Art ~ Writing ~ Life

From Handprints To Footprints

Another Year

January 3, 2018
Steve Campbell

Yes. Another year.

As usual, I entered my WordPress blog after a long hiatus and spent the whole day redesigning my blog instead of writing. The artist is the true inner child in me—I love playing with design.

Anyway, I played all day with many themes, inspecting their positive and negative elements until I found a design with a high proportion of positive factors to make my blog look its best. I simplified my categories to The Artist, The Writer, and Life Happens, which echoes my blog’s title: Art ~ Writing ~ Life.

Next on my agenda for 2018 is a plan to blog more … and as often as I can without it interrupting other agendas on my schedule. We’ll see. I make no promises—or resolutions—other than I have made more changes to my Ridgewood characters and progressed with Vree’s Margga’s Curse story, now called The Witch’s Curse, its working title when I first drafted the book.

You may remember from January 2017 that I planned to rewrite Margga’s Curse and publish it as a physical paperback at Amazon, which was to be the first book in The Ridgewood Chronicles series. That didn’t happen, so I’m extending that plan and aiming for a finished project by the end of the year.

But I make no promises.

Anyway, have a safe 2018 and live your life like there’s no tomorrow.

“What have you been up to?”

April 21, 2017
Steve Campbell

An apology for being away from my blog. I said in my last post that I’m busy writing a combination of stories into one. I am still at work on it.

I wish to clarify that the story-in-progress is based on an old manuscript that I tore apart years ago and turned sections into short stories. Part of me wanted to finish the ms, and over the years that feeling has never left me. So, here I am, piecing the story together.

The photo below is the actual typewritten ms taken from its two 3-ring binders. And some people think Stephen King is long-winded. Ha ha ha!

I don’t wish to pigeonhole myself as a writer of young adult and children’s books, but the story will feature Vree Erickson as a 13-year-old—her original age when I began the original ms. The story is told from her friend Lenny’s point of view and is part autobiography from when I was a teenager. Of course, there are supernatural elements to turn it into a fun fantasy read for lovers of that genre.

A big apology for taking my books off Amazon. My plan is to start over with the book mentioned above, which will kickoff the beginning of this venture. Before publication of said book, I plan on changing my author name from the elaborate Steven L. Campbell to the simplified Steve Campbell. Most people know me by the latter, which will make it easy for them to find my books and me. That’s the plan and I hope Amazon allows it to happen. Meanwhile, you can still find my books at Smashwords.

Another change in the works is the title of my blog. Right now it’s called Art, Writing, and The Ridgewood Files. I plan to shorten this to Art & Writing unless something better strikes my fancy.

That’s all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

Moving Along Nicely

February 4, 2017
Steve Campbell

Four days into February and the year’s writing project is moving along nicely. Grafting two major stories into a novel takes the finesse akin to a surgeon’s delicate hand: a wrong move can put the story into cardiac arrest, so I’m operating carefully. I want the final project to be a work of art. That’s what artists do.

Until now, my writing has been the ethereal musings of a wannabe author. I say ethereal because all my “published” stories have appeared on the Internet, existing like fog: changing and/or disappearing when I think of new storylines. But this year’s project is going to finish as a physical book. A physical book is the real deal: the good and the blemishes of an author’s story in a package that can’t be changed once printed. That’s why I’m operating on this project with delicate hands, removing most, if not all, the story’s blemishes. Aside from a mass book burning, the published product will be around—hopefully—long after this body is gone. Perhaps it will sit on a grandchild’s bookshelf, its pages dog-eared from many reads, a gift from his or her grandfather who spent many years telling anyone who would listen, fun and adventurous stories.

Continuing My New Year Plan

January 19, 2017
Steve Campbell

As I promised in my last blog post, I am keeping you—my followers and fans of my Ridgewood stories—posted with my progress of reestablishing order and content of my books at Amazon.com’s KDP and to publish a physical paperback this year.

Sometime in February I will take my books off market at Amazon.com. Later (probably March or April) I will do the same at Smashwords.com. Then, when this project is completed, it will be available at both sites, starting with Amazon.com. The book will feature a combination of Night of the Hellhounds, Margga’s Curse, Kismet, and a few other stories, and will feature teenager Vree Erickson and other characters I’m close to. I don’t plan on the book being a Young Adult read, but that’s something I cannot control at Amazon.com. All books featuring teenage lead characters end up on Amazon’s YA list. That chases away many of my adult readers. My book will be a contemporary fantasy fiction one and should be listed as such.

Another change I’ll feature with the new book will be my publishing name. One I’m considering is Campbell Stevens. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’m not purging my old stuff from the internet. This blog’s archives is a great place to find my old stories. But for easy access to the ones that are the foundation of this year’s project, here are links to the books inside the original book, which I titled earlier as The Green Crystal Stories.

Book 1, Night Of The Hellhounds

Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3

Book 2, Trespassing

Chapter 4, Chapter 5

Book 3, III

Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8

Book 4, Kismet

Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12
Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16

Book 5, Cracks In Time

Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19

These stories are the bones—old bones, you could call them—of the start of this new era. I hope you’ll join me for the ride. I plan on making it a fun one.

New Year Goal: A Plan For Action

January 9, 2017
Steve Campbell

plan

I’m an artist, but I don’t do much art anymore except create covers for my books. I’m a writer, but I don’t write as often as I want to. So I’m mostly a reader when I’m not working my “9 to 5” job, studying the craft of writing in the books I read, and dreaming of writing the stories in my head and turning them into books for others to read.

For many years I’ve considered creating a series of books called The Ridgewood Chronicles. I did a test run of that idea in 2013 at Amazon.com when I published several short ebooks that became known as The Green Crystal Stories. The first book did well and prompted me to turn it into an experimental novel called Margga’s Curse. It didn’t become as popular as I’d hoped it would, so now it’s on my list of short-lived books—one that I’ll “unpublish” sometime this year. But parts of it will stay alive if I ever write my Ridgewood Chronicles series.

And that’s what was on my mind December 31, 2016 when midnight drew closer and I considered plans for the new year. The first thing I did was make a daily planner on my laptop and start chipping away at the idea that seemed to be buried inside a mountain of marble—marble that also has doubts and fears in it, mixed with hopes and dreams.

From my planner, the journey began. Here are my notes, which may not make complete sense to you unless you’re familiar with publishing ebooks at Amazon.com.

  • Sun 1—One of my resolutions is to concentrate on reestablishing order and content of my books at Amazon KDP; another is to publish physical paperback this year.
  • Mon 2—Two stories I’m considering reestablishing are Kismet and Night of the Hellhounds/Margga’s Curse. Undecided about POV with latter, though I’m favoring strict first person now.
  • Tue 3—Read Kismet again today. May need to add second part I started but never developed—part where Catherine is aware of two alternate dimensions. Will involve months of work if I decide to do it.
  • Wed 4—Second part (Act 2?) and climax and dénouement (Act 3?) of Kismet will need helper character—perhaps male character (magic abilities?) to add conflict between marriage.
  • Thu 5—Male helper/conflict character could be tie-in with Night/Curse—perhaps Grandma Evelyn’s son Balen Renfrew.
  • Fri 6—Kismet is obviously first story of series (Ridgewood Chronicles?) but fourth book on KDP list by date published. Should I unpublish all books and rearrange them in their stories’ chronological order? If so, should I scrap their current titles and begin anew with different ASINs? How much confusion will that cause to readers who own my books now? Past confusion was caused by Goodreads’ librarians when I changed titles—they’re too righteous and didn’t work well with me. Though they’re affiliated with Amazon, I see no reason to use Goodreads as an avenue for my books.
  • Sat 7—Must decide about Kismet and Night of the Hellhounds/Margga’s Curse and my KDP list so I can post news at my blog.
  • Sun 8—Still undecided. Irritating how quickly work fatigue derails my concentration. Need to decide and blog plans tomorrow. Also consider new titles for changes.

And here I am, the journey underway. I plan to keep you posted with my progress as often as possible. And hopefully we’ll see The Ridgewood Chronicles a reality by December 31 of this year.

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