Category Archives: Stories of my Life

I Think I’ll Go Indie

Indie Spirit 1Sometimes I remember that title as my decision process. Think it. Do it. Done. But of course it wasn’t. The seeds were planted – the deep planting anyway – at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. I was there to present a workshop called The Art of Agent Stalking. Nothing Independent Publishing about it. Traditional Pub all the way.

I was watching the Indie movement for sure but from a poolside seat without as much as a toenail near the water. I was a curious onlooker. Nothing more. However before I even reached the convention hotel my toes and my attitude had begun to shift.

The airport shuttle van was packed with authors and guess what they were talking about. Indie Publishing. Some wanted to know more about making the leap. Some were thinking of making the leap. Some had made the leap and spoke of what had happened to them.

I mostly listened. Especially to the story of an author who’d long written for the same imprint I’d published with in the past. It didn’t take long for someone to ask her about money. She answered that her Indie earnings were approaching her Trad earnings and others said the same.

Those stories got everyone’s attention including mine. But they weren’t what impressed me most about the author themselves. What impressed me most was their enthusiasm. I’d been in writing and publishing for years by then as editor/agent/published author attending many writers’ events.

But I had never heard published authors – who were beyond the first euphoric blush of their careers – positively excited as these authors were about being Indie Pubbed. By the time we reached the conference hotel I understood why.

They had retrieved their writer selfhood from the control and manipulation of others. They owned their work. They owned their decision-making. They owned their careers. And they not only felt empowered – they were overjoyed.

During the next several days in one extraordinary session after another I learned the downside of the Indie life as well as the up. With total control comes total responsibility. The buck stops with the Indie writer and often the other kind of buck – the green one – doesn’t stop with her anywhere often enough.

I heard that. I comprehended it. Most of all I appreciated it. Whatever choice I made would be an informed choice not an emotional one. Or so I thought.

The truth on the other hand was that by the time I took the hotel van back to the airport I’d made a decision that was very much about emotion. I longed to experience the enthusiasm and – I barely dared imagine it – the happiness of those authors in that earlier van.

I wanted to be a full adult fully in charge of my own work life. I’d had that experience as a literary agent. I wanted it again as an author. One Indie memoir and three Indie fiction books later I very occasionally second guess my choice and only when the money issue arises.

I do not make as many of the green bucks as I did in my Trad Pub years. Not yet anyway. But I’m more content with what I do and how I go about doing it than I ever was back then. So – for now and I hope for a long time to come – I think I’ll stay Indie.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Wrong Way Home – Book 1 of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense series – is a FREE eBook at Amazon and other online retailers. All of my books are available at my Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Orr/e/B000APC22E/.

Going to Ground

Question: Where have you been Alice?

Answer: There are times we cannot – and should not – work or write.

Animal in burrow imageWith animals we call it going to ground. They burrow in somewhere out of the flow of their usual lives to rest and heal because rest and healing are required. People go to ground too. We also experience times when recuperation – physical and mental and spiritual – is more crucial than work. Even more crucial than our precious writing work.

This has happened recently to two writer friends and myself for different reasons. I’ll begin with the stories of my writer friends.

In Elizabeth Meyette’s Blog she recently wrote. “I have abandoned the manuscript I’ve been working on for over a year. Making the decision to abandon my draft came after much soul-searching and feedback…” Loss takes us to ground. Elizabeth’s words are a gracious understatement of what she’s lost.

All of us who write understand this. We live with our stories as close companions that preoccupy our hearts and minds and reside in our souls. For a writer the loss of a story is almost as deeply felt as the death of a friend. Mourning is required when we’re forced to set aside such a relationship.

The places within Elizabeth – or any of us – once occupied by that story must refill and come back to life. Until then healing and loving self-care are needed. My hope is that one day her story will return more rich and full than ever and more rewarding too.

My other friend is also a talented writer. Irene Peterson has interrupted her work while she devotes her efforts to someone else. My favorite book by Irene is Glory Days. My favorite aspect of Irene is her giving heart.

She has slowed her writing roll to become caretaker to her husband who suffered a serious injury. How many of us have been halted by similar commitments to help others in our lives? Whether it is for partners or children or aging parents or friends. We recognize the need and sacrifice our time and our energy and our work as Irene has done.

My personal work obstacle is more mundane than Elizabeth’s or Irene’s. I caught a cold that progressed to laryngitis and a wracking cough which won’t let me sleep at night. Medications fog my brain. For days turning to weeks I’ve gone to ground. My comeback is on its way but in the meantime healing is my priority.

Whether the healing is our own or someone else’s we must make room for it to happen until our bodies and our lives return to us the capacity for working and writing again. Until we’re able to emerge into the light of the page once more. I wish us all Godspeed with that.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Wrong Way Home – Book 1 of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense series – is a FREE eBook at Amazon and other online retailers. All of my books are available at My Amazon Author Page.

A Greeting on the Eve

Christmas in Astoria - 2016Dear Friends.:

Tomorrow is Christ’s birthday. The day after is mine. Talk about going from the sublime to the far less so. All the same today I’m feeling grateful for the grace and kindness that have carried me through this past sometimes challenging year to my present moment of comfort and contentment.

We remain in our New York City home. This is our city apartment tree. Tall and narrow to nestle in a corner and double its light effects in the window. The branches are crowded with ornaments handmade by our grandchildren. You can read more about them at Homemade Ornaments

Jonathan continues to work as Project Manager of our contracting company – a career demanding field that keeps him always alert and growing. More about that at Orr & Orr Contracting Facebook Page which I really need to update once in a while.

I continue to write with two novels and a novella published this past year. Many generous hands and hearts opened to me along the fascinating road of this new adventure. I cherish the warmth of those well wishes and shall never forget them.

Our family remains our abiding joy. Daughter Kathleen and son in law Luis live only five blocks from us and that is most gratifying. Son Ed and daughter in law Deborah and our amazing grandchildren Maya and Julian continue to live in Brookline MA just a ride over the Massachusetts Turnpike or Amtrak’s Northeast Regional line. We see them all often but of course never as often as we’d like.

Our friends are a beloved sustenance. Though we do need to work a little harder to keep those bonds close and caring instead of letting perpetual busyness take precedence. That sounds like a New Year’s Resolution to me. Meanwhile we create delightful fresh connections wherever we go. Especially among our newly discovered church family at Church of the Redeemer in Astoria .

A lovely woman who has been very supportive of me this past year sent me a birthday card. What she wrote inside touched me with the perfection of its sentiments. I hope she won’t mind me sharing them with you. May your next trip around the sun be filled with everything you need and the best of what you want. Enjoy the ride!

Love and Blessings. Alice – December 24, 2015

Ways to Stay in Touch. I’d love to hear from you.

Alice’s Email Address – aliceorrbooks@gmail.com

Website – www.aliceorrbooks.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/aliceorrwriter

Twitter – www.twitter.com/AliceOrrBooks