Thursday, March 13, 2014

Good News/Bad News Moments

I have good news and bad news today. The good news is that the temp has been in the seventies most of the week and we could finally go outside without a coat. The bad news is that this morning it was in the low thirties and only plans on getting about ten degrees warmer today. Back to a coat again.

More good news/bad news for you. The bad news is that Port Yonder Press rejected my novel, Willard Manor. I send my heartfelt thanks to all of you who kept your fingers crossed for me. You can uncross them now. The good news is that today I self-published my book on CreateSpace.

I’ve spent the last week experimenting with various cover designs and running them by my “test panel” for their input. What you see here is the final version. Shortly, you will be able to go on and see and order the book. It will also be available on Kindle in short order.

Willard Manor is historical fiction in that it covers generations of the Willard family as they interact through the years with the Civil War, the Underground Railroad, the Great Depression, Prohibition, World War II, Woodstock, and more. The house also undergoes changes over time with indoor plumbing, electricity, an automobile, a telephone, a television set, and much more.
Here is an excerpt from around 1910.
A knock on the door interrupted Ruth’s chore of folding clothes. She opened the door and saw a man in a work uniform standing there, a tool belt around his waist and boxes in his hands. “Ma’am, a Mr. Wilburn asked me to stop by and install a telephone at this location.”

“A telephone? For us?”

“Yes’m. He’s paid for it, wanted to surprise you, so if you could just show me what wall you want it on, I’ll come on in and install it."

Ruth called to Esther. “Mother, come quickly! Henry’s gone and ordered us a telephone!”

“Well, if that don’t beat all.”

Together the two women walked around the downstairs grinning and looking for the perfect spot.

“If it were up to me,” said the installer, “I’d put the phone on the kitchen or living room wall; someplace where you can get to it conveniently.”

“How about here?” asked Ruth, “In the foyer against the living room wall.”

“That’ll be fine. I just need to run some wires and get everything hooked up. Then I’ll show you how to use it.”

Ruth and Esther brought two kitchen chairs into the foyer. They sat and watched intently as the installer mounted the oak box with its black crank and mouth piece. Now and then Ruth took Esther’s hand and squeezed it out of pure delight and amazement. Then the installer called the operator and asked that the new phone number be called to make sure the phone worked. The ringing phone startled Ruth and Esther so much they jumped right off their chairs.

The installer said, “Now this here’s a party line, and that means not every ring is yours. When you hear two long rings and one short ring, then you can answer it. Any other combination of rings means it’s for someone else. Okay?”

“Okay,” said the women.

Quote of the Day:  Times do change and move continually. Edmund Spenser