I published my first book, In the Right Place: a gallery of treasured moments, before I joined a writing group (http://trivalleywriters.org) and enrolled in my first writing class. Friends encouraged me—pushed me—to publish a collection of short stories about my lifetime of paranormal or unique experiences after I retired.
I designed the book to be a stroll through an art gallery of word paintings–Desert Drawings, Indelible Inkspots, and Watercolor Wisps— a theme for each of the three rooms. Since my writing experience was limited to short website devotionals, I added “The Chapel: One Hour with God-60 one-minute meditations as the last stop outside the galley. All the cart-before-the-horse.
I skipped the self-publishing companies who insisted I couldn’t do it on my own. I bought a block of ISBN numbers when the tracking log was a single page printed with the ten-digit and anticipated thirteen-digit numbers with two columns of blank lines to write the title and publication date. I enlisted an accomplished writing duo to review and suggest minor edits without changing my writing style. The first cost incurred was for a cover design. Even that was created by a struggling graphic designer with a day job. I designed the book, set up the layout, and skipped the middle-man self-publishing companies who assured me the book couldn’t be printed without their guidance. I continued on my own. A second ride with the cart-before-the horse.
I started my first book in the fall of 2006. UPS delivered the boxes of published books to my door the first week of December. After that, I created the Carr Twins & Co. website and ordered business cards. A year later, I rode in the cart before the horse for a second round when I formatted and published my second book, Moments of Meditation.
I’ve survived—thrived—with the cart before the horse. Now, five years since I drafted my first mystery during November novel in month (NaNoWriMo), that fiction requires me to hitch the cart to the horse in the proper order. It also requires multiple revisions and polishing for an agent. The horse refuses to carry the load without the proverbial carrot dangling before his nose.