Cloudcroft, New Mexico Mayfair Art Show

Sharon has new pieces ready and available for sale to go to new homes. 

   
    
 We’ll have a booth set up at Mayfair in Cloudcroft at Zenith Park May 28th and 29th. In addition to Sharon’s fine art photos, I’ll have paperback copies of my novel Indian Paintbrush available for sale. 

Please check out coolcloudcroft.com for full details on the event. 

Hope to see you there! 

No, My Novel Does Not Look Professional

I’m very aware that my novel physically appears amateurish. The reason for that is that I’m an amatuer. I’m less than amatuer at book cover design. Like many writers I must force myself into any aspect of publication that is not writing itself. 

I don’t promote myself as a professional. The last thing I want to do is mislead someone. I’m always happy to answer questions about my writing but I never try to convince anyone to purchase a copy. 

This blog and a few outlets that sell paperback copies for me are my only reals forms of promotion. 

I’ll never be good at self promotion. I’m not a people person, though I do enjoy good conversation. I run through all the questions in my head every day, sometimes several times a day, about possible ways to get my novel and future novels into the hands of those that would enjoy them. I’ve done this for years and still have no answers. 

It’s ok. I would someday love to make a modest living writing for my fans. The fact is I’m too humble and too much of a keep to myself kind of person to do anything else to get the word out. 

I live in an RV with a wonderful wife and our cat. I write and she takes amazing photographs(the wife not the cat). We sell our craft when and where we can. Sometimes it’s exciting and sometimes we get discouraged. It’s much like the life many other people live, save the details.

I believe we are good at what we do. I also believe our fans will find us as long as we keep making ourselves available. If it takes the rest of our lives, that’s ok. 

I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or next week, or next year. I can’t think of a better way to keep life from getting mundane. 

B. K. Jones

What is wrong with people?

I’ll try not to go all negative here. I’ll also try not to rant and rave and get up on my soap box. 

I used to like people and I used to like the atmosphere at a campground. Don’t get me wrong. We get some great campers here at the Pines Campground. We’ve met some of the nicest folks. They have been great, conscientious neighbors. We’ve been commended on how we run the camp and how clean everything is. Unfortunately, they’ve been the minority. 

We get a slew of people that can’t or won’t read a sign. If they do read the rules, it’s like they’re are going down the list breaking each one. We do our best to keep it nice and quiet for our campers who come here specifically for the peace and quiet. And I can tell you, it can be a 24 hour a day job sometimes. 

I have been coming to these camps in this area literally my whole life and it was always a rare occasion to see a camp host having to enforce an obvious, common sense rule. It should be as simple as being a good neighbor and not trashing nature. 

I don’t know what is happening to people but so many just do not care about anything but their own selfish agenda. What started out as a way to spend the summer in a place we love and stretch our dollar a bit, has turned into one of the most frustrating, stressful times for me that I can remember.

My plan was to finish my 2nd novel’s first draft here and have it published by the end of the year. But between collecting fees that folks try to avoid paying, making people park in appropriate locations, and telling people that their music shouldn’t be able to be heard by folks in the next county; and let’s not forget the ones who think their children should be able roam and run through everyone else’s camp site all day and all night, we have time for nothing else. 

I always try to keep this blog positive, but my poor wife is sick of listening to me gripe. So, my readers are the lucky ones today. Speaking of my dear spouse, she is such a better person than I could ever be. If it weren’t for her, I’d have hitched up the house and moved out to middle of nowhere by now, leaving this camp high and dry with no host long ago. So, I reluctantly agreed to try and stay to the end of our obligation. 

Even though we are not yet at the point of covering all our living expenses from my writing and her photography, I vow to not take a job that gets in the way of our dreams again. Though these workamp jobs do stretch a dollar, I have to wonder where we’d be with our respective crafts if we hadn’t taken temporary jobs along the way that inevitably delayed what might await us. Did they really stretch a dollar? 

The bottom line is I have stories to tell that many folks will find entertaining. Many of those folks have, and will be willing in the future, to pay a small fee to read these stories. I believed this from the beginning. Sharon has seen and captured many images through her camera lens that no one else would’ve seen or thought to capture the way she has. And, her images are only getting more beautiful and more interesting the longer she pursues them. There are also many people out there that are willing to compensate her to own copies of those images. That has already been proven. 

Don’t waste your time doing things that are only delaying your success.

Brian

Winds of Change…

So here we are, camp hosts at the Pines Campground in the Lincoln National Forest near Cloudcroft, NM. We left Fredericksburg, TX at the beginning of May, had a short visit at the parents place, then moved on to here arriving 2 weeks ago. 

As it turns out, Sharon had sold one of her photographs she has on display at Burro Street Bakery in Cloudcroft since we were last here. We’re very excited. Every photo she sells and every copy of a novel I sell puts us closer to making our meager living solely from the things we love doing. 

We were invited to return to the Fredericksburg KOA next fall and winter for workamping. So, we’ll head back there around the first of October. After that, we’re thinking of forgoing the workamping thing at least for next summer to get in some much needed travel time. Sitting in one spot for several months on end is not really ideal for us. 

The gig we have here in Cloudcroft is not very demanding and we should be able to spend some time on photography, and hopefully I’ll be able to at least complete the first draft of my new novel I started 2 years ago. Wow! I can’t believe it’s been that long since I started it! Yes. I’m very slow. And with our seasonal jobs, we aren’t able to dedicate full time to our crafts. 

That’s why we’ve decided after our workamping commitments end next May, we plan to spend more time traveling and devote the bulk of our time to working our respective crafts. 

I realize there are many talented writers and photographers in the world more talented than me that will never achieve what we hope to achieve. But we have done what we can to live a simple and low budget existence and our requirements are low. The funny thing is we’ve never been happier as a result of that decision. That was the first phase of our dream. The next phase is to support that dream from writing and photography. Now is the time to focus our efforts there. The best way accomplish any goal is to commit all time and effort to that goal. Someone wiser than me said that. It makes sense. 

So, if you find yourself near Cloudcroft in Southeastern New Mexico this summer, stop by the Pine Campground for a visit. Also, if you’re ever traveling through West Texas on US 180 or FM 669, stop by the Coyote Country Cafe in Gail, TX. They serve great home cooking and are nice folks. I owe them for shamelessly promoting my novel and selling more paperback copies than anyone. And that’s in a town of under 200 people! 

Till next time…

Brian