Moving Towards ebook Publication

not sure road-pixir editorI am getting excited again, reaching for the goal of publishing my book.  I finally found the perfect ebook editing site.  Smashwords is user friendly, full of relevant resources, and FREE!  Thanks to, I also found a free professional photo editing program that I understand.  My editors are making progress on the books final edit, and I’m honing in on a better title.

My poor, nameless book.  Oh, that’s not quite entirely true.  My book has a name, it just isn’t the right name.  Actually, it has had at least five names.  None of them were quite right.  But finally, I know why.  This feedback from my writing mentor makes perfect sense:

“The title itself is not working for me. There are two main ways. First of all, ‘Finding Free’ does not point to what is unique in your story, and could be used as a title for many other memoirs. What I see as unique to your memoir is that you are searching for who you are through experiences with church. So I would put some allusion to church (doesn’t have to be the word “church”) in the main part of the title. Second, the words “free” and “acceptance” can be seen as opposites — if you’re really free, then what do you care about being accepted? Even though I know that there’s a deeper kind of acceptance your’re talking about (not just being liked), I’m your cousin. I know these things. And  though most others won’t spot the contradiction, you have undermined your chance to say something powerful.”

P.S.  I’m having trouble figuring out how to manipulate my text in Pixlr/editor.  Help appreciated.


The Life of Extreme Kayaker Dave Norell by Rae Ann Norell: What Does Writing & Kayaking Have in Common?

Watching a PBS show about extreme sports this weekend, I thought of Dave Norell, extreme professional kayaker, while witnessing the pleasure on the faces of people jumping off bridges, “skiing” down mountains in kayaks, and gliding like a hawk 9,000 miles above solid ground. Even though I have zero desire to do any of the above activities, I do enthusiastically pursue and enjoy another kind of extreme sport.

My sport, like jumping off bridges, kayaking, and air gliding, is not for the weak. A strong body is not necessary, but a strong mind is essential. Like kayaking and triathlons, the sports that “Dangerous Dave” practiced, my sport has taken me into emotional rapids and swirling currents.  I have persevered in front of my equipment with eyes burning and a nagging desire for quick-energy snacks. I have started at the beginning multiple times seeking ways to improve the journey, each trip tighter, faster, and more effective than the last.

I am a writer.

As a writer, not only must I learn the mechanics of my craft, create ideas, commit to a course (writing schedule), and keep on operating my equipment until I reach my destination, I must also believe, with somewhat egotistical confidence, that a publisher will spend thousands of dollars to print, sell, and distribute my writing to strangers who will read my stories.  People who pursue extreme sports must also believe, with somewhat egotistical confidence, that they will reach their destination despite the obstacles.

Anyone who does extreme sports thrills in the journey. We know the risk, but we do it anyway.

With pleasure.

For more information about Dave’s amazing life, go to


Do Not Expect Other People To Love Your Baby As Much As You Love Your Baby

After six months, I am still waiting for my some of my readers to return critiques of my book.  Out of about 12 people who willingly agreed to read and comment, I’ve received comments from five. Though, I’m disappointed that more have not responded, I want to thank those five for taking the time and giving me much appreciated feedback.

This disappointing lack of response brings me to another writing reality: Unless one is a successful author with readers waiting in line for a next book, finishing a manuscript is simply not a big deal. At least, it is not as big a deal to those friends and family and neighbors who know that you are writing a book because you–I–have been faithfully apprising them of the book’s progress for–in my case–ten years.

People are busy with their own lives.  Reading about my life is not an overwhelming priority. It is time to for me to move on, to go with what I have and believe for the best.  I should also keep in mind that it’s been so long since I’ve written some of this stuff that I would probably see my own “forest for the trees” writing as new content written by a stranger. Sentence structure, telling not showing, grammar, and other inconsistencies will probably pop out and I will be able to fix the problems immediately.

The moral of this story: Believe in your work, but do not expect other people to love your baby as much as you love your baby.