The story of how author Geoffrey Simpson, who just released “The Three Hares,” got his first book published — in his own words…
On a gloomy January morning, the air was heavy and uninspired. I read an article about ancient symbols—a distraction from those about politics, rife with propaganda. One symbol, with three rabbits chasing one another in an infinite circle, struck a chord. A whirlwind flooded my conscience.
Although I’ve never written before, a few story ideas were tucked away for a rainy day. That same morning, I began to plot. That same gloomy day was the beginning of an adventurous journey to becoming an author.
Three months later, manuscript in hand and an intent to self-publish, an author friend of the family strongly encouraged me to find an editor. I hadn’t planned on investing in this project, but I also never expected to write a novel.
As an author, I’ve transitioned through two distinct phases. There was pre-Janet, and post-Janet. As you probably assumed, Janet Fix, owner of thewordverve inc., agreed to become my editor, mentor, and inspirer.
With a polished manuscript and newfound confidence, I changed course from self-publishing and sought an agent. A thrilling adventure began, but as the queries went out, the feedback was unanimous. “Unfortunately, I’m not the right agent for this project.” Not a single manuscript request came forth.
Discouraged and circling back toward self-publishing, I spoke to Janet the Inspirer. She, who wasn’t just an editor, was transitioning her business from hybrid to traditional publishing, asked me to join Team Verve.
Twelve months after that gloomy January morning, Janet became my publisher, and there’s no looking back. Today, Janet is editing the sequel to The Three Hares, and I am writing the third installment of this five-book YA adventure/mystery series. It is this partnership/friendship which has made all the difference.
What are your experiences with traditional publishing vs. self-publishing?
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Art bridges cultures and makes us see differently — look again at these art photos by Abbas Kiarostami, a noted Iranian film producer/director/screenwriter, poet, and photographer.
In his photos, Kiarostami examines the relationship between art and visitors. He shot them at the Louvre, between 1996 and 2012.
My husband happened to visit Iran’s National Museum and generously returned with these photos. Hover over them for descriptions and click on them to see full-sized. Look closely — the people in the front are observers like us…
Art museums often lend each other masterpieces. This year, however, marked a first — a large-scale show by a major Western museum in Iran! The world’s largest museum, the Louvre, proudly calls it, “…an outstanding cultural and diplomatic event for both countries.”
The Louvre contributed fifty masterpieces for “The Louvre at Tehran” to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Iran’s National Museum. Meantime, back in France, The Louvre exhibited, “The Rose Garden: Masterpieces of Persian Art from the 19th Century, on Qajar dynasty Iran.”
Lucky for us, my husband happened to be in Tehran to snap these photos for us. The art spanned centuries. Hover over the pictures for descriptions and click on them to see full-sized.
Assyrian sphynx in Iran via the Louvre
Marcus Aurelius (Roman art around 170AD)
Ottoman Sultan Mustafa II by Levni (Turkey 1700-1720)
Hello again!! Yes, I’m actually posting twice in a week- you’re not seeing things! Oh you thought you’d seen the last of me for this month? Well sorry to disappoint 😉 I wanted to do a great “here’s what I’ve been reading this summer guys!” post- but let’s be real, I’ve not actually been doing much reading. Instead, I thought I’d give you an idea of what I’ve been reading/to give myself an idea of what I *should* be reading.
Labels on food packets– ermmm yeah this is one of the things I’m actually reading at the moment- to be fair, it’s helping me practice another language, so it’s not cos I’ve become a food nut and I’m not totally weird (okay I am a little weird but you knew that already 😉 )
Road signs– same reason as above- it’s practice! (also directions probably count here, but…
The twin puppies we adopted ate and ate and ate. And pooed and pooed and pooed. Six months later, they’d grown to 50 and 50 pounds!
Plus, I’d learned nothing about training them.
As usual, for 10 deafening minutes, they barked at the mailman across the street. Later that day, they destroyed yet another throw rug.
“Bad dogs,” I snapped.
They were too busy chewing to hear me.
“Bad, bad, bad dogs!” I hollered, my voice shrill, my throat raw.
They sat. Four watery eyes gazed up at me.
Fear made them urinate on the carpet.
My thoughts reeled back. That was me! When I was only four years old!
Back then, I tried ever so hard to be good, yet I didn’t always succeed. My father would yell at me.
One time, he sounded as angry as I had when I’d hollered at my dogs. Same as with my two puppies, the big person’s anger blotted out my ability to think and hear. All I was able to do was to feel — that my father was furious at me — and that I was terrified.
All I knew was that he seemed angry enough to kill me. Out of terror, just like the dogs had, urine streamed down my legs.
Looking into my dogs’ upturned faces…
I saw how they trembled. The little dogs blinked their moist eyes hard.
Sobbing, I sank to my knees and hugged them. It had taken six long months for me to learn that, all along, they had been trying their best to please me. Despite my ineptitude as a trainer, they had refused to give up on me. They had given me the benefit of the doubt that like them, I was trying my best.
They never gave up hope on me…
They knew I would learn to love them. Through the example of my pets, I’ve learned that the more I gaze upon everyone in my life with the benefit of a doubt, the happier we all are. We’re all doing our best, even when we could do better.
What better way is there to celebrate a special occasion than with an all-day excursion of gorgeous weather, strolling an array of gardens that span rainforest to desert and Japanese to Australian to more, seeing the worlds’s stinkiest (and amusingly phallic) plant, eating international fare, admiring fine art museums, and ending it all with a high tea?