Monday, December 31, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good Morning, Joe. Ready for the new year?
JOE: I guess so. I plan to spend today organizing things so I can find them next year rather than tripping over them and having to search for them when I need them.
CALLIOPE: A noble aspiration. Do you plan to do your whole house?
JOE: That would be a bit much for me all at once. I think I will start with my writing room and do another perhaps once a week or so.
CALLIOPE: Sounds manageable. What did you do yesterday?
JOE: I had planned to work on marketing but ended up going to Unity Church in Rochester and having my grandson over to make cookies and watch him play video games.
CALLIOPE: Did you learn anything at Church?
JOE: Steve DeNunzio gave the lesson. He talked about context, stewardship and living in the now. All three topics were good reminders for me. I tend to spin my wheels sometimes.
CALLIOPE: How do his thoughts apply to your writing?
JOE: Sometimes I have to stop to think why I write or why anyone writes. Yesterday was a chance to consider these topics.
CALLIOPE: Why do you write?
JOE: To help people consider their lives. I do this with fiction as well as nonfiction. I thought I should make it part of the introduction to my writing so readers know what to expect and don't waste their time just looking to be entertained.
CALLIOPE: Noble of you. Do you think it is worth making an issue of it?
JOE: Yes. That's who I am. If people read my writing I want them to know they can expect to be invited to look at the human condition and their own lives in the process.
CALLIOPE: I will be interested to see how that works out.
JOE: So will I. On to cleaning and organizing.

(Nineteenth Century Church- Genesee Country Village)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. How are you this morning.
JOE: A tad impatient. I have been waiting for a while for my permissions for The Pastor's Inferno so I can get on with publishing it. So far no word.
CALLIOPE: Do you think it has to do with the time of year?
JOE: I think so. Not much seems to be getting done in publishing or with my Medicare health insurance which I am trying to finalize.
CALLIOPE: So what are you doing in the meantime?
JOE: Forging ahead with other work. Yesterday I got back to work on Marital Property. I realized I was a couple chapters ahead of where I should be and returned to fill in the missing chapters.
CALLIOPE: How did that happen?
JOE: I think I was trying to do too many things at once. I have been reviewing Young Man of the Cloth for revisions and formatting so I can publish it as soon as I get finished with The Pastor's Inferno.
CALLIOPE: Anything else going on?
JOE: I've been working a little on reading about marketing. I found quite a bit of information and am busy digesting it.
CALLIOPE: What plans do you have for the weekend?
JOE: Today I plan to work first on one of the chapters I overlooked. Then I plan to do a little editing on Young Man of the Cloth and then I will work some more on marketing ideas.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a full plate.
JOE: It is. I'd better get going before the day wastes away.

(Herb and spice market- Vigo, Spain)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Getting back into my routine.
CALLIOPE: What did you do yesterday?
JOE: I started with some work preparing Young Man of the Cloth for the second edition.
CALLIOPE: You haven't talked about that book in a while. What brings it to the forefront?
JOE: Two things. I think I could do better in sales through Booklocker than by myself since I don't have access to credit card processing at my web site.
CALLIOPE: And the other consideration?
JOE: I also think it helps with my platform for The Pastor's Inferno since it chronicles my history in the seminary and monastery.
CALLIOPE: How do you think that helps?
JOE: It gives credence to my novel since I have experienced the same seminary training my protagonist did and gives readers a real insight into seminary training and life.
CALLIOPE: I agree. When will you post it for sale?
JOE: I plan to send it in right after The Pastor's Inferno.
CALLIOPE: How's that coming?
JOE: I'm still waiting for the permissions from Norton. I sent them an email yesterday asking for an update but have not heard back yet. I guess it's a slow time of year.
CALLIOPE: For everyone except you apparently.
JOE: I guess you're right. I had better bet back to work while I have the momentum.
(Charlotte railroad bridge- Rochester, NY)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Fine. I attended the last of the Christmas parties last night and am ready to get on with the new year.
CALLIOPE: Did you get any writing done yesterday?
JOE: Yes. I did a chapter of Cynthia working on her homework list for the therapist.
CALLIOPE: What about today?
JO: This morning I plan to continue working on marketing and this afternoon another chapter, probably a therapy session.
CALLIOPE: That should be easy for you.
JOE: I expect so. But sometimes I find that scenes which are quite familiar in my own life are not so easy to write in fiction.
CALLIOPE: Why do you suppose that is?
JOE: I think my memory starts competing with my imagination and it is hard to focus on one without the other.
CALLIOPE: Interesting. How do you handle that?
JOE: I try not to worry about it and just write the best I can. I will sort out any conflicts later in my editing.
CALLIOPE: Sounds wise.
JOE: You have taught me something over the years. Well, off to work.

(St Michael's Cave- Gibraltar)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good afternoon, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon, Joe. I thought I would hear from you before now.
JOE: I tried sending you a post this morning. Just as I uploaded it, I got an error message and the whole post disappeared. I was not in the mood to try it again right away.
CALLIOPE: Frustrating. I would have been miffed too. How was your Christmas.
JOE: Very nice. I visited everyone who needed to be visited and enjoyed spending time with everyone.
CALLIOPE: Did you get a chance to do any writing.
JOE: As a matter of fact, I did write a family dinner chapter for Marital Property on Christmas Eve. I didn't think I would have time but did not want to go too long without writing.
CALLIOPE: Any word on The Pastor's Inferno?
JOE: No. I am still waiting for permission to use quotes from Norton. Maybe I will contact them tomorrow to see how it's coming.
CALLIOPE:What did you do today?
JOE: I have been working on research to find out more about internet book marketing.
CALLIOPE: Find anything interesting?
JOE: A lot of leads but they will need to be followed up.
CALLIOPE: Do you plan to write today?
JOE: I have a little time now and will at least start my next chapter, Cynthia's homework for her therapist. I had better get going before the sun goes down.

(Fishing boats- Cascais, Portugal)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. I thought you had left early for your cruise.
JOE: I'm waiting for February for that.
CALLIOPE: Where have you been?
JOE: I have been most of my efforts into writing and publishing lately. I had to take some time out to prepare for Christmas.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: Wrapping and sending presents, attending the Rochester Philharmonic Christmas Pops Concert and dining with friends, as well as baking and visiting people and, less interesting, finalizing my Medicare coverage which starts in a few days.
CALLIOPE: Do you have all that out of your system now?
JOE: Not quite. I have family gatherings tonight and tomorrow.
CALLIOPE: What about the rest of today?
JOE: You will be glad to know that my next matter of attention when I finish here is to do some writing in Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: Glad to hear that. I thought it was on the shelf.
JOE: God forbid. I hated to take time off, but I could not find a way to delay Christmas. I'm not quit that fanatical to have to write every day and people be damned.
CALLIOPE:I guess it's good you are keeping some perspective. Better get back to work before the parties start again.
JOE: Agreed. I'm on it.

(Cognac still- Tio Pepe- Herez, Spain)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Good. I have already been busy.
CALLIOPE: Doing what?
JOE: I started working on preparing my earlier book, Young Man of the Cloth for publication with some revisions.
CALLIOPE: What prompted that?
JOE: I wrote it partly for myself and partly as a lead-in to The Pastor's Inferno.
CALLIOPE: You didn't experience any sexual abuse in the seminary, did you?
JOE: No. But since I had experience as a seminarian, I thought it fit in as a way to demonstrate my understanding of what it was like in writing The Pastor's Inferno.
CALLIOPE: That makes sense. Did you learn anything this morning?
JOE: Yes. I learned to appreciate how far I have come in preparing for publication, especially in formatting. I also prepared a table of contents which formerly eluded and frustrated me.
CALLIOPE: See what happens with practice?
JOE: I do. Now on to today's activities.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: I am pretty busy with psychology today. I have an evaluation, one regular session and a board meeting to attend today. I would also like to get in some exercise.
CALLIOPE: What about writing?
JOE: I am hoping to have some time. I am in the middle of a chapter right now.
CALLIOPE: Do you think it is a good idea to end your day's writing in the middle of a chapter?
JOE: I do. I find it harder to start on a new section. If I leave off in the middle of a chapter, it is easier to pick up my train of thought and continue without a lot of deliberation. Well, on with the day's activities.

(Waiting for the train- London)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Ready to get to work.
CALLIOPE: What's on your agenda today?
JOE: I will be off to Tonawanda shortly to do some police candidate evaluations which I do periodically. I probably won't be back until about noon. I hope to go to the Y for a workout and then work on Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: What about The Pastor's Inferno?
JOE: Glad you asked. Yesterday I completed a final review of the manuscript. I also sent a post to the Library of Congress and learned I was registered to apply for a Library of Congress number for The Pastor's Inferno. I was registered in 2004 and didn't realize my registration was still good.
CALLIOPE: So did you apply for it?
JOE: Not only that. I had my number in hand an hour lately. This is the fastest I have ever seen a government agency do anything.
CALLIOPE: What about the quote permissions?
JOE: I was just about to call Norton for an update when I received an email requesting clarification of my request. At least I know an actual human is working on it. As soon as I get it, I will send in the manuscript.
CALLIOPE: Did you get any writing done on Marital Property?
JOE: I finished the chapter I was working on and started the next one. I think the manuscript is coming along well. Time to head for Tonawanda.
(Book signing at Liftbridge Books, Brockport, NY)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Fine. I was just working on setting up Pagemaker for The Pastor's Inferno.
CALLIOPE: How is that going?
JOE: I got the page set up fine but am having trouble with the directions for formatting headers and footers as well as the gutter.
CALLIOPE: Sounds frustrating.
JOE: Maybe it's too early in the morning for such fiddling.
CALLIOPE: How did yesterday go?
JOE: Quite well. I did some editing of The Pastor's Inferno and am getting toward the end. I sent an email to the Library of Congress about my LCCN since they did not reply to my request from the end of November. I also finished the chapter I was working on in Marital Property. I also wrote my Christmas column and baked some cookies.
CALLIOPE: Can I see the column?
JOE: I would be happy to show it to you but can't until Saturday when it is published. First serial rights, you know.
CALLIOPE: I understand. I will be looking forward to it. What's on the docket for today.
JOE: Other than beef barley soup for tonight, I will be following my usual routine of editing in the morning and writing in the afternoon.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you have the day planned.
JOE: I do and I am ready to get at it.
Calliope: Don't let me hold you back.
Joe: Okay, I'm at it.

(Main Street bench- Batavia, NY)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe, What's new today?
JOE: Not much new. Just a lot of unfinished business.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: Well, there's the novel I'm writing, the one I'm working on getting published and getting together Christmas presents.
CALLIOPE: Let's start with Marital Property.
JOE: On Saturday I had planned to at least finish the current chapter I'm working on but didn't get to it. It's in my plan for today.
CALLIOPE: Okay, how about The Pastor's Inferno?
JOE: The final edit is coming along well. I am currently debating whether to submit it as a Word or Pagemaker document. Booklocker seems to prefer Word but I think the layout and spacing is better with Pagemaker. My current inclination is to submit it in Pagemaker converted to PDF.
CALLIOPE: You're getting pretty technical.
JOE: When you hang around long enough you learn all sorts of things.
CALLIOPE: Is that all you have in the works?
JOE: I am still waiting for permission from Norton to use the quotes at the beginning of my chapters. Maybe I will call them and see how its coming. I also requested a Library of Congress number a while ago (LCCN) but have not heard from them. I should contact them as well for an update. Then of course are Christmas presents. I have some things gathered but am in the midst of baking cookies as well.
CALLIPE: You sound like you have your hands full. I had better let you get back to work.
JOE: Good idea. Talk with you later.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. What are you up to this morning?
JOE: With some sense of guilt, I have decided to take off a day from writing.
CALLIOPE: Why the day off?
JOE: I have some Christmas gifts and baking to work on, especially for a party Carol and I are having tonight.
CALLIOPE: Okay. Why the guilt?
JOE: I am afraid I will lose momentum. I have been keeping up a steady pace all week.
CALLIOPE: What did you do yesterday?
JOE: I continued working on my fine tooth come final edit for The Pastor's Inferno. I also wrote most of the next chapter for Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: Not finished?
JOE: No. It was about Dennis and Cynthia at the counselor for the first time. It took some thought as well as writing and did not go as fast as I had hoped. However I think this is a pivotal chapter and I wanted to get it right.
CALLIOPE: Are you happy with it?
JOE: So far. Maybe I will try to finish it later today if I have time.
CALLIOPE: Maybe that will assuage your guilt. Any word about permissions for your quotes?
JOE: Not yet. I am a little anxious to have them in hand, but then I might rush the final edit. I guess there is a purpose for everything.
(My grandson Joey making Russian Tea Cakes)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. How goes it this morning.
JOE: Pretty good. I read the newspaper, have had breakfast and did a crossword puzzle. I think my mind is coming to life.
CALLIOPE: Good. Tell me about yesterday.
JOE: I worked on the final edit for The Pastor's Inferno, got some exercise and wrote another chapter of Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you are keeping busy. What chapter did you write?
JOE: It was some action following the morning argument, with Dennis tracking down a marriage counselor and discussing it with Cynthia.
CALLIOPE: How did that go?
JOE: I think pretty good. They are both frustrated enough to try about anything. Their lack of ability to communicate is becoming more evident even to them.
CALLIOPE: Did you plan to have them seek counseling?
JOE: Not really. I knew it was a possibility but I let them decide for themselves. Sometimes people are surprised when I talk about letting my characters decide what to do.
CALLIOPE: I don't see why. Trying to force them to act a certain way just makes them more difficult to write about. Sometimes they will just stonewall you and refuse to do anything.
JOE: I'm aware of that, especially with these two headstrong characters. They are going to do what they want to do or nothing at all. I guess I better see what they are up to today.
(Joey and Greg on the bulldozer)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Having my coffee while we converse and ready for another day.
CALLIOPE: How did yesterday go?
JOE: Better than expected. I worked on proofing The Pastor's Inferno in the morning, did my errands in Rochester mid-day and wrote another chapter of Marital Property in the afternoon.
CALLIOPE: Sounds pretty productive.
JOE: It was. I wasn't sure I would get it all done but I did.
CALLIOPE: What did you write about yesterday?
JOE: Dennis and Cynthia had an argument about sex, the one part of their relationship that seemed to be going fairly well.
CALLIOPE: What prompted that?
JOE: The story was going along too smoothly. It is about marital conflict and they were getting a little too chummy.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like the story needed a few sparks.
JOE: I thought so. Now there is more grist for the mill.
CALLIOPE: So what's up today?
JOE: About the same as yesterday: editing in the morning, the Y at noon and writing in the afternoon. I will also attend my last Chamber of Commerce meeting tonight.
JOE: I have retired pretty much from my psychology practice and will not need my chamber membership next year since it will not help with my insurance costs once I switch to Medicare. Another chapter in my life completed.
(Sunset at Sea-St. Lucia)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. How did the dinner go last night?
JOE: Both the bread and soup were very well received. I was relieved.
JOE: Last week I couldn't bake to save my life. On Thursday I burned a loaf of bread, in an automatic bread machine no less. On Saturday, my cranberry bread was a flop literally, only two inches high. My attempt at Russian tea cakes yielded a baking pan with one big flat cookie. I must admit the crumbles were good on ice cream, but not what I intended.
CALLIOPE: To what do you attribute the difficulty?
JOE: I think I was so absorbed in the process of getting signed up with Booklocker that I was good for nothing in the kitchen. It's the first time I can remember being good only for writing. I guess there are times when my passion overtakes me. I spent most of yesterday working on various publishing and writing tasks.
CALLIOPE: Did you do any work on Marital Property?
JOE: Cynthia woke up and spent a whole chapter in bed thinking about developments in her marriage.
CALLIOPE: And today?
JOE: I plan to work on a final edit of The Pastor's Inferno this morning. I have to go to Rochester on a couple of errands a little later. I am hoping to be back this afternoon to write another chapter of Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a plan.
JOE: I'm excited about it and ready to get going.

(The attic)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good afternoon, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon, Joe. What have you been up to all day?
JOE: Carol and I are entertaining tonight. I volunteered to make beef barley soup and cracked wheat bread. I have been busy with these creations. I also had to renew some prescriptions.
CALLIOPE: Any work on your writing?
JOE: I designed the cover for The Pastor's Inferno. I don't have the specs yet and will have to wait until I have my interior copy ready so I can determine the width of the spine.
CALLIOPE: Sounds complicated.
JOE: It is a little but I have been through it twice before with my other books. It's not as difficult now as it first seemed.
CALLIOPE: What about actual writing?
JOE: Yesterday I did some work finalizing the copy for The Pastor's Inferno but am not finished. Later in the afternoon I wrote another chapter of Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: Is it hard to switch back and forth?
JOE: It probably would be if I were trying to write both at the same time. But it's not so difficult to switch from editing one book to writing another.
CALLIOPE: The day is waning. Do you plan to do any writing today.
JOE: I have just enough time for a chapter of Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: You had better get to it.
JOE: That's where I'm headed.

(Alley's Store- Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good Morning Joe. What have you been up to.
JOE: Yesterday I participated in an Author Extravaganza at Lift Bridge Bookstore in Brockport. Fortunately, I did not have unrealistic expectations about selling vast amounts of books.
CALLIOPE: What did you accomplish?
JOE: I met some new authors and some I knew before and had a chance to talk a little about publishing. I also read a selection from my book, Commonsense Wisdom for Everyday Life.
CALLIOPE: You seem to be running a little late this morning. What have you been doing?
JOE: I called Norton to make sure they held the copyright to passages I want to quote from the Signet verson of Dante's Inferno. They do. I have also been formatting my book for submission to Booklocker. I think the biggest holdup might be permission for the quotes which Norton's website states will be up to six weeks.
CALLIOPE: So you should have it ready for submission by the time you receive the permissions.
JOE: I should.
CALLIOPE: So what about Marital Property?
JOE: Now that I have things figured out for submission of The Pastor's Inferno, my plan is to work on The Pastor's Inferno in the morning and then on Marital Property in the afternoon.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good plan.
JOE: Glad you approve. I better get back to work.
(The Ernestina- New Bedford MA)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good day, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: I guess I will let that slide. It's still the noon hour. What's up?
JOE: I signed a contract with Booklocker for my novel, The Pastor's Inferno. I read through everything and think it is for the best.
CALLIOPE: No more pursuing traditional publishing?
JOE: Not for now anyway. I felt like I was spinning my wheels for quite a while with very little hope on the horizon.
CALLIOPE: What about marketing?
JOE: Therein lies the rub. It will be a big challenge for me but I found quite a bit of information on the Booklocker website regarding internet marketing. I have quite a bit of other information collected as well.
CALLIOPE: Do you think it will work?
JOE: I don't know. But Steven Covey was famous for saying, "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got."
CALLIOPE: Good point. So now what?
JOE: I am working on permissions for the quotes I included in the book. Then I will have to format the manuscript for submission.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like another challenge.
JOE: Maybe so, but I think it's more manageable than searching the highways and byways for an agent.

(Traffic light- City Island, New York)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good afternoon, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon, Joe. Where have you been all day?
JOE: Getting refocused. Yesterday I finally sent out an agent query I had been working on for some time. Within fifteen minutes I had a rejection.
CALLIOPE: So what did you conclude from that?
JOE: That I am wasting my time with traditional publishing. I worked hard to craft good query letters and took pains to carefully choose and research the agents I approached. Yet not a glimmer of interest from any of them.
CALLIOPE: You sound miffed.
JOE: I am a little. It leaves me wondering what I need to do to get access to the traditional publishing world. I have been speculating that I either need to be famous or have a personal recommendation from someone an agent trusts. Another possibility is that the topic of The Pastor's Inferno is too emotionally charged for them to risk.
CALLIOPE: Have any of them given you any indication why they would not look at your work?
JOE: Not one. It would be nice to know what the reason is and then I could address it. But no dice.
CALLIOPE: So now what?
JOE: I have decided to further explore print on demand and am looking at a couple POD publishers. I spent the rest of yesterday and today researching them.
CALLIOPE: So no writing yesterday?
JOE: No. I was a bit obsessed with the publishing concerns. I don't know if I will get back to writing today, but I am ready to write the next chapter and will do so tomorrow if I don't get to it today.

(Rocky Mountains- Colorado)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. Glad to see you're up and at 'em early.
JOE: I have been busy. I finished cataloging my photos so I can decide which ones to offer for sale.
CALLIOPE: What about yesterday?
JOE: I worked on the photos and finished another chapter in Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: What was the chapter about?
JOE: Dennis and Cynthia went out for coffee and dessert at a fancy restaurant and for the first time talked about their marriage and what to do about it.
CALLIOPE: Did they resolve anything?
JOE: Of course not. If they did the book would have to end there. But they did decide to get some help with deciding whether to continue their marriage.
CALLIOPE: Good. A new development. What's on the docket for today?
JOE: Exploring ways for them to get help. I also have bread to bake for tonight and some running around to do. I am getting a little low on ink and need to print some more Christmas brochures.
CALLIOPE: What's the bread for?
JOE: Carol and I are going to bring salad and bread to her niece's house to eat before we go to a concert by Bonerama- a group of trombones we missed at the Rochester Jazz Festival last July.
CALLIOPE: Have fun. A little music might inspire you.
JOE: I hope so. I have been listening to light classical music as I work at the computer and think it has made me a little more prolific and focused.
(Aquinnah Lighthouse-Martha's Vineyard)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. What's up today?
JOE: My brain was feeling a little fuzzy this morning. I spent some lazy time with the paper, tried coffee and finally had to resort to a crossword puzzle and a sudoku.
CALLIOPE: Did that wake you up?
JOE: Yes. I think I am finally ready for the day.
CALLIOPE: What did you accomplish yesterday.
JOE: I don't think I told you about my trip to the WC Handyside Art Store in Wyoming. I have two books for sale there on consignment and took some of my Christmas booklets down last week for them to sell. I got to talking with the owner, Diane, and she said she might have a market for some of my digital photos. To make a long story a little longer, I was working on selecting some photos to take to her yesterday. I also wrote my column on life's mysteries and sent it in this morning.
CALLIOPE: I see. Any progress with the novel?
JOE: Yes. I wrote another chapter, this one about the two children having dinner with their father while their mother was still not back home from her visit with her sister in Scituate.
CALLIOPE: You are keeping up a pretty good pace. Do you have a writing goal for today?
JOE: I would like to complete the next chapter which will consist of an awkward conversation between the parents on what to do about their relationship.
CALLIOPE: Do you expect them to come to any conclusion?
JOE: No. Not right away. I want to point out their differences in looking at their problems and how it inhibits their finding a way to approach them.
CALLIOPE: Where is that headed?
JOE: Sooner or later, I think one or both of them will get less stubborn and they will find a way to start talking.
CALLIOPE: How do you expect that to happen?
JOE: That's their problem. I will just keep writing and follow the story. You might want to plant a few hints in their minds.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good afternoon, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon, Joe. I was wondering if you would show up today.
JOE: I had full intentions of getting here. I started by shoveling some snow this morning. Then I had to cancel my writers' meeting tonight in light of iffy weather. I also finished my column for Saturday. Now here I am.
CALLIOPE: Better late than never. What about your writing yesterday?
JOE: I finished the chapter between Dennis and his attorney, essentially a business meeting about the business of divorce, befitting both of their personalities.
CALLIOPE: So he is finished with New Bedford and on the way back to Martha's Vineyard?
JOE: He is.
CALLIOPE: What's next?
JOE: I think it's time for a family meeting where everyone can share their points of view and concerns.
CALLIOPE: What do you expect that to accomplish?
JOE: Nothing definite, I want to use it to show how the different personalities each create different perceptions. No one can resolve the issues on their own. They must find a way to bridge their differences.
CALLIOPE: How do you expect that to happen.
JOE: Maneat videri as we used to say in Latin. It remains to be seen. I was hoping you might have some ideas and let me know through my characters.
CALLIOPE: Kind of you to ask. I'll get to work on it and see what I can come up with.
JOE: Good. I'll get to work on the next chapter.

(Hy-Line Ferry)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. What's new?
JOE: First, what's old. On Saturday, I somehow added my ISP homepage to my restricted sites. I fiddled with it and finally got it restored this morning. So I was back where I started.
CALLIOPE: The joys of technology. What about the book?
JOE: I finished the chapter between Cynthia and her sister in Scituate. I also prepared background information for Dennis's meeting with his attorney, although I might need to look up a few more things about the process of divorce in Massechusetts.
CALLIOPE: Is he going to file for divorce?
JOE: I don't really know. I haven't written that far yet. I don't think he is quite at that point but as you know characters tend to tell their own story, perhaps with a little help from you.
CALLIOPE: I do know. I was just wondering if you did.
JOE: I learned that a while ago. There is no point in trying to make characters do anything. The story just grinds to a halt or becomes untenable in some other way.
CALLIOPE: Respect the will of your characters. Anything new on the publishing front?
JOE: Not really. I tell anyone who is willing to listen that I am in search of an agent. I guess it never hurts. I have not heard from either of my contacts. I think I might have a phone number for my publishing friend. I might call him if I can find it and work up the nerve.
CALLIOPE: What's the alternative?
JOE: Keep working on agents on my own and try to be more specific as well as creative in my query letters.
CALLIOPE: Any other possibilities.
JOE: One. I will be at the author extravaganza at Lift Bridge Books in Brockport next Sunday afternoon. There will be a bunch of other authors present and I will seek out their advice and possibly contact information.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you have a plan for this week.
JOE: I do. I also have a column to write on Life's Mysteries. I tried working on it yesterday but it is harder than I thought. Time to get to work.

(Vineyard Haven Harbor- Martha's Vineyard)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. You're up early this morning.
JOE: Don't be sly. You know you woke me up at three this morning.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about it.
JOE: When I woke up at that hour, my mind was filled with images for my novel as well as for my column on life's mysteries. More images seemed to be fighting to get into my mind.
CALLIOPE: I thought you were struggling a bit lately to find ideas so I decided you needed a new supply. What do you think we muses do all night?
JOE: I appreciate it but I was a little surprised. What made you realize I needed some help.
CALLIOPE: Watching you struggle to write your current chapter of Marital Property. I saw the research you did on the fast ferry to Hyannis and your description of Cynthia getting across Nantucket Sound only to realize that she wasn't headed for Hyannis and that the sister she planned to visit lived in Scituate even though you did research on Scituate earlier that day. You seemed to be working so hard you confused yourself.
JOE: I'm glad someone noticed. It's hard for anyone to know what happens in my mind sitting here at the computer.
CALLIOPE: In the past, you have sometimes written longhand. Maybe that would be a good idea once in a while to give you a change of pace and get away from the pressure you put on yourself.
JOE: I tink you are right. I will try to pay more attention to my level of stress. I don't feel any this morning and couldn't wait to discuss last night with you.
CALLIOPE: You couldn't?
JOE: A figure of speech. Obviously I didn't bound out of bed in the middle of the night to talk with you although it did occur to me.
CALLIOPE: I'm glad you did this morning. Do you think you have all the ideas still in your head.
JOE: Most of them. I was a bit lazy and should have at least taken some notes last night.
CALLIOPE: You might want to try it next time.
JOE: I might indeed.

(Mill Wharf Restaurant- Scituate, MA)