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Friday, April 30, 2010

If not NOW, when?

I may be getting in over my head, but I have been looking at the possibility of converting my manuscript to an electronic format and doing an ebook before an ink and paper one gets produced. Is this crazy? Has anyone else ever done something like this? I am in a situation where I am not getting any younger, and I want to see the work of two years out in the public eye.
Writing my book, "Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row," was something I thought of doing Decades ago. Not this particular book, I started a vampire novel thirty years ago, but never finished it. I have mentally kicked my own butt for years for not finishing what I started. There were art projects, too. Not to mention home remodeling and maintenance items than never got finished.
That has been one of my great failings. Not finishing things. Project after project has gone incomplete. I have been guilty of the same failure all of my life. Now, after toughing out the writing, editing, rewriting, reediting that went into the book, I want to see it through and into print. Or, at least in some form, in the hands of others so they can appreciate what I have done.
Am I being conceited in thinking what I wrote is worthy of appreciation? Isn't that what every author believes? What I am considering may constitute literary suicide, but big risks often have big payoffs. And, I don't have forever!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Much ado about money

What do you do when you need money and you are broke? That's the problem I am facing now. I need $1000 and have no way to get it. I have nothing I can think of valuable enough to sell. Without it, my prospects look far more grim than they did only two days ago. Then, I was upbeat, looking to hear from the publisher that they were going to print my book, Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row. Then came the bombshell. They offered me a contract, but with a different slant to it. They want the money to cover "expenses" in setting up and starting production. I would not be self publishing. They say it would be a joint venture, and the royalties would be split 50/50. Have I been hoodwinked by their "acquisitions team," and lead to believe they were going to publish my work only to wind up as a self publisher? Has anyone else experienced the same sort of thing? They have a couple of large websites, so I think they are not a scam, but I am not sure. I need money and answers.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

To Tea or Not to Tea?????

For the first 40 years of my life, I was a Democrat. I worked to get Nancy Pelosi's father, Thomas D'Alesandro, and her brother, Tommy,Jr., elected as mayor of Baltimore, Maryland. I was a huge supporter of mayor then governor, William Donald Schaeffer. Then I began to see that the Dems had moved away from me. They began looking more and more like the socialists with their policies. I became increasingly disenchanted. I finally realized my views were much more conservative than the right wing of the Democratic Party. One of the things that really upset me was that they resorted to labeling anyone who thought like me as lunatic or weirdo. Anyone who did not buy into the leftist ideology was demonized in the liberally dominated media. With 99% of the media controlled by liberals, they can easily besmirch any conservative as "an extremist," or even worse, as a fool. Look at how the media of every ilk did its best to characterize George W. Bush as a buffoon. Every minor idiosyncrasy was made into a major issue. Demeaning him became a national sport for the media.
Now the same thing is happening with those associated with the Tea Party movement. I am not a Tea Partyer, yet! However, I can empathize with them. My frustration with the rapid plunge toward Socialism the government is bringing about through the machinations of Obama/Pelosi leadership, moves me closer to the realm of the Tea Partyers. Before today my political commentary has been limited to yelling at the television or at the telephone when told to "press 1 for English." I now see myself as a voice crying out in the wilderness, "Watch out for socialism and the death of American Ideals." Heed not my words, and U.S.A., R.I.P..

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hello, Hollywood??

Have you ever tried to contact a live person at a Hollywood movie studio? I have been trying to get a message through to Barry Levinson, who, like me, grew up in Baltimore. I think he might be interested in my book, "Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row," because it is set in a Baltimore landmark. Mr. L has done several movies with Baltimore themes, and his "Homicide: Life on the Streets," was filmed there, too. The problem I encountered is layer upon layer of firewalls preventing any access. Maybe after the book hits the stores someone will tell him about it. Guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, April 19, 2010

No Imagination?

My sister and I have a ritual we perform each week. We have a telephone conversation every Tuesday. She called today because she is going on a trip tomorrow. She told me about spending the weekend with her two youngest grandkids. She said after an exhausting day, they wanted her to read them a story at bedtime. The only problem with that is they want to look at pictures while she reads it. She wanted them to go to sleep. Her solution was to TELL them a story which she made up. She had them close their eyes and IMAGINE what she was saying. She started narrating, and one of the first characters in it was a unicorn. When she was ready to finish the story, Aidan, the youngest, said, "Grandmom, I see it!" "What do you see?" she asked. He answered,
"the unicorn." If kids nowadays have no imagination, we can only blame the grown ups who have robbed them of needing one with Xbox, Wii, and TV. Where are we going to get our next generation capable of creative thinking? Creating your own fun out of your imagination is part of growing up. At least it was for me.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Make your own luck

I sent an email to a friend on FaceBook who commented on the fact that I had written a book. She said she had several books floating around in her head, and, I got the impression, she was not seriously considering doing anything about it. I told her she needed to write down what was in her head if she is serious about it. I tried to get the point across that I was serious about writing, and had taken nearly two years to do my own little book. I sent her a copy of the synopsis I sent to the literary agent I was trying to get to market my book to publishers. It is not the Great American Novel or an epic like "War and Peace." It is only a little book about Jewish twins separated at birth whose lives took drastically different paths. Its title says a lot about the contents: Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row.
Right now, it is in the hands of a publisher who is reviewing it. I won't know for a couple of weeks if it will pass into print or not, but the point is that I did it. I didn't let it remain just an idea. I put it down in writing. I wrote, and I re-wrote until it was what it is. Finished. An entity held in electronic files, but nevertheless, an entity. It may or may not ever go further than that, but I am glad to say that the satisfaction of finishing the project is its own reward. If there are any aspiring writers out there in blog land, go to it and do it. Make your dream come true. If nothing else, you can enjoy the journey. To paraphrase the old saying, "A book of 1000 pages begins with the first word." Don't wait until you are 70, like me, to start.