Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A bordello turned into a bookstore

Really, that's the story behind the Second Story, a wonderful independent bookstore in my hometown of Laramie, Wyoming.  Built in 1889, the building was originally a public hall, later converted into a hotel, which then (because of its location next to the train tracks and red-light district) turned into a bordello. It remained a "hotel" with a reputation until the 1950's, and was renovated into a bookstore in 1992.

Lisa and Laura (LiLa) are hosting the We Heart Indies fest today, where everyone is encouraged to brag about their favorite independent (indie) bookstore. The Second Story is my favorite because I love its colorful history, and it's layout. The bookstore has a big main room (originally the public hall) surrounded by a bunch of adorable little book-nooks that were the ladies' rooms at one point! Each book-nook is decorated according to its own theme (e.g. travel, children's, cooking, etc).

I also love this bookstore because it's overall theme is Personally Recommended Books. Their wesbite says "we welcome recommendations from readers. We put a bookmark in the book with the name of the person recommending it, along with any comments they wish to make."  Isn't that cool? Now that isn't a feature Barnes & Nobles offers, that's for sure!

And on to my Round of Words in 80 days progress: revising my way merrily along. During the Write Hope auction for Japan, I bid for (and bid again, multiple times, I really wanted to win this!) a chance to win a critique from all the ladies at Will Write for Cake and this week I got their comments back. Overall, I was very encouraged - these writers did a wonderful job of pointing out both the weakness and my strengths of my first 20 pages (love that sandwich critique method. If you don't know what that is, google it now. It's very important.)

A nice bonus: even though I got a total of 7 critiques, I didn't get any conflicting advice! They all pretty much zeroed on the same things that needed work. So I've been busy at work. Only problem is, I'm back to working on the first three chapters instead of pushing toward my goal to have all thirty chapters revised by June 23rd.

So I'm having to readjust my goals. My goal is now to have the entire book revised by the end of August, in time for the Rocky Mountain Writers Fiction Writer's Colorado Gold Conference in early September. Best way to achieve goals: a DEADLINE!!! And wonderful ROW80 support from fellow writers, such as:

Susan Kaye Quinn, who is in danger of burning her fingers from typing so fast; she wonders if anyone else is a "burst writer"! (yes, waves hand).

Sheri Larsen, who has COMPLETED her rewrite! Way to go cheers (covering up jealous mutters)! No, really, there's no time or reason to be jealous in this world. Eespecially since she shared her awesome rewriting strategies (she's on step 3 this week. Very helpful. Go check it out).

C. Lee McKenzie, who is determined to find the top of her desk, don an interesting pair of jeans (now there is a story I'm going to have to read about) and work both on a short story and her novel.

What favorite book would you want to leave a bookmark in, for browsers at a bookstore? And what would you say?

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