It’s not the 50+ yr.-old cabin that’s the most alluring reason for coming to Harper’s Ferry, WVA. It’s that my husband, John, both sons (Dan & Mark), and Dan’s wife (Emille) are here for the few precious days we have to clean all these windows and back deck, fix the broken down front fence posts, and clean out the weeds in the front yard. Sounds just about as unexciting as it is, I’m sure. But it has been exciting to see all this get done in just two days. Man, this crew can work like lightning! Everyone worked hard from sunup to sundown two days straight. Emille worked right alongside the guys and it was so impressive to watch them, like a well-oiled machine. Me? I cleaned the munge from the deck railings and took care of the cooking and cleaning. We weren’t working alone because John’s brother Steve, wife »
8/15… Writing a Sci-Fi is proving to be a serious challenge, even for my imagination. But it’s unforgettable excitement writing it with Dan and getting intellectual critiques and suggestions from Mark. When these two guys say they like the storyline, I know we’ve got something worth writing… and reading! And that makes it worth the brain strain.
7/14… Recording and recording again until it’s just perfect. Voice Over tutorials are a good way to get a feel for this industry. Gaining a new respect for voice over professionals. This is going to take a lot of time, many practices, and determination to endure… which, after recording the first chapter of Consuming Fire about 5 times, I’m not big on right now.
7/13… Finally, we’re in New Jersey and it’s great to see Dan and Emille. The work begins immediately after Dan gets home from work each day. Meanwhile, I’m watching YouTube tutorials and practicing on GarageBand, reading and rereading chapters until they’re good enough to please us all. John is painting their unit and doing a very meticulous job. He’s a great husband and father and their home is becoming brighter and cooler with the pale blue-grey color. Lots getting accomplished here!
7/12… I know our visit to New Jersey is not only for the purpose of catching up with our son and daughter-in-law, but for the purpose of getting some videos of interviews between Dan and me and also some videos of me reading first chapter excerpts of each of my books. I’m excited! Should be a great experience and I’m hoping I’ll learn a few things about doing voice overs. Now that would be an interesting career!
7/11 …. It’s nice to be on the road and we have a remarkably comfortable car that gets us 44 miles to the gallon. It’s a Prius V and this really isn’t an ad, but it really is a great car. Driving across country gives you a lot of time to think; I’m trying to decide whether to be relieved about retiring from teaching, or sad. I mean I hate the Marzano method of teaching – it’s turning the profession into more of a business that removes creativity in projects and appeals more to left-brained people. But I’ll definitely miss the students. Yes, the students are the main reason for teaching. What else could it be? In Florida, it certainly can’t be the money.
7/10… on our way out of West Virginia and into New York district (Union City, NJ, to be exact) to see Dan and Emille. He’s our older son who has become my editor and LLC partner. And let’s not forget, he’s in charge of my website and book promotions (perfect for his background degree and training in business and marketing). That’s quite a job and he works hard at it while maintaining a full time job in NYC. Whenever needed, his brother Mark is willing to help out and with his computer science background, they make a good team. Seems to me that something special should come of all our combined talents. Right?
7/9… trying to take pictures of Dan’s cool Alexa Silven cutout prop is harder than he makes it look! (Silven is the main character in my mystery- thriller trilogy about the fashion designer being blackmailed into moonlighting as an assassin. Her sharp-shooting skills in qualifying rounds for the Olympics brought this misery to her doorstep. That, and the stormy past she was desperate to keep “under wraps.”) Anyway, I can’t seem to keep my fingers out of the picture as I hold it out in front of me and snap pictures of Alexa in front of many of the places described in the novels. This cool prop is traveling all over the country. It’s really coming alive for me! Great work, Dan!!!
7/6, 7/7, and 7/8… these three days are filled with realtors and contractors advising us on which repairs are necessary in order to make the cabin sale-worthy. So far, we’ve been pleasantly surprised. After watching those “Love it or Leave it!” type shows, I was sort of concerned that once we started getting into repairs, we’d find other, more expensive repairs hiding behind walls, under the ceiling tiles, etc. Thank God! (I really do mean that!) that many repairs are apparently negligible. Every day, people float down the Shenandoah in tubes, kayaks, canoes, etc. Makes me wish I was doing the same rather than interviewing realtors or contractors in this hot cabin that’s missing central AC… oh well!
7/3… didn’t leave until 11 AM and arrived in Richmond, VA around 10:30 PM. That’s some hard driving, which we hope not to do again. It’s exhausting, but hopefully we’ll get this house on the market this time!