Author Name: Janice N. Richards
A memoir “Growing Up in the Rockies”
“Growing Up in the Rockies” is a memoir of a happy childhood growing up in a mining town. It’s about a community where neighbors looked out for one another and still do. It’s about mother nature being your backyard and living with the environment. It’s about a time when it was safe.
My heart drifts back to the Rocky Mountains as I sit and look out the window, I see the snow that once brought such joy to my heart. I remember the days when I would have been known as a “Snow Bunny.” I think of my poor mother, and how difficult it was for her to keep me indoors. I was a mountain girl who climbed the mountains, and I chased the animals. I found all of God’s creatures beautiful. I was my father’s child. He roamed the wilderness and I learned from him. I loved to live life and I was very, very happy. It makes me very sad when I think of children who have not experienced such happiness, for I was one of the lucky ones. That is why I wish to share my life with you.
It is hard for me to know where to begin as I remember back on the life that I loved and miss so much to this day. I will begin with the memories that stand out in my heart and are what made me the person I am today. I will try the best that I can to divide the book by the four seasons, although the seasons have changed. Some memories will overlap into other seasons. However, life seems to run according to the events of the seasons and this will help to organize my memoirs.
Books may be ordered from the following outlets:
Barnes and Nobles.com
Autographed copies can be ordered directly through me by contacting me either on my blog site or on facebook.
On line prices differ from retail store prices.
Growing Up in the Rockies – 220 page memoir of a Happy Childhood These prices are only good if ordered online with authorhose.com
In addition she has written:
Dreams of Yesterday a collection of poetry
“Coming of Age in the Rockies: The Rebel Within”
“Montana’s Horse Range” poetry
“Grandma’s Pantry” poetry
“ Let’s Have Fun” for parents and teachers
“ Real Life Short Stories”
“Behind Closed Doors” 40 years of one teacher’s experiences.
“Apples or Nana’s” children’s story
“Mercedes Lynn with Love” a grandmother’s journey
My writing experiences mainly started as a teacher as I journeyed with my students through the writing process. Then after a divorce I turned to writing music lyrics as a therapeutic release however, it was very time consuming. That’s when I switched to poetry. My mother for years wanted me to write about my teaching experiences as I would come home and tell stories. I wanted to write my memoir about a happy childhood, because over the years I have seen the life style I grew up with disappear. Now children stay inside in front of computers or other technology games. I grew up when we spent most of our time outdoors. I wanted to share those memories. I continue to write about those things that are very important and close to my life. My life has been strongly influenced by my family and I want to share that with others. My teaching has strongly influenced me and all of my experiences have made me the person I am today.
I am not writing for a career or posterity. I do not have the time in my life to wait and worry about rejection letters. I chose to self publish because I want my books published for me. It has allowed me to maintain control and publish the way I want.
I plan to continue writing and publishing as long as I am able to do so, and will continue to self publish.
Advice to help future authors.
“No one is perfect so writing isn’t perfect but it can be perfected.” ~ Janice N. Richards
Some very important guidelines should be followed when writing. I have made these very generic so that they don’t address any specific genre. They can be used with all genres. However, a specific genre like science fiction may require some additional areas of proofing not listed her. Keep in mind this is general.
· Purpose for writing: Pick a topic, theme, or idea and stay with it. The words should flow naturally. Don’t try to write with words you never use it will become unnatural.
· Audience writing too: Determine who will be reading your writing and write to their interests, their, goals, their dreams, their purpose for reading what you wrote but write with your passion.
· Start writing and do not stop until you have finished a poem, a section, or a chapter. Write without editing while your ideas are flowing creatively. You can always go back and change things. Make sure stanzas, paragraphs, chapters, and sections connect to one another.
· Your ending should be as strong as your beginning, connect them together.
· Proofreading: Do not proof for all the mechanical areas at one proofing. Use spell check before you start. Remember spelling and grammar are two different checks on the computer. Don’t expect spell check to catch grammar errors. Also, it is limited to the dictionary that was installed into your computer. If you aren’t sure use online dictionary or a hard bound dictionary. If you have an updated Microsoft program it will give you the rules for change, make sure you read them so you learn them for future writings. NEVER, NEVER, TRY TO DO THEM ALL IN ONE SITTING IT WON’T WORK. THAT’S WHY I USE ONE SITTING PER LISTED AREA.
· a proofing for spelling,
· a proofing for verb usage – tense,
· a proofing for punctuation,
· a proofing for correct sentence structure,
· a proofing for word usage – don’t over use words this is where a thesaurus can be your best friend,
· proof for capitalization – proper nouns, and last but not least
· proof content area. Did you say what you meant and did you stick with the purpose. Don’t ramble, delete duplications.
· I use different colored high lighters for the types of errors so if you are proofing seven areas you would use seven colors. I do that for two reasons.
· First I want to see what types of errors I am making most frequently. Second I want to know if the errors are my errors or the publishers’ errors as it affects how you pay for corrections.
· You will go through this process of proofing and editing and rewriting until you have a flawless work.
· Average times proofing for a professional writer is twenty plus times.
· Never edit your book when you are sleepy, hungry, or angry.
· Frequent breaks are needed. It is recommended that every 15 minutes you get up go for a walk, stretch, get something to eat do anything but it is best that you do something where you won’t be sitting.
· Remember to save all drafts, revisions, and proofs, it will safe you work in the end.
· Always have more than one copy stored either on CD’s an external hard drive , a flash drive, in your email inbox, and on your computer. That way if computer’s crash you will be able to access the information without loosing everything. Store photos, music, and anything else you are using separate from the text and have it on backups. They are very time-consuming to redo.
· Learn to cut and paste it will make your life easier.
· Learn as much technology as you can.
· Blog, tweet, and post on Facebook, website
· Remember no one can publish your work until you give final approval. Don’t be afraid to reject it if the layout looks wrong, the print job isn’t right, or if corrections haven’t been made. I reject my last cover three times before I would accept the color they used.
· Stay in control of your publishing after all your name is attached to it.
· Maintain control of royalties, rights, and copyrights,
· Market and sell your writings
· Never sign a contract without having someone else go over it especially someone in the business.
· Last but not least. If you are a writer you have a passion. Enjoy your passion and the journey it takes you on. Remember the more you write the more your writing will change and the more you will grow with it.
My favorite author is Mark Twain and his book Tom Sawyer. I was able to relate to that style of living and enjoy it from the perspective of a real life style experience.
My father had the largest impact on my life in regards to appreciating nature and leaving the environment the way you found it. He instilled values of respect and responsibility in me. My mother was also a big influence on encourage my writing and the values that my father instilled.
I am driven to write because I don’t want future generations to forget what this country is all about. Much of what I grew up with has already been forgotten. All we hear on the news is the bad and the ugly. I want to remind future generations of a time when families were supportive of each other, the streets were safe to walk and neighbors looked out for each other. I want to remind society of the importance of commitment and responsibility. I want to promote the fact that life can still find happiness. I feel that we can return our society to that if generations work for it. I want people to remember the simple life and it’s benefits. I also want people to know they aren’t alone. There is always someone else out there that is sharing life’s problems.
I am also being promoted through twitter under authorconsult: on facebook under Janice N. Richards “Best Selling Authors. I have a promoter in Australia that is working with me. I am also currently scheduling book signings and local craft fairs for the holiday seasons. News information has gone out to over 500 news media stations. I will do radio and television interviews. I recently gave a presentation at the College of Southern Idaho. I will continue as a guest speaker upon requests.
I grew up with a disability and the teachers never thought I would finish high school. I went on to graduate from college and became a teacher. I have often over come hurdles in my life and continue to do so. I want others to know that you are the only one who knows your limitations. I am currently disabled but I continue to be a productive citizen.
My characters have been from real life stories. However, I am going to tackle a story that is not real life. I will use traits from a variety of people I have either seen or known over the many years.
When I started my memoir, it was much different from my poetry. My poetry was a collection written over a twenty-year span. However, my memoir I had to organize and decide how I was going to do that.
For me it was easier to put it into seasons. First, I did a table of contents for my outline. Then I just started writing, and kept writing. If I thought of something out of place I put it in my notes and later went back and did a cut and paste. Having it lined out by the seasons and months of the years made it easy for me to keep it in a sequence. Then after the writing was done I went back and added images and some poetry.
I can write anytime of day. However, since I am retired I decided to work it like a business. When I get up in the morning, I first check my emails just as I would have done at work. When I am finished with emails, I start writing. I take frequent fifteen-minute breaks so that I am not sitting too long at the computer. I stop for a lunch hour and dinner hour. I only write in the evening now when I am in the mood or working hard to finish. I try now to keep it to an eight-hour schedule. That way it allows me to do other marketing issues, proofing and personal life activities.
How do you juggle life around your writing? By having a routine, it allows me to have time for everything. I live with my cats and one son. My cats are sleeping when I write. Although one cat has his box on my desk so, he can sleep next to me while I work. My son is off doing his own thing. I don’t take personal calls during the daytime when I write. My friends know to call me after five pm. My frequent breaks allow me to do household chores. I am a retired disabled teacher, so I rarely go out of the house. However, on a day when I do go out, I don’t write at all.
I was fortunate and grew up around the printing business, as my father was a printer. However, learning how self-publisher’s work has been somewhat different. I have learned that you really need to research and know as much as you possibly can. I have improved my technology skills, my being pro-active with publishers, and my marketing skills. However, writers are continually learning and finding new methods and outlets. Having access to other authors and their knowledge has been of great value to me. I continue to communicate with them online and read their blog sites. I think one of the biggest struggles for any writer is the financial struggle.
What criticisms have helped you grow as a writer? The main criticism that I have run into is proof your work, which all writers need to understand, and double check your publishers because you think it’s been corrected but it doesn’t always happen. The other is time elements. Once people know your book is coming out it drives them nuts if they have to wait. I have learned not to say anything too soon until I know it’s ready to hit the market. That way no one is disappointed if it takes longer to publish than anticipated.
Life is a journey you take the good with the bad. I am inviting everyone to come along and journey with me through the bumps in the roads. I don’t know what I will write until I do it. However, this is my legacy to my sons and the world. Please come on in and see how much we have in common. I hope that in someway I can touch my reader’s life.