Sunday, November 6, 2011

Into the digital age

Welcome! I hope you have found this blog by following the link embedded in the description of my e-book "Sandbox Camp Tales from a Maine Storyteller." At least that's how we hoped it would work. That readers would find the link and then be curious enough to link to this blog and see what's up. "Sandbox Camp Tales" was actually published in 2008. The ink was hardly dry on the pages before friends began urging me to put my book on Amazon. Well it was for sale on Amazon already, but that's not what they meant. Eventually I caught up on my reading and learned all about "Kindle" and "Nook" and e-readers. Then I read some of the self helps and blogs that told how an author was supposed to properly prepare his text for uploading to KDP. "Kindle Digital Publishing" The more I read the more daunting the process seemed. After all, I am in my 60's and as a early member of the "boomer" generation HTML coding does not come easily. The CD with the book sat in my drawer for three years, until this past fall. I had not forgotten and was all too aware of the explosion that had occurred with e-readers and the iPad. It seemed more important now then ever to get the book published electronically. But how? Then along comes the Maine Writers Alliance in Rockland. I found out they provide a service for encoding and formatting books for uploading to Amazon and Smashwords. Done! With Cheryl's help and expertise we've made it at last. And now you are here wondering no doubt about the book and whether its worth your money and your time. I guess that depends on what you enjoy reading and what kind of mood you are in. Its a simple book. Just a collection of personal and family stories that I finally took the time to embellish and write down. Really that's the genesis of the book. At first I put them in a 3 ring binder to have at the cabin for the enjoyment of family and friends who came to the lake. Then they told me I should see about publishing the stories as a book and the result is "Sandbox Camp Tales." You should know we named our log cabin, the "Sandbox" as it is situated on a sandy beach and that's where we come to play. Hence we called it the "Sandbox." The "tales from a Maine Storyteller" was added by the editor/ publisher. My sons tell me I've written the perfect Maine backhouse reader as each story is just about the right length for reading while spending a few minutes in the privy. I've written in other places that my stories are not much different from the stories of other Maine families or any families that recreate in the outdoors. Its just that I've taken the time to write them down. Almost all of the stories in this collection have been published individually. After I retired I began to write more and worked harder at selling my stories to magazines and papers. Almost all of these pieces have appeared in other magazines. You'll find some reminisces from my childhood growing up here in Maine during the 40's, 50's, and 60's. And you'll find some adventures I've been part of while banging around the woods, lakes and streams of Maine. There are also a few pieces about my family. I like to think some of the stories are thought provoking and others are just long anecdotes told merely for the enjoyment of it. Its like we were all at the "Sandbox Camp" at the end of a beautiful summer day. Its about 8 o'clock and the moon is rising up over the trees on the east side of the lake. Away off across the water the loons call and sing. Their weird songs echo off the surrounding hillsides. Someone kindles a campfire on the beach and as it grows darker they throw on more branches and stumps. The supper dishes are finally done and people are attracted outside to the fire. They bring their beers and folding chairs and cozy up in a circle on the beach while they watch the glowing embers drift upward toward the sky. People speak in low voices and then someone says "You remember when Dad tried making those beanhole beans?" "Yea, that was a mess." "But he didn't give up." "Did you Dad?" And there's my opening and my audience. One after another we tell stories and laugh at our own jokes. Imagine you are there with us sharing in those stories, maybe even telling one or two of your own, and then you'll know what my book is like.
I know you'll enjoy reading the stories.

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