Thank you for visiting!

You are invited to read Marcus of Abderus and the Inn at the Edge of the World, the first novel in my fantasy adventure series. Visit the Edge of the World! Come for the view, stay for the adventure!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Two Business Ideas-

Being retired from working in the jail I have a bit of time on my hands. One of the things I have done with that time is think about starting a business. Now, I am not a businessman. I have not earned my money by going into business and doing business and getting paid for the business I did. I have usually had jobs. I have tried a few of those business like Amway, including Amway. They didn't work for me.

Why not? Because I am not a businessman by nature. The doing of business does not grab me and inspire me and get me up raring to go in the morning. Still, I sometimes think about business. I have ideas.

Here are two of them. Feel free to grab these ideas and make them real for you. If you are truly business oriented these could be really good. I would come to these businesses and do business, if I wasn't already busy.

Ready? First idea: A restaurant that specializes in artisan breads and sauces to dip them in. Yep, that's it. Bread. Really good bread, like the stuff we get in Pescadero whenever someone goes to Pescadero. Which is not often. Artichoke bread. Really good stuff.

So, anyway, back at Savory or Sweet n' Sour or whatever the place gets named, bread is sold. Bread and a nice variety of sauces crafted fresh every day right on the premises. The bread could be made elsewhere by artisans who make bread and be brought in. The sauces, however, are made right there.

The customer buys some bread, or a variety of breads, and gets to help themselves to little bowls of the various sauces. Then they dip and eat. And drink lots of the beverages also available on the premises. Good bread and savory sauces demand pairings with teas, wines, and beer. Pairings could even be recommended in a suitably snooty fashion.

Idea number two: A little bar. In Japan there are little businesses like tiny cocktail bars and little sushi bars and the like. Places that hold ten to twelve customers. Intimate. Artful. Tiny.

I was thinking of a little whiskey bar. Ten seats, six at the bar, four at little tables. Maybe call it Hole in the Wall or something cute like that. Lots of polished wood. Behind the bar a very nice collection of whiskey. Reasonable prices, of course, as much so as things like single malt scotch can allow. Three main servings: Whiskey, water, and whiskey and water. Oh, and ice is available.

Two ideas. Why don't I do it? Well, I am not a business man. I lack the money to risk, and more so I lack the drive to take passing fancy and give it flesh. Even simple businesses like this require time and money and effort. Do I really want to have to craft sauces for hours every day? Do I really want to stand behind a tiny bar hour after hour, serving single malts by the ounce?

No, I don't. But, if you do, let me know where you are running these businesses. I will stop by and patronize your establishments.

If I'm not busy, of course.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Knitting together a story-

I am near the end of my third book in the fantasy adventure series I am writing. Still not published, but getting closer every day. I had just resolved a scene and come up with a next scene, kind of an interlude. I have the final scene of the book finished in my mind. In between was a gap. What to write to fill that gap?

Due to some recent real-life matters largely beyond my control (much like life in general) I had some time to kill. The writing has been good in this time, since it has been productive. However, I rather like having something to do with my hands when I just "sits and thinks." I sometimes whittle to fill that need, but this winter I took up loom knitting.

So, being in need of some sittin' and thinkin', I took up my loom and began to knit a bit. It works wonders. I wrote the interlude in my head, or at least got a good outline with some flesh on it. I wrote the final scene and did a rewrite, also in my head. Dropped the knitting to make some notes. Picked up the loom again and started looping yarn and turning the stitches with the little hook.

While I looped and stitched I thought about my story so far, and some other stories that had influence on the tale. Tale. "Spinning a yarn." Yarn is used in knitting. Hmmm. Hercules is in a recent scene, though not really Hercules. Just a guy loosely based on Hercules. One primary character is a Pinocchio. What stories to look at in my memory and imagination for that next scene?

Snow White? Perhaps. Sleeping Beauty? Yes, that will work. A previous scene in the series would serve as foreshadowing for that idea. You know, where a hint of 'what is to come' is dropped into the story and later comes about and you as the reader go "Ahhh, yes!"

So I sits and thinks and sits and knits and this outline forms in my head and I drop the knitting and make notes and then I take up the loom again and knit on as I thinks.

The knitting is working really well. I can't cut myself, don't have to sharpen anything, and I don't get wood chips all over the place. When I need to drop the work to make a note or something it is a bit less involved, since I wear a protective glove on one hand when I whittle but don't when I knit. I don't have to find a safe place for the knife, take off the glove, yada yada.

The masculinity thing is no issue, since I have a creative mind and have read lots of stuff and I am as good at justification as anyone else. For a lot of centuries in a lot of cultures men were weavers and tailors and textile manufacturers more so than women, so who is to say that my knitting isn't a manly thing? Also, I can use manly colors to make manly scarves and blankets. Manly.

Now I have my bridge scene in mind and notes made, but I am making some progress on the blanket piece I am working on so I keep knitting. It is pretty relaxing, just looping and stitching and stuff... Oh. Here's an idea. Yes. I will make a note. Hmmm. That won't fit into the framework of book three.

I just knitted myself into book four. Cool! I think that book four should be about four scarves, three hats and at least one full-sized blanket long.

I need to pick up some more yarn!