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Friends,

The World of Blue is moving at the speed of light. Well, at least it feels that way.

I appreciate each of you who follow my blog and check updates on my website. However, in order to keep you better updated on book signings, art shows, speaking engagements and new products, I need you to join my mailing list!

As an incentive to get you to click this link before July 22nd, I’ll send to a signed bookmark featuring my original art, while supplies last. Already receiving “Shades of Blue”? Well if you forward my newsletter through the Constant Contact link in the newsletter, you too will get a bookmark. And of course, if your referral signs up, they will receive a bookmark as well. Bookmarks for everyone!

(Hey, you need a bookmark now, so you will be ready when you get your book.)

I have added buttons on the right sides of this blog and my website for you and your friends to click. Take a look.

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Setting up shop at the Starbucks

Well, the other day I had an incredibly productive writing session. I wrote three blog posts, posted one and began notes on a fourth (this one.)

I was at Starbucks, in a comfy, brown, leather chair, with my chai tea latte. I was there a little over two hours. My doctor didn’t want me drinking coffee and I haven’t had a Starbucks line item in the budget for a couple years. However, I have come to the realization that I, like so many other Americans, can not function efficiently without the extra help caffeine offers.

When I was working in finance, every now and then I’d hit the drive-thru for my chai.  So when it comes to sipping inside a Starbucks, I’m a novice. I always get the same thing, but since I was in no hurry, I decided to stand and study the menu. I moved up and ordered my usual – tall, chai tea latte with two extra pumps. Since I was the only order at the moment, he didn’t need to ask my name.

While machines whirled, I started to survey the scene for the best seat. There was a two seat table in the corner, but there was a guy with his laptop at the counter. I felt like I’d be too close to him and perhaps able to see his screen. Just then two ladies left an area with four leather chairs and two low tables. I slid into the farthest chair, facing the door. Soon I had my beverage and was clicking away on my iPad. 3 coffee cups

I noticed some of the people around me. There was a multi-level marketing guy talking with a new recruit. She seemed very sold on the health products for her personal consumption.  I noticed though, every time he asked about talking with other people,  she had reasons why that person wasn’t a good candidate for the supplies. He seemed patient, knowledgeable and committed.

Closer to five o’clock things picked up. A large gentleman came in and saw a buddy in line. He began to excitedly tell the smaller man how he had sold a car, his fourth. I wasn’t sure if he worked at a dealership or was some sort of a collector.

A woman walking up to order was called out to by a leather clad man seated near me. She turned, hearing her name and greeted him. He asked her professional help on a land deal he was in the middle of.

Then two adult females and two bouncy children came and sat in my other three chairs. They carried on their mundane conversation about children’s sports schedules and keeping up. Sprinkled in was admonishment to the little boy not to push the table into my shin or knock my cup over. Eventually they shuffled off to Karate class, leaving half a table of crumbs.

I learned that the local Starbucks is something like a very comfortable, small office building. Drinking coffee was secondary for just about everyone there. Business was being conducted between friends. Networking was being done between  acquaintances.  Like the receptionist in the office lobby, the baristas welcomed the workers in and sent them on their way with a smile.

I’m thinking about leasing some office space.

My book’s extraordinary cover art

She’s sitting in the corner, all curled up. Ponytail, barefoot, jeans and a white t-shirt. There is a small area on her side, where her shirt has risen up to expose skin. That she hasn’t straightened her shirt suggests to me that she is not much concerned about how it all looks anymore. I also believe that her being insensitive to the cool air on her side says she’s numb to feeling much of anything now.

The walls around her are pulsing, like a heart beat on a monitor the colors race up and then down. Red pulses into brown, brown into blue. It’s jarring to see the movement of the walls when she is so oblivious, so still.

I think I know her. I think I recognize this place. She’s me. This place is my vibrant life, swirling and shifting, unconcerned about me in the middle of it.

The artist captured it all. How did he know? Maybe because I’m not the only one like that, in a corner of a pulsing room.
——————-
People are surprised when I tell them the art on the cover of the book will not be one of mine. They just assumed I would use one of my pieces. The piece I’ve chosen is called Depression. It’s by a young, male artist in Oregon, named Cory Graham.

Soon after starting this blog, I began looking around to see who else was in the WordPress blog universe. I did a search for depression. Cory’s blog Expressionistic Depression popped up, and there she was. I was immediately disturbed and delighted by the piece. I had to reach out to the artist. He shared with me through emails and his blog about his battle with coming to recognize his issue as being bi-polar disorder, the search for appropriate medication and balancing his life now. His talent and his openness drew me in. Also, I could never get the girl in the corner out of my mind. I knew I wanted her to be my cover. I told Cory almost a year ago, but I don’t think he really believed me.

Now with the first draft submitted, it was time to create the back and front covers. Cory was gracious enough to allow me to use the piece. I have my buddies Tom and Cindy at www.MountainHornMedia.com designing the covers.

There is a lot more work for me to do on the project. Marketing and publicity will be more of a challenge for me than writing the book. However, I know how important the title and cover of a book are, especially for a new author. I feel like I’m setting myself up for success with the talented people I’ve been able to create with.

Here’s the link to see and purchase Cory’s art.

http://corygrahamart.com/2013/03/19/my-blue-is-blue-book-cover/

By the way, I’d love to hear how this piece affects you.