What’s in it for you?

Blogs, especially amongst writers are supposed to help readers.  Then I suppose it helps you if we focus on who this blog is for and why.

The reason for the blog is to find people who want to read the fiction and nonfiction that I write for 2 major purposes:  1) because they are interested.  They will be entertained, mentally and emotionally stimulated.  There is a good chance that readers will learn something and enjoy the process of doing so.  2) I need to earn a living and would like to be paid for doing meaningful work that actually involves using  some of my best abilities.

The secondary reasons are things like: a) keeping in touch with friends and relatives, b) connecting with other writers, c) the therapy of openess/self expression.

Tomorrow let’s look at juvenile fiction again.

Meanwhile, just to give you all a head’s up:  I am looking at Germany in terms of what future stories I write are going to be set here.

Men’s synchronized swimming

Today, as I write this, a movie is playing.  It is actually a Swedish comedy dubbed into German.  The truth is that it is about a group of men who do synchronized swimming – often in drag.  One of them often suffers from being broke – it isn’t clear why.

The weather is warm enough for people to go without jackets locally.

My son is here, but is not in the mood for company.  He may have a slight fever or a minor ailment or he may just be having a growth spurt.

What does this have to do with career success?  Work and money can go together or they can be separate.  Not everyone understands that.  Some know that “all too well”.  Others think that’s wrong.

http://www.alethia.co.in/p/catalog.html What?!…but this is a blog!

Yes, that’s right.  I said that: http://www.alethia.co.in/p/catalog.html.  While waiting for the release of An Adventure in Indianapolis, life continues.  One nice thing, is that one of the other authors – who’s poetry book Silent Moments of Melancholy has already been released by the same publisher has joined the ranks of FB friends and we’ve had a few good chats.

Meanwhile, for those who wonder whether traditional publishing or self publishing is better I can tell you that I am very happy that Alethia came up with a book cover.  One day, a year or two ago now, I decided to prepare mine for some self-publication – before having submitted it to Alethia, and this included coming up with a cover.  Well, you’d think a little thing like that would be easy but what I discovered was everything I hadn’t already learned about computers showed up and made a mockery of my efforts to actually make one.

“Beginner’s Mind”

8 or 9 years ago now, one of my Senseis used to remind us to use ‘beginner’s mind’ in our dojo practice.

Today I finished reading A Chosen Faith, which is an introductory book to the religion that I grew up in and have practiced in my own funny way, during my adult life.  13 of the years of my adult life I was a regular church goer so far.  I was also a church goer as a child – most of the time.  Most of the years I didn’t regularly attend was because I wanted or needed a ride but didn’t get one.  For over a year now, I have been doing ‘online’ practice, plus a retreat and the whole magazine and newsletter deal and had intended to spend the entire Summer working at one of the Summer camps that has middle aged and mature staff – very mixed age group staff, instead of the ones where the old staff members are the 30 year old Directors.

Doing anything to behave like a beginner in a system one has grown up in can help a person learn new things – it might just be aspects of it one never even noticed right alongside other details which one already knows deeply and accurately.  I learned a few things, for sure, and yes, it really did seem like it was written about the religion I grew up in.  Yes, that’s really what its like.

Apologies for yesterday’s Absence

To those of you you have actually bothered to read the blog: I apologize to you for not blogging yesterday.

I can tell you that I did mow the lawn yesterday.  This is Doerverden where the joke is that such an event is news worthy.   A man helped me start the mower: this time it was the husband-father 30 something who is buying the house.  He was here with his father-in-law who is 50 something.

Spring in Germany:  well, the days are as long or longer than they are at the Summer Solstice where I grew up and in Indianapolis, but it is nowhere nearly as warm.  If it had not been for the years I lived in England the amount of daylight alone would make me feel as if I were really losing me mind.  In fact, that was how I reacted to it the first 2 years in England.  “I must be losing my mind – I’m hearing morning song birds at 3am!”  but I wasn’t really going crazy.  Weird.

Getting perspective: Amateurs & Experienced Professionals

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9fc-crEFDw&feature=player_embedded  This video is awesome.  To be truthful, I have really appreciated that Guru.com has helped me to get writing contracts and experience.  At the same time, the sad truth is that some of the people looking to hire writers think it is as easy as the guy in this video.

What was nice was the perspective.  Personally, what convinced me that I could write a novel is that I did.  The first draft took 6 months and two massive rounds of editing later, I had a really decent first novel.  That one never made it – I still think maybe someday it will, but because of that, I found out that I could.

Now, over 20 years later, after numerous writing contracts and all manner of other life experiences, Alethia Publishing has An Adventure in Indianapolis – the 2nd novel that I wrote, but the first to get as far as being submitted and picked up by a publisher. Naturally, I had to promote self published versions and submit it about 40 times before it was picked up…and no, they didn’t send me a huge check.

On Facebook nowadays, there are 20 or even 30 other professional writers.  Most of them have more publishing experience than myself and have earned way more money writing professionally than I have.

It is really quite different to deal with people who have never written one and then to deal with people who have done it more and have way more experience and success being published than myself.  Of course, there are others like me.

At this point I have ghostwritten 7 full length books, and has authored 2 novels, and have ghostwritten another 4 or 5 half length nonfiction books.  In reality, at this point I feel pretty clear on the difference between ghostwriting and being the author simply because even when I ghostwrite the whole thing, or an entire draft – which I have done in 50% of cases or so, I can tell subjectively that I would not author this story.  I mean, I can just tell the idea is not mine.  “I’m not like that.”

Anyway, check out the video and get perspective!

Uranian Fiction – what is it?

Uranian Fiction is:  1) the name for one author’s fiction stories.  This covers juvenile and adult fiction, both short stories and long ones.

Why does it has its own name, why not just call it by the author’s name?  For the same reason that Aunt Martha’s best cookies are called chocolate chip and almond cookies rather than calling them Martha Stockbroker, or Martha Stockbroker’s cookies.

Friends ask, “Martha, can we get some of those cookies?”  Not, “We want you Martha – supply us.”  and Martha’s like “What?”  and they’re like, “those cookies; we want some of those cookies you bake.”

OK, now that you all understand that.

2) Uranian Fiction:  is often experimental.  Much of it is science fiction.  In the long run, it is fiction written after “the outer planets of the solar system were discovered” and people realized that the nutcase with the telescope and the math was not delusional.

3) Some Uranian Fiction is for kids.  For instance, if it is a Jimmy Bodeilo story, you can be sure it is for children.  Most of the kids stuff right now, is for ‘big kids’ – old enough to dress themselves and sleep alone, and able to read for themselves. It might not always be that way.  So, just ‘be aware’.

4) Uranian Fiction is sometimes for adults.  As the name implies, there may be strange subjects….and scenarios…radioactivity has not become any less serious, with last year’s disaster in Japan reminding everyone how true that really is.  At the same time, we also know that uranium occurs in nature and is not really our enemy.  Sometimes when people are ‘onto something’ but still don’t fully understand they just get a feeling about it.  For example: many Native American tribal peoples who came across terrain that contained natural deposits of uranium found that somehow, someone in the tribe “got a weird feeling about it” and the area was often set apart or treated as special and different.  Well, they were right, weren’t they?  Uranian Fiction does not wish to be “a danger” but does hope to stand out for people as being ‘that different’ from average fiction.