Friday, October 24, 2008


Well we did it! We posted a video clip about the book on Youtube. Friends said we should get with it and use the internet to promote the book. Hard to believe there is so much available these days. And I'm so envious of the young people who seem to know all about it. For us it took a little while and some help but the final product isn't aweful. We went to the cabin for a weekend and shot some views and a short interview. Then Bill swizzled it all on his Apple laptop, added some sound affects and voila! we were in the movies. Sort of. You can find it by going to Youtube and opening the "entertainment" category. Then search for "sandbox camp." Scroll down a little and you should see me wearing a red felt hat. That'll be it. It's the same old problem though. Trying to attract some notice and some attention just so people will know you've got something to offer. Earlier in the year I tried some mass mailings via email and sent out maybe a couple hundred custom-designed letters to B&B's and sporting camps. But I never heard back from any of them so don't know if they decided to look at the book or buy it. At least with Youtube folks have a chance to make comments (that's a scary thought) and it counts the views you get. I suspect someone will only run onto the clip by chance or if they happened to be searching for something else about Maine or storytelling. I guess a next step might be Facebook or Myspace. Hey once you head down this path you might as well keep going. I will need to work up to it though. It takes some courage I find to post these things out in the wide wide world. I wonder if I'd get any "friends" in Facebook?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

New Friends

When I wrote and published my book I never envisioned the new friends I would
make because of it. But that's just what's happened - happily for me. I have met all kinds of
wonderful folks because they've read my stories, liked what they read, and because of that have
gone to the effort of hunting me up. Only on this past Friday I hunted them up. My new friends
that is. They happen to be the ten girls and two boys that make up Mrs. Vigue's Creative Writing class at Nokomis High School in Newport, Maine. I'm not exactly sure how this all came about,
but a friend who happens to be a librarian invited me to come speak to this high school class. I'm glad he did, because we, or at least I, had a blast. The kids are learning how to write stories and they had a copy of my book as an example of some local writer who'd figured it out. That would be ME and Sandbox Camp Tales. When I got introduced I told the kids there was no need to say more because they had read some of my stories, so now they knew all about me. I told them there's a little bit of my and my philosophy and my heart and soul in every one of those stories, layed out in the open for everyone to see. So if they had read the stories then they had a glimpse inside me. From there things just got better. We beat the subject to death. We talked about language mechanics and writer's block and Archemedes and publishers and pointy-headed editors who change what we write. We examined all the dirty laundry that is writing and selling stories at the Pay-On-Publication level of the craft. When those kids asked a question it was a good one. We could have probably talked for hours and then all collaborated on a poem or some piece of fiction. Being with the kids just energized me. They have such great ideas and their enthusiasm for the works they create is contagious. Too bad we ran out of time because I wanted to tell them their work has value even if they do it only for themselves. Even if they never publish a thing or never write another word, the stuff they're creating today in that class will be with them and their friends the rest of their lives. Really I believe if you're writer then you'll write anyway no matter how your life turns out. A housewife will sneak in working on a poem between doing the laundry and going to the school bus stop. The truck mechanic will scribble in his notebook at night after supper, or the nurse will find time after her shift to fire up the PC and continue on her novel. I hope my new friends all do well in their class and that the writing skills they learn this year will serve them well whether they write TV scripts or write excuses for their kids' teachers. As a result of this visit I now know there is a pool of undiscovered writing talent
right here in central Maine, right down the hall in Mrs. Vigue's Creative Writing Class. All I can say is "Go For It Guys" ....Go for it. and oh yeah....It was great to meet you.