I have been remiss. Twice I have started a blog and let it die of malnutrition. Now the news is stale and the memories faded. We’ve had a lovely autumn up here in ‘God’s Country’ and I had begun to share my feelings about the time and place so dear to me. I live on the western edges of Hibbing and across the street I am blessed with with an imagery of olden times. Years ago, in the days of intense iron ore mining, the overburden of earth was transported some distance away from the ore digging sites–a labor intensive process creating massive ‘dumps’ that span the Mesabi Range landscape. The mesa-like dump across the abandoned railroad line from my house is a constant reminder of our heritage and keeps me always connected to the past. Although heavily overgrown now, I’ve found writing inspiration from what has become my ‘little mountain’. The first blog that died on my computer told of my feelings while hiking up there one gorgeous fall afternoon about a month ago.
The second mini-story that went unpublished occurred two weeks ago on an equally Sunday afternoon. Gail and I spent an afternoon walking the abandoned beach at Sturgeon lake (McCarthy Beach State Park) northwest of town. The stillness of the lake and quiet air was as peaceful as only nature can bless us with. Watching a pair of eagles swooping and gliding above the stately pines put us in touch with God’s creative wonderment. This blog also was abandoned when the urgency of Monday matters prevailed.
The Monday matters are the topic of this morning’s blog. One might think that the arrival of a newly published book would be a mundane happening by now. ‘The Last Moran’, my ninth novel, is a new challenge and will consume my time for the next few months. I’ve said many times that the writing of book is a creative adventure and a passion for me . . . however, the marketing of the new book is as tedious and time-consuming as it is necessary. When stacking twenty-six cases (nearly forty pounds each) on my storage shelves I begin to feel the daunting stress of sales–my only means of recouping some of the production costs. Oh, yes . . . there are many, many, cases of previous books that are neighbors of the newly arrived family. That’s where I have been for two weeks and where I am this morning–Wednesday, November 5th: wondering and hoping. This afternoon I will have my first book-signing event at Howard Street Booksellers in downtown Hibbing from 2:00-4:00. Locally, I was buoyed by a wonderful story about ‘The Last Moran’ in Sunday’s Hibbing Tribune (Kelly Grinsteinner always gives my new books a great plug) so I’m off to a pretty good start. On Saturday I’ll be at the ‘ADK Annual Craft Fair’ at the Hibbing Armory . . . thus beginning a two-month series of events that will have me hustling to take advantage of the Christmas gifting season. (I’ll list my events to date at the end of my blog). Add to this, the promotional efforts of trying to get the word out through all and every media outlet that will give me a blurb–I have no advertising budget! Believe me, marketing is the most challenging thing I do and I’m not very good at it.
A final few words. ‘The Last Moran’ is a very good story–maybe even better than last years ‘The Sons of Marella Windsong’. I’ve dedicated the new book to my readers who have always provided me with the inspiration to keep doing what I’m doing.
Promotional events and book signings:
Nov. 5: Howard Street Booksellers (2:00-4:00)
Nov. 8: ADK Fall Basaar at the Hibbing Armory (9:00-5:00)
Nov. 14: Toner Planet, Hibbing (10:00-2:00)
Nov. 15: Village Books, Central Mall/Grand Rapids (Noon-2:00)
Nov. 16: Barnes and Noble, Duluth/Miller Hill Mall (1:00-3:00)
Nov. 29: Lakes and Pines Craft Fair Sawmill Inn/Grand Rapids (10:4:00)
Dec. 5-6: Mesaba Mall/Hibbing (10-4:00
Dec 11: Aurora Library ‘Open House’ (2:00-4:00)
Dec. 12-13: Irongate Plaza/Hibbing (10-4:00)
*I’m still working on other events . . . especially the Twin Cities Barnes and Noble stores.
** ‘The Last Moran’ should be available as an E-book (Kindle) later this week.
As with most of our endeavors, “we get by with a little help from our friends”.
More important than the above stuff, I’d like to ask your prayers for my daughter in Florida as she copes with difficult times. Thanks and God bless . . .