Category Archives: Publishing Rewards and Woes

   Sock Front Cover A Christmas story orangeB30-1 copysunup cover all letters outlined

                                                       On The Run!!!
If a grand slam is, as I think it is, a home run hit over the fence with the bases loaded that thereby also brings in three other runners, then I would say the equivalent in my life would be to find an agent who would find a publisher for all four of my children’s books! I am not a lazy writer, but I am a lazy marketer/promoter.  I would love to find someone to turn that part of my life over to!!!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Grand Slam.” In your own life, what would be the equivalent of a grand slam?

Less Salt in My Success Story, Please

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
–Truman Capote

Less Salt in my Success Story, Please

Is it coincidence that spice is also known as “seasoning?”
The reason for this must be (according to my reasoning)
because we need a bit of this and then a bit of that
lest our cuisine, and more importantly, our lives become too flat.
Summer, winter, spring and fall—no season dominates them all.
So this is why, then, in my view,
a pinch of failure will surely do.

The Prompt: The Spice of Success—if “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor” (Truman Capote), how spicy do you like your success stories?

Okay, trying to link to NaBloPoMo.  Let’s hope this works!!!

A Message for Henry Selick

The Prompt: Make It Count—You’ve been given the opportunity to send one message to one person you wouldn’t normally have access to (for example: the President. Kim Kardashian. A coffee grower in Ethiopia). Who’s the person you choose, and what’s the message?

A Message for Henry Selick

In our age of information—
and also instant confirmation
of every little truth and fact,
it’s necessary to react
with some protection, I understand.
The famous of us take a hand
to protect themselves from the clamoring band
of those who call for their attention
to win a conference or audition,
an interview or invitation
to meet for food or a libation
as a means to talk about
ideas that we have need to flout.
And so I see why I could not
reach the person whom I sought
to pitch my Christmas storybook.
The plot is good. I have a hook.
The characters are funny and
the artist has an expert hand.
I even know the person who
I wish to do my pitching to.
But he’s grown famous through the years
and our acquaintance is in arrears—
his movies scarier by far
than any of my stories are.
But readers tell me that in a pinch,
my Christmas story beats the Grinch!
A Christmas classic the film would be
if only Hollywood could see
the book that no one yet has seen
because my Facebook notes have been
seen by no one and I have not
a way to advertise my lot.
So here I make a heartfelt plea
for Henry Selick to contact me!

(To further jog your memory:
Your wife Heather had a job
teaching with my husband Bob.)

The book is Sock Talk: A Christmas Story, and you can see more about it here.


Blog Sock Talk

Epitaph of a Fulfilled Poet

The Prompt: Quickly list five things you’d like to change in your life.  Now, write a post about a day in your life once all five have been crossed off your to-do list:

Find an agent/publisher
Get all children’s books published
Write a line of adult picture books
Lose weight
Find someone to dance with

“Epitaph of a Fulfilled Poet”

Fulfilling all these book orders just seems to keep me hopping.
Without the time to cook or shop, my weight just keeps on dropping.
My clothes just hang around me, from my body they keep flopping.
I’d buy some smaller ones if I just had the time for shopping!

Five children’s books are published and my agents want some more.
My grief book they can’t keep in stock—It flies right out the door.
Libraries and bookstores just keep clamoring for more,
and still my weight keeps dropping till it’s really quite a bore.

Now that I am skinny—lithe and trim and toned,
no one has to make excuses that I’m just big-boned.
And I must wrap this up soon for a suitor has just phoned
who wants to take me dancing—so perhaps I should be cloned.

Then one of me can write that line of adult storybooks,
while the other stays at home and plans my meals and cooks.
The third has time to shop for clothes and tend to things like “looks,”
and the other goes out dancing with a brand new beau named “Snooks.”

As you can see, my rhyming prowess now is wearing thin.
The last word of that last stanza I admit is just a sin.
Frazzled and with much to do, I’ve broken out the gin,
fell off my pool ladder and badly bruised my shin!

Okay, I’m really hard up for more sentences that rhyme,
so I think that I’ll stop now and just write another time.
Perhaps tomorrow I can write of something more sublime.
But for now, I think my drink could use a squeeze of lime.

Our goals just keep us going—they propel us through this life
and keep attention focused through the problems and the strife.
I’ve always kept on working as both single girl and wife,
slicing through my problems with my words used as a knife

to trim the boredom from my life and go wherever I please,
to make my living with my wit instead of on my knees.
Taking care to always mind my q’s as well as p’s.
and extract all the fun from life that I have found to seize.

Now that my life is near its end and I’ve time to reflect,
I do not choose to pray about it or to genuflect.
I don’t crave meditation or to join a church or sect.
I‘ll find my own atonement and a way to resurrect.

I’ll do it through my writing, for I’ve found that is the key
to figuring my pathway while remaining true to me.
I’m just as I have written. I’m exactly as you see.
My words have all been written, and I’m finished—“a” to “z.”

My Promoter

The Prompt: You, Robot—You’ve been handed a robot whose sole job is to relieve you of one chore, job, or responsibility you particularly hate. What is it?

                                                                        My Promoter

Since Ray Bradbury wrote of one in “There Will Come Soft Rains,”
the list of things robots can do seems to have made great gains.
Some are made to wash our hair. Others shave our heads.
They build our houses, clean our floors and even make our beds.
I grant that it is handy that there’s one that scoops dog poop,
and one to stop our snoring, another to cook soup.
Lonely? One shoots billiards and perhaps it lets you win;
but do not gamble with it, for I hear it cheats at gin.
It’s great that there’s a robot that lifts patients out of bed,
but since I am still mobile, I have other needs instead.
I want a robot that can read and surf the internet
to send out my submissions and to guarantee I’ll get
an agent and a publisher to dispense all my writing
and send it to reviewers so my words they would be citing!
Send it out to libraries, to Amazon and Kindles.
Keep track of my royalties so there would be no swindles.
In short, I want a robot that will publicize and fight
so all this writer has to do is write and write and write.

As far-fetched as these robots sound, they are all based on reality.  For more information, go to: http://mentalfloss.com/article/30898/10-robots-very-specific-tasks

 

Lear’s Fool or Harlequin?

The Prompt today is “A Bookish Choice”—A literary-minded witch gives you a choice: with a flick of the wand, you can become either an obscure novelist whose work will be admired and studied by a select few for decades, or a popular paperback author whose books give pleasure to millions. Which do you choose?

Lear’s Fool or Harlequin?

Obscure or popular? That witch
creates a choice that is a bitch.

For, if at fame I had a chance
only if I wrote romance,

I’d prefer to be unknown,
in my corner, all alone,

writing words they’ll find profound
if in fact they’re ever found.

But wait. Have we two choices only?
Trite and read/genius and lonely?

Where is it written I must depend
upon a witch to plan my end?

Since when has either witch or fairy
determined what is literary?

Once I took a little breather,
I decided I’d choose neither!

Rebellious thoughts swirl through my head.
I’ll simply write my blog instead!!!

Dreaming A Path

Dreaming A Path

Dream, Fri. Oct 18, 2013

We were at a booth in a café. It was a huge room with booths on every side and each booth had a clock, or at least I thought they did. I don’t think I ever looked. Our alarm started going off and there was no way to turn it off. It was by me and I tried and tried but couldn’t get it off. I said I was just going to unplug it, but Patti said perhaps it was timed with all the other clocks at tables and then it wouldn’t match. I said couldn’t they just reset it when we left? Someone agreed, but still we didn’t unplug it and it went on and on and on. Very annoying. Our booth came equipped with a little dog. It was tiny and light with long very curly white hair that was in loose corkscrew very long ringlets. It was so adorable and affectionate. I held it most of the time. It had legs like wires that went straight down..very skinny…and it jumped a lot. When the waitress came, we told her about the alarm and she said yes, she’d noticed that it was going off…but she didn’t do anything about it. We told her how cute the little dog was and she said yes…but then it seemed like it was the little dog who had the alarm that was going off. We ordered and afterwards I was wanting a dessert but thought I shouldn’t order one. Patti was to my right and I suddenly realized she was eating a very rich chocolate dessert—a sort of fudge flan or very moist slippery cake that was hot with a hot fudge sauce over it. She offered me a taste. It was a very small rectangle…not very big…but I tasted it and immediately said I’d have one, too. It was incredible. Still, the alarm went off. It was driving me crazy! Then I woke up and realized it was my own bedside alarm. I reached up with my eyes still closed and tried to turn it off, but couldn’t find the control. Finally I picked it up, opened my eyes and found the control. It was 8:10. The alarm had been going off for 10 minutes!!!!

My interpretation:

I found this dream in a folder on my computer. I have no memory at all of having dreamed it, and perhaps that distance makes it easier for me to interpret it. In a few weeks, I turn 67. For the past year, I’ve thought repeatedly about death and the fact that if I’m lucky, I probably have only 30 years left. For some reason, that awareness is very stressful. I feel a need to finish everything I’ve started and never completed. Earlier, that consisted of a lot of sorting, construction of storage spaces and weeding out of the contents of my house. That effort is ongoing. What also happened, however, is that I have an incredible drive to get everything published that has been lying around in file cabinets for many many years as well as a need to write new work and somehow disseminate it. My blog is part of that effort, as are my efforts to get all my books on Amazon and Kindle.

Seeing this dream as if for the first time, I clearly see that theme of time running out coupled by a sense of alarm that I need to do something about it. The little dog shows the attractive quality (adorable and affectionate) of finally dealing with all these loose ends—(note all his corkscrew hairs). Those wiry little legs that kept him always active certainly reflect the urgency I’ve been feeling to write write write.

One aspect of this awareness in my real life for a time consisted of my fear that I will stop breathing. This often gets me up gasping at night to run outside to try to breathe. For some reason I haven’t had any of these panic attacks since I started writing every morning. What I interpreted as a growing fear of death and a dread of ceasing to exist was perhaps a fear of not living and creating while I am alive.

I think the interplay between my sister Patti and me in the dream reflects a number of things. One is a difference in our approaches to life. I think in a way, she is more of a rule-follower and since she was my immediate pattern for most of my earlier life, I think a part of me feels this same need, but this is coupled with an equal and stronger need to create my own path in a direction unique from my two older and very competent sisters and to break a few rules to do so. At a very early age, much as I admired and imitated my sisters, I felt the need to prove myself. To find something to know that they didn’t already know. I found this route when I started venturing out at an early age to find new ground where they had not gone before me. It led me first into the homes of friends and strangers where I saw life being acted out in a manner entirely different from my own home. The road led further—to summer camp where I was a stranger to all and vice versa. I loved being the stranger. In choosing a college, I fell back on the reliability and comfort of attending the same school my sister had attended, but in my Jr. year I took my first big leap—a trip around the world on World Campus Afloat. That early adventure in seeing dozens of new and strange cultures set my life path. I’ve been traveling ever since and have been living in Mexico for the past 13 years.

I believe this dream depicts the sense of urgency I’ve had my entire life to “do” something with experience. My art and writing allow me to turn off the alarm for the hours in which I practice them. That small dessert might symbolize the rewards of doing what I need to do to do so.

P.S. An interesting insight I have had just as I started to post this: (And, interestingly enough, wordpress will not accept my blog entry. Perhaps it is insisting I add this P.S. before it does so.) I just got back to Mexico from a visit to the states wherein I visited my oldest sister Betty who is now in the depths of the world of Alzheimer’s. While I was there, she seemed increasingly distressed by the fact that she can no longer communicate, but one day as we were sitting in the living room portion of her small apartment in a managed care Alzheimer’s wing, she motioned to the middle of the floor and said, “Look a that cute little white thing there—that fluffy little white dog!” This was the first incidence that I know of of her actually hallucinating visually, and for some reason it popped into my mind in relation to the little dog in my dream. All of these images—of our dreams as well as our daily life—remind us to live while we can and to do what is most important to us. In my case as well as my sister’s—to communicate. Too late for her, although she continues to try. Not too late for me.

P.S.S.  By the way, the instant I completed the above P.S., the wordpress page that had continued to not allow me to post this blog entry flashed the message:  What do you want to post?  Text? Picture?  I chose text and and you have just read it.

The prompt: Freudian Flips. Do you remember a recent dream you had? Or an older one that stayed vivid in your mind? Today, you’re your own Freud: Tell us the dream, then interpret it for us! Feel free to be as serious or humorous as you see fit, or to invent a dream if you can’t remember a real one.

Note in response to this prompt: (When I think of dreams, I think of Jung, not Freud, and he continues to influence my thoughts and actions much more than Freud ever did.)