Book Review – The Sea-Wolf by Jack London

Happy Monday! 

Since it is the last Monday in May, it is also Memorial Day!

Be sure to honor the memories of the people who have died serving our country. It is also another special day in my world. It would have been my mom’s 78th birthday today. She would have been even happier that Memorial Day fell on her actual birthday this year. She always said the 30th is the original day the holiday was celebrated on. And she is right!

I have done a few book reviews of adapted books lately. They are ones with the stories condensed down for younger readers to be able to enjoy. It gives the reader the basic story without all of the subplots. I recently re-read Jack London’s Call of the Wild in an adapted version. So, I decided to read another Jack London book but the full version this time. There is a lot more story presented in a full version versus the adapted. I probably should have read the full version of the Call of the Wild this time to be able to make a fair comparison, but I haven’t read this book before. I will have to try and find an adapted copy of The Sea-Wolf and let you know how it compares.

Selma’s Book Review

Book Title

The Sea-Wolf

Author

Jack London

Type of Book

Young Adult fiction if reading the full version due to a longer book. Adapted version would probably be a good middle grade read.

Background

Published after Call of the Wild in 1904, this book continues London’s theme of people and animals facing hardships. Most all of his writing is drawn from his own life experience with this book being based on his experiences at sea. 

Summary of Story

Story is set in the early 1900s. After surviving a collison at sea, Humphrey Van Weyden gets picked up by a sealing ship. He doesn’t have a lot of experience in the sea ways of life, being brought up in a weathly family and employed as a literary critic. The captain, Wolf Larsen, is a pretty violent captain, but he teaches Humprey not only how to crew and pilot the boat, but also builds him up to be a stronger man, physically and emotionally.

Reactions to book

By reading the full version, I was able to get the entire story, but it got a little wordy for me in places. But, I realized this is how writing of that time period tended to be. I did enjoy it and plan on reading an adapted version of the story in the near future. I’ll be interested to see what parts of the story they choose to tell in a condensed format.

The version of The Sea-Wolf that I read also included a few of London’s short stories. I read one called “The Law of Life” and I could see how deep London felt about life in the Yukon. This story talks about the life and death of one of the elder’s of a tribe. About how life takes it’s course and death is a natural part of it. Goes to show how life experience can add some depth to an author’s work.

If you are interested in picking up a copy, you can find it here The Sea-Wolf

To learn more about the author, be sure to check out his website Jack London.

Promoting my newly published book

 

Good Morning! It is Monday. Did you have a good weekend? Ready for this week’s blog?

Things have been crazy with me lately. My day job has been going through a lot of change and transition.  It has been taking a lot of my time and energy away from getting other things done at home. I know the hard work I’m putting in there now, will lead to things being better in the future and will eventually lead to more time for writing and book promotion.

I normally don’t mention much about my day job on my blog because try to keep it separate from my writing side of life. But, there are times when the full time job does impact how much time I have to work on my craft. I am only one person trying to make both of these important things and others happen in my life. Why do I bring this up? Trying to balance the demands of the job and working on my passion, writing and promoting my newly published book, is challenging. My job has made pursuing my writing possible, so I will do what is needed to do things well there. With all of the energy it is taking right now, though, it is kind of bumming me out. I’m so excited to work on my writing and promoting, but I’m not having as much time and energy to put towards it.

I’m not the only one who struggles with this issue. Many writers work full time jobs to follow their passion to write. Writing and book promotion take time. You don’t become a best selling author overnight. I have faith it will all happen, I just need to do what I can to keep things moving forward so I can feel that I’m making progress on the writing side of my life too.

So, if you are trying to do this writing thing with a full time job, my advice is to be patient and keep working at it. Having your plate full of other activities will make the writing journey a little more challenging, but worth it when you are actually holding a copy of the published book in your hands. And it does feel good to see copies of your book being sold on Amazon. Even if the numbers are small, right now.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book. Hey, it is an opportunity for me to plug my book! I had to take it!

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Here is the link! The Hard Way

Happy Mother’s Day 2017

Happy Mother’s Day!

If you follow me on Facebook, you saw a post that I did in memory of my mom. She passed away nine years ago from breast cancer. Ever since then, Mother’s Day has been a different day than what Hallmark will portray on TV.

When I think about it, each Mother’s Day since then has been a different day for me. The first couple of years, I participated in the Susan B Koman Race for the Cure 5K walk in memory of her. My mom was a private person and didn’t advertise she had the disease. I see the survivors out there and feel the electricity and comradery of people who are dealing with the disease, either as a survivor or as a family member in the support role. It is very inspiring, but for me it was also a big reminder that it is the reason why she is gone.

And other years, I just go about what a normal Sunday would look like. Errands, projects, relaxing, and getting ready for Monday. But she always comes to mind and I feel a little pang in my heart. It is Mother’s Day and I don’t get to have the day with my mom, the way that others do. A friend of mine posted on Facebook yesterday that she was thinking of the women without mom’s on Mother’s Day. She said she was going to give her mom and extra hug, knowing how lucky she is to have her here with her. That made me smile. If your mom is with you in your life, appreciate it. Things really do change once they are gone. Not just for Mother’s Day, but for many other events that a daughter needs her mom for.

So, what do I do? Every year since she passed away, I buy a single rose. The tradition started when I would pick up a pink rose from a local flower shop after completing Race for the Cure. Then I make a trip to the cemetery (about a mile from my house) and spend some time just sitting there with her. It is a little different Hallmark moment than I imagined it would be. But, it is my Mother’s Day.

My mom loved to garden. The featured picture for this post is not a rose, but lilacs. We had two big bushes in our back yard growing up. In the spring, my mom always had bunches of them in the house. I love that scent. When they start blooming in the spring, it reminds me of my childhood home and my mom. It is one of the many good things about being with her that I hang onto in my heart. And it makes me smile.

Book Review – The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Happy Monday! Hope you were all able to enjoy your weekend. I took a three days off from work for some down time. Well, I did get some down time, but it seemed to be a weekend to catch up on home things. Errands on Friday, some spring house cleaning on Saturday and some home projects on Sunday.

With all of the things I got done, one big accomplishment happened on Sunday evening, the paperback version of The Hard Way was published on CreateSpace. It should be available on Amazon.com later this week. So excited! Now, with both versions available, I’ll start learning what it takes to get the word out and get working on marketing.

In the meantime, while I was looking at the bookcase with the boys books in it again,  The Call of the Wild was calling to me. I remember reading this book in middle school. Ok, so it has been awhile. The version we have for the boys and the one I read was an adapted version of the story, so I didn’t have all of the story development as London originally wrote it.

 

The Call of the Wild

Selma’s Book Review

Book Title

Call of the Wild

Author

Jack London

Type of Book

Middle Grade (adapted version)

Background

Jack London spent almost a year in the Yukon collecting material for this book. This story was first published in serialized sections in the Saturday Evening Post in the summer of 1903 and was published a month later in book form. Call of the Wild was published in 1903 set in Yukon, Canada during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush.

Summary of the Story

During the gold rush, there was a need for sled dogs. Men would go and steal dogs from people and sell them into sled dog teams. This is the story about a dog named Buck who this very thing happened to. 

Reactions to the book

I like the story. It brought be me back to when I originally read it in middle school. It was fun to read the adapted version to get the main points of the story. It would be fun to read the full version again.

The book can be found on Amazon Call of the Wild

If you are interested in learning more about the author, check out his web page Jack London


I have reserved The Sea-wolf from our local library. It is another popular story London wrote after The Call of the Wild. Since I haven’t read this one yet, I think I’ll read an unadapted version.

Monday and May Day!

Happy Monday! It also happens to be May 1st so it is officially May Day today.

After a busy week with my day job, I was able to do a pre-publishing look over of my paperback version of The Hard Way on Saturday. Glad I took my time to take one more look at all components. I was hoping to announce it was ready for purchase this weekend, but I need to make one more check with my cover designer to make sure the cover is ready to go. I’m anxious to get it out there, but I want it to be right. Will make the announcement once it is officially online.

The other thing on my mind about writing is how hard it is to balance with a full time or more than full time day job. Many of my friends and co-workers are having a hard time believing that I could get a book published with all of the activities I currently have on my plate. Family life, major changes at work, and trying to get my book out there. I say when it is important, you find the time to do it. It has been hard trying to make it all happen, but I can’t be too hard on myself. I believe it will happen when the time is right. And it will.

Here is the link to the ebook again. Go ahead and take a look if you haven’t done so already. I get excited every time I think about the fact it is actually online.

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The Hard Way E-Book

My next step is creating an active marketing program and exploring places to get my book out to. The audience for my book are readers that have parents and teachers making their reading decisions for them. I need to explore ways to find those groups and get them to look at The Hard Way. And once I find them, figure out some advertising methods that will be the most productive. If they are gained from networking, that would be the best. But, If I must pay for them, then I want to be able to get the biggest bang for my buck.

It is a good thing I am self publishing my book on my own deadline. I will make time in my already tight schedule to get it done, because I want to. With all of the demands on my time and energy, I will need to be patient and know it will get done. If not right away, in its due time.

Another day, another thought

Happy Monday!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! I took four days off from my day job last week. Our sons’ half-sister got married on Saturday and I wanted to have time available to take care of last minute things. We spent some great family time together throughout the weekend and at the wedding.

It is 9:11 PM on Sunday night at the end of such a great weekend. I am having a tough time putting my thoughts together for the Monday blog tomorrow. I know I could write about all of the things my family and I did together, with our friends, and family this weekend, but that is something I am cherishing in my heart. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

In a writing class a few years back, I learned a way to battle writer’s block and get those writing juices going, is to just describe what is currently going on around you, and write it down. Well, I’m going to try it tonight and see where it takes me. Here is goes.

I’m currently sitting out on our deck feeling a nice light breeze and listening to the sounds of the night. We have an evergreen tree whose branches slightly overhang one edge of our deck. I just heard the sound of a pine cone falling and bouncing twice. I wonder, how often does that happen? Probably quite a few, but how often am I present for it? Not very often.

Our dog, Maddie, is out here with me. She usually just loves to lay out here and watch people during the day, and just listen to the noises with me at night. She seems a little anxious to get back inside, though I’m not sure why. Our sliding glass door is open and I start listening to what is going on inside our house. I can hear the boys opening boxes and wrappers for their before bed snacks. She probably believes she should be a part of that activity. Or, it could be, she needs some attention from me.

An update on my paperback publishing. I fully intended on getting it done this weekend. I’m not the type to make excuses, I tend to work until all things are done, even if it means staying up late and getting the minimum sleep. Sometimes life gets in the way of getting my writing goals accomplished. We have a big deadline for our new software implementation at work, so I put some of my time away from the office aside to get data ready for import. It was also a big family quality time weekend with the wedding. I’m struggling with the fact this isn’t done yet, but I need to be ok with it. Life will get in the way sometimes for good reasons. I’m so glad the deadlines are mine with this project since I’m self publishing. It gave me the power to put family first.

Have you been on Amazon.com to take a look at the book? It is really cool for me to see the ebook up and for sale. I know quite a few people are waiting for the paperback version to be ready. I am sure they will be willing to wait a few extra days for it.

Here is the link!

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The Hard Way E-Book

The process of publishing my first book has been an adventure. It is also a lesson in things will happen when they are supposed to happen. In their due time.

The Hard Way is a Published Book

I have done it! I am a published author. It is a childhood dream realized.

The e-book is on Amazon.com. Here is the link

The Hard Way E-Book

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I now have an author page on Amazon.com and I’m in the process of creating an author profile on Goodreads. With access to create these new profiles, I have arrived in a whole new place than I was in last week. In the world of books, I’m seen as a new member of the club.

The paperback version of The Hard Way will be released this week. I was planning to publish both versions at the same time, but there is only so much time in a day. So, while trying to work the day job, be on call for that job and accomplish a lifelong dream all at the same time, I was feeling stretched thin and something in my plan had to give. So, I decided to focus on getting the e-Book published and launched by April 15th. 

The e-Book actually published on April 12th. I got it ready and hit the publish button in Amazon’s self publishing program, Kindle Direct Publishing. They said it can take up to 72 hours to have it published and go live on Amazon. It would up only taking a few hours. Not saying it will work that way for everyone, but it did for me.

After the paperback is officially published this week, I’ll be exploring marketing avenues for it. Being a self published author, the leg work for the process falls on me. Like many other parts of the journey, it will be new to me for this book, but, the next two should be easier with the leg work done for this one.

A friend of mine reminded me that the things we work the hardest for mean the most. I look back at the time and challenges involved in publishing this book and I would have to agree. I will publish more books, but this one will be the most memorable.

This summer will bring with it another editing project, book two of The Way Series, The Bully’s Way. It will follow in a similar path as The Hard Way did, but it will be a journey on a path already travelled learning from the experience of publishing my first one. I’m excited to see where the story will take my characters going forward.

Thanks for following me on this journey. Your support has helped me to achieve this goal.