Writing Life

I am Jan Krause Greene. I explore the vast capacity of the human heart as a novelist, poet and storyteller. My first novel was released in August of 2013. I currently have three other works in progress.

Talking writing scheduals with Jan Krause Greene, author of 'I call myself Earth Girl'

Thought I would share this. Author and playwright, Alex Clarke interviewed me for her blog. You should check out her other blogs. She is a very fascinating person!




A funny thing happened on the way to this morning

Manet painting woman writing

                                                                      Woman writing - Edouard Manet, sketch

This week I was a guest blogger on B.C. Brown's Books site. Her home page says "Because weird is good...."

Not sure what that says about me, but I am open to all interpretations!

Here are a few excerpts, but please go to B.C's page and read the whole thing.  Even better, please leave a comment there to show your appreciation to B.C. for sharing her blog.

Excerpts (don't look for continuity...these are just sentences picked out of the actual blog.

A funny thing happened to me last night. Funny as in strange or unexpected. Not "funny ha-ha" as my dad used to say.

So, there I was working hard at not thinking. The only problem is that when I work hard at something - no matter what it is, even relaxing - I end up wide awake. Last night was no different, except that I was wide awake and really angry.

I could literally feel the anger in my forehead....

I was filled with anger and I hated myself for it. Not because I am such a good and kind person and I knew the anger was mostly about feeling sorry for myself. Equally, not because some of the anger was justified and righteous and I was mad at myself for not expressing it to those who deserved to hear it.

And then something shifted. I decided to think about love. Not romantic love, but the other, bigger, broader kind of love - love of life, love of nature, love of the universe.

Yes, I do have a sort of love affair with the universe - all that space with stars and planets and energy and possibility that somehow brings people and ideas together and fuses their energy into something new.

Within minutes, I had a feeling that I have not had since my book was picked up by a publisher more than a year ago. I felt peace. Most particularly, I felt peace about the book and its potential readers...the people who would appreciate it would somehow find it. The message that I hope to spread would be heard by those who will respond to it.

It doesn't have to be a bestseller... It can simply exist. I can let it go out into the world without me. I can focus on the next thing I write, instead of trying so hard to promote this one book. I can let it do its own thing.

In a way that I can't really explain, a sleepless, angry night brought me insight and peace of mind. Sure, I hope people want to read my book. But I no longer need them to.


Funny thing is I had no idea what I would write about when B.C. offered me a guest blog spot. I didn't think it would be about not worrying about how well my book does. I thought I would write some lofty words on what it means to be a writer. Yet, I ended up writing about not needing my book to sell.

Ironically, at the very same time that I was writing about not worrying about how the book does, I was also getting a lesson in how to promote it. B.C. provided me with a really simple, obvious, straightforward, no-gimmicks method. I can't believe I had overlooked it. She included a description of the book and she posted the buy links! And, guess what, sales picked up again!  Genius.

So from now on, I will post them at the end of my blog too. Only makes sense, right? If someone, clicks on a link and buys the book, fantastic. If no one, does, that is not quite fantastic, but it is no longer something to lose sleep over!


Introducing a fellow writer with a cat and a whimsical sense of humor...

Welcome to David Prosser! Let's see what he has to say today. david prosseroscars-book-cover

What is the title of your book? What genre?
The  latest book is called Memoirs of a Superior and is in the humour genre. Anything different and the world would wonder what was wrong. I'm not cut out to be serious.
Is this your first book?
Regretfully not. This is the fourth book inflicted upon an unsuspecting public. The first three are part of the Barsetshire Diaries Series. To confuse issues, Book 1 starts the story, Book 2 is a prequel and then 3 returns to continue the Original story.
What is this book about?  (brief synopsis)
Actually I cannot take credit for this book. It was written by Oscar who considers himself the star of the three earlier books. As my cat, though he prefers to be called a Superior he wished to pass on details of his adventures and his words of wisdom to all kittens who would follow him. He includes human kittens in that since they should recognise his magnificence too.
My own personal advice to readers is NEVER to let their cats read this lest they get ideas not intended to benefit we Longlegs.
What inspired you to write this particular book?
Actually I think blackmail is a better description than inspiration. I made the error when I was writing to refer to Oscar by his real name. He threatened legal action If I did not 'kindly' supply him with his own blog from whence these musings came.
Do you enjoy the actual writing process, or does it feel more like work to you?
Needless to say, I've worked harder at this than I did at work. All the time spent blogging and promoting the books takes up more than the 8 hours a day I used to work.
For you, what is the difference between communicating with your readers through a blog, and reaching them through a book?
When I'm writing a book I'm aiming if possible to entertain and distract themselves happily for a while. With the blog I'm holding conversations with them. Sharing my life and often sharing theirs too. The responses to a blog can be instant and ongoing whereas with the books people are often ind enough to review them, speak to others about them but rarely converse with me.
What has been the most difficult or challenging aspect of being a writer?
I've had to unlearn being such a private person from within my little hideaway. I rarely go out and find meeting people stressful but I've had to communicate. I've also had to learn more about computers than I ever wanted to know and more about social sites than I thought existed. It's also been very challenging getting to grips with promotion through the social sites, the press and of course the blogs and interviews.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Quiet, reserved Welshman.
What three words would you use to describe the process of getting a book out to the public?
Damned hard work.
If you could have three wishes granted, what would they be?
World Peace
A cure for all Cancers
A best seller that put a smile on the World's Face.
Please share an excerpt from the book .
Oscar gives a gift.
My prowl through the grass was successful at early light time. I caught a small running thing. I just knew that I wanted to play with it but that I had promised a gift for 'The Her.' I jumped up onto the ledge of the clearway and though my mouth was full I still managed to call out my success. 'The Her' would not wake and so it was only fair that this gift when through to the him, after all I had asked four times in the dark for my head to be scratched and stroked and he had done it. Not for long enough but he had understood my orders. Especially the last one to open the small clearway and allow me out.
Anyway, I walked into his sleeping space calling loudly to him to prepare for the gift I brought. As I jumped up on his platform he woke and slowly opened his eyes. Wider and wider they went. Such strange faces these long legs can pull. I told him of the gift then realising it would be easier without a full mouth I dropped the gift in his lap and explained it was because of his good service. 'The Him' shouted something which I guess was their way of saying thank you and at that moment the stunned gift woke up and ran.


These Longlegs can move quickly when they want to. 'The Him' shot off his sleeping place and followed the gift out of the door. Naturally I was close behind. When the gift ran in to the big room with sitting places for the long legs I readied myself to follow and show my prowess again but 'The Him' went in and closed the clearway so I could not follow. I sat where I was left and called out that he had forgotten me. He seemed not to hear and I called louder which made 'The Her' come to see me. She ruffled my ears and opened the clearway but I heard 'The Him' call out to her. Too late I was in.
'The Him' was looking for the gift behind the long seat which was silly as I could smell it behind the thing that gets hot and has fire. I went to get it and it ran again right over 'The Her's' foot. She made a loud noise.
'The Him' picked me up and placed me in the food place and closed the clearway. I was not happy. Why do they let the gift run away like this and then they pretend to look for it when I could take them straight to it. I heard a squeak and was pleased that 'The Him' had learned some of my skills and caught the small running thing. After a few minutes, when I heard a clearway being opened and closed, my clearway was opened. I checked the place where the smell had last been but it was gone. 'The Him and The Her' must have eaten the gift. I was pleased that it had been so well received but why do they not thank me with a few strokes and some food? They seem to be ignoring me apart from some strange looks they send my way. I think this is ingratitude and might not show off my skills again for them. No more gifts until they learn.


The Postman’s Foot.
 I'm not greedy. I'm sure you're far too clever to be taken in by silly rumours that sometimes I wolf my food down too fast. It's just that I get hungry.
After my period of hunting in the dark-time, I came back through the clearway and found that my 'The Her and The Him' had filled my dishes with fresh chicken. I was hungry, very hungry, as the hunt had not gone well. I tell you this so that you Longlegs will understand that when I started feeling sick, it was the food's fault and not mine for eating it at speed in case it got away.
My stomach started rebelling against me and I made the sound of wanting to give the food back. 'The Her' grabbed me round the stomach and ran with me. This did not help at all. The Him opened the large clearway and I was ejected unceremoniously. Unfortunately my flight came to an abrupt end as I hit The Him who comes daily and puts things through the little hole in the clearway. We were both startled but he more so as my stomach had decided now was a good time to eject it's contents, all over the removable paws of The Daily Him.
I scrambled to gain my footing and shot off to admire the flowers in the garden from inside a large bush, but from where I could hear loud words from the clearway as The Daily Him and 'The Her' talked. I saw 'The Him' come with white stuff and start wiping down the Daily Him's paws.
Things quieted down a little and The Daily Him left, I could hear him talking quiet words all down the path. 'The Her' threw water all over the place where the infected food had left me and turned to go inside. I shot in before the clearway was closed against me.
I did not think the long legs would understand about my illness but I was wrong. As I launched myself onto 'The Her's' sleeping place she came in and offered strokes as I heard her saying "Poor Oscar" and other things I don't understand. I lay back and accepted my due.
Now all I have to do is hope that Ginger and the others don't hear of my flight or I'll never hear the end of it.

Sock it to me one more time. 
I like to sleep on the long legs sleeping places. Sometimes with them and often without. I also have a sleeping place they gave me which hangs from a warm place and a secret, quiet place of my own. Or it was secret until today.
My 'The Her' was scratching her claws with something that made a lovely sound and I liked the movement. Back and forth, back and forth. I liked it so much that I jumped onto her legs and rubbed my head against her paws so she could stroke me. As she did so I grasped the scratch thing in my mouth and ran. She called after me but not very loudly and I heard that funny hiccuping sound again that they make when happy. I could hear her telling 'The Him' something to make him hiccup too.
I took the 'borrowed' object to my secret bed but it did not move back and forth for me. It just lay there even though I played with it a lot.
After a while I rested.
Later on as I walked through my home I saw something interesting in the small place with a seat. The clearway was open and near the fountain where I sometimes get a drink was something long and hard with a wonderful smell. The hole where the smell came from was too small to get anything but the very tip of my tongue. It was annoying but I knocked it to the ground to play some more. As I jumped down I landed on it and a long worm ran out of the small hole. I pounced but my claws went straight through it and my paws were covered in the white sticky with a nice smell. I soon tired as it did not play with me and decided to walk away. As I did so it was funny because my paws were left behind wherever I walked and yet they stayed on my feet. I could see them, and I walked in a circle and so did they.
'The Him' came towards me but he did not hiccup this time. I heard my name in a roar and ran. 'The Him' followed and caught me up with his long legs just as I reached my secret sleeping place. He roared again as he saw where I was, and my bed.
"Socks" he shouted, "My socks" he shouted even louder, and started pulling my bed to pieces, lots of pieces, lots and lots of pieces as I had found that his removable fur for his back paws was very very soft and nice to sleep on so I had 'borrowed' some.
'The Her' approached to see what was wrong and there were the hiccups I liked again. They were so loud that even 'The Him' had to join in and at last he rubbed my head as I deserved.
As it is now a good hunting time I will not be telling my stories every day. I hope you will forgive me for this but I must find lots of gifts for my Longlegs.
Facebook             David Michael Prosser....  https://www.facebook.com/david.m.prosser?ref=tn_tnmn



Coming Soon...

When I first started this blog, I said that my first novel had been accepted for  publication. That was months ago, and my book is finally going to be "officially" released on August 30. Cover of my novel!

In honor of the official release, I will be sharing the entire first chapter tomorrow.

Here's a video trailer to whet your appetite.


That's all for now.

Writing, waiting and shameless self-promotion.

Being a writer is sometimes described as lonely or isolating. In some ways, I suppose it can be both lonely and isolating, but that has never really been my experience as a writer. Perhaps, that is because I share almost everything I write, almost as soon as I write it. For me, writing is all about communicating and sharing with others. I feel the same way about reading. When I read something written by another person, I have a strong desire to talk to that person, especially if the writing touched me deeply. I used to write a newspaper column and that was the perfect forum for me because I knew people would see my column within the next 24 hours. Whether I knew who was reading it or not, I knew someone was reading it. Expressing my thoughts, feelings, reactions, or even my version of events with at least one other person was very satisfying to me.

Of course, I could have done the same by talking to a friend, or writing a letter, but knowing that I was writing for public consumption made me much more reflective. When I wrote a column I was always looking for the meaning of the experience, or the irony in it, or even just the funny ending. When I poured my heart out to a friend it was more random - a stream-of consciousness  sharing of thoughts, feelings and experiences. If it had more emotion than a column, it probably also had less organization.

Recently, I wrote my first novel.    0426131153

Writing a novel was definitely more isolating than writing a column simply because a novel is so much longer and requires more sustained concentration. Still, I had the desire and the need to share it with others way before I even began looking for a publisher. I know that most novelists have early readers whose insights are invaluable to them. This was true for me too, but what was most valuable was knowing that there was someone out there who would read this way before it would be seen by the general public. 

I guess as a writer I have a need for immediate gratification (just like I do as a dieter, a gardener, and anything else that takes more than 24 hours.). I am not good at waiting for feedback. I know this is a weakness and shows either a lack of discipline or a lack of maturity on my part, or maybe even both. Probably both.

So now I find my inpatient, immature, undisciplined self being challenged by the inevitability of the LONG WAIT. My publisher told me the book would be released at the end of August, but Amazon.com does its own thing. I was shocked and delighted to find it listed on Amazon as available for pre-order. (I may have to write a whole blog on the strange term "pre-order.") I allowed myself to believe the wait was already over.

    The first 48 hours of pre-order status was amazingly fun! I told friends via Facebook and emails. Orders started rolling in, and for 48 hours the book was in the top 10 bestsellers in the Angel category on Amazon. It went up to number 3 for a few hours.228551_501449289910877_1652512640_n

                  At number 5

It even had the status of Number 1 Hot New Release in the Angel category. It confused me a little because the book is not actually about angels, but it does have a character that could be an angel and it certainly could make a reader think about angels.

    Now, 4 days later, the book has dropped to 63 in the Angel category. I knew that would happen after the initial flurry of orders from friends, but here's the hard part. People will not receive their copies until August. Books stores won't get copies until August.  I won't get copies until August. So what can I do other than wait?

My son and his wife solved this problem for me. I don't have to sit around and wait. I can promote my book by driving! They had large car magnets made from images of the front and back cover of the book. I can now shamelessly promote my book every time I drive!

0520131632c     The shameless-self-promotion-mobile!

      Just yesterday, I drove all away across Massachusetts, and when stuck in a long un-moving line of traffic on the Mass Pike I was secretly thinking what a great chance it was for people to see my car magnets.  When I got off the Pike in Lee, I was again stopped in traffic. There was no one beside me, so I wasn't really thinking about who could see my car. But I should have been thinking about it, because the woman in the car behind me apparently could not see my car at all. She rear-ended me and lifted the back of my car off the ground. Apparently horrified to see what she had done, she backed up and my car slammed onto the ground. It all happened quickly and I was pretty shook up.

     But when we exchanged information, she DID notice the magnets and I casually mentioned that she could pre-order the book on Amazon. After all, she had just rear-ended me. It seemed like the least she could do.   Especially, since I have to take off my beautiful magnets now. When she rammed underneath my car, she broke the muffler and now I attract attention just by driving....negative attention. So, for the time being, the self-promotion-mobile will simply be the please-don't look-at-me-like-that-I-can't-stop-this noise-until-my-insurance-company-sends-out-an-adjuster-mobile.