February 26, 2011

my start in self-publishing

These days you can't search for online porn without hitting a link of some literary agent or writer talking about self publishing.  Or try finding information about the federal budget or gay marriage, and sooner or later you'll end up on a site opining about how self-publishing will kill the publishing industry or destroy authors.

I'm happy to say I was way ahead of them all.  Just like Thomas Paine self-published "Common Sense," when I was in fifth grade I self-published a series of books.  Each book enjoyed a successful initial print run of one copy, with hand lettering and lovingly drawn illustrations.  I still have nine of the books--I think there were eleven in total.  This is what they look like today, after 32 years:

Two were non-fiction:  "Classic & Vintage Cars," and "Forced Journals."  The rest comprised my first real foray into fiction.

Mrs. Waldo, my fifth grade teacher, taught us how to make these books.  We stitched together the pages with thick string.  We glued paper over thick cardboard covers, then finished off the blank with binding tape.  The rest was easy--write the story and draw the pictures.

While my books span many genres--travel, science fiction, memoir, fantasy, non-fiction--they all have one thing in common.  My handwriting gets bigger as the pages go on.  Typically, I get about 40 words a page early on, but by the final pages I'm down to a dozen per page at best.

I hope to blog about each of these books throughout the year.  It will give you a chance to see my writing roots, and it will give me a chance to reminisce about my times at Hopewell Road School, where I had two teachers.  One set me on my publishing path, and the other became my stepmother.

February 23, 2011

haiku wednesday - has it been that long already? edition

This week's words are figure, juicy, stress
I think I missed two weeks in a row. Business travel just sucks the days right out of the calendar. Also, isn't it funny how, when kids are babies, we look forward to when they're teens because we'll have so much more free time? And isn't it funnier that when we finally get there, there's even less free time?

As you'll see below, this week I engage in epic haiku failure.  (Actually, I kinda like the middle one.)

juicy that guy? wow!
you stress wrong syllables, man
figure it out, dude

stress over diets
when she looks in the mirror
juicy pear figure

centerfold figure
they call her "juicy lucy"
parent's midnight stress

February 13, 2011

more rules of the blog

Talk about habitat encroachment.

more rules of the blog

As I am the conveyor of the rules, this is one especially close to my heart.  Though I may entertain certain exceptions.

February 2, 2011

haiku wednesday - six more weeks of football edition

This week's words are abrasive, handful, loss
These are great haiku words. Which really increases the pressure to write good haiku. In a way, I like the weird words better because when I write crap, I can blame it on Thom's words. Today, I have no excuses.

handful of nothing
abrasive turf scrapes your face
missed tackle, your loss

handful of soft breast
abrasive sweater slips off
loss of innocence

abrasive, cold, hard
memories of love and loss
handful of beach sand