Andy and I spent a total of nine months as campground hosts in Big Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I took many pictures and wrote a journal (or log, if you will) every night and included between ten and twenty pictures in the text. When I put them all together to use as a basis for my Big Creek book, I had 230,000 words and loved every one of them, or , at least, the memories they represented.
But, of course, a nightly journal is not a book. And, no one in their right mind would want to read daily repetitions of how many campsites were filled and how many coolers we dragged to the bear-proof locker, even though that is one aspect of the story I want to tell. Then, Patrica Ross, the publisher/editor wants me to write a series of essays based on the material.
So, I’ve spent the past few days reading through and condensing the material. When I finished last night, it was down to 121,618 words. My next task is to read through what I have left and think about what it tells me about the park, park employees, and park visitors.
This picture was taken from the bridge in the picnic area, looking upstream.
It sounds as though your book is coming on really well, Dinata. I’ll be very interested to see what you do include it it, when it’s finished. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park sounds like a wonderful and inspirational place and I’d love to find out more about it and how it is run. Your photo is beautiful!
Thank you Millie. I just finished reading your post on writing a trilogy and feel your pain. I had so much written in my journals about Big Creek and didn’t want to leave out a thing. Patricia, the editor, said “one book” and “much shorter”, among other things.
My book will neither be scholarly, nor intellectual. It is just reporting things that happened at Big Creek and some of my thoughts on them. That should be much easier than historical fiction.
I sent out my daily journal to friends and family every night. Everyone LOVED the pictures. They also liked hearing about what went on in the park, but really LOVED the pictures.I am pressing on anyway.
I do realize that self-publishing also means self-promoting and have put a little thought into that.From what I’ve read, traditionally published authors don’t get that much help with promotion either. I just hope to cover my costs.