Encouraging Signs

The Canadian Geese have shown up to winter in the North Dallas area early this year. I saw them today at Richland College in Richardson, Texas, a Dallas suburb. The tallest one in the picture was apparently the drill sergeant as he was honking out the goose-language equivalent of, “Hup, two, three, four… pick it up, two, three, four…” and marching them across the South parking lot, completely unconcerned about nearby people and cars, and college students (who may or may not be classified as people.) I could have walked up behind him and bopped him on the back of his head with my hand and he wouldn’t have been particularly upset. Of course, I would’ve been subjected immediately to goose wrath from his soldiers all around me. And, believe me, goose wrath is not particularly survivable.

Canadian geese having flown South for the winter is an encouraging sign. It is evidence of normal behavior by weather-sensitive creatures in a time of chronic effects from human-caused global warming. The fact that they are willing to land in a State where so many rednecks carry around AR-15s and are not noticeably people-shy is also a good sign unless it means that rednecks are too busy hunting liberals to think about shooting at geese.

A very good sign for me as a writer is the fact that on Tuesday, November 1st this week, I sold five books in one day for the first time ever. Someone bought copies of Magical Miss Morgan, Sing Sad Songs, Horatio T. Dogg, A Field Guide to Fauns, and The Baby Werewolf. Now, there is no way to know from the author’s Amazon dashboard who bought these five books at the same time, or even if it was one person, or five different people. But I have suspicions.

I have been talking to an American Library Association-affiliated marketing group about my book Catch a Falling Star. They wanted me to market that book with them at a gigantic book fair in New Orleans in January. That book, published by I-Universe has won two publishing-house awards from I-Universe, the Editors’ Choice Award and the Rising Star Award. This book, on the Amazon website, appears to be highly marketable, and their book scouts read and recommended the book as a featured submission at their book fair booth. This would be a plumb marketing help for a writer struggling to even get a little notice with the best of his books. But, not having the necessary money to invest, about $850.00, I had to turn them down.

I researched it before deciding, and the book fair is a real thing, not a scam. I was offered a similar marketing campaign a year ago by I-Universe which also knows the quality of that book because they edited it. But their plan was over three times more expensive. And I am not available to appear at book fairs for book signings because of six incurable diseases and generally poor health, as well as the fact that all travel expenses would be mine to take care of. I made seven dollars from royalties this last month. It doesn’t begin to pay the bills. The publishing industry demands far more than it gives to authors.

Still, the five books in one day that I sold are a good indicator that someone is looking at self-published books to find a marketable gem to invest in. I am, after all, the only owner of the publishing rights to my self-published books. So, there is potential if I can stay alive long enough to see it happen.

I have been down of late. The eye doctor says my glaucoma damage is impossible to repair, so I am going to continue being more blind than I ever was before. I have been unable to even think about going back to the nudist camp. I am worried about losing the ability to drive. And heart attacks or strokes are always lurking in the background.

But not all signs point to badness and the end of the world. Some things are encouraging. And those are the signs I will be paying the most attention to.

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Filed under commentary, humor, illness, publishing

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