Friday, January 8, 2010

40 Pages In To Becomming Isaac

This has been an ineresting week. I am a potter and January is always a crazy time because it is the time I get ready for art festivals. It may seem early, but applications are usually due by mid February and I feel it is important to come up with new work each year to keep the jurors excited about me. Most folks dont know that art festivals are very competitive, especially for potters. At the Park City show for example, there are usually more than 300 potters vying for the 15-20 spaces they award to potters. I have been fortunate for the last several years to have been able to get in to both major Utah shows, the Utah Arts Festival and Park City. These shows have been a great boon to my business and provided me with the funds I've needed to self-publish my books. So, I have to take application time seriously. I worked hard on Monday and Tuesday mornings and was able to produce a lot of work so I could write in the afternoons. On Wednesday, I wrote for a couple of hours before going to a book signing in Ogden. I was disappointed to discover when I got there that they only had 19 copies of the first book and about 40 copies of the second. I sold the 19 copies in less than an hour, along with about ten copies of the second. As I was packing up, I sold another three copies of book 2 to people who were curious, but had not yet read book one. I really like signing in Ogden. I came and wrote more.
Yesterday, I wrote from 8:30 am until 1 am with a short dinner break to spend time with the family. It was amazing how the story unfolded as I wrote. I am constantly learning what this book is about. I came in for dinner, completely emotionally drained after Sam's story took on a twist I never could have guessed. The experience taught me once again that I am not writing this book.
40 pages in...that translates to about 80-85 pages in book format. I am expecting this book to be about 500 pages, give or take, considering how much as been written and how much more I have to write. I had figured on this being the last of the Isaac series, because I have three other stand alone book ideas that keep me up at night, but Niederbipp is going to be a hard place for me to leave. I love going there on the days I write. I love the people I meet there. I have fallen in love with each of them and each of them-okay, most of them have made me a better person. A new guy showed up when I was writing last week. I wrote about this Fromage bon vivants in my last post, but as I read over those chapters today, I found myself completely enamored by this eccentric fellow. He has a lot more to say and I am excited to hear more about him in the coming chapters.

I spent the day writing again--I have lost interest, for the time being, in pottery--and I have enjoyed discovering the depth and pain and hope of the town baker. Sam was such a jovial character in my mind, but Jake discovers some pretty dark stuff.

One thing that has really kept me going this week is receiving emails from readers. One man sent me beautiful poem that book 2 inspired his to write. Another told me of the comfort she recieved from the books as she lost her nine year old neice. Several others told me they were planning trips to Niederbipp and asked for directions. I suppose I better put a map in the next one--no one seems to be able to find it and everyone wants to go there. For those of you who have read the book, thanks. I love hearing from you. If you feel so inclined, I would love to have you fill out a review on Amazon. Just look up my book, click on the number next to the stars and then click on the button that says "create your own review." It doesn't take long, but it is a great way to spread the word about Niederbipp. I should warn you that unless you have purchased something from Amazon, (not necessarilty my book), it won't work. I will write more about it in an upcoming blog.

Its late, but my wife is at an overnight girls-night-out, so I may just stay up late and go back to Niederbipp. Cheers


Jenny said...

Ben, I love your book...I've only read the first one and am making myself get my "to do" list done before I start the second. When Gene and Deanna told us you had written a book I was so excited for you, and couldn't wait to read it. It exceeded my expectations...wait, that doesn't sound right, I expected it to be good, but it was beyond good. I was inspired, and touched and amazed at the insight, the depth and the realness of your characters. Please keep writing, the world needs a voice of goodness. Thanks for being willing to take risks so that people like me could benefit.

Jenny (Phil's wife...your wife's cousin)

Love, Deborah said...

I, for one, can't wait to go to Niederbipp!! :) Someday!!! I love following your blog and really I am so excited to learn more about everyone!! Thanks for your hard work!!