When You Go And Do A Thing

So, yeah… A while ago, and pretty recently, I wrote stories, and this year I put them together, edited them, formatted them, got a cover, went through the rigamarole of signing up on Amazon, added things like bank account numbers for payment, ordered proof copies, marked them up, resubmitted texts for print and ebook, reordered proof copies, marked those up, re-resubmitted texts, ordered more proof copies, got e-mails from Amazon that my cover was wrong by 0.05 fucking inches!, stressed out, freaked out, ordered a new cover from my cover designer, got antsy, did it myself, reuploaded the cover and resubmitted the book, got antsy and called Customer Service to see if I could expedite processing and approval, got shot down, had to learn how to sit on my hands to wait, RECEIVED APPROVAL!!!, ordered 50 copies for the Book Launch party, freaked out that they wouldn’t arrive in time, calmed down once they’d been finally shipped and scheduled for delivery, FREAKED OUT AGAIN when the delivery was delayed due to “inclement weather” (pfft – natural disasters, who the fuck cares?), called Amazon already like seventeen times [yes, I exaggerate. It’s a coping mechanism] this morning to learn that indeed, the delivery is scheduled for today, FREAKED OUT YET AGAIN upon learning that the delivery window is anytime between 8 am and 9 PM {FFFFFffffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu………….}, took a deep breath, and said, “I believe it will all work out.”

And so, there you have it. That’s how you publish a book, my friends. Thirty-seven simple steps, and you only have to freak out like nineteen times! Why wouldn’t everyone want to do this?

 

PS: Never in my life have I been prouder to be ranked #6,846! (as of 8:35 am Central Standard Time, Monday, March 4).

Announcement

Attention! Attention! Read all about it!

LOCAL WRITER TO PUBLISH BOOK

Stephan James, a writer currently residing near St. Louis, Missouri, announces today that in just under one month, on February 1, his first volume of short stories will be available for sale. Titled Predatory Behavior and Other Stories, this slim yet powerful volume will bring to light multiple issues facing society today.

“‘Predatory Behavior’ was born after seeing just how easy the publishing process really can be,” James says. “I used to think that bringing my ideas to life would be difficult. That it would take months and months, and I’d just toil in obscurity, scribbling in my notebook without ever getting the chance to see my work in book form. But now, it’s easier than ever to make my writing available to a much wider audience than I ever could have imagined. I’m excited that others can now read what I’ve written and use that as the catalyst for additional conversations about important issues within our society.”

There are ten stories included with this publication. The keystone story, “Predatory Behavior”, takes place in a world similar to the modern day, but with one key difference. A population of “Wolves” has sprung up over the past half-century, to help weed out those who are too sick to care for themselves. Not for the faint of heart, for this story contains scenes which may be considered graphic, “Predatory Behavior” nonetheless brings to light issues of health sustainability within our modern society.

Other stories deal with the last humans alive and trying to remake humanity while living on another planet; the implications of selling one’s body, though not in the way we’ve been conditioned to believe is “selling”; and how many people wish to have a new life, yet often times are unwilling to take the steps necessary to achieve it. Plus additional entries are micro-stories, also called Story Art, and highlight James’s prowess at weaving together seemingly unconnected concepts into a wonderfully taut presentation.

Predatory Behavior will be available starting February 1 on Amazon.com or directly from the author at author fairs and trade shows. “My birthday is February 11, and I wanted to give myself a unique birthday present, so I set that as the target publication date. That we’re going to have it ready before then is so exciting. I can’t wait to see the reviews.”

Predatory Behavior is published with help from SJM Copywriting, a local firm engaged in helping small businesses and nonprofits to tell better stories and get better results. More information about James and his writing can be found at stephanjameswrites.com. More information about how SJM Copywriting can support authors, small businesses, and nonprofits can be found at sjmcopywriting.com.

Non-review of books

Here’s a few books I’ve read recently that I’m not going to review.

The 37th Parallel: The Secret Truth Behind America’s UFO Highway, by Ben Mezrich. Interesting, but in order to make a point it has to ignore a lot that doesn’t fit with the theme of the book.

Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny. Read this one so I could participate in a book discussion group. I liked it, but apparently I missed one of the major points in the narrative when it was either implied or directly stated that what was coming next was flashback.

Aesop’s Illustrated Fables, Barnes & Noble edition. I liked it. I could see a lot of parallels to other morality tales. Just flipping through right now, I find “The Farmer and His Sons”, which is almost perfectly preserved in Jesus’s teaching (700 years later) of the gardener who had a dream that there was treasure buried beneath a tree. I liked reading the whole tale from which we often just distill the lesson. Plus I was intrigued to see Aesop break the 4th wall when he told stories about the slave Aesop.

The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin. This won the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the National Book Award when it was published in 1974. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s the passage of time and seeing a fair amount of sci-fi since this was published, but I don’t really get why this would have been so spectacularly received.

Writers of the Future, Volume 34, edited by David Farland. I read this and WotF Vol 33 this spring, to get a better feel for the stories that win the contest, as this is a writing contest I try to enter every quarter. I’ve had Honorable Mentions and one Semi-Finalist. I’d still like to win, as long as I’m eligible. I’ll take being not eligible, because I’ve been published, too.

I think there’s more, but I don’t remember. I used to keep a list of books I’ve read. I haven’t maintained that this year. Unfortunately.

 

P.S. Edited to add – I remembered one!

Adventure Cats: Living Nine Lives to the Fullest, by Laura Moss. Gave me things to think about as I try to train my cat to come with me camping, hiking, and bicycling.

Writing Practice – 2/6/2018 – Write about running out of space

[note: I like this because while I started off generically, it transformed pretty quickly into a dynamic I think many can relate to]

Write about running out of space…

When you’re packing, you have piles and piles and piles and shelves full of books and other shelves full of nick-nacks, and you’re trying to load them into packing boxes so they can all come with you, so they can all find a new space in your new home, so they can continue to be your companions, and they can continue to bring you comfort, peace, joy. But you only have so many boxes, she said you have to limit to three, there’s just not enough space in the new place for all of your items, remember, Jeanie said that, she’s a good daughter, she’s a peach, she’s a doll, she knows what’s best, they said you can have three boxes of clothes and three boxes of other items. They recommend only one box of books, though, as most residents don’t spend a lot of time in their room anyway, and there is that little residents’ library where free exchanges happen all the time, you won’t need more than a few books at a time anyway, because you’ll read one and then trade it out for another one, remember, Gerry, that’s what Jeanie said. 

So, here, let’s not get too sentimental over all of these little guys. I know! Let’s take one of every three, and that way you can have a lot, and we won’t have to fight her over it? She, here, this little blue gnome with the red hat; let’s take him and when you look at him you can remember the other gnomes, too, with the white hat holding a shovel, and that one with the yellow hat doing a cartwheel. I agree, they do look funny. That’s why you like them, isn’t it? That’s why you want to keep them? Well, little Blue here is going to keep you smiling, just you see. See? Here he is, all wrapped up in the paper and put softly in the box, right down there.

Now, about those pens. Quite a collection you’ve got. Any one in particular stand out? Oh? Why? Well, far be it from me to interfere with something used by President Kennedy! That’s obviously a go. Any others with special value? That one, why, it’s spectacular. NO! 24k-karat? How does it write? Well, splendid! Look at your signature. I’d never believe you’re almost eighty. You’ve got the fine motor control of a man half your age.

Why? Well, you see, it’s not really about fine motor control, is it? No, you see that. Jeanie told you yesterday, and the day before, I remember. I was here. With Kathleen now gone, dear, you’re just not able ot take care of yourself well enough. I know, it’s [illegible]. And, yes, quite humiliating. Far be it from me to try and pretend this isn’t hard on you – how rude of me. But – and please believe me here – I’ve seen it many times. A gentleman, still young at-heart and stout of body, will do very well at Piney Acres. Very well.

I’m certain. Yes. I’m certain. Now – about those shot glasses?