That sneaky old April!

I can honestly say that today feels as though some good spring weather is just waiting to thrust

Springbrook Prairie Naperville 001
Springbrook Prairie Naperville 001 (Photo credit: Michael Kappel)

itself into the big picture—and none too soon, either! The sun is brilliant on this April Saturday morning; the sky is as blue and clear as one can imagine. And the temperatures are a very pleasant 50° at the moment here in northern Illinois. It’s the kind of morning that I really feel guilty sitting here at my MacBook to create this post because I know I should be out doing something—even if it’s just picking up debris and litter, leftovers from the winter blasts.

Chicken Wire Role
Chicken Wire Role (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Also, there are the numerous chicken-wire protective “cages” we put around most of our young bushes and trees to thwart the ravenous attacks of the rabbits these past frozen months. Last year, we failed to protect the plantings, and the rabbits chowed down heavily, taking everything right down to the ground. Fortunately, most bushes survived last year’s onslaught, and this winter’s precautions have seemed to work all the better. Now, it’s a matter of taking down the wire and stakes and storing them away until late next fall. Within the next few days, I’ll be making a trip to buy the first application of crab grass preventer/weed-n-feed.

I’ll also be attempting to fix our 20-foot telescoping flagpole. One would think that a simple little release button that doesn’t pop out would be an easy fix, but I’ve had a devil of a time trying to get it to work. I’m sure the problem is all a result of the terrible weather these past months, and I’m counting on the manufacturer to ease my pain and help me get the thing back in normal operation!

Sitting here and typing these words, I realize that April has really sneaked up on me this year. Could it be that we’ve been so beaten down by the winter that just was, that we have forgotten about the ceaseless march of time? And though it’s still been cold, damp, and bitter most of these early days of the month, there have been glimpses of what is surely to come.

And this year, I’m certainly ready to get out and tackle these spring chores that need doing—without any hesitation or hemming or hawing, either! Each day, I am thankful that I completed The Good Luck Highway when I did and am free now to spend the time necessary outside, away from my writing desk—especially on a day such as this one.

I’ve had some wonderful feedback and positive comments regarding my second novel. It’s amazing just how much a writer can learn about his own work through the comments and feedback from readers. My story, a very fun one to write, touches on friendship, love, disappointment, trust, and growing up. I hope anyone reading it will see these elements clearly—while having a fun time along with Mac and Led on their “adventure.”

Thanks to one and all who have bought the Kindle Edition, Nook Book, or the paperback. Very soon, I’ll get back to tackling my next projects: A series of short stories and the next novel. It will bring back Rick and Karen Brenson, main characters from Black Wolf Lodge. It has been a fun story to start writing, and I’m growing very eager to dive right back into it after being away since November.

Long farm lane that dead ends at a chicken house..
Long farm lane that dead ends at a chicken house.. (Photo credit: D.Clow – Maryland)

In the meantime, outdoor beckons…and I must heed its call!…CortlandWriter

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Sage advice: “Do it right the first time!”

The_Good_Luck_Highwa_Cover_for_Kindle
The Good Luck Highway-Now available as a paperback and Kindle Edition and soon-to-be Nook Book

It has been a very busy and productive week since I last took the time away from my endeavors in publishing my new book, The Good Luck Highwayas a paperback, a Kindle Edition, and a Nook Book, to attend to my Blog. And believe me when I say, it’s best to take your time and work carefully through each step of the process.

A wrong click here, an errant upload of the wrong file there, and unnecessary delays to the publishing process are added. In short, in all of our excitement and eagerness to be finished and have our masterpiece live and available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, et al, it is imperative that we check and double-check all requirements.

I’m not sure that any of us enjoys re-tracing our steps and having to re-do things–especially since the Review process takes several hours (days)–but it happens. I know from experience this past week!

A wise teacher once told his reckless students that to avoid frustration and failure, they should “do it right the first time.” I was one of those reckless students, and through the years I’ve tried to apply his words of wisdom to most tasks I undertake. Unfortunately, I haven’t always hit the mark, and every now and then I slip up and end up going back to square one. Ouch!

However, one really terrific discovery I made through the whole process was an invaluable resource that truly helped me reach my goal of publishing my book in paperback, Kindle, and ePub formats.

It’s a nice little book by Ed Ditto titled How to Format Your Novel for Kindle, Nook, the iBookstore, Smashwords, and CreateSpace in One Afternoon. Quite a title, but it’s full of excellent step-by-step instructions, suggestions, and other “tips” for getting our Scrivener project compiled correctly.

I don’t know Mr. Ditto, and I’m not getting any payment for this, but I highly recommend  that anyone who is ready to publish–especially first-timers–should check out his book. It will certainly help one and all to “do it right the first time!”…CortlandWriter

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...
Cover via Amazon
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Finally Kindle ready!

A quick post today to announce that my first novel, Black Wolf Lodge published in November of 2010, is finally available in Kindle format on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HJXPWAY).51YHISeyfGL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-69,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

There’s really no reason why it has taken so long, but thanks to Scrivener, it’s all ready now–very affordable–with a much better cover than the original paperback edition. Thanks for considering giving it a read!

I will be back on a regular basis following the holiday festivities and travels and look forward to hearing from one and all. Happy New Year, friends…CortlandWriter