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.
Rising from the Dead
I have had Covid for at least seven days now. I tested positive on Sunday morning. It was three days of being ill before I took the last home test kit I had. It gave me a clear positive result in exactly 15 minutes, just as the test-kit instructions claimed it would.
I have been unable to concentrate enough to read and write for the majority of the time. I have been bedridden for a lot of that time with coughing and congestion, body aches, fever, and nausea. And yet, I was still forced to get out to the local grocery store every day because the house has a dissolving plumbing system from the 1860s that we can’t afford to fix and it is necessary for a sick person to go poo every day indoors in order to promote community health and give the sick person hope of recovery.
Of course, the fact that I am now recovering rather than dying is not an indicator that my life was never at risk. I have been diabetic for 22 years. I have had osteo-arthritis for 48 years. I have had dozens of episodes of flu, chronic bronchitis, and a week in the hospital for pnuemonia where I learned to be on a ventilator precovid. But with all that practice building wings and learning to fly on the way down has served me well. I did not waste my money on any ambulance rides. I called my doctor, informed his nurse of the positive test, and got a call back with a list of self-care items to bring me through to the other side alive and medical-bill free. Of course, I jumped at every chance to get the vaccine for free and boosted for free… four times. That alone was a saving grace. It meant Covid Omicron, the second version of it that I have probably had, no longer had the opportunity to fill my lungs with mucus and assassinate me like it has done with over a million Americans.
It is simply a fact that I should be dead now.
But I am not. With defiance and self-reliance. A fact my Republican neighbors and conservative friends in Iowa probably hate. And I firmly believe there is a purpose to existence. Heck, Kierkagaard, Hegel, and Sartre tell me through their philosophy that I am entitled to create one for myself if I can’t find one. And I have learned much from being so good at rising from the dead so Tmany times. Let me list some of it.
Filed under commentary, humor, illness, insight, philosophy