,” which was his first book. He didn’t like it. I think, even with all the extra work he put into it a few years ago that he still doesn’t like it. And many people who are big King fans think it was one of his best.

    Maybe writers aren’t the best judges of our own work.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I think you are right that a lot of authors don’t like their earlier work – we see all of the pimples. I do think that artists sometimes have special attachments for some works that goes beyond the actual quality and with other works they are unfairly harsh, but I think mostly it is that we do (hopefully) grow, and we can see it, but the less mature works are often what people prefer.
      In many ways I am content with my blogging, and now with getting back into music I am enjoying going that way. But since i do like to write fiction, and do write quite a bit, I really would like to get it out to a wide audience – some of my blog posts have received more “likes” than all of my book sales combined, so sometimes I have to ask myself what it means to reach a wider audience…

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      lol, good idea. Actually, I did post two of my books on line, one chapter at a time! Sort of – I wrote the rough drafts as a series of posts, posting as soon as the chapter was complete, and then going back a year or three later and pounding the trash into a workable book…

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          1. (Gypsie) Ami Offenbacher-Ferris

            If I might be so bold … forget about publishing, or what you think a publisher or editor wants (for now). Concentrate on the joy of writing. Of transcribing the images in your mind into coherent, arresting words that you love. Then seek out the rest .. 😊✒️😊

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            1. trentpmcd Post author

              Yep. I have continued to write short stories, so not totally out of practice where that is concerned. Even with my books, I tend to go back to what I’ve written and decided to expand on it, edit it or whatever, I’ve never really started with the idea that what I am working on will be a publishable idea.

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