Over the past few weeks, as a gift to my lovely mother-in-law, I’ve been proofreading and gently editing some of her completed short stories. At first, it was supposed to be a surprise for her, but someone in the know inadvertently spilled the beans, so she knows all about it. Last night, I uploaded the seven stories I had to Blurb, where I have a gift certificate for $20. Turns out, I really didn’t need to use it. The softcover trade books came in at $5.01 apiece and Blurb sent me a 40% discount code. I ordered one for her and one for each of her children’s families. However, I don’t intend to set the book up for general sale and distribution. This is for her, and her alone.
This wasn’t something she would have asked for as she’s keenly aware of her own literary shortcomings. She’s dyslexic, which affects her writing in many interesting ways. She also writes the kind of stories she likes to read, mostly Westerns with a goodly dollop of romance added in. Her stories are light on description and heavy on dialog. As a Christian, she adds in elements of faith and prayer–just so the reader knows just why good triumphs over evil, which it does, every time. She writes them for an audience of one: herself. But, having seen how my brother reacted to the printed copies of two novels he completed during NaNoWriMo, I thought she should have that same experience. He was excited to see his work in print. I hope she is, too.
Since I haven’t used my gift certificate yet, my family is pushing me to do the same to one of my own stories. My husband says I should just whack off a part of something unfinished and print it up–after all, that’s what happened to Douglas Adams (who had massive trouble meeting deadlines). I wouldn’t do that, but I do have a story I could finish and edit. The gift certificate has no expiration date (though the 40% sale does). I guess I’ll try for it. I’ll also post some snippets as I go along if only to whet your appetites. More to come, I promise.