Tag Archives: writing

Of Being Tired of Writing About Teaching

I think, at least for now, I’ve exhausted my brain and my “pen” regarding teaching, issues of public schooling, educational crisis, education reform. I know I will come back to it. It’s inevitable. But for the time being I feel like anything I have to say now will be a repeat of something I have said earlier and I run the risk of sounding like a broken record. To sum up: teaching hard, class-sizes too big, public schools good, underfunding public schools bad, standardized testing bad, intrinsic motivation good, extrinsic motivation not as good, cell phones bad, closing schools bad, fire bad, Frankenstein good.  See, already in my summing up I have started to drift away from the topic.

So what else is on my mind?  What’s worth blogging about? Feel free to chime in or to cast your vote.

I’m going to stop beginning every one of my blog entry titles with the word “of.” Of is so on or about yesterday. I want to write about writing.  I want to write, in particular, about what to do with my first novel, which is, in this very moment, sitting in a box. I want to write about reading.  I’m excited about the new book by David Shields called How Literature Saved My Life and I think I could write a blog entry or two about how that has been true in my life as well.  Maybe there’s a meditation on a key book or two.  Hell, I might even write a review. I want to write about music.  Maybe I’ll write about what I said I wouldn’t write about, my band and its endeavors.  Hell, I might even write a review of the new They Might Be Giants record, or the new David Bowie (which I do not yet possess), or the new Eels (which I do not yet possess)  Maybe I’ll write about records I would like to possess.

I’m afraid, but I would like to write about religion–and, being afraid, that’s probably the sign that I should write about religion.

You get the picture.  It’s time to transition.  It’s time for a change-up.  It’s time for a new conversation.  I don’t know if this is true or not, that topic consistency might be a selling point for a blog site, the thing that makes people keep coming back, but I think I’m going to risk losing a reader here and there in order to sufficiently entertain my own bad self.  I hope you all stay along for the ride.

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Filed under Education, Introductory, Publishing, Teaching, Writing and Reading

Of Of and On

What’s it about. What’s the subject. Why no question marks. One could perhaps ad an of or an on to any title and the title would still function properly. Check this out: Of The Great Gatsby. Of Shades of Grey. It would not work so well, though, if one’s title begins with a preposition, if it already begins with an of or an on. Of Of Mice and Men doesn’t sound good and makes little sense—unless one is writing ABOUT Of Mice and Men, in which case about would be a better choice, albeit pedestrian. What ABOUT Of Mice and Men? “Of Steinbeck’s Use of Fuzzy Rabbits in Of Mice and Men.” That’s much better.

Why am I writing about this? I am writing about this because I have been reading Michel de Montaigne, the French writer from the 16th century who pretty much invented the essay form, coined the term to describe this animal, and who, more significantly perhaps, and more germane to my crazy blog title, began every single one of his essay titles with the word of: “Of Cannibals,” “Of Drunkenness,” “Of Smells,” “Of Thumbs,” “Of Sorrows,” “Of Liars,” “Of Fear,” “Of Sleep,” “Of Names,” “Of Three Good Women,” of etc.

So I had an idea that I would try this out—this of and on way of beginning, and I thought that, too, I would solicit of_____ titles from readers, students, friends, and I’d come up with my own list—so that I would never be at a loss for something to write of, on, or about.

What would be the nature of these babies, these “Of_____” essays? They would be short, highly improvisational meditations on a variety of subjects, and they would serve the purpose of stretching my thinker, broadening my range of subject matter, teaching me something about something, experimenting with mind, rediscovering my inner Montaigne, and postponing my fiction writing. And for you, dear reader, they would provide some free-form thought theater.

So what do you say? Would you like to help? Give me an assignment, a word, a verb or a noun, a phrase, a writer, a book, a day, an artist, a poem, a song, a band, an animal, a plant, a film—and I will do my best; verily, I’ll do my best. You can bet though, I’m going to cut myself some slack, in that if I receive and choose an of or on topic for which I am woefully unqualified to speak, I will approach it any way that I can. And that may or may not be satisfying to the originator of the topic, but I hope it will at least be of some entertainment or educational value to the general reader.

Ready? I will put all suggestions into a hat or a bag or a bucket, and when I am so inclined, hopefully with some regularity, I will draw a title and begin to write.

Game on. Or, game of.

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The Inaugural Video Blog

Wherein Michael Jarmer introduces himself, his novel, and the purpose of this particular blog medium; wherein Michael Jarmer learns about video recording himself, where to look, for example, where to place the microphone, how everything on the screen is the opposite of where it is in the room; and finally, wherein Michael Jarmer demonstrates rudimentary proficiency in video blogging.  Please let him know if you are interested in video performance/readings from Monster Talk.

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More Reasons Why You Will Love My Novel: Adventures in Self-Publishing and Self-Promotion Part Two

Let’s recap, why don’t we. I do not have a history of being a very capable or enthusiastic self-promoter. I have difficulty asking people, cajoling people, insisting that people come to see my band play a show, for example, or buy our records.  It’s not that I don’t think we’re worthy of their patronage, but that I feel somehow like I’m imposing on people. It’s awkward.  It’s immodest.  It’s uncomfortable telling people how great you are.  But now I am turning over a new leaf. I am so pleased to be publishing a novel and feel perhaps more confident in myself as a fiction writer than I do in myself as a musician, I hereby vow to shout my barbaric yawp across the rooftops of the world, to impose a little, to tell people how great I am in order to get people interested in my new book, Monster Talk.

In part one of this two-part blog entry, I established three initial reasons why you, dear reader, will love my novel.  I gushed about the cover, the art, the artist who created it, the lovely picture of myself on the back and the flap, the effective, succinct, and tantalizing synopsis on the other flap, and the engaging sample on the back cover of the hardback.  Reader, you are too smart to believe that a cover makes a book good, but you are also wise enough to know that good cover art and compelling cover text are both important aspects of the successful marketing of a novel, that, in fact, we judge books by their covers all the time.  Okay.  Monster Talk has a nice cover.

I also insisted that if you love Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, you will also love this novel, as its premise comes from that beautiful and so often misrepresented English classic.  And finally, I argued that whatever your predictions or preconceptions about a novel by me about a subject like this might be, you would probably be pleasantly mistaken.  In other words, I think, dear reader, that you will be surprised.

So for what other reasons will you love my novel?

#4. You like smart children and like them as main characters in stories.  You like novels that are respectful of the wisdom, intelligence, and perspective of young people.  And you like your child-main characters to be believable.  They don’t have to have magic powers; they don’t have to be wizards in training; they don’t have to be vampires–and they don’t have to be monsters.  

#5. You may not be a huge science-fiction fan or a lover of what we call fantasy fiction, but you love stories in which the super-real crosses over or connects with the fantastic.  You might enjoy magical realism as a genre.  And why is it, exactly, that this kind of thing turns you on whereas interplanetary travel,  space aliens, dwarves, elves and schools called Hogwarts leave you feeling unsatisfied? It might be, dear reader, that you read often for a higher purpose; you distrust literature that is purely escapist.  And while you know that ALL fiction to some extent allows us to momentarily escape the confines of our daily lives, you have an expectation that the fiction you read reflects or illuminates some aspect of reality, some issue that is relevant, something that you recognize and can identify with.  And you know that real life is often fantastic–the journey you’re taking in this life on this planet is often remarkable in the way that even a fire-breathing dragon can’t equal.  So you’re totally down with the metaphoric power of magical, unnatural, supernatural elements in an otherwise realistic piece of fiction .  Monster Talk is a realistic novel with a fantastic premise–and you’ll love that.

#6. You love serious fiction that makes you laugh.

#7. And finally, you love the fact that you are supporting an independent publishing venture.  You understand that small press and independent publishing is often where our literature is richest, and you value the democratizing effect that new technology has made possible in the world of the word. So, for all these reasons, you will love my novel.  Thank you, in advance, for your support.

And here are some quick links to on-line retail channels:

http://www.amazon.com/Monster-Talk-Michael-Jarmer/dp/1475915950/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338234633&sr=1-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/monster-talk-michael-jarmer/1110919984?ean=9781475915969

http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000540199/Monster-Talk.aspx

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Why You Will Love My Novel: Adventures in Self-Publishing and Self-Promotion

I’m telling the truth.  Yes, I will indeed tell you why you’ll love my novel, Monster Talk, available to the on-line book buying public very shortly, a week or two, perhaps, after the publication of this blog entry, and available immediately, like right this minute, at the iUniverse bookstore. But I want to begin by talking about self-publication and the unavoidable weirdness that follows, that of self-promotion.

So, if you’ve been following the blog you already know this, but if you’re just popping in for the first time, I’ll give you a short recap.  I’m publishing my second novel first through iUniverse because I don’t have the time on the planet to exhaust like I did on my first novel–trying to find an agent who will then try to find a publisher who will then make me do what I have to do anyway as a self-publisher:  promote my own thing.  I just re-read that last sentence, the part about not having time on the planet.  I don’t want you to misunderstand: I’m not dying–any more or less than anyone else who is about my age and health.  It’s just that I found that publishing through the conventional means might take me the rest of my life.  I have dismissed the illegitimacy issue.  I have looked at my work and decided it is good.  It is worthy of readers. I have embraced the brave new world of do-it-yourself-with-the-help-of-a-company-that-provides-everything-your-book-could-possibly-need-plus-the-means-to-get-it-into-the-marketplace technology. I have decided that, in the end, there is nothing different about publishing your own novel than producing and selling your own music recording, which is what musicians have been doing from time immemorial. That was the process and those are the subsequent conclusions.  Now, having fulfilled my new year’s resolution in just 5 short months, as of today I have a book out that people can hold and read or use as a coaster, paper-weight, door-stop.  It’s so good, though, I’m pretty certain people who buy it will be reading it.  You, especially, will love it and will want to share it with others.  More on this later.

So now I have to promote.  Promoting your own work, promoting yourself, trying to make your thing desirable to others, creating a kind of personal brand, is a strange, awkward, uncomfortable business.  On the surface, it’s really no different from writing an entrance exam or an essay, written or spoken, for a job opening.  You are a product, a product that has a variety of positive characteristics that someone else will want to take advantage of in exchange for some monetary or material reward.  As strange as that sounds, it’s pretty normal.   In the case of a work of art or a piece of music or a novel, there are some distinct differences.  I am not my novel.  My novel is not me.  It is an  artifact  that came from me, a collection of many moments moving through me over time.  You would think that would make it easier!  But alas, not all of us are adept at separating the art from the artist, and our babies are kind of like babies.  If someone hates our baby, we feel hated by proxy.  And that’s scary.  But despite that, if we want anything like success for our creative endeavors, we’ve got to get out there and shout our barbaric yawps over the rooftops of the world, saying, in essence, this thing I made is awesome and you need it and will love it and please give me money for my thing.

This thing I made, a novel called Monster Talk, is awesome and you need it and will love it and please give me money for my thing.  There, that wasn’t so hard.  Let’s see if I can keep this up for a while.

Why You Will Love My Novel:  

#1.  Look at this cover.  Lovingly created by my friend Curtis Settino, it is a quirky, inventive, and fitting illustration.

The novel’s main character is not someone who has a heart-shaped head–but the heart-shaped head captures an element that might be something else, beyond the cover, that you’ll love about my book.  More on that later, perhaps.  I want to talk more about this cover.  There are other things about the cover that you’ll also love, I think.  There’s a handsome picture of me on there.  You’ll love that, I’m sure.  I’m no beauty queen, but I’m no slouch either.  You’ll also love the text on the cover.  There’s a short little author biography, which you’ll love; there’s an excerpt on the back cover from the second chapter which, while setting up nicely the premise for the novel, thereby creating interest for you, the reader, will probably also make you laugh;  and on the back of the softcover and on the inside flap of the hardback, there’s a lovely little synopsis that will pique your interest without giving anything away.  I think you’ll really love this cover, and while they say you should never judge a book by its cover, all of us do anyway, and if you judge my book initially by its cover, you’ll probably end up wanting to read the thing and in the end you will end up loving it.

#2.  You will love the fact that my novel was inspired by another novel you love.  Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is about the best, most underrated, most under appreciated, most misunderstood because of a history of cultural misrepresentation, most influential novel of 19th century English literature. And if you’re not down with the preceding, Monster Talk will help you get down with the preceding. You will love that.  If you are already down with the above, you’ll love it even more, because Monster Talk honors but doesn’t copy its predecessor. Except where it copies it.  A little bit.  You’ll love all of that.

#3.  There are so many things you’ll love about my novel, I could go on and on, but I’m going to try to stop at my usual 1000 word or so blog entry limit.  So let me just share one more thing you’ll love about my novel:  Whatever predictions you may have about a novel by Michael Jarmer inspired by the great gothic genius of Mary Shelley will likely be wrong.  And you’ll love that.  You are a beautiful and intelligent reader and you like surprises.  That’s all I have to say on the matter at this time.  Onward.  Yawp.  Please go to the following link:

http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000540201/Monster-Talk.aspx

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The Novel. Coming Soon To An Online Bookstore Near Your Bad Self!

Cover of Michael Jarmer's First Published Novel

Designed by Curtis Settino

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Second Things First: Publishing My Debut Novel

It’s happening.  I have set the wheels in motion.  I have submitted a final manuscript.  I have written the bio and the blurbs for the back cover and the inside flaps.  I have submitted an author photo.  I have enlisted an artist friend to design a cover.  I have let my baby go.  It’s happening.

It will be my first published novel but not the first novel I’ve written. I suppose, it could have happened in the exact same way, if I had gone the traditional route of agent and publishing house, that, querying two works simultaneously, the second novel might have found a home before the first; so I imagine that there’s really nothing strange about this at all.  But somehow it feels strange all the same, as if I’ve sent the one baby off to school and abandoned the other one on someone’s doorstep.  There’s a little bit of guilt about that.

Here’s the deal.  If you’re a person, like me, juggling a bunch of important things in the air, a marriage, a child, a teaching career, a vocation as a musician, and fiction writing, and you’re trying not to drop any of these important things on the ground, it’s going to take a half a million years to write a book.  It took me a half a million years to write my second novel, so, as it turns out, my first novel was conceived and composed a full million years ago–when I was a child!  That’s not true.  I was 30 when I started and maybe 37 when I finished.  Okay, I’ll tell the truth: that was really “only” a decade ago.  Thus, the decision to self-publish came also with this choice–do I publish my first novel, or do I publish my second novel first?

No brainer, you say? Publish the best one first, you ninny. Sure, that’s all easy enough to say.  But there are problems.

I wrote my first novel in the comforting embrace and loving arms of an MFA program for writers.  I had tons of readers, willing and otherwise.  I received scads of feedback.  I revised like a fiend while I was composing based on the response, facial expressions, and nervous ticks of my peers, thoughtful and wise criticism from faculty, the ubiquitous workshop experience, and the heady influence of master classes, lectures, and readings. That first novel may be a better novel, but it was written, I sometimes feel, by about a hundred people.  That’s not true.  I wrote the damn thing, but I wrote it, the whole thing, I think, seriously under the influence of others.

My second novel has been read in its entirety by two people, only one of which gave me a critical response, meaning feedback. And the novel has been read in part  by another three or four people who also provided some critical readings, but early on in the process. So I feel, right or wrong, better or worse, that this second novel is truly mine, in the way that maybe the first novel was not.

But I might, if I read them both again back to back at a stretch, come to the conclusion after all, regardless of the argument above, that indeed  the first novel is the stronger work.  Another problem rears its head.

The guy who wrote that better book–I’m not sure that guy is me.  I’m no longer him.  Twelve years is ancient history.  I had other concerns.  I had issues.  Different ones. I was not a father.  I was wild.  I was, philosophically speaking, immature, even in my 30’s I was unsettled and squirrelly, morally emerging, and ethically in training–and, I think, my first novel embodies all of that.  Do I want to share that other guy with the world?

The answer has to be yes. Yes, but not yet.  Not yet, mostly because the decision has already been made; it’s happening, remember. I’m publishing my second novel first because I like it, and it’s fresh, and it hasn’t been workshopped, and it represents me in the mostly Now, or, it represents several moments moving through me mostly in the Now. 

But I will publish that other novel, that book that is me but not me, because, ultimately, it was a true book then, as true as fiction can be, it still resembles me in many significant ways, and may, in the way that novels can do, perhaps speak to someone now (or whenever it arrives) who is more like how I was then, or who remembers how it was to be like that, unsettled, squirrelly, morally emerging, ethically in training.

The poet William Stafford said once that there were many things in his poems that he wouldn’t stand by in life.  I like that.  It gives the work permission to exist on its own terms–and if it was good then, it will still be good now or later, and it doesn’t have to represent the author accurately to be a viable work of art.  That baby has just as much right to see the world as that other baby does, this new kid.  So, yes, that first novel will one day see the light of day, but not yet.  For now, my debut novel is all about putting second things first.

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Too Many Choices: The Decision to Self Publish, Part Two

Okay, I’ve been ill, and that’s part of it, sleeping for 12 or 16 hours on one day when I’m used to about 7, then, because of the illness, abstaining from any kind of chemical-amusement-aid-liquid-refreshment so ubiquitous (for me anyway) during the holiday season, that’s the other part of it, but the main reason I couldn’t sleep last night is because I was obsessing about the impending consequences of my last blog post, you know, the one in which I gave myself a merry Christmas present of self-publishing a novel. Don’t get me wrong.  I appreciate the gift and I have no intention of returning it.  Here’s the rub.  Having made the decision, even after doing lots of preliminary research on the question, the thing that I realize now, as I am trying to choose my particular path toward self-publication, is that there are too many damn choices.

I thought this blog post might be about the process of weeding through these choices.  It might be helpful for you, if you’re in the same boat or know someone who is in the same boat, but it might also help me come to a conclusion, which, in the end, might be the very best thing about blogging: the writer thinks his or her thoughts in front of an audience, tries to do a good job, and maybe, just maybe, he or she learns something.

This is the first question that must be answered in the search for the right self-publication service: What do I want?  What do I want? In part, I’ve already answered this question.  I simply want a book I can share with other humans.  But it becomes slightly more complicated than that. I want a book that is available electronically in the usual, most popular outlets. And I want a printed artifact that I can hold and smell and read and sell to people.  Oh, if it were only that simple.  Then, the investment would be minimal, affordable for almost anyone with either a few bucks in the bank, a nice spare bicycle in the garage to sell, or a decent credit rating. I have all of those things. And it’s easy to find a reputable company that will do the electronic thing and the old-fashioned analog thing in pretty short order.

The devil is in the details.  I start reading the menu items, the veritable smorgasbord of add-ons and services that the one company has that the other company doesn’t, that the other company has that the one company doesn’t, the ones that neither of these companies has that this one company over here offers, and I start thinking to myself, yeah, that would be good, but this would be nice, and these guys do this, but these folks do that, and I like the way their website works, or the add copy is friendly or funny, and then I start to go a little bit crazy. If I were not still recovering from my illness I’d be drinking.

Here’s a big list of important questions, as self publishers, we need to answer:

Do we want an ebook?  Do we want a printed book? Do we want paperback or hardback or both? How many copies do we want on hand? Do we need to have copies of the book at the same time our ebook is available? Do we want a nice cover? Do we want a nicer cover? How many times is a particular company going to allow us to say, we don’t like that cover, let us see another one, before they ask us for more money? Are we okay designing our own cover using templates for dummies? Will the print version of our book have distribution on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or at some other on-line retailer?  Do we want an ISBN number? (The answer to that should be yes). Do we want editorial feedback? Are we willing to accept editorial feedback? Do we need someone to edit our work? (I found this accidental malapropism in the novel I am considering for this project: “She had already passed mustard with Officer Babbit.” I laughed so hard I was in tears but then I was crying too at the thought that I might miss such an error after having already published the novel). How would we feel if we paid for editorial services and they missed an error like that one? Would we like our book to be considered for a prize or an honor of distinction? Would we like help with promotion?  How much?  And finally, what kind of bank are we willing to spend? My research tells me that we can publish our babies for free!  Or  we can spend as much as 6 or 7 grand.  I bet we could spend more than that, too, if we wanted, or, if we had some money burning holes in our pockets.  That’s not true of very many of my writer friends.  Or my teacher friends.  None of my friends have that kind of money.  Do you begin to get the picture? We need new professions or richer friends.  No, what we need, what I need, perhaps, are fewer choices.

This is the part in the blog where I draw some conclusion.  I have no idea what I’m going to say next. Let’s start with the last sentence of the previous paragraph.  Do I want fewer choices, really? No, but I would like to be able to distinguish those choices that are most crucial to my work and the goals I have for my work.  I don’t want to be seduced (and I think I’m very much in danger of that) into thinking that the more I spend the more successful my book will be.  I think that’s bullshit; it leads to nothing but wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth and spending of money.  The fact is, I believe, that people want to read good writing.  And if our writing is good–and it doesn’t have to be perfect–but if it is as good as we can make it, and we do what we can to share it, as Adam Dickson very thoughtfully commented on the last entry, with faith in our work, approaching our options with integrity, we will be successful.  Thank you, Adam, for that.

I’d like my next blog entry to be titled, Keep It Simple, Stupid: Don’t Spend A Bunch of Money.  We’ll see.

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Merry Christmas To Me: The Decision To Self Publish

I gave myself an early Christmas present. After years of agonizing over the issue, I have decided to do what I have always dreamed about doing, to become a published writer, to make books, to be read, to hold the thing in my hand, a language event between two covers, a physical manifestation in the world of my brain, suitable for sharing (of course, because not everything in my brain is suitable for sharing), and to do all of these things on my own terms, to self publish.

How did I arrive at this decision?  I emerged from an MFA Creative Writing program at the age of 32, way more than a decade ago, with a book in my pocket.  I had finished my first novel–a huge accomplishment, I felt, and it was a work for which I was immensely proud. And I was confident, I thought, that through my experience in this widely respected program, I had developed enough critical acumen not to delude myself about my novel’s worth or my skills as a fiction writer.  I was on fire.

Agent after agent after agent after agent after agent (you get the picture) read my novel in full and had really glowing, often specific things to say about how great my novel was–but at this time, they would say, for this and that and the other reason, we don’t feel that we would be the right agency for this book.  Somebody else, they would inevitably say, will feel differently.  And then agent after agent after agent after agent would say almost the exact same stuff.  With that novel, I had lots of positive feedback but no takers–and I even had what I would identify as two incredibly close calls–agents who would go so far as to request revisions and even talk to me on the phone–but even these close calls, even though they felt so much different and more hopeful than my other exchanges, resulted in the same outcome. I’m a busy guy.  I had work to do.  A limited amount of time to dedicate myself to further researching agents and writing letters and sending emails and making copies and running to the flipping post-office and waiting and waiting and waiting.  I figured at this rate I might get a book published by the time I was 60.  I gave up.

I wrote another novel.  It took me almost ten years, off and on, to finish it, but it felt good to be chipping away at a new thing, to be doing the thing I really wanted to do, that is, write, instead of floundering around in the cesspool of the agent search for a novel that was already a decade old.  And then, again, I found myself in the same situation.  Time to find an agent.  I tried a few of the agents who were most positive about my previous novel.  And again, I received specific, positive, sometimes glowing comments about my book with a big BUT at the end.  I decided to stop torturing myself.

You know, I just (mostly) want to share my writing with humans.  If I could make a living, or supplement my living as a teacher, with my writing, that would be fan-flipping-tastic.  But ultimately, it’s not about a big advance or book tours or a spot on Oprah’s list.  I just want to be able to say to a friend who might be interested in my creative work, yeah, here’s a thing I made and I’d be honored if you would read it.  Or, when speaking to strangers or new acquaintances who ask me what I do, I can say, of course, I’m a teacher, and a musician, and a father, but I can also say, hey, I’m a writer, and I’ve got a book or two and you can buy these things and take them home or put them on your kindle or your iPad.  There you go.

There has been, until recently I think, a kind of hairy eyeball directed at self-publishing by the literary community.  Somehow, putting yourself out there is vain, and your stuff, because it hasn’t been vetted by the literary machine in some way, is probably not very good.  But technology, the internet, has transformed that belief, I think, and given the conventional path to publishing quality work a run for its money. And technology notwithstanding, there’s an impressive historical tradition of great writers self-publishing: Virginia Woolf, Walt Whitman off the top of my head.  So I’d be in pretty good company.  And, duh, haven’t musicians been doing this all along, since forever ago?  Haven’t I, as a musician, been doing this all along, since forever ago? Yes and yes.

So my Christmas present to myself is the permission to fulfill this dream, agents and publishing houses be damned, and my new year’s resolution is to publish a novel.  I’m tired of the agony part of being a writer.  After the pleasure but sometimes excruciatingly hard work of writing two novels over a 20 year period, I think its time to share a little bit of that with the world.

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