Ben Bones & The Conventional Murders proofing is done (again) and I’ve ordered a second proof from CreateSpace. It’s been a slog, but I have confidence in the story, the quality of the writing, my writer’s “voice.” It’s a good little book. You see, it all begins when Ben goes to Asheville, North Carolina to attend a genealogical convention. He’s planning a relaxed weekend with professional colleagues, but the bodies begin to pile up. Why? Is it the $100,000 book contract that’s up for grabs? The bastardy bond problem soon after the Civil War and Emancipation? Professional jealousies? Sheer cussedness? You’ll have to read the book to find out. It’s available as a physical book and on Kindle.
And now, I’m digging into the re-plotting of Ben Bones & The Uncivil War. This one deals with wartime betrayal and two brothers who decide to fight on opposite sides. But that’s only where the story begins. Ben Bones lives in the present, and it’s here and now that he has to deal with the ramifications of the betrayal, people’s jealousies, and a war that some people simply refuse to let go of.
Meanwhile, I’ve discovered issues at benbones.com. Looks like I have to rebuild the website. OMG, indeed! There’s never an end to all this, is there?
I spent about 7.5 hours today riding my mouse around in PhotoShop and the Createspace website making Ben Bones and The Galleon of Gold happen. As usual, it was a slog, but most of the work is done. Of course, after I reached the point where interior and cover had been uploaded in pdf form, I discovered that the wording in the back cover blurb could have been more elegant. I went back in and fixed the cover but Createspace had my project locked for review and I wasn’t able to upload the improved version. That’ll be another day or so of interminable waiting.
I had put completing this project off for several months. I didn’t have faith in it. Yes, the book had been written, thoroughly gone through by my crit group (WNCMysterians.org), but I felt that something was missing. I wanted more red herrings, more terrible things to happen, and I didn’t want my perp to be so obvious so early. Too bad for me. I finally decided that it was clogging my psyche and I had to get rid of it, even if it wasn’t as strong as the other Ben Bones adventures. Now I can turn my mind to other projects. The next one will be better.
Not to change the subject, but… I’ve developed a strategy that helps convince me I’m a writer even during my fallow periods. I write short stories in between the bigger projects. This past week I finished a horrifying little thing that made me very uncomfortable while writing. You see, I had a title: Victim de Jour, and I knew there had to be a story in it. Someone had said it in passing and I grabbed it and carried it around in my head for a few weeks before forcing myself to sit down and type it on a page. What developed from that title was just short of 1200 words, but it was so disturbing to write that I knew I had something good. The Mysterians will have at it in a couple of days and I can’t wait to hear what they say. I told them I wanted to hear the sounds they made when they first read it. One of them has already said she couldn’t get through it on her first try and had to put it down. Truly a jewel!
I spent several frustrating hours trying to format Ben Bones & The Galleon of Gold to fit the CreateSpace 6×9 template. Sounds simple, right? Just go to File/Page Setup and you’re good, right? Wrong!
Sheesh! I’d get one thing right and something else would be off, then around again and something else would have shifted or lost its formatting.
One huge hurdle was trying to get my name/number footer to appear in the MS-Word file across Section Breaks that I had not put into the document. I didn’t want Section Breaks in the first place, but MS-Word knew better. Finally got that figured out. You know what? MS-Word thinks that you should start at the bottom of the document to place your footer info. Then it will flow upwards (duh) across Section Breaks (whether you wanted sections or not). That cost me at least an hour & 1/2.
Another issue was the Table of Contents. I can’t tell you how many times I went in, cleared the tabs, and reset them from scratch. What a pain! But now the ToC lies on the page correctly.
I’m still not finished going through the text of the book. What other issues will MS-Word and CreateSpace not want to agree on?
It’s really a shame that MicroSoft has taken over the world.