When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day's works is all I can permit myself to contemplate.
Breakfast: Lean Pocket
egg & sausage
TODAY on TV
Everybody Loves Raymond
IF THEY ASKED ME, I COULD WRITE A BOOK
6 April 2004
There was a knock at the door and there stood the Fed Ex guy with a box in his hands:
It was the delivery Id been waiting for. The box seemed a lot larger than necessary, but Ive become accustomed to huge crates showing up on my doorstep, containing one single memory card for a camera.
I got out the Exacto knife and cut the packing tape, took out all of the packing material and there, nestled among all the puffy brown filling was the book Id been waiting for for a week or so.
Yes, its "Girl Clown," by Mary R. Wise, our very own Bozoette, a fictition book based on her experience of running away to join the circus (she graduated from Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey Circus Clown College in 1975 and traveled for 3 years with small circuses).
Marys been working on this book for some time and Id read excerpts from it, all of which were excellent. I look forward to diving headfirst into the book later this evening.
The Internet has opened up all sorts of opportunities for first rate writers who cant get through the moat in front of mainstream publishers' desks to actually publish and make available their work. I have read a bit about Lulu, the company which has published Marys book. It sounds like a great deal, where the author doesnt have to put up thousands of dollars up front to get their work in print, but it can still be made available to everyone, the circulation depending on the amount of promotion that the author is willing/able to commit to it.
(Everybody go, right now, to Marys page, click on the link to Lulu, and order this book!)
Having this book in hand, as well as "Until the Dawn," a coming of age story, a coming out story, and a story that brings together two worlds: the New York art world of the 1980s and the racial strife of the Deep South in the 1960s, written by my friend Alec Clayton and published by XLibris, another on-line publishing company has made me rethink the whole publishing thing.
Working for Dr. G and attempting to find a publisher for his very good book on women's midlife issues, I learned just how difficult it is for even the best work to find a publisher. Dr. G spent probably $1,000 or more just submitting book proposals to likely publishers. I cannot tell you how many publishers returned the book proposal unopened. There are just too many authors out there who feel their book is the best anybody's ever seen. In the end, the publisher who expressed interest was one who shared publishing costs with the chosen authors, and the author does just about all of the marketing of the book (hires his own publicist, etc.)
The one book I did write, back in 1987, was the better part of a year in the writing and only made it to print because it was an in-house publication by The Lamplighters. My co-author, Alison S. Lewis and I didn't have to shop it around hoping to find a publisher. We knew that it would be published if we just got the work done.
So when people say to me "you ought to write a book. It would be great!" I have a little experience knowing both how much work is involved and how difficult it is to get anything into print.
But Internet publishers have made this a whole new ballgame.
"Running Around in Family Circles" was written by my friend Georgia Griffith, and self-published by Xulon Press, a Christian book publishing company. Georgia is an incredible woman, blind from birth, deaf from age 40 (now in her 70s) and a computer wiz who at one time ran 7 of the top discussion forums on CompuServe. Bless her heart, she's an inspiration...but she's not exactly a top notch writer. Still, she has managed to get her book into print, thanks to the opportunities that internet publishing offer, and I am proud to own my own copy (and to be mentioned in it!).
I find that I am re-thinking this whole "getting into print" jazz. I no longer think that it's totally impossible and, since nobody is breaking down my door with job offers, I've been toying with actually doing what so many people have been suggesting over the years.
Into this mindset came a couple of friends yesterday with an absolutely blockbuster idea for a non-fiction book. I am not going to even hint at what it would be about for fear someone might take the idea and run with it, but if nobody is working on it, it's a sure-fire timely hit. I spent today sending off query letters to people who could help with the project and giving thought to what it would involve.
I'm very, very excited about the prospect. It might amount to nothing, but I'm going to spend some time thinking it through, making contacts, and considering whether I really want to take the time to do it. It's something I can do very easily and I have much confidence in my ability to put together a good product.
So -- stay tuned. Soon you, too, might be able to click on a button here on Funny the World and order your own copy of my forthcoming book.
Just as soon as I write it.
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