Seeds of despair have been growing and blooming into black orchids of depression. Doubt creeps in. It is true that the publisher I just signed a contract with is the kind of publisher that squeezes their money out of the authors rather than readers. That seems to be a dominating trend in the publishing world now. You don’t make as much money as a publisher by investing in advertising, editing services, and printing services at your own expense, even paying advances to authors for the rights to their works. The old way is dead. One way or another, to compete in the modern market you have to squeeze more and more profit out of your workers. More productivity for less money in wages puts more money into the hands of the owners, the corporations, and the CEO’s where it obviously belongs. I suppose, as one of those little guys at the base of the poo-poo volcano of American business, I have a right to feel cheated and abused. My hard work is taken supreme advantage of by others.
Lots of stuff has been going wrong lately. The yard has gone untended for too long and is now overgrown and wild. The dog got hold of number two son’s $350 retainer again. Both of my kids at home are groaning under the strains of work and school. My health continues to slide down the old hill. They are even cancelling one of my favorite Facebook games.
I must now say goodbye to Avengers Alliance on Facebook.
But despair is not really in my nature. I knew going in that publishing my book this way was going to cost me money I will probably never make back in my lifetime. But it will be available in print. It will even have my own artwork on it. And if I have to publish the other novels as digital Kindle copies only, at least I will actually have three books in print.
The yard looks unkempt, but there are blossoms everywhere, and our plants are at least processing carbon dioxide and putting oxygen back in the air.
The dog got hold of the retainer, but this time apparently realized how much trouble she was in. She doesn’t appear to have bitten or chewed on it at all.
Broken spirits and weariness are the intended products of the modern American school system, so we are doing that right, at least.
And not being able to afford to go to the doctor any more has made my wallet a lot healthier. I have the money… er, credit… to spend for the first time in ten years.
Maybe the orchids are not so black as I thought.
Yes, wife and daughter are re-visiting Walt Disney World in Orlando while I continue to rot in the heat at home in Texas. But it is a completely okay thing. As you can see, they are with recently widowed mother-in-law, wife’s sisters, and various nieces. It is an all-girl trip. It is all about family and healing.
You can also probably tell that they buy into the Filipino-American picture-taking thing where you must document your own face and the faces of your family at every stop or pause or line waiting for the Golden Horseshoe Musical Review in Adventureland. Oh, and we can’t forget the taking pictures of food before you eat it.
And you can probably also Sherlock Holmes the identity of the niece in charge of photos and posting them on Instagram. You will not, however, get their proper names from me. I try to protect identities in all my public posts. So when I tell you that this last one is a picture of Pompolina Ipsokookie eating a Mickey Mouse pretzel, you can rest assured that only one of the names in that sentence is not made up. (Oopsie! I used Mickey’s real name by accident. Never mind.)
I do not regret them having worlds of fun without me. I am not in good enough health to travel. I also have to stay at home with the son who is learning to drive and has a job to get to. And I do get to see the incessant pictures and have a bit of second-hand fun. It also helps that I am not paying for the trip. I am being sued by Banko Merricka and don’t have any money. And they might use a Disney Trip in court to say I have plenty of money and I am just being Scroogie with it. (And I don’t necessarily mean to insult Scrooge McDuck, so, Disney, you do NOT have to sue me too.)
Anyway, Disney World trips by family members give me something to think about and post about to get my mind off my troubles. Such things help to take away a bit of the pain of this wonderful life.
Yep, the last round-up is in sight for the silly old Cowboy Mickey… The time has finally come, and I submitted my resignation to the principal, Twenty three years I was a Cowboy in Cotulla, teaching English to mostly seventh graders. I spent a lot of time polishing the heads of eighth graders too. One year as a Wildcat at Creek Valley Middle School, a Lewisville School, working for the Wicked Witch of Creek Valley… seven more years in Garland teaching high school, one as a Garland Owl, and six as a Naaman Forest Ranger. This year it all ends. My heart is now sick and sad, and from where the sun now stands… I will teach no more forever.
Don’t weep for me. Old English teachers never die. They just slowly lose their class. I will carry forward as a writer, an artist, and a wacky-bird cartoonist. Not that I haven’t been those things all along. I am still a dungeon master. I am still father to Dorin, Henry, and the Princess. I am still secretly the Knight of the White Rose. Some day soon… but no, a fool knows for sure… but if a wizard is wise, there will always be room for doubt, and new horizons to conquer. Did I pile the hoo-haw and self-pity high enough? Not yet. I still have a few more teacher stories to tell.