I’m writing today from Treasure Beach, Jamaica, home of the Calabash Literary Festival. Calabash, the largest literary festival in the Caribbean, is very dear to my heart. When I served here in the Peace Corps, from 2002-2004, I had the privilege of being in the Calabash writer’s workshop under the instruction of Jamaica’s top-selling author, Colin Channer. This year was my first time at the festival since 2004, and it still has its magic.
The act of sitting down to write, day after day, then painstakingly revising what one has written, often starts with a fantasy. There are many variations on this fantasy, but I surmise that many writers share a similar fantasy to my own: I write and revise my novel. It is AMAZING, right up there with the great American classics. I easily find an agent, who easily finds a publisher, who quickly puts my novel into print and sends it out to libraries and bookstores across America. People around the country read my book. My agent helps sell the movie rights for a nice price, and it gets made into a good movie that doesn’t violate the integrity of the book. It gets translated into several languages and people around the world read my book. When I take my next airplane ride (as part of my book tour), the person sitting next to me (in first class) is reading my book. After my book readings, people line up to get me to sign their books. And then I sit down to write my next novel.
Of course, the logical part of my mind has talked to enough authors, ranging from aspiring to moderately successful, to know the brutal reality that I most likely face as a writer. Continue reading
Since I am working with the budget of an unpublished author, I decided to build my own website. Fortunately, it was not as difficult as I feared (though there are some things that I’m still trying to figure out). This page, called “How to Build the Ultimate Author Website in 1 Hour,” from a group called Out:think was very helpful, though it did take me more than an hour. I found that much of the process was quick and easy, but sometimes I would get stuck on a seemingly small problem that would take me half an hour to solve in itself. The trick, I discovered, is to first figure out the correct terminology for what I wanted, then find a Youtube video with screen shots to show me how to do it. I found Youtube to be much more helpful than simply reading about how to solve my problems. For example, here is one helpful video that shows many aspects of WordPress website creation:
How To Make a WordPress Website – AMAZING! by Tyler Moore Continue reading
The first page of Kingston Dreams has been published on the BBC website as part of their feature about Nanowrimo. Check it out here!