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  • 04 - 29, 2011

    Wow! I went into e-labor on Tuesday afternoon. One shockingly painless hour later my first e-book, The  River Within, was born on Amazon! But wait. What’s this? Twins! Even as I write this I’m crowning on  Smashwords – #3,410 in the upload queue. Hmm…definitely a longer labor but still painless. I never  would have e-magined publishing an e-book could be this easy.

    I can’t wait to write and e-publish another book, yet I see where the e-mmediate gratification of self-  publishing can be quite the pitfall. The River Within sat in my Documents folder
    for two years after I was “finished” with it. In that time it underwent two extensive edits. The version I  uploaded today is much stronger than the original. Manuscripts are like wine – they do best when set  aside to age in a cool, dark place.

    04 - 26, 2011

    People always ask, “Why do you write under so many names? Who are you?”

    I’m all of them!

    My birth name is Victoria Trautman, daughter of Mary Elizabeth Newton and Lowell Clare Trautman. My grandmother’s maiden name was Baxter, a name our family had encouraged my brother to call his daughter. When he didn’t, I took Baxter as my middle name.

    A friend in the book selling business told me men rarely buy a book written by a woman so when I was ready to publish Spirit of the Valley I used my androgynous middle name.

    After previewing my  first novel, Bleeding Out, a couple friends suggested it would be disturbing to fans of the bucolic Spirit, and that I might consider publishing it under another name. I was fond of Baxter by then but honestly can’t remember why I chose my father’s middle name for a lesbian mystery series.

    The River Within, not a genteel natural history, nor a gory lesbian crime story, is by Baxter Clare Trautman, a synthesis of all my writing personalities. I think this will be my last incarnation…

     

    04 - 26, 2011

    I’m usually pretty heartless at work. I let nature take it’s course. But I saw these little guys six days ago outside their den. Their blue eyes had just opened and I assumed that like naughty kittens everywhere they were exploring their world while mama was off foraging. They were five of them, feisty and running around, tails high. One stamped it’s feet at me (first warning) and lifted it’s tail but not knowing to turn around it sprayed it’s siblings instead.  Off they all scampered into their den!

    I didn’t have time to check on them Thursday and was off Friday and the weekend. When I drove by Monday morning two were lying dead outside the den and three were huddled in the entrance. One of those looked dead so I put the other the two in my truck with the heat on “high”. I finished my rounds while I debated what to do. The two on the floor of the cab looked like they were almost about to join their dead litter mates so I put them back with my usual thought to let nature take them as she intended.

    I guess she had other plans. I came back to the den later that morning planning to relocate the little bodies to a place where they might at least get scavenged. I picked up the two outside the burrow. They were cold and rigored. When I picked up the three kittens in the entrance they mewled and squirmed.

    “Ah, Jesus,” I said.

    I couldn’t walk away a third time. I put them in the truck, cranked the heat up again, and dripped warm water into them while waiting for the local animal rescue group to claim them.

    Like I said, I’m usually pretty cold about leaving wild animals to their fate. But I’d seen these babies on Wednesday and laughed at their toddler antics. I had a relationship with these little guys. I couldn’t leave them again. Our fates had intersected. Theirs, apparently, was to be rescued, and mine to rescue. I don’t know if they lived or not. I won’t call to find out. It was enough just getting them to the next stage of their journey.

    I’m in the throes of publishing my first e-book and keep trying to walk away from the process. I want to abandon it, leave it, ignore it. But I have a relationship with it. Our paths have intersected.When I saw the three live kittens I simultaneously felt hope and fear. Hope for all the possibilities inherent in being alive and fear of all those possibilities, too. Yesterday hope trumped fear. And now, after I post this, I’ll get on with the business of publishing, of getting my baby  on to the next stage of its journey. In doing that, at least for a little while, hope will again win out over fear.

     

    04 - 25, 2011

    1)   A corner, cubbyhole.

    2)   Alcove in a wall; niche.

    3)   Place where two lines intersect.

    4)   The Barnes and Noble reader I just bought.

    Approaching my latest technological adventure with the usual blend of e-dread and fascination!

    04 - 19, 2011

    I didn’t lose her after all! The Muse has returned, a bit dusty and windblown, but she’s back. I found her in my desk drawer. (Or should I say she found me?) In there, I came upon an old blank card – a firelit gypsy sitting on the steps of her vardo, stars in her hair, a red fox curled beside her. The back of the card read “Gypsy Firefly” by Angi Sullins and Silas Toball at Duirwaugh Studios.

    I Googled duirwaigh.com.

    “Duirwaigh – doorway. 1) The door on the human heart which, when opened, causes one to remember one’s magical origins.”

    There’s more. Check it out. Charming site. That’s what I meant a while back when I posted about sacred play. Relaxing into the mystery of the unknown and letting it come to me rather than hunting it down, chaining it to my desk, and demanding it produce. I meandered around the site, forgot I was “supposed to be working!” then slid into work as easily as Cinderella into the perfect shoe.

    Thank you Muse.

     

    04 - 19, 2011

    Help! I need inspiration. Mine’s all gone. I think it blew away at work in all the sand and wind and dust. I swam last night, walked the dogs this morning, cleaned my altar, meditated, and still have no idea what the next indicated thing to do is…

    04 - 15, 2011

    Two fun sites for the ladies where we can read and review, for what’s better than reading and talking about reading?

    http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/

    http://www.womensbookreviews.com/