Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Quilt Connection

I've always loved quilts. I've slept under one or another since I was a toddler. Here's what's left of my baby quilt that Mama made.

Quilts are the ultimate in recycling. They're something useful made from something that otherwise would be cast away, and they're a connection to the past.

In my 2001 self-pubbed novel, Patches on the Same Quilt, I used a quilt passed down through generations as one of my motifs in an otherwise horse-oriented book. The quilt I used for the background on the cover was made by my Great-Grandma Nace over a hundred years ago.

The book's title comes from a sampler made by one of the characters:

We may not be cut from the same cloth,
But we're all patches on the same quilt.

Now, this novel is old news. It's gone though two 1,000-copy press runs, and I'd pretty much abandoned it. In fact, I'm selling the 200 copies left for only a few dollars each. When I first published it, a full color cover would have run the printing cost way up, so I opted for a two-color cover. I'm not fond of how it looks.

Lately, quilts have been appearing in my life. At the Appalachian Heritage Writers Conference, I swapped books with Linda Hudson Hoagland. I started reading her Quilted Memories book and couldn't put it down.

Linda owns a quilt that, when she sleeps under it, gives her nightmares. She used that as the premise for her book. I don't know how much of her book is autobiographical and how much is real, but it's one heck of a compelling story.

A couple of weeks ago, I found an old quilt beside the dumpster. It was pretty well worn, but I liked the look of it. Despite its wear and tear, it was too good to throw away. Many of its patches are vintage. It deserved better than being thrown away.

So, I got to thinking. Why not recycle my old novel into an ebook? First, it needs a bit of patching up, which I'm in the process of doing. I've done one re-tweaking and re-editing. I'll do another re-edit after it sits for a while. 

Then I need to learn the procedure to format an ebook. I'm currently reading about how to that. Finally I need a new cover, but I've got a buddy who'll swap his Photoshop/design skills for my editing skills.

I think the old quilt I found might be part of the cover design. What do y'all think?

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Blogger CountryDew said...

I think this is an excellent idea! Good for you.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Franz X Beisser said...

I didn't grow up with quilts, But have a heart-warming feeling toward them. I see ladies sitting in a circle, sharing, laughing, praying for special needs. What a wonderful time in this country's past to have families place value in even the smallest things. Chop-sack dresses is one more.

5:36 PM  
Blogger R.M. said...

Brilliant idea! Can't wait for the newly minted quilt!

11:52 AM  
Blogger lynn said...

its beautiful--you should use it in your book:) can't believe someone threw it out!

1:09 PM  

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