Perhaps the busiest week, good and bad, of this season. And the strangest part is that most of it was completely outside my control.
The first part that was within my control should be obvious to regular readers of this blog (both of you). It has a new name, slogan and logo.
The “Living Here Together” brand meant little, especially as the namesake column on which it was based was now four years out of print. The brand is the site name: HWFielding, and that’s what I’ll be selling in the future, including any future books.
The slogan “Celebrating our Common Life, Liberty, and Happiness” was all right as far as it went. I’d like to use this site to share and celebrate things that we have in common. But my essays are–eclectic. They have political, literary, personal, and geographical themes–whatever crosses my mind. That doesn’t provide a consistent product for readers. But as with my old column, I’m writing about what interests me. In other words, “In other words…”
With the new branding, I needed a new logo, so I ran the Fiverr logo generator for WordPress and told it to include a typewriter. The template I selected had one with a pink typewriter, which also links to my brand. Is that too girly? Tough. It’s my daughter-in-law’s favorite color. And my mom’s.
Then I hopped onto Vistaprint and ordered up my first 100 business cards. So for less than $200 I now have a new brand identity and a business card to send people. It’s a start.
in other news …
Major milestone: I completed transcribing (and commenting on) my first 1976 draft of “Margery” for the book. “Harry Houdini and the Witch of Beacon Hill: An Exorcism in Two Parts” is now two-thirds complete. The first third is about the start of the project, in playwriting class — about 100 pages. The last third is the two-act play itself, about 12 pages. What’s left is the middle, what I did (and didn’t do) in between. This will require revisiting my journals, which I kept in the 1970s and 1980s. I’ll also review my rewrites, or starts, to get an idea where the story was going in between. There are at least three manuscripts and two typed versions.
Observations: The “cornerstone content” of this site continues to be the history of Bubble Wrap. I got another contact from a TV producer for an interview next month in NYC. Stay tuned.
Interaction: For the first time since I started this blog four years ago, someone reblogged me. Twice, once with excerpts and once with a link to my blog. It felt good! Someone liked my “Happy Constitution Day!” and “September in New England” essays enough to put them on their home page with full credit and links.
The problem came when I saw some of the other pieces on that page that were promoting points of view that I found offensive. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, even if I don’t like them. But I don’t want people to think I agree. I asked the site to take them down, and they did. No harm, no foul.
Professional development: I’ve taken to listening to the recommended podcast “The Shit No One Tells You About Writing.” Aside from the evocative name, it has a practical format. The first part is a chat with literary agents about query letters and pitches submitted by listeners. The second is an interview on how-to topics about writing and the business surrounding it.
The highlight of the week was today’s Authors Day 2022 at the Woodbury Library. The place was crowded with 35 local (Connecticut) authors selling their books and almost as many wanna-be types like me. i picked up inspiration and tips from the panelists, but was too introverted to actually strike up conversations with them. And the sales floor reminded me too much of our old days selling magazine subscriptions at camp shows.
But, as several panelists noted independently, introversion seems to be part of the writer’s psychology. Some seemed as nervous and awkward as I was. Another common characteristic: At least four panelists mentioned serendipity.
And keynote speaker Nan Rossiter gave a nod to God by talking about the importance of faith to her as a writer and in her works. That alone was worth hearing, and explains a certain voice that’s been whispering in my ear lately.
Next week: Back to Vermont to dive into the manuscripts and notebooks for the “lost years” of my manuscript, which is now about 30,000 words out of an estimated 50,000.
In case you missed it …
Reading Time: 3 minutes Modern Thanksgivings are comic tragedies of tension, travel, parades, and commercialism. We put up with all this to focus on food and family. Where is faith?
Reading Time: 2 minutes What I didn’t realize at the time was that creative “work” and “a job” aren’t mutually exclusive. You can have your cake and eat it too, only in smaller portions.
Reading Time: 2 minutes The history of the Plymouth Colony is dramatic and often controversial, but that one act planted the seed of self-governance, freedom, and independence that we enjoy today.
Reading Time: 3 minutes As part of my research into the back story of the creation of Bubble Wrap, I needed to connect the dots of how the two inventors met. I had a good timeline with documentation for Marc Chavannes, but not enough on my own father, Alfred Fielding.
Reading Time: 2 minutes Digging into history and political philosophy, it’s good to be on the side of people like George Washington.