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It’s a Book! Views from a Window Seat: Thoughts on Writing and Life

After a few weeks of ripping open envelopes to find book proofs that were just a bit off, and had to be tweaked, on Saturday morning the fourth sample copy was waiting at the post office, and this time the cover looked right. Through summer and fall, I’d been following the instructions offered on CreateSpace to publish VIEWS FROM A WINDOW SEAT: THOUGHTS ON WRITING AND LIFE, stepping forward, then taking several steps back. They give checklists that seem simple, but I found some were like the lines at Disneyworld – just when you thought you were in, there was a new and winding line. But at last I pressed “Proof approved,” and up popped something like, “Your book is now available.” Really? Really. No more buttons to push.

Views from a Window seat frontcover
Yikes. I mean Yay! Even with print-on-demand, I’d expected more lag time to check off a few more things on my pre-pub to do list. Feeling giddy, I posted a link on Facebook. Five minutes later I thought, that’s not very professional, and I’m not quite ready.  So I logged back on and already found love or looking-forward-to-it-ness I couldn’t delete.  I’m so grateful. This book came about because of people who’ve read my blog, a few of whom who’ve told me they’d like to see some of these entries collected in a book. I changed a lot, but I hope kept the flavor of writing that comes from the warm connections I’ve enjoyed online, though without the insightful and delicious comments I get here on the blog.

The self-publishing part was fun and frustrating, with the fun going first, especially in memory, because of the technical, artistic, and emotional support of my husband, Peter. As a long time self-publishing advocate he’s urged me on for decades. Luckily, he’s a patient guy, who also copy-edited the text, designed the book, coached me through technical crisis, and created the logo for Stone Door Press. I chose the name because I want my writing to have both a sense of permanence and that it can be opened and changed by readers.

Stone Door Press logo

I learned a lot and would self publish again, going about some things differently. When I decided to put together this collection of thoughts on writing, it was a relief knowing I wouldn’t go through the waiting and rejections that have marked my publishing life these past few years. I enjoyed playing with ideas for covers, then choosing a different one when I posted a picture I took of day lilies, and my brother-in-law, Bruce, commented that it would make a good book cover. Not much later, I heard him say those very words to someone else about a photo, and asked his wife if he always said that. Catherine nodded. Never mind. I like it.

Self publishing brought up aches I’ve felt while writing, too, such as considering readers, while struggling to trust my own judgments. It seems there are a lot of fonts and shades of yellow to choose from. Raising and lowering bars, and then trying to give them one last lift without going crazy. Testing the boundaries of perfectionism and being laissez-faire-ish. Choosing when to grit my teeth and when to shrug, and finding who I am in between. This time around there’s no second guessing re what will my editor think of responses, not necessarily a bad thing, but it feels cleaner not to get involved in such deflection. I already feel closer to the fact that every book is held by one person at a time. There’s the joy.

Note to dear and faithful readers: I’m going to stop blogging here at LiveJournal. I hope you will read my posts at
http://jeannineatkinsonwritingandstuff.wordpress.com/. Thanks!


Got it!

I already have mine and have dipped into a few places and LOVE it. So glad you put it together.

Re: Got it!

Thank you, Patty! That means a lot to me.
Dear Jeannine - It's BEAUTIFUL! Congratulations to you, sweet, wise friend. Will move myself to wordpress and also get your book so I can keep it close as I continue to travel the writing path. xo
Thank you, Irene. Your love of beauty in so many guises is always an inspiration. xo



I have started reading your new book, and am enjoying it! So nicely
laid out, to pick up at any time and read at any point! Finding some very cool phrases....great job!

Re: You!

Thanks, Bruce!


from Heidi Mordhorst

Hi, Jeannine--

I don't come by often but I read about your new book over at Irene's just now and realized that you're in Boston and must surely be coming to NCTE next week--yes? We're planning poet get-togethers and I want you to find us if you're participating. You can reach me at zingerline@gmail.com. It would be great to have your join us!

Re: from Heidi Mordhorst

Hi, Heidi, I appreciate your tracking me down. I'll send you an email! Jeannine

Happy 215th Birthday to Mary Anning

I just saw this on Google and wanted to give you a shout out. I wouldn't have known about Mary Anning without your (and Michael Dooling's) lovely book.
I thought I'd pop by your blog and say hello. I see you've moved over to Word Press (and quite a while ago, too. Guess I'm a little slow on the uptake.)
I hope all is going well.