Friday, June 28, 2013

Change is Good!

It's been a few weeks since I last posted. There are reasons for that. First, I'm a speech-language pathologist working at a public school and June is one of the busiest months of the year. Second, I'm almost finished with the first draft of my second novel, and that's been consuming all of my writing time. Third, I need a change from Kick Back Moments. It certainly has been fun searching for spontaneous occurrences that settle the nerves, like seeing a spectacular sunrise while stuck in traffic. When I sit down to blog however, I find myself wanting to write about the book world, so why not go for it. Something fresh to start the summer. The new name for Kick Back Moments will be:

A Novel Journey 
It will be at the same place with the same address, but the content will be slightly different. What will you find?
  • A variety of posts about the often crazy writing and publication process. 

  • The joys and frustrations of being a writer. For example, a joy are the places you go when writing a novel. In July, I'll be traveling to the spiritual center in Lily Dale, NY to visit with a medium. The main character in my book attempts to contact someone who has died in order to fulfill a wish, so I need to experience it. I can't wait to see what happens and you'll hear all about it. In August, I'm visiting a coffee plantation on the Big Island in Hawaii because that's the setting for my story. I'll be sure to post plenty of photos. One of the frustrations of being a writer is the paycheck. In most cases, it doesn't exist. Thankfully, I have a great day job! It is true however, that artists create because the soul demands it, not for the money.    

  • Great books I've read. No bad reviews here. If I don't like a book, you'll never know about it. One person's idea of a good read, may put someone else to sleep. It's all so subjective. I'd never want to dissuade anyone from trying a book just because I didn't like it.
Loved it!
  • Authors and more authors. Most authors have such interesting stories about how they started writing and how they became published. Many world class authors such as Neil Gaiman and Jodi Picoult visit the Saratoga Springs area when they do book tours. They will frequently be featured here. You'll also meet writers who may not be on the New York Times Best Sellers List yet, but are on the rise. 

                                                          Garth Stein signing his novel,
The Art of Racing in the Rain

  • I'll also post a kick back moment every now and then along with other cool stuff like this eagle I spotted while I was kayaking last Sunday on Kaydeross Creek in Saratoga Springs, NY. After all, a novel journey can be about writing/reading a book or discoveries.   

 Bald eagle spotted on Kaydeross Creek
Saratoga Springs, NY
I sincerely have appreciated you stopping by Kick Back Moments and hope you continue to do so under it's new name. I started blogging because everything I read about becoming a successful writer said it was a must. In the beginning, it felt like I was talking to myself. Probably because I was, but I kept at it. Now, I get about 3,000 hits a month from all over the world. It has been fun and rewarding so I will continue with a slight twist. Please come back and visit A Novel Journey. After all:


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Stephen King Goes for Print, not Pixels

Shortly after I get out of bed in the morning, I check my email on my laptop, desktop or tablet.

After a cup of coffee, a shower, and finding something in my closet to wear that I don't have to iron, I turn on the TV to watch a few minutes of the news, primarily for the traffic report.

Then off to work in my Toyota Corolla where I spend my commute listening to a book on CD, music from my iPod, or perhaps catching up on phone calls with my handy car blue tooth.

When I settle in at the office, I check my e-mail and Outlook calendar. If I don't have any appointments scheduled, I click into Microsoft Word and write a report then head over to IEP Direct, my school district's electronic student data base. The work world certainly has become computer dependent. In fact, when systems are down, people emerge into the hallway in a bit of a panic because at least eighty percent of their workload requires digital cooperation. 

In this day and age of machines, it really is hard to avoid to technological overload. Isn't it?

When my day finally winds down and it's time to snuggle up on the couch with a novel, I don't want to have to turn on another electronic device. I know e-readers are popular and they have their advantages, but for me they just can't replace the 3-D sensory experience of reading a print book. I love the fact that books don't come with a manual of instructions or a battery, you don't have to plug them in, and they always work. For those reasons, I feel uneasy when I hear about another brick and mortar bookstore closing or that paper books will soon be obsolete.


That's why I was so pleased to learn that Stephen King will only be offering his new novel, Joyland, as a trade paperback with some hard copies available.

Mr. King wants to do his part to help save paper books and bookstores. Here's what King's publisher Chrales Ardai says, "Readers are going to have to read it the old way, as ink on paper, not pixels on a screen. You’ve got your paperback and you’ve got your hardcover, the same two choices you had for books when Steve was growing up and when I was. Part of the decision is the desire to support traditional booksellers, something Steve and I both care a great deal about—it’s frightening to see the decline in the fortunes of bookstores over the last handful of years."
You can read the entire article at:

Joyland will be released on June 4. If you want to make a statement that there still is a place for traditional books in a technologically dominant world, here's your chance. I know I'll be stopping by my favorite independent bookstore on that day to pick up a copy. Let's make June 4 Black Tuesday for independent bookstores!

A beautiful song that celebrates Main Street merchants, Good Morning Morgantown by Joni Mitchell accompanied by art work from a first grade class somewhere in the U.S.A.


Finally, some good news for bookstores. Let's keep it going!

According to a report in the Christian Science Monitor, sales at independent bookstores are up: "Sales at independent bookstores rose about 8 percent in 2012 over 2011, according to a survey by the American Booksellers Association (ABA). This growth was all the more remarkable since the sales of the national chain Barnes & Noble were so tepid. “I think the worst days of the independents are behind them,” says Jim Milliot, coeditorial director for Publishers Weekly magazine. “The demise of traditional print books has been a bit overblown. Everybody is a little anxious, but they are starting to think they’ve figured it out for the time being.”