Some days it seems like I am losing because it simply isn’t a fair fight. What fight am I talking about? Well, all of them.
Right now I am quarantined in the same house and sharing the same bathroom with my son who is sick with COVID 19. With my incurable diseases and health conditions, that is a life-and-death fight. If I get infected, my already-compromised lungs will fill with liquid and I will drown in my own natural juices.
Of course, I am trying to fight off that possibility as if my life depended upon it. My mother, the Registered Nurse of 40 years, sent a box of masks express mail. She also recommended spraying down the bathroom with Lysol every time one of us uses it. We, of course, couldn’t get the brand-named stuff because there are shortages of cleaning supplies everywhere. We had to settle for a generic bottle of imitation Formula 409. And we have to make it last. My eldest son is still free to roam the earth, so he was drafted to get us the supplies we need. But he only manages to get part of what we need most at more expensive prices than we are used to paying. Still, at four of us in the house, only the original one is sick at the moment.
But, being stuck in the house in separate rooms from everybody else gives me lots of time to work on my career as a storyteller. I am about at the halfway point of writing The Wizard in his Keep. And re-composing the old AeroQuest stories is coming along nicely too, as you can see from yesterday’s Canto excerpt from AeroQuest 4 : The Amazing Aero Brothers. Amazingly, I had my best day ever on a free-book promotion of AeroQuest 2 : Planet of the White Spider. For some reason I don’t understand, 18 people all clicked on a free copy of the book in about one hour on Sunday. I set a personal record that day for books given away.
But my success as an author still has to be evaluated as… a good novelist who hardly anyone has ever read. Including relatives. The review service, Pubby, is so far a bust. I got one five-star review. And that one is suspect because the reader’s eight-word review had one spelling error in it… unless “complexing” is a word that I am just not aware of. The next two reviews that I earned with points for my reviews of the work of others are both going to have their deadlines expire without reviewing the book (Snow Babies).
And it doesn’t matter how hard I work at marketing according to the rules, my books have no chance. If you are not paying a major book publisher to get your book published, as I did with Catch a Falling Star with I-Universe/Penguin Books, they are not otherwise accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Good agents don’t accept new unknown clients either. Being a writer in 2020 means working hard at your craft so other people can make more money off the content you produce than you do. In fact, you are mostly telling stories for free to mostly nobody.
But this old wizard is not defeated until he is dead, or even longer, as wizards often cast spells that linger long after they are gone. The problem is, he may be dead by next week.