This picture was among those found in the clay cellar in Niederbipp shortly after Jake arrived. The hands seems to be of a man much younger than Isaac, but then the photo seems very old. I'll try to post others before Christmas. Ben
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
As I wait, I realize I have the tendancy to second guess myself. I spent the day reworking the first two chapters, slashing and burning and trying to make it shorter, but in the end, I'm not sure its any better, just shorter. I am interested in gaining more insight from the other readers.
This has been a very spritual journey so far, but this week has not been my best. I want to believe the direction I am moving in is the right way, but sometimes the roadblocks and limitations frustrate me. I feel like I just need to step away from writing for a week or so, go to a bunch of movies, try to escape the world that's bugging me for a while. I'm afraid I'm getting cranky and my wife would probably agree.
The last time I did this, I went to the bookstore, Barnes and Noble not far from my house. I normally love bookstores, but I returned home both empty-handed and heavy hearted. There are so many books there. How am I going to get noticed?
I ran into Mike Ramsdell last Thursday at Costco. He is the author of The Train to Potevka and has now sold more than 800,000 copies through Costco and other bookstores. He is a really nice guy and I enjoyed my visit with him.
Anyway, I hope to get moving again soon
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I thought I was done in March. I realize how naiive and foolish I was. I wish it was true, but reality is good, and generally hard to accept, at least for me. I anticipate there will still be many changes to come, but it feels good to be on this end of it.
I also spent some time talking to Bert Compton, my cover designer and friend today. He is starting some designs we are both very excited about. On Tuesday, I am meeting with another friend, Al Thelin, a photographer who will be doing a lot of photography for me for the book for a cool idea I have for making the book feel more like a package. I'll explain later.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I didn't plan on writing a book, but the voices wouldn't leave me alone. I am a potter. For the past twelve years I have made my living exclusively by playing in the mud, making stuff. With one semester left, I dropped out of college nine years ago to follow my passions, and I still am.
I was just minding my own business when the voices came. I don't remember the day, but I remember where I was. I was working on the wheel when Isaac started talking to me; telling me his story. Over the next few years, he brought his friends and they had tea parties in my head, messing up my hair and refusing to leave me alone.
I am not a writer, but I am a dreamer and I've heard they might be cousins, or maybe step-brothers. As these voices continued to visit me, I began taking notes. The things they were telling me were beautiful and instructive and meaningful. But I am potter. They should know better. I spin mud into vessels, not words into tales.
But they kept coming and bringing more friends.
Five years ago, as I sat at my wheel, my hands stopped working; at least the way I had been used to. I was confused. I am a potter, after all. I need my hands to make stuff. The voices danced about me, telling me they needed a voice others could hear. I reminded them I was a potter, but they wouldn't leave me alone.
So I began.
In the evenings, I started to write. The notes I started eleven years ago were jumbled and crazy, but the voices straightened me out. Their stories needed to be told. The people of Niederbipp needed a voice.
I am a potter with busted hands, but my ears still work. They told me they could work with that.
They don't pay much. In fact, I have yet to receive a dime. (They tell me the check is in the mail.) I realize I didn't do this for money, or for fame. I did it so the good people of Niederbipp would have a voice.
I hope it helps.
Ben Behunin 2008
(From the Prelude at the front of the book)
Friday, October 31, 2008
After more than ten years, I am one step closer to being a published writer. I printed off twelve copies of my book and sent them to some of my friends after they agreed to read my story and get the manuscript back to me in a timely manner.
The editing actually began in March. Anxious for my wife, Lynnette, to finally see what I had been spending all my free time doing, I printed her a copy to read on our long drive to Disneyland over spring break with the kids. She read it and made a lot of notes and I spent a couple of weeks working on corrections before I printed five copies and gave them to family and friends to read.
One friend had experience with editing and I soon began receiving feedback that scared me. The manuscript was still much rougher than I wanted to admit. I was sensative and probably unresonably so, but she was thorough and insightful and brutally honest. When I got her copy back, I set it aside for a couple of weeks, wondering if I would ever return to it. As I thought about it, I realized how right she was and I took the majority of her critique to heart.
That began in May. Six months later, I finally finished, just last night. There is little doubt that I probably still have a zillion hours of editing ahead of me, but it is much smoother and cleaner and more meaningful. Tomorrow, I will have Lynnette help me with some of the content of this blog. I have a lot of things to say. I hope some of it will be worth reading. If I can find a way, I hope to post the first chapter of the book as well as a few other things, but as today was a stepping stone in a postive direction, I wanted to post this and say it has begun. Much more will follow. Ben