Becoming an Author

Have I told you about the perils of blogging? Ever since Labor Day, I've been sending you a post each week, not knowing that they were not being delivered by the mailing service. Some were; some weren't. If blogging sounds simple, trust me, it's not. In the meantime, my apologies for those who missed the posts. Essentially, subscribers were not getting Sunday morning updates via email, yet those who are Facebook friends could read the posts ton Facebook. What a hot mess. But now, looking to put that behind me, let me belatedly say welcome back! Sorry it's taken this long. Here's the first one you missed.

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Summer slipped away faster than water down a bathtub drain. I've never been a fan of summer, not even as a child. Childhood summers meant hot humid days dripping with boredom and weeks spent not doing much of anything at all, other than goofing off.  On a good day, the arts and crafts teacher might show up in the school yard to teach us how to make potholders on small looms. My potholder came out real nice, so I gave it to my grandmother at Christmas. She said she really needed a new potholder, that her last one had caught fire.

On a really good summer day, my mom, who didn't know how to drive, might pack us a picnic lunch and we climbed on the No. 7 trolley, baby carriage and all, and went to Tibbets Brook Park where they had the largest swimming pool I;d ever seen. But if my mom was pressed for time, we might push the baby in his carriage down the block and across Bronx River Road and the parkway to reach the banks of the river for a wade and a splash. You can see from the picture that the river's more like a brook than a river, not all that deep. Still I loved lying there, dreaming that I was floating downstream on a giant lily pad, floating right past my grandmother's house in the Bronx, right past the rest of the Bronx and right out to sea. Once I reached the Atlantic Ocean, I was free. Which is why I was one of those kids who couldn't wait for school to begin each year.

Île Saint-Louis ...

Île Saint-Louis ...

As for the summer of 2015,  it's been a steep learning curve, with so many issues swirling around the publication of my memoir, Veronica's Grave. I don't know where the weeks have gone, no less the days. In an article I was reading recently, the writer suggested 'the brain loves novelty.'  If so, mine must be having a field day, doing backward flips.

High on the list of things that needed doing was coming up with a title and a cover. On these matters, the entire team—editor, Elizabeth Kracht at Kimberley Cameron & Associates ; publisher Brooke Warner of She Writes Press; proofreader Megan Rynott; and editorial manager Lauren Wise at Spark-point Studio—weighed in. As did the talented book cover designer, Julie Metz, who came up with an inspired idea.

Still, no matter how much has been accomplished, it pales by comparison with what needs doing. Facing me every morning, pinned to a cork-board behind the computer, is a list of 50+ items that need to be checked off before the publication date, May 9, 2016.  Here's a sampling:

No.1 Create an author website... No.2  Start a blog.

From first hand experience I know that creating a website requiring monthly maintenance and updating, is a huge undertaking. As is writing and maintaining a blog. Witness what happened with the newsletter mailings last month, where they didn't go out for weeks. It's a fact that 85 percent of those who start blogging give it up within the year. What's more, it's an expensive proposition when you tally the costs of hosting a blog, custom programming, troubleshooting and more.  Much more.

When seeing that list for the first time, I thanked my lucky stars I had started the website and blog last year. It's taken that long to feel comfortable with the basics of operating a powerful WordPress website. Hurriedly, I checked off the first two boxes, only to have my eyes come to a full stop. 

No. 3 Build your social media platform

Gasp! Building a social media platform is a herculean process. And that's where you come in! You see, each time you 'like' a page or 'share' a post, you’re helping me to get my message out on social media. And you're doing a great job, for which I'm grateful. Indeed, according to Facebook, the last post on the Memorial Day weekend—do you remember the one on Van Gogh, the Frick Museum and Brasserie Cognac East?—had over 900 views and 125 shares. That's fantastic!  So, mes amis, keep up the good work. And don’t be stingy with the 'likes and 'shares'.

Thankfully, summer wasn't all work and no play. Not at all. For there was Paris in June, the weather sublime and the art shows captivating. As was seeing the Eiffel Tower all over again, strolling the Seine (even brides do it), and late-lunching at a lively brasserie at the tip of Île Saint-Louis, steps from the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Here's a teaser, but more on Paris in weeks to come.

And there was Bermuda in July, the photos hinting of Bermuda's great pleasures. The latest hot spot was Marcus, which was opened a few months ago by Marcus Samuelson at the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club,  is right in the heart of town. Then, too, there was that memorable lunch at secluded Tucker's Point.

That's all for today mes amis,  hope to see you à la semaine prochaine. Come by early, I'll have the coffee ready. Merci beaucoup.