Self Publishing: Learning The Garden Of The Body (Kobo.com)
There are three excerpts from the story as you read along:
She heard laughter behind her. She glanced over her right shoulder and saw Janet Pierce surrounded by three boys that looked between sixteen to eighteen years of age. Janet’s auburn hair hung just below her shoulders and her dazzling green eyes seemed to engulf everything they saw. Faye felt small around her. It was the first day of the Photo Club and she didn’t know much about Janet other than at sixteen, she was new and already considered one of the most attractive girls in the school. Faye didn’t think the boys with her belonged to the Photo Club.
“Thanks for letting me know,” she heard Janet say to the boys in a sweet but disinterested voice.
Faye’s dark blue eyes widened as she saw Janet come over to her. The boys looked on for a moment longer before leaving. “Hi, Faye, right?” Janet asked her. “I’m Janet.”
“Hi,” Faye said back, trying to grasp why Janet would talk to her.
“I heard your sister is taking Health and Fitness at November College, and that you train together on the weekends. You look like you’re in really good shape.”
“Thanks.” Faye didn’t know if this was a ruse, but the boys were gone so Janet had no reason to mock her.
“I was wondering if you and I could work out together. Boys are always willing to show me, but they seem more interested in touching the muscles I’m supposed to be working. I don’t really think they know how to exercise properly.” Faye wasn’t sure what to say. “Okay?” Janet asked, pen in hand eyeing Faye’s notepad as Mr. Roberts came in.
“Okay,” Faye replied, feeling awkward. She had heard from Cynthia that in school there was a hierarchy and clique. Janet talking to her seemed to be a tear in that hierarchy.
Janet quickly wrote something on Faye’s notepad. “That’s my phone number and e-mail. I don’t have a cell phone or palm communicator. I would love to meet her,” Janet said before returning to her desk. Faye carefully tore off the section of paper with Janet’s phone number and e-mail and put it into her left pocket.
This could be called the continuance of Healing The Temple Of The Soul because it includes Cynthia and Faye Stevens, and their family. However, the main character this time is Cynthia’s sister Faye. Whereas, Healing The Temple Of The Soul is more about eating disorders, Learning The Garden Of The Body is about modelling, exercising, and true friendship.
I went to see a speech by a model with my youngest niece a few years back. It was a scary awareness. Some modelling companies want their models to be tall (5’7” or 5’8” is the shortest) and be a size 0. I saw in a magazine a while ago both female and male models who looked very gaunt. It seemed the model company wanted to make both sexes androgynous or sexless. I have been in the fitness industry for over fifteen years, and that is an unhealthy body type to ask a model to become and to advertise so youth try to emulate it.
I don’t believe modelling is wrong, I do believe asking people to get so thin is unhealthy.
“My sister was two inches taller than me. She could go out with any guy, and could have been a doctor or nuclear physicist, but one of the model agencies told her she was too heavy. She used to win at everything: sports, music, art…modelling. She was determined to work for this high end agency, that didn’t have a protocol for healthy weight like other agencies. It became her obsession to lose weight and yet excel in academics and sports.” Faye’s eyes widened as Janet looked up at her with tear streaked cheeks and eyes that flashed anger. “You can’t have everything, Faye. But she…well, we, the whole family, were so used to her winning that we forgot to tell her it was okay not to be in some snot-nosed, uncaring modelling agency. She had a meeting with the agency on a Tuesday and a track meet on the Monday before. So just before the Monday meet, she must have upped her intake of diuretics that I knew she kept hidden in her room. They say her heart just gave out half way through the race. My parents found the diuretics a month after her autopsy. I should have told them.”
Many jobs today focus on computer work, and robotics are taking over much of the physical labour. So exercise is a very important aspect to keeping healthy. Best time to learn proper technique is before becoming an adult.
“I don’t want my pictures shown until I’m in shape,” Karen said with finality.
Faye looked over at Cynthia. “First, we would work on your posture, your energy and your health,” Cynthia told her in a very professional sounding voice. “It takes the cells about ninety to a hundred-and-twenty days to change, so it might be twelve weeks before you see a definite improvement. First the nervous system is awakened, then the cells start to adapt to your new way of eating and exercising. It takes time.”
“That long?” Karen said sounding exasperated.
“Health and safety, first,” Cynthia replied. “I take it this project is to help people stay fit indefinitely, and not just for summer. You don’t want to lose weight super-fast, but gradually. It will probably stay off that way. If you starve yourself, most of the weight remaining will be fat and not lean muscle.”
I wanted a happy image for the cover of Learning The Garden Of The Body. An action picture has the advantage of not waiting for the artwork. Both have their advantages.
I chose to go with Kobo.com [Kobo Writing Life] because it allows you to publish an e-book without any cost. You decide on the book’s price and they take a percentage of it. Advertising is up to you. It would be great to hear any insight to others experience with Kobo, Amazon, or Google.
Next Up…AppleEye, a play I wrote for my brother when my brain was freezing up in an Ottawa when I was working for a Co-op store in -50C.