As my new website that combines my artwork together with my writings as a published author came together and went live, I looked back over the newsletters that I published previously under DJ Geribo Fine Artist. And since I am now working on both my paintings and my writings (yes, way more work for me to do now) it was recommended to me (by my web guy, Jim, aka my husband) that I produce a newsletter. Since I’m currently writing a bi-monthly newsletter for our Eye Help Animals business and blogging for our other animal-related business, Help Shelter Pets, this additional newsletter will be a quarterly. I will also send out notices when I have something special that I think my readership will be interested in hearing about. And somewhere in there I do also plan to write more books!
The change to my website came about when I published my first novel, a middle-grade children’s book. I was blogging weekly on our publishing website, BBD Publishing, but Jim and I discussed my “brand” and how I wanted to be connected as an artist/author. It was a simple decision: I want my name, Geribo, to be my brand. So, that is what I am working towards now: creating my name as a brand for both my artwork and my writing.
Sounds simple, right? With so much competition on the internet the task, to me, seems monumental. There are so many places for people to spend their time, and if you are in the business of selling something, there are also so many places for them to spend their money. The question then is how do I attract people to what I have to sell: my artwork and my books?
Well, I’ve heard (from my web guy and others) that the key is to keep putting your work, your blogs, your brand out there and you will eventually get some attention. So the newsletter, the weekly or bi-weekly blogs, the e-blasts will eventually call attention to what I am selling. How long this all takes is anyone’s guess.
I’m always writing – sometimes I’m working on a blog, sometimes a newsletter, and sometimes an actual story/book. Even when I’m not doing any of those things, I do write in a journal every night that is more like a diary since I discuss the events of my day. Sometimes I’m exhausted just reading about how much I did in a particular day. Sometimes I get depressed when I realize I just wasted the day reading magazines or watching TV programs (although sometimes watching TV is research such as when I watch several episodes of “Ancient Aliens” that will most likely help me when I continue working on one of my children’s books about an alien).
I usually lie in bed at night, on those wasted days, having just gathered my thoughts into my diary and think about the passing of time and how much I still want to accomplish in my life. I close my eyes thinking that tomorrow is a new day and I will surely get down to business and complete another story or finish editing that book. But it seems as if something often comes between my fingers and my laptop.
With three little dogs that are aging, and one that was very sick 4 ½ years ago, it seems there is always some issue we are dealing with concerning their health. This was a tough winter where we were often taking one or more of them to the vets on any given week. For example, two of them had to have their teeth cleaned. And then one of them needs fluids to keep her kidneys working so we had to find a place where we could buy in bulk for a good price on liter bags since she needs about 1 bag a week. That online research took Jim some time and then we actually drove to several pharmacies asking about buying in bulk and pricing. Although we could buy the bags from our vet, the price is beyond what we want to pay long-term. Thus, the research.
So what I’ve discovered or have come to accept is that I need to write when I can. I take advantage of every minute when my attention isn’t needed somewhere else. Although this isn’t ideal, it will satisfy my need to write and will get my books completed, eventually.
I've been working on a series of portraits of my little Binka, who I lost 3 years ago. She was a black Pomeranian. I loved the light across her sweet face in the photo I used for this pastel painting.
This is a recent miniature painting I did. It is 2"x2" in acrylics. Available for sale on my website.
Combination of one who is an author, an artist, and an entrepreneur. Any person who writes or has a published novel, who paints fine art/illustrations, and also has established businesses using the combination of artistic talents. See DJ Geribo’s websites for examples (www.djgeribo.com, www.helpshelterpets.com, www.eyehelpanimals.com, www.bbdpublishing.com ). Yes, I made the word 'Authistpreneur' up, but I think it fits for all the things I do, unless I am simply a Renaissance Woman (see my blog for an article on Renaissance Men and Women on www.DJGeribo.com).
My Latest Book We just sent my children’s book “Eddie Easel and the Case of the Missing Green” to a printer I found in Singapore. They sent us a sample of one of their books to show us the quality of their work. It is a gorgeous book and I’m sure my book will be equally beautiful. Jim just completed work on the cover and they sent us a proof of the book. We made a few changes...and now we wait for the book to come back! In the meantime, I'm editing “The Miracle Dog” so that we can get that off to the printers. This book will be sent to Ingram, the largest distributor of books in the country.
Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life,
every quality of his mind is written large in his works.
Join me at the NE Author Expo on Wednesday, July 29 from 4pm – 9pm. The event takes place at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA. It is a great event where you will meet a lot of local authors and hear about the books they have written. This is a free event, open to the public. I hope to see many of you there! I will have my three books available for purchase: The House at the Top of the Trees, Eddie Easel and the Case of the Missing Green, and The Miracle Dog. Come and get your own autographed copy!
On My Easel
Winters in my studio are tough – with our garage just below my studio, there is no insulation in the ceiling which means my floor gets really cold and it takes more kero to heat it in the winter months. Since I have many plants up there (with 3 skylights, the plants love it up there), I do have to keep the heat at a reasonable temperature but that temp is a little too cold for me, especially on those long winter days and nights when the temps don’t get much above ten degrees and the wind chill puts them well below zero. So for the months of January and February, I don’t spend a lot of time up there.
Which means, I haven’t been doing much painting. But I can work on illustrations because I can draw anywhere. The latest illustrations I’ve been working on are for one of my children’s books. The story is completed, I just need to storyboard the book, draw the illustrations, and then paint, in watercolors, the completed illustrations.
I’ve decided that I like to draw in graphite and then draw over them using pen and ink. When the ink is completely dry, then I can paint in watercolors. So far, I’ve been happy with the results – it fits my illustrations nicely. I have so many stories that need illustrations there is a good chance I will look for an illustration artist to move some of my stories along and get them printed or on e-books.
I also paint miniatures during the winter months, usually when I visit an artist friend. I can paint a miniature or two in an afternoon and I've had good luck selling these at Holiday shows.
I’ve often joked (and I agree, for many people, it isn’t a joke) that I have adult ADD. I actually could have it because sometimes I have a real problem focusing on one book at a time that I want to read. I’m ALWAYS reading at least three books at a time. Now how I’ve explained it to people, particularly those who read one book at a time and read it until it is finished is, I might want to read a different kind of book at any time. I might want to read fiction, a classic, or a current best seller, or something more in the non-fiction genre. I’m just never really sure what I want to read at any given time so I start several different kinds of books at once.
Sometimes along the way I also decide that I’m not in the mood for a particular fiction book I’m reading so I’ll start reading another one. Of course, I have a couple of different short story books going at once because you can always read one or two stories at a sitting. Fortunately I can read in the car while my husband is driving so I always have one of my short story books along with me. Wherever we are going chances are I can finish a short story before we get there.
But because of this lack of attention on my part, or maybe a better way to describe it is my amazing ability to multitask and compartmentalize my brain so that I don’t confuse any of the stories I’m reading at the same time with each other, it takes me a little longer than most to finish any one book.
Fortunately, I write the same way. I am always working on three or more stories at a time. This is a little more difficult to follow, especially if it is a book I’m writing and not a short story. I’ve had to write an abbreviated form of some of the books I’m working on so that every time I sit down to write I don’t have to read the book from page one through (which can be 100 pages or more) but can figure out what is going on in the book by reading my cliff notes which tell me the important things I need to know that happened to what character on what page. This has worked quite well for me and is a great tip to share with other writers. It is particularly helpful once you are a couple of hundred pages into writing your book.
I hope you enjoyed my first 'revived' newsletter. If you did, please share on Facebook, Twitter, or Forward to a friend. I welcome your comments. Thank you to my own personal "web guy", Jim Fontaine, for your (sometimes not so) patience and guidance through the task of putting together a newsletter that is both entertaining and informative!