Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Discovery -- Josephine Sculpture Park

Sometimes there are points of interest practically right under our nose. Such was the case for me when I ventured about four miles from my home in Frankfort, Ky.,  to visit the Josephine Sculpture Park.

I live  in  a town rich in history, being the capital of Kentucky. But for some inexplicable reason, I never visited the sculpture park, even though I've lived here for nearly 16 years (it didn't become a public park until 2009).



So on one warm pre-spring morning, I decided to drive to park and see what it had to offer. It was bigger and better than I expected.

According to the park's website, JSP is named after Josephine VanHouten, who owned a farm from which the park is located, off Lawrenceburg Road. Her granddaughter, Melanie, is the artistic director.

Josephine Sculpture Park spreads over about 20 acres, south of town, divided into four sections—Queen Anne's Meadow, Native Hill, Eastern Ridge, and Walnut Grove.

As I walked on the quiet paths from one section to the other, I looked at the 40 or so sculptures and murals that adorn the public park. As for the art, some I liked, some not so much, but it was still a feast for the eyes to discover a park devoted to artistic expression.


Visitors Center
The park also has a primitive amphitheater for performing arts, visitors center, and during the year hosts workshops, field trips concerts, exhibits and more. It is also pet-friendly and smoke-free.

I'll be making return trips, with my dogs, to stroll about the park now that spring has finally arrived and the weather will be warmer.



I plan to discover more sites close to home in the coming months.

Until the next time. . . .

Info:
Josephine Sculpture Park
3355 Lawrenceburg Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
www.josephinesculpturepark.org
Phone: 502-352-7082

Friday, March 10, 2017

EPIC Finalist

I hope you don't mind me tooting my own horn but I was notified this week that my novel, "Old Ways and New Days," is a finalist in the 2017 EPIC eBooks Awards category of contemporary fiction.


What is EPIC? It's the Electronic Publishing Internet Coaliton—the "voice of ePublishing since 1998." The organization has been around since the beginning of digital books.

A fellow author at Wings ePress, Suzanne Hurley, is a finalist in the young reader category for "The Teddy Bear Eye Club." Read more about the organization here.

EPIC also has competition for best book covers—Ariana Awards—in 10 categories. Check them out as well to see some impressive artwork.

This is a wonderful organization for small presses, indie authors, illustrators and others in the industry, providing a great voice in the world of publishing. I encourage authors and publishing houses to become an EPIC member.

The organization will hold its annual convention—EPICon— June 16-17 in San Antonio, Texas.

I'm also excited about the recognition because the sequel to "Old Ways and New Days" will be published this year. And I'll soon be working on the third book in the series in the next few weeks. My novels are also available in print.

I'll keep you posted when the winners are announced. For me, it's already a win-win regardless of the outcome.

Until the next time. . . .









Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Justin Hayward -- Wind of Heaven Tour

I spent an enchanted evening on Valentine's Day, attending Justin Hayward's "Wind of Heaven Tour," at the Lexington Opera House.

Hayward, along with virtuoso guitarist Mike Dawes and multi-talented keyboardist/background singer Julie Ragins, performed 14 songs, a mix of Hayward's solo efforts and  Moody Blues' standards. 
Justin Hayward


Hayward, who turned 70 last October, delivered heartfelt and emotional ballads as well as a few uptempo tunes from his vast catalog of music. I'm not sure his voice has improved with age (he was at the top of his game during the Moodies' core seven era from 1967-72), but there is still the sincerity and honesty in his voice that has connected with music lovers for more than a half-century. 




Mike Dawes, Justin Hayward and Julie Ragins
Appropriately, Hayward opened with "Tuesday Afternoon" and closed with the timeless "Nights in White Satin," followed by an encore "I Know You're Out There Somewhere," to an appreciative audience of 800 or so fans.

Among the other songs were "The Best Is Yet to Come," "One Day, Someday," "In Your Blue Eyes," and "Forever Autumn."

Mike Dawes
The concert started with Dawes playing several awe-inspiring instrumentals before Hayward took the stage. Dawes certainly has to rank as one of the best guitarists with what he can do with the instrument. 

This marked the first time I've seen Hayward without his MB mates. I've seen the Moodies nine times, dating back to 1971 in Kansas City. I've never been disappointed.


This year is the 50th anniversary of the Moodies' groundbreaking "Days of Future Passed" album,  which the group is commemorating with a tour this summer.

Until the next time. . .

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Progress Report -- Manuscript Completed

My work in progress is a completed manuscript. It's now in the hands of my editor.

Since my last post, the manuscript went through two more reviews involving editing, spell check, minor rewrites, and proofreads. The word count is 93,300.

It also has a working title, but please forgive me for not disclosing it right now. Throughout the process, beginning with the first draft, I tried to come up with a title to reflect the story. It's funny how one can write more than 93k words and have difficulty coming up with four or five for a title.

As I've mentioned, in numerous posts, the novel is a sequel to "Old Ways and New Days." In a few weeks, I plan to start on the third book in the series. It's contemporary mainstream, under the Boomer Lit genre.

But for right now, I plan to take a short breather (taking in a Justin Hayward concert tonight), and then be ready to work with my editor and publisher on various and sundry items to turn the words into a published book.

Until the next time. . .

 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Progress Report -- Sixth Draft Completed

I thought I would be completed with my manuscript by now.  My first self-imposed deadline was December 31. Then January 31. Now it's February 9 and I'm still not finished. But almost.

If everything goes as planned, I'll send the novel-to-be off to my editor this weekend.

Despite slashing paragraphs, sentences, and words, the manuscript has grown to 93.5K words. Perhaps I can whittle away some when I go over it one more time.

As I do with every draft, I wrote down the problem areas that need to be addressed. I even highlighted the passages in red as well as the page numbers so I won't have to spend an inordinate amount of time finding them.

I am closer to a title. Actually, I have three possibilities. I consider that progress as well as I've been stumped on coming up with those important words to reflect the story as well as entice the reader.

That's it for now.

Until the next time. . . 

 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Progress Report -- Fifth Draft Completed

It's Groundhog Day in the United States, and I've completed the fifth draft of my boomer lit manuscript.

This is not Punxsutawney Phil
I'm not sure what the connection is, other than Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter, while I see daylight for my work in progress. It's not going to take me another 42 days before I hand over my novel-to-be to my editor. It will be more like six days, if not sooner.

Despite trimming scenes, eliminating a couple subplots, fixing typos, correcting grammar, tightening dialogue, and a few other things, the manuscript increased to 92,301 words, about 360 more than after the fourth draft. 

As noted in my last post, I printed the manuscript so I could give it a more in-depth read. I gave my red pen a good workout. And, quite frankly, I'm tired of looking at it with a critical eye. It's about time to move on with it.

I'll go over the manuscript one more time, including another spell check, before I release it into the hands of my smart and savvy editor. She'll find some things, a few I simply overlooked, because I'm reading into passages what my brain tells me is there but really isn't. That's another reason you need a pair of fresh eyes—preferably on someone else's head. 

Until the next time . . .


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Progress Report -- Fourth Draft Completed

I've finished the fourth draft of my work in progress. I believe my self-imposed deadline of Jan. 31 is an achievable goal. 

The manuscript is nearly 92,000 words; an increase of about 5k after the third draft. Will it continue to grow? Possibly, but my focus in the fifth rewrite will be to trim excess narrative and dialogue, remove pointless subplots, correct typos, fix grammatical mistakes, and rewrite anything that hinders the flow of the story.

The first thing I did, after completing the latest draft, was to print it. Coming from a background in the news business, I like marking up hard copy (preferably with a red pen) and being able to physically flip pages, rather than going back and forth with pages on a computer screen, while editing. I sometimes lose a sense of direction on the computer, especially after several rewrites.

If things go well, and I'm crossing my fingers, I'll have two more reads on the copy before sending it to my editor.  

And if not, I'll continue to work on the manuscript until I'm completely satisfied that it's ready for an  editor's eyes. 

Until the next time. . .