Where CAIRNAERIE came from …

For Christmas some two decades ago, a good friend gave me a book. It was a popular novel at the time by a bestselling author. I read it over the holidays. I hated it. And I remember thinking, "I can do better." Driving home after visiting relatives that weekend, I saw a small sign—the name …

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A few words or more … about writing

Writing is a craft every bit as much as woodworking or painting or knitting. It requires one to learn the basic techniques and then move beyond to the nuances and subtleties. To begin to master the craft. Yet writing cannot be mastered, at least in the same way that woodworking or sewing might be mastered. …

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The hardest part…

Hands down, the hardest part of the writing/publishing process is the marketing. Hands down. Especially for authors like me who tend toward introversion. It is uncomfortable at best—and downright difficult, at worst—to promote "self." But that is the reality of the self-published author. There always lingers the hope, foolish as it may seem, that a …

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And then there is churning…

I am what is called a "defeated perfectionist." As opposed to an full-throated perfectionist—a perfectionist's perfectionist—I can live with imperfection. It galls me, of course, as it does all perfectionists, but I've learned to sigh loudly and get on with things. I realize that nothing is perfect short of God. Certainly, there are no perfect …

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I’ve always wanted to write a novel….

How many times have I heard this? How many times have you said it? As one who has finally done it (CAIRNAERIE), I can tell you, it's not as hard as it seems. You just put words on paper, organize them the way you like, find some honest friends willing to give you helpful feedback, …

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When friends affirm you…

Last Friday morning, shortly after hitting the "publish my book" button on CreateSpace, I posted an announcement of my book on my Facebook page. All day I checked the page. To my bewilderment, only one person—George, my friend in Richmond—"liked it." To say I was disappointed is an understatement. That evening when I got home from …

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Perfection is the writer’s illusive dream

I've always thought of myself as a part-time perfectionist, one of those types who demands more of themselves than is humanly possible, yet stops short of expecting that perfection is anywhere remotely possible. Part-time, as I said. Writing, however, demands a certain amount of precision. At the same time, the latitudes given a writer to shape …

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