For the new people, allow me to explain who and what we are. We are a husband and wife team who have embarked on an interesting venture together. While holding down full time jobs, me as a Medic and Lillian as a Manager of a retail store, we decided to start our own business. The idea originally started when I was preparing to publish my first book. ("Spirits of Wintermist") Lillian talked with an author who was promoting her book at a Renaissance Faire. Lillian thought this would be a great way to promote mine. From there, we entered into selling Hair Twisters, To help finance our vending space, then she moved into bead work and making charms and other jewelry. We travel to Renaissance Faires, craft shows and any venue we are invited to. We enjoy the selling, but the meeting people and chatting with them is what makes each event. For us the thrill is meeting new people and seeing the happy and excited expression when they find something they fall in love with.
Since I am the writer of the group, my duty is to write the blog. It has been a long time since our last blog, or any major posting on the Facebook page. No excuses, but I will explain what has been going on in the Crafthall. First, I shall talk about something I am really excited about, something Lillian started.
After our run at Kent's Farm leading up to Christmas, we settled into our three to four month recuperating and rebuilding time. I work on my writing and Lillian works on creating new pieces of jewelry and looks at items to expand out inventory. Last year, we met a local man who makes and sells aluminum rings. She loves chain mail jewelry and has a number of pieces she wears for Ren.
We got a sampler pack of rings and Lillian learned a couple of simple weaves. When she felt comfortable and determined this was something she enjoyed she submitted an order for a batch in different sizes and colors. Both of us spent time watching videos on making mail jewelry and she got ideas for what she wanted to do.
Between her long hours at her store and the day to day things which need done, she improved her skill and started making bracelets. Presently she has one style, but the response has been overwhelming. She has sold one, donated one to a benefit and has one on order, with a few other people taking her cards and promising to be in touch. Not bad for not advertizing the item, just wearing it.
Besides the bracelet, she designed a key chain and has a line of earrings to complement the bracelets. To some this may not sound like a lot, but if you know Lillian you know it took a while to reach this point. She experiments with her craft and even if a project took her a couple of hours she will tear the work apart and start fresh if it doesn't meet her expectations. She wants our customers to have the best looking product they can get and is pleasing to the eye.
You can see an example of her work to the left. She will have a selection available at our first show of the year, which presently will be the Finger Lakes Celtic Games.
What has kept me away from everything is my work on "Heaven's Spear, Book Two in the Circle of Union."
In January, I sat down to finish the book and complete editing and revision. I had hoped for a June release with a premiere at the Wildrose Renaissance Faire.
When I looked the manuscript over, I realized it was too large. I wanted to keep the page count down so the price would be lower. I appreciate each of you who took a chance and bought "The Spirits of Wintermist" I am a realist and understand many readers were looking at the price and having to make a choice. There are many well-known authors in my genre and since they have "traditional" publishing houses their books are lower in price. I am self published and go through what is called a POD (Print on Demand) publisher. This means the books are slightly more expensive. So, given a choice between the author who has entertained them for years and me, people will tend to pick the established writer. I know I would.
That is where our tours around the country side helped. Introducing myself to people and letting them learn who I am and what my book is about brought everything down to a personal level. Many took a chance and due to your faith, I wish to do everything I can to give you the best reading experience possible.
I need to shrink the size of "Heaven's Spear," while keeping the story intact. This meant not only a revision, but a rewrite. There are many paragraphs, pages and chapters I removed. Once done, I had to flesh out the rest of the story in as few words as possible and in a way not to confuse the reader. I had a whole chapter where Gunther and his platoon were making their way along a cliff side to reach their assigned position. I tapped into my years of repelling and climbing to make the chapter realistic, threw in Halprin's Dwavish comments and some exciting hair-raising moments.
I killed the whole chapter and summoned it up with, "They moved into position after spending many torturous hours clawing along a cliff side." This is not the first time Gunther and Halaprin gave me a hard time. In Wintermist, one of my first readers said they would have enjoyed reading about their adventurers stopping the eastern force of the Terrapin Xon Army. I was going to include their story, until I saw how long it would be. I am considering writing their tale and including their adventure in a book along with a collection of some of my short stories. I will keep you updated on that project.
I spent time building Duncan's and Sasha's romance, Duncan's relationship with Xantrawler and his frustrations with bards, who keep making him out a hero. Diamox was going to be improving his prophetic abilities and drive people crazy. Well he is still driving people crazy and he even Diamoxes himself. All this had to be shorten and some scenes eliminated. You will meet the Queen, but I didn't delve as deep into her as I wanted. I introduce new characters who needed their introduction condensed and their back story modified.
In essence, I was writing a new book. I'm nearing the end, but still need to do the editing and revision before sending it to the publisher. If I didn't have a real job this would not be an issue, but bills need to be paid. I would like to thank and acknowledge the fact my boss, Dan Marsh has allowed me to do some work on company time, when I have down time and my paper work is caught up. If he had not, I would be farther behind.
I am planning on having the book published by July, hopefully in time for the Wellsville Balloon Rally and the Saturday street sales which we will be part of.
Both of us have been putting a lot of work into Crafters of Words these first four months of 2015, but this time will be worth it if we can entertain you, or have something special you want for yourself or your loved ones. Even through the book won't be out in June, please stop in at the Wildrose Renaissance Faire and witness me make a fool of myself on stage. Or, bring an enemy for the Publick Justus beheading. I'm sure we can come up with a trumped up... er I mean legal reason for justice to prevail over them.
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Keep reaching for those dreams
Frank, Lillian and Rohan