Cover image for Writer ferrets chasing the muse
Title:
Writer ferrets chasing the muse
Author:
Bach, Richard.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scribner, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
xiv, 189 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.4 4.0 77121.
ISBN:
9780743227544
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Budgeron is struggling mightily to write the great ferret novel, a story so rich, so finely wrought, it will set the world of ferret literature on its tail. By day, he writes adventure stories for kits' magazines. By night, he lights the Lamp of Wisdom and calls forth Count Urbain de Rothskit, hero of the massive volume, Where Ferrets Walk. After a near-perfect first sentence, Budgeron sighs in his tiny attic writing room and waits for the second to come.Downstairs, a page-turner romance tumbles effortlessly from the keyboard of Budgeron's mate, Danielle. A pawdicurist who decides to write for fun, Danielle never expected her first page would explode with Veronique Sibhoan Ferret, a willful, naughty, mesmerizing animal who would one day bewitch millions of readers.Budgeron and Danielle are aspiring writer ferrets following their calling through the quiet rooms where stories are born, past the mailbox and rejection slips and finally into the white hot world of big-time book publishing. In the end, each finds success writing for the one heart they must truly please: their own.Writer Ferrets: Chasing the Muse is a tale about the search for what really matters in life; the struggle to free our inner voice; the pursuit of a dream against significant odds and the need to love and be loved by a like-minded spirit.


Author Notes

A direct descendant of the composer Johann Sebastian Bach, Richard Bach was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1936. He attended Long Beach State College in 1955 and had a successful career in aviation, as an Air Force pilot, a flight instructor, an aviation mechanic, and an editor for Flying magazine.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the novel that made him famous, was written as the result of a vision. Halfway through the book, the vision disappeared and, finding that he was unable to continue, Bach, put the novel aside. When the vision reappeared, Bach finished the work. Jonathan Livingston Seagull, published in 1972, was an unexpected success and became the best-selling book in the United States for that year. The book is heavily influenced by Bach's love of flying and provides a marvelous inspirational message. The Bridge Across Forever: A Love Story, One, Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul (2004), and Hypnotizing Maria (2009) are some of his other novels that blend inspiration, love, fantasy, and hope.

In recent years Bach has written Thank Your Wicked Parents: Blessings from a Difficult Childhood (2012), Rainbow Ridge and Travels with Puff: A Gentle Game of Life and Death (2013), NiceTiger, (Bowker Author Biography) He is the author of eleven books, including Stranger to the Ground, Biplane, A Gift of Wings, Illusions, One, and Running from Safety.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bach stumbled in the first two volumes of his new series of fables (Air Ferrets Aloft and Rescue Ferrets at Sea), but this effort recaptures some of the sense of wonder that made Jonathan Livingston Seagull a runaway bestseller. The protagonists are a pair of aspiring writers, Budgeron Ferret and his mate, Danielle, who are keen to climb the literary ladder. Budgeron, despite bouts of writer's block, has high hopes after selling a few short stories to some low-level magazines, and he hits it big when he publishes a series of novels for young ferrets (called kits). Meanwhile, Danielle pens a controversial romance "for the fun of it," which quickly becomes a bestseller. Much of the second half of the novel deals with the book tour that Danielle and Budgeron undertake together after becoming a successful literary couple. As hackneyed as the plot sounds, Bach's love of animals and reverence for the creative process keep the novel from becoming overly mawkish and sentimental; the icing on the cake is some tongue-in-cheek insight into the publishing process. The book also features crisp plotting, which was missing from the first two volumes of The Ferret Chronicles, and Bach's decision to avoid dwelling on the differences between the human world and his imagined ferret equivalent helps keep the prose economical. This is a lovable, entertaining story, which will tug at the heartstrings of even the most jaded. (Oct.) Forecast: Two more volumes of the ferret series will be released later this year. Interest may slacken as their novelty value wanes, but Writer Ferrets, at least, should benefit from positive word of mouth. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

As part of a longstanding series, Bach's book here introduces Budgeron and Danielle, two married writer ferrets in conflict: she writes best sellers, he is striving to craft the great ferret novel. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter 1 Budgeron Ferret drew the shades of his tiny attic writing room, unplugged the wall lamp, slipped a white silk scarf around his neck. What's wrong? he thought in the gloom. Can my trouble be the ceremony itself? Hollow, tense, he turned to his task, the tips of his ears bending now and then against the low angled ceiling of the room. He lifted the typewriter from the desk, set it on the floor. From the closet he took a wide green blotter, a rosewood case, an ancient oil lamp. He set the case gently at the rear of the desktop, the blotter in front, squaring the edges precisely, placed the lamp alongside. He was a handsome ferret, the golden fur of his body darkening to ink at the tip of his tail. The mask around his eyes, equally dark, shaped a crisp W, a feature that other animals found compelling. If it's my ceremony that's wrong, he thought, how do I fix it? Does it work because I believe it will work? What happens if I stop believing? Next the writer struck a match and touched it to the lamp, a flame never lit but for this occasion. He watched the glow lift and settle, the color of an ancient key, peaceful soft reflections in polished silver. Placing the chair just so in front of the desk, he seated himself. Everything the same, it had to be, as the day he wrote the first sentence. Sliding open one of two small drawers, he lifted a tiny crystal pot of violet ink and set it in its place on the desk. He removed the cork and put it carefully by the jar, closed the drawer. From the second drawer he selected a goose-feather quill, its point clean and bright. He laid the quill carefully to the right of the ink and cork. He nodded, satisfied. Save for the growing terror within him, all was in order. With the side of his paw he polished the rosewood case, slowly opened the lid. His heart fluttered as he touched his unfinished manuscript. Where Ferrets Walk by Budgeron Ferret Though he knew it word for word, he read his book yet another time. Sadly, Count Urbain de Rothskit stood upon his paws by the edge of the castle turret and watched rosy-whiskered dawn push her nose under the tent of night. The... Here the manuscript ended. Thus launched into the process of creation, the author sighed. It had a wonderful tension, he thought, yet something wasn't right with the novel that would set the world of ferret literature on its tail. Did sadly mean "without happiness," which the writer intended, or "unfortunately," which he did not? Was it necessary to write stood upon his paws? What else would his hero stand upon? Did by the edge of the castle turret hint that Rothskit was about to jump? His count was not suicidal. Rosy-whiskered dawn sounded as fresh as the moment he wrote it, and he liked the tent of night. That was good. He dipped quill-point to ink, lifted it toward the paper. It was time to continue the sentence. He sighed again, waiting for the adventure that would follow The... He wrote dawn... and stopped. He could not imagine a word to follow that one. Silence curled in about him, tightening, the coils of a jungle constrictor. Copyright © 2002 by Saunders-Vixen Aircraft Company, Inc. Chapter 2 It's thin air, the high country in Montana, and cold. It's hills and plains, sudden low cliffs cut by streams of liquid diamond, through lime-color clouds of summer alder and cottonwood. Monty Ferret's Rainbow Sheep Resort and Ranchpaw Training Center was a dozen buildings at the center of open wilderness range, pasture and mountains and forest, parched desert and sudden deep lakes, stretching to the horizon in every direction. "Hup! Hup! Hya!" His first day at the Center, his new red bandana tied stiff and bright about his neck, ranchkit Budgeron Ferret had stood no taller than the middle bar of the corral, eyes wide at what he saw within. "C'mon! Go-go-go!" Inside the corral, a burly ferret on a powerful delphin shouted and whistled, his mount stamped and snorted not ten paws from the pod of sheep. Each of the woolly creatures a separate pure color, cherry and mint, lemon and plum, instead of stampeding, the Rainbows stood unfrightened, gazed in the direction of the ranchkits, curious to see the new arrivals. One lamb, blue as a twilight sky, yawned. Monty Ferret, the sheep whisperer, rode to the edge of the corral, looked down upon his ten newest ranchkits. "So you see," he said, the picture of calm, "shouting and carrying on, that's not goin' to get you anywhere with these animals. They're guests here same as you, except with them we have contracts for the best wool in the world." He lifted his wide-brimmed ranchpaw hat, brushed back the fur of his brow. "These animals are cloned, they were born in a laboratory, but every Rainbow's an individual. They're beautiful, they're proud, they love the wilderness. "The one thing they lack," he said, replacing his hat, "is outdoor skills. Their sense of direction isn't as good as yours and mine, they'll get to thinking and wander off, they'll forget to eat, sometimes. That's why you're here. You're going to be their guides, this season." While he spoke to the young ferrets, the rainbows turned and trotted near, as though they knew what was coming next. "I suspect you brought some treats from the bunkhouse, kits. You might offer to share some, and watch how these animals behave...." Budgeron slipped his backpack to the ground, knelt and found the treats, alfalfa hay pressed in soybean oil, the shape and size of broccoli coins. The sheep stretched their noses toward the snacks, took them politely, nibbled them down and stretched for more. Monty watched, continued his introduction. "Kits, life's not gonna be easy here this summer. Sunup comes early and you'll be runnin' hard till late, no more'n six naps a day." The kits looked at each other, wordless. "You've got a lot to learn about ridin', about livin' on the land, findin' your way through the forest and the plains, about always puttin' the Rainbows' comfort before your own. But you'll be ranchpaws by summer's end, and I reckon you'll find it's been worth your trouble." Swiftly had the kits become friends, Budgeron and Strobe and Boa and Alla and the rest, their hammocks side by side in the bunkhouse, their places together in the dining hall, their delphins in adjoining stalls. Together they curried their mounts and cleaned stables. They learned to saddle and bridle and ride, to orient themselves by sun and stars, a skill uninteresting to the happy-go-lucky Rainbows, who depended on the ranchpaws to know which way home and how long to get there. Budgie Ferret had been different, that summer, from the other kits: he wore his crimson bandana and wide-brim ranchpaw hat as they did, he carried bedroll and canteen and many-blade utility knife, but as well he brought notebooks and pencils, packed carefully away in his saddlebag. Spare moments he unwrapped these and wrote pictures of the land around him. He wrote scenes and dialogue, funny stories and scary ones, he wrote what he saw and thought and felt, homesick sometimes, exhilarated others, committing his heart to yellow notepaper. For all this Western adventuring, he didn't count himself happy unless he had done something, unless he had taken some action upon the world around him, and that action was to write what he saw and what he thought. At the end of the summer, bandana faded nearly to white by sun and rain, Budgeron Ferret had returned to the city self-reliant, independent, confident of his ability to survive in the wilderness and to be a worthy companion and leader to other animals. On the bus home, he read his dusty, rain-spattered journal, bright colors and songs and scents of high-plains nights and noons, talks remembered word for word, tales of his friends along the trail and around the campfire. In the pages, summer was alive again. "I'll be a writer one day," he whispered. Way down within, his muse listened. It stirred and happily sniffed the air. Copyright © 2002 by Saunders-Vixen Aircraft Company, Inc. Excerpted from Writer Ferrets: Chasing the Muse by Richard Bach All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.