Archive for the ‘selfpublishing’ Category

Free Books Here; Rick Perry Confesses

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

 

So. I’m too hot and tired to write much today. It’s 8 am and I just finished two hours of gardening in 82-degrees and 89% humidity. Ugh.

In an effort to expend minimal effort, I’ll just drop a few random thoughts your way. First, my Twitter Follower log was at 23 when I just checked. After calling Texas Governor Rick Perry a Christian terrorist yesterday, I lost a net three from my counter dealie. Good for me.

Since my book will be out soon, I feel compelled to make major renovations here to Moonerland. I need to attach an actual store to the “Store” button on the webber home page. I also want to be able to post pictures and create an actual Blog Roll. I’m told a Blog Roll is where I can list my favorite bloggers and websites and shit and gain the cross-pollenizations that come from linkerating together with other sites.

Maybe that would be linkifying. Oh, for shit sakes– is it “pollenerations”?

Who gives a shit, I want to linkerate and pollenigize using my friends as ballast. The reason I don’t use the current Blog Roll on my site is because that was how the asshole hackers invaded my stuff and planted Trojan horses awhile back. I need to rework the entire roller thingie to be safe.

Which reminds me. I’m going to need all of the help I can get to sell my book. Since I have always been a believer that the best way to fill your stringer with fish is to chum the waters, let me throw a little sumptin-sumptin out at you. That one always gets me. I know the proper English would be “something-something”, but how do you spell the slangerized term?

What I’m offering to do is, I’ll send a personalized, autographed first edition of my new book to any blogger who will promise to read it, comment on it and link to my site’s store. I don’t care what you say so long as you tell the truth. I expect most people to think it’s trash. That’s why I’m certain I’ll need your help. I just want you to promise to read it, comment honestly and then give me a linked chance to cash in.

So far, two people have read the finished version with the following, abridged reviews:

  1. “Mooner Johnson’s Full Rising Mooner is a reminder of the great novel by John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces.”
  2. “If John Kennedy Toole was a moronic Antichrist, he might have written Full Rising Mooner.”

 

I’m so fucking proud. For today, I’ll take the first 50 requests from bloggers for books. You need to have a findable bloggie site, and swear to keep your part of the bargain. You can either make your request in an email or a comment, I don’t give a shit which way.

So drink Carta Blanca beer in responsible ways, and I’ll see you manana, y’all.

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What I learned In First Grade; What Punishment Ensued

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

 

So. I’ve got the whole crew harvesting tomatoes this weekend. It has gotten too hot for any new fruit to set on our full-size varieties, and the extreme 100-degree days are making their skins tougher than boot leather. This is the harvest time when we pick for sun dried tomatoes and also to roast, and smoke them. This is the off-season for Streaker Jones’ magic mushroom business, so we use his big commercial drying operations. All of the smoking is done here on the ranch.

From this point forward, only the smaller varieties will be much good for eating uncooked. The remaining large types will be allowed to almost over-ripen for making canned tomatoes. The extra ripening adds a little extra sugar and taste that holds up under canning.

Holy shit, I love tomatoes. Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes! Yum-and-kiss-your-sister-yum!

Yesterday I made a comment here about something I learned in First Grade. I mentioned learning the N-word as a describer for a person with black skin, and how I took it home with me and put it to use. I can still shut my eyes and conger-up the taste of lye soap. Lye soap mouthwash was a routine part of my personal hygiene processes until I entered high school.

One of the many side effects of ADHD and its little sister, ADD, is the inability to filter inappropriate thoughts from your brain and remove them from verbal communication. As a kid I likely suffered the effects from my ADHD the most due to this particular side effect. And all of the advice on how to avoid the problem only fueled it.

“Think before you speak, Butcher,” my school teacher mother would advise me. Mother refused to call me Mooner until, same as the lye soap dealie, until I entered high school. Called me by my quite sophisticated given name, Butcher. Don’t even ask, because it’s in the fucking book.

Gram would say to me, she’d say, “Oh fer fucksakes, Mooner, you disruptive little shit. Why’nt ya put yer thinkin’ cap on afore ya open yer yapper?”

Nothing much was known about ADHD when I was a kid. In fact, I don’t think it was even invented until the early 1980’s. One of my sons has it and we learned of it together at his school-enforced visit to a state-sponsored psychiatrist. The doctor was a snotty little prick with a pinched-up face and really bad breath. Bad tooth breath.

Look, let me give some advice to you. Telling an ADHD sufferer to think more, or more carefully, before speaking is like telling a fireman to reduce the flames of a house fire with a few hundred gallons of jet fuel. It’s the thinking that sparks the inappropriate comments.

Better to say, “Stop thinking before you open your big yap.” That way you can limit the possibilities to a minimum few offensive remarks slipping through my lips. If I have but maybe six or seven different thoughts rolling around rather than my typical fifteen, the risk of offensive speech patterns is reduced by half.

Now I’m digressing, but you get it, right? Anyway, I made my comment yesterday about learning the N-word and that sparked Squatlo to tell me about learning to say the word “fuck” his early days of school. He got his little six-year-old ass blistered for its use when he got home.

Me, fuck was one of the first words I learned. One of the first words I heard since it was used as an exclamation upon my birthing. Again, in the book and, therefore, off limits for now.

I can hardly wait to get that fucking book into print. We’re working on the cover and all of the promotional bullshit to go along with it. I hate having big chunks of my life off limits. But I was never punished for using swear words at home. School was a different fucking bag of worms, but I never caught any shit at home for saying shit. Or fuck or hell or damn. Mother would do that deep sigh shit you get from martyrs around the world, but I was never punished for imitating my elders’ speech.

Anyway, Squatlo’s comment caused me to wonder what other folks’ experiences were like with the early days of First Grade. Tell us your stories. I’ll bet there’s some doozies out there. Come on Reckmonster and Thundercat-32. I can hardly wait.

Drink Carta Blanca beer responsibly, and come back manana, y’all.

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Mooner’s Book Finished; Eighty-three Catches First Fish

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

 

So. I just now put the finishing touches on my book’s manuscript and I’m so happy I could shit myself. Hell, getting finished with this fucking manuscript has been so traumatic to me I might shit myself anyway. Do it for shits and giggles.

When I first started this book, I began the endeavor under false impressions. I had already written a book of some 287,436 words that I had completed in less than sixty days. But I hadn’t worked with a professional editorator on that first book, so I had unrealistic expectations as to the level of difficulty authors experience when authorating.

See, because my brain is so full of shit, said shit swirling in volumes of thoughts, I am what the bloggie world calls a “content machine”. Like Squatlo, I can pump-out words with great alacrity.

However, after working with an editorator on my new book, I became educated on the difference between word-count and quality. Squatlo’s stuff is quality word-count while most of mine is mindless prattle. But like my Gram says, she’ll say, “Who gives a shit, Mooner. Ya put a pretty package on it and folks’l pay ya fer it.”

I mostly agree with Gram’s assessment, but after working so fucking hard to do a good job, I actually developed some pride of authorship. Let me assure you that pride is a two-edged sheet of paper. It can bolster your ego and give you nasty little cuts at a turn of the page.

Which reminds me. I finally fulfilled my promise to take the Squirt and Eighty-three fishing yesterday afternoon, and my sides still ache from laughing at the two of them. You guys already know that Squirt fills the role of bobber-watcher, vigilantly checking the corks for signs of a bite. Once she sees the first indication that a fish is nudging a bait, she goes on full point and starts vibrating like a six battery dildo.

Not that I would know anything about a six-battery dildo.

So, we get down to our dock and I get five lines in the water, each bait hanging from a red and white plastic bobber. And answer me this. Bobbers have been called bobbers since long before I was born. So why does my word processor go are red and squiggly with the word bobber? What the fuck is up with that?

The word/name Oprah is accepted with warmth and bobber gets spit out like a bite of bad sushi? I’d like to meet the silly fuckers who decide when to go all red and squiggly. Fucking computer geek word police asswipes.

Anyway, Eighty-three is new to fishing since she was held captive at Cat Lady Cat Prison for the first eight months of her life. The only time she ever got out was the two times she escaped, the second of which was when she hid in my GTO and we brought her home. Most experiences are new experiences for the cat.

We’d been at it for fewer than five minutes– I’d just managed to crack open the first Carta Blanca of the day and take my seat, when Squirt went into high alert. I looked out and saw a bobber start to do a little dance, and the tiny dog was almost vibrating her skin off. Scared the cat, so she starts hissing and spitting, dancing sideways like cats seem to do. The dog is buzzing around from her vibrating and the cat is bouncing back and forth like a crazed marionette.

I started laughing my ass off. After a few minutes of this, Squirt says to me, she says, “Le poisson a avale el gancho de mierda– etwas zu ton, for shitsakes!” Each word was forced between her teeth as she vibrated around the wooden planks of our fishing dock.

I looked out at the water and sure enough, the bobber was under water and moving away from the shore. “I don’t think he swallowed the hook, little lady, but we do need to pull him in.” And with that, I lifted the long cane pole and brought the fish to the dock.

It was a huge sun perch, one of the local blue gill varieties. He was almost a pound and still full of piss and vinegar when I unhooked and laid him on the dock. He’s flipping and flopping, attempting to work his way back to the water, when Eighty-three starts sneaking in on it like a lioness on the prowl.

She looks like a miniature Animal Channel program– ears back, body low, each paw making a quiet, stealthy approach to the fish. The fish stopped moving and in a split second Eighty-three pounced. She grabbed it on the back right behind the head and got this triumphant look on her face, all proud of her hunting skills and putting food on the table. And that is when the seven-pound cat got a fishing lesson from a one-pound perch.

The fish went nuts, flipping and flopping like crazy. I hadn’t taken any of the fight out when I landed the fish, so he had plenty left for the cat. The cat is new to all of this and she’s half full of the blood lust of a hunt, and half scared to death. Squirt and I are both laughing our asses off now.

What ensued was a fifteen-minute battle to the death, which the cat won. When the fish finally made it’s last wiggle, it was scaled, skinned and shredded into thin strips. I cooked its remains for dinner, and the cat shared it with the Squirt.

Wait. I just digressed the ever-loving shit out of us. I finished my book, everyone. It’s ready to go to the publisher!

Full Rising Mooner will soon be coming to a bookseller near you. I’m cracking a cold Carta Blanca. Manana, y’all.

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Editorial Freelancers Association; What A Great Resource!

Friday, December 17th, 2010

 

So. If you want to get a measure of the condition of the publishing industry, place a job listing on the Editorial Freelancers Association website. If I’m doing this link correctly, they are at www.the-efa.org. If I screwed it up, try to Google “freelance editors” and the EFA will pop up.

I clicked on their website yesterday and placed an ad to find someone to help me do a final prep on my book to get it ready for publishing. Again, unless I’m really wrong, mine is a relatively small job and my ad was simpler than that. The ad hit the EFA site at about 9:30 Central time.

At 12:33 precisely, I was answering the fourteenth phone call from the listing. At 1:15 I started answering the sizty-five Emails I’d received, and an hour-and-a half-later– I had over one hundred still unanswered. Since then, I have spoken to maybe forty amazing people, each an editor and most have been recently released from corporate, or semi-corporate, employment.

I have had very limited exposure to professional publishing people, and personal experience with but two. One of those persons I now consider to be a friend. The other… Well, the other I will write about here to my bloggie when I have doubled my readership.

If you decide to fuck somebody in return of their having fucked you– fuck them back good. Maybe I’ll wait until I triple my readership.

Anyway, I have gotten over 200 responses to my listing, and I tried to filter as many as possible with disclaimers. I think I have replied to each and every one, but maybe I missed some. If I did, I apologize.

I attempted to weed and filter the applicants in advance. I told them in the listing, “You must have a sense of humor; you cannot be easily offended; and you should not be a conservative religious person.”

Here in Texas, if they read and followed that advice, the population of editors would be narrowed by maybe 96.773% of the total editor population. Even assuming that editors in other states are less generally right-wing religious fuckballish than the Texas varieties as a group, and even presuming that editors are less likely to be fuckballs in the first place– I got a large number of responses.

Now. My therapy is focusing lately on me fully disclosing my motives to the people about which I care. It seems I have a tendency to barge through my life, stepping on the toes and hearts of others. Therefore, in an effort to provide full disclosure I want you to know that I chose to place my request for services yesterday for specific reasons. I’m thinking that it’s the big holiday season, so maybe I’ll find someone willing to give me an extra measure of service for my dollar, plus I can help them with a little unexpected holiday cash.

Win/win, right? Of course not. As all the dust is settling, I have more than one editor I want to hire but only one job. Hell, I’ll bet you that of all the people contacting me at least half would do a great job for me, and enjoy working on my crappy writing.

As usual, my attempt to snooker the unsuspecting has snookered me. I tried to gain extra value during this holiday season and I feel guilty. How can I turn anyone away at this time of year? Sounds like a psycho therapy session to me.

But I have a point and here it is. How can the universe continue to produce the same volume of printed words and maintain quality if so many editors have no jobs? What is happening with the printed word without strong editorial influence?

This blog for one thing. Look at the mess that is my work if you can’t envision an edit-free world.

How can you publish a book without strong editing? I know I can’t. I can write this nonsense, but I need considerable assistance to make it a quality product and worth the price. Hell, If I were to charge you to read this shit here to my bloggie, I’d feel responsible to hire an editor for here. Actually, I’d need two if I didn’t do self edit. I read and rewrite this crap twenty-to-thirty times to make it more understandable before I hit the “publish” button on Word Press.

If I had some help, the 250,000 words contained in these blog postings since March, would swell like a finger pinched in a car door and likely exceed a million words. And I’m a hunt-n-pecker typist. Imagine if I took a typing course and hired editors! We’d need a bigger Internet.

The American economy is a total mess. The publishment industry might be messier. Which reminds me to tell you about this one editor who contacted me.

This nice lady was advised by me to look at the website and the bloggie here so that she could get a good feel for what’s what. I got the nicest reply from her. “I’m very sorry Mr. Johnson, but your writing is so dense and convoluted that I doubt I can help you. I don’t feel that I can do a good job for you as your editor. However, my cousin is a psychiatrist in the Austin area, and he specializes in assisting crazy people as they transition from productive lifestyles into high-intensity clinical environments.”

Where did she get the idea I’m productive?

Then there was the other lady who called and told me she was well qualified to be my editor. She says to me, she says, “I have a wonderful sense of humor, I am un-offendable, and my religious convictions will not be a problem.”

That’s precisely what she said.

During our phone conversation, I was getting some reads and tells and other vibes that the nice lady was not quite sincere with me. I tell her, “Why don’t you go check onto my website and read my recent comments about the Pope. Call me back after.”

I didn’t get the call but I did get a nasty-assed Email that, among other things, carefully explained to me that I am a, “Godless heretic and a blight on the American literary landscape.”

I might be a heretic, but I’m a handsome sort and practice immaculate personal hygiene. So fuck her.

Anyway, I want to publicly thank everyone who applied with me and I want to encourage the authors and writers who read this trash of mine to hire editors. Now, I need a Carta Blanca beer or I’ll get all morose and shit and hire all three of my finalists, and send gift baskets to the rest. Manana, y’all.

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ADHd & Typographicle Errs; Writer’s Dichotomous Dilemma Creates Conundrum

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

 

So. As a now lightly-seasoned writer, I have gained an understanding of the importance in good editing. Having worked with one good editor and one not so, I have experienced the value of quality editing.

I say that I am lightly-seasoned rather than seasoned because I have never thought that simple experience or repetition provide insight. My having written more than 650,000 words in the last twelve months does not season me any more as a writer than spending eight years in the White House made George W. Bush a seasoned diplomat.

My mild seasoning has come from my use of said editors, having been printed in several news and trade publications, and my research and observation of writer’s things. In my experience, I have learned one important edict: don’t publish an unedited work.

Don’t print anything not proofed by another’s eyes, don’t trust the translation from one computer operating system to another. Don’t publish an article with typographical errors.

I know how important it is to obey this edict and I understand why. Readers want your best, finished work. Sloppy proofing turns people off. In fact, typos can cause some anal-retentive grammar snobs to stop reading, regardless of content. Poor editing can ruin a good writer.

Knowing this creates a dilemma for me here to my bloggie. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the evil ADHD, provides the devil’s own dichotomous influence on good proof reading. More influential than the moon on Mother Earth’s tides, ADHD can flood the writings of its sufferer with devastating typographical errors.

My dilemma is that my goal is to make meaningful postings to my bloggie six days each week. In order to do so, I don’t have time to get each posting reviewed by an editor, and that leaves the proof reading up to me. A person with significant ADHD.

I can read a one sentence paragraph a dozen times and nto catch the misspelling of the word “not”. Then, after the sentence is published, I can catch the error without reading the sentence. I’ll look at the page and spot the mistake like it was a giant nose pimple.

“Where is the dichotomy, Mooner, I see the dilemma but where is the dichotomy?” you might be asking.

OK, here it is. It is my ADHD that makes my writing both prolific, and interesting. As my Gram puts it, “Mooner honey, iffn you weren’t so fucking crazy you wouldn’t have no friends.”

I get that. My ADHD-addled brain spews content at amazing rates while simultaneously getting me into interesting predicaments. The mess that I am is the only reason people even talk to me. I get that too.

But this dichotomous dilemma has put me smack dab in the middle of a conundrum. If my bloggie exists for the main purpose of gathering market for the purchase of my upcoming book, and I must have voluminous content to get any attention from readers and the publishing industry alike, but the only way for me to have voluminous bloggie content published is to do so with a few typographical errors, and the ADHD controls both the value of the content and the content’s typos- then…..”

Fuckballs.

I tried to discuss this important issue with my circle of friends and family. When I asked my dog her thoughts, Dixie said, “Couldn’t care less, Mooner. Until you let me out of my ridiculous personal services contract- I’m not giving you any help.”

Streaker Jones told me, he says, “You’ll figger it, Mooner.” Brilliant answer as always, but way beyond my distracted abilities comprehend.

As a last resort, I tried to talk to Gram. “Oh who gives a shit, Mooner,” my grandmother scolded. “Quit yer crybaby act an cook dinner. P-Cubed an me is takin tha Ferrarie down to tha Drag an we need ta git there afore dark.”

Fine. My writing career is in shambles and all she can think about is trolling for college boys in her Italian hot rod.

I need a Carta Blanca beer. Manana, y’all.

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James Frey Uses Hitler Logic?

Monday, November 15th, 2010

 

So. It appears that this James Frey is a total fuckwad for the methods he uses to gain personal advancement, taking advantage of the creative efforts of others. I have been wanting to discuss my thoughts on Frey but didn’t have the chance until yesterday. SAC Ellen and I went to a party last night, and I finally brought the situation to the attention of a cliquish group of strangers.

This bunch, three women and two men, were sitting on the large entertainment grouping of sofa, love seat and side chairs. They had spaced themselves to where the five of them were dominating seating arrangements for nine people. Thirteen if everyone likes each other, and nobody plays down lineman for UT football.

I had been watching as others, in ones and twos, attempted to sit and join. Each had been ignored, or received chastened responses with that “eat shit and die, lowlife” look that cliquish people cast at outsiders. The five seating obfuscaters had grown bolder with each outsider’s attempt at sitting, and they had degenerated to stretching arms and legs and sitting sideways to hide areas not covered by an ass.

I watched this for maybe thirty minutes while listening to SAC Ellen talk to her Federal Agent cronies as they discussed the things Federal Agents discuss when off duty. Since many Federal Agents are consumed with Federal Agent’ing, much of the conversation was job specific. I won’t say the discussion was boring, but I was getting pissed at the action over to the seating area.

When the clique refused seating to a man with his pregnant wife, I’d had enough. I grabbed a hand-full of Carta Blanca beers, which is four, picked up a big bowl of chips and cradled it between by arm and my chest, and walked over.

I stood and looked at each clique member to await any form of acknowledgment. Receiving none, I pushed between a man lounging on a love seat and the woman to his left who was taking up three seats on the sofa.

“Oops,” I apologized as I stepped on the man’s foot as it lay positioned to block entry to the seating area.

“Oh, shit,” to the woman, as I dumped some BBQ potato chips in her lap.

I barged through like an asshole at a movie theater with my two arms full of refreshments. “Sorry about that, Darlin’. Can I sit here?” And with that I sat on her hand. She didn’t move the hand- she left it so I would get up.

“Oops, again. Are you hurt or are you just glad to see me?” That got the hand moved with great alacrity.

“Hi, everyone, I’m Mooner Johnson.” I placed my beers on the table and grabbed the previously sat upon hand with my drippy wet one for a shake. Her hand was soft and gave mine that “ooo, you are so icky!” part shake, part brush-off act.

I released her hand and half stood to shake the man’s hand, dumped more chips on the woman in process, and pushed the woman’s legs from the side, pinning them against the end of the sofa.

“Sweet Jesus am I a klutz,” I said as I air shook the man’s hand. “What are y’all discussing?”

When nobody responded I said, “Oh, this is one of those groups where the new guy gets to change the topic.”

I scratched my head like I was thinking of what was important enough to not waste their time. This was an act because I had been wanting to discuss this Jimmy Frey bullshit ever since Colleen Lindsey brought it to my attention last week.

“So. What do you guys think about this whole James Frey business?” When I got blank looks and sour faces in response, I told them what I know. Admittedly, what I know is little, but that never stops me from expounding on any topic.

When I finally stopped talking, this one guy, the one I had pegged as the clique’s leader, says to me, he said, “From what you say, my impression is that Mr. Frey has a sound business plan,” and then they all chuckled.

I asked him to expand and he did. The basics were that, in a free capitalistic economy experiencing tough economic times, new markets filled with desperate consumers pop up to be abused by forward-thinking businessmen.

“We have a responsibility to fill a market void,” he told the group, almost as an aside.

When he reached for a chip from my bowl, I slapped his hand away. “So, let me get this straight. You are telling us that it doesn’t make any difference that you are taking advantage of the consumer, or that you are providing shabby products, as long as the consumer buys what you are selling and you profit from it?”

“That’s right,” he says, and he reaches for my chip bowl again.

This time I pinched the skin on the back of his hand. “OK, this is sinking in.”

I ate a double fist-full of chips, chewed and swallowed, slugged some beer and said, “Then you think Hitler was a smart businessman and approve his tactics.”

Now see, this is another of those times when I get into trouble without justification. The man grabs angrily at my chip bowl, and I flick the end of his nose with my middle finger. Hard. I can bloody your nose when I place my middle finger under my thumb and flick. Streaker Jones taught it to me as a non-lethal defense technique back to grade school, and I have practiced ever since.

The man stands straight up in obvious shock, and big tears well in his eyes. Those big tears drain from the inside corners of his eyes, and race down his cheeks to join the little dribble of blood at his upper lip.

“He hit me!” He swiped his sleeve at his face and looked at the tear-diluted bloodstain on his shirt. “He drew blood. You all saw him hit me!”

Me, I’m starting to enjoy myself as this silly fucker has finally made an intelligent statement. But that’s when, from behind me, I heard the quiet electronic sound a Tazer gun makes when it’s handler primes it for use. It’s similar to the sound a camera makes when it primes the flash.

It’s also the sound that stimulates a primal voice in my psyche that screams, “Duck Mooner!!!!”

I ducked, spilling beer and the remains from my chip bowl. The free market businessman, who obviously lacked the psychic history required to get my advance notice, took a pleasant little charge of Direct Current. One cute metal-spiked wire stuck in his neck, the second in his chin, where tears and nose blood had started to drain.

Since, when standing upright this guy was maybe seven inches shorter than me, I surmised that the Tazer shooter was the SACster, and that she was aiming at my lower-left shoulder. She hits me at heart level whenever she’s desirous of the serious sex we enjoy after I’ve been mildly electrocuted.

I didn’t get arrested because the guy didn’t want to press charges, and I gave a short class on nose thumping to some of the women before we left.

On the way home, SAC Ellen quizzed me on the origins of the fight as she drove us in her Special Agent car. I told her it wasn’t really a fight and how I had compared the actions of James Frey to Adolf Hitler. “You know that ‘the ends justify the means’ dealie.”

She thought about it for a second and then went all misty eyed. “Do we need any beer?” I shook my head, then she asked, “Can you stay the night?”

I said, “Yes,” and tilted my seat back.

When I heard the little electronic charging sound, I shut my eyes, adjusted my undies to accommodate the redirected blood flow, and smiled.

Manana, y’all.

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Maybe I Think F*** NaNoWriMo

Monday, November 1st, 2010

 

So. I checked all of my Twitter jobbies and notice how much of the conversation is about NaNoWriMo. That’s short for National Novel Writing Month, the shitty idea of some deranged, frustrated writer to recruit as many other frustrated writers as possible to write complete novels in a month.

It’s as if agents and publishers don’t already have too many queries to review as it is. I mean, think about it.

What writer is going to crank out a minimum of 50,000 words in a month just to be a part of this group? Shitty writers, that’s who. Unpublished writers, those writers with axes to grind, ones needing close contact with others of their species.

And maybe stark-raving lunatics. Like me. And don’t go getting all pissy on me because I admit that, as a percentage, there will be a few quality individuals participating in this year’s event.

See, I’m thinking that if I notify all of the publishing professionals that I’m participating in this year’s event, maybe we can kill this silly shit. Think about it.

In the last year, I have completed my first book, I have written the first draft of the second and half of the third. I have written 375,000 plus words of bloggie postings, four hundred, or so, letters to the Editor, which account for another 700,000 words.

If you total all of that shit together, you get 27.1 books worth of words at the 50,000 word minimum.

Then, I’ll devise pen names for each of my 27 books (I’ll take the extra words and sprinkle them among the 27 submissions). At the end of the contest, I’ll write queries for each book and submit them separately to every author and publishing house.

Am I a devious shit or what?

But I won’t do that because our industry is already in a mess of almost overwhelming dimensions. I will only pray that each of the participating writers takes NaNoWriMo seriously and realizes that, without serious internal discipline, it’s a joke.

That is to say it’s a joke if not taken seriously.

I don’t know exactly how I feel about it. I say if you can’t take it seriously, then:

Fuck NaNoWriMo!

Drink Carta Blanca beer.

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Contest to Re-name Sandra; Operation a Success

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

 

So. Yesterday is over and, therefore, my ass-region’s medical maladies should be over as well. I’m sore back there and still have a slight “weeping”, as Gram would put it. But fuck it, I’m ready to celebrate.

But first I need to say, “Thanks,” to North Austin Surgical Center, and everyone there. This time I want to single out Ashley- new from Dallas and in love with her job, Tanya- Ashley’s training overseer, Renee, Sandra and Dr. Poreddy.

Ashley was what I’d guess you’d call my in-take/prep nurse. Under Tanya’s watchful eye, Ashley asked me all the questions and got me to initial and sign all of the forms needed in modern medicine to perform “procedures”.

Because lawyers have ruined the entire fucking world, it took fifteen minutes to do the forms. If I was God, I would have heaven, hell and Lawyerville. Lawyerville would hold all of the lawyers that I decide care more for themselves than they do the law. Everybody in hell could take out their frustrations on the inhabitants of L’ville in whatever methods they choose.

Ashley is a person I think would make a caring girl buddy. I don’t girlfriend, because I already have SAC Ellen. But she has those caring, doe eyes that set me off, and a very caring way.

Tanya is a very sharp cookie with a keen sense of humor, and the kind of woman that I would get in trouble over. I’m a sucker for a quick wit and a withering stare. But she’s engaged and I might as well be.

In the actual operating room, Renee was my nurse, again. She was my OR nurse for my last butt operation, and she remembered me. I was laying on my side with my ass exposed to the chilled air, trying to decide if this dealie was going to hurt.

“Well if it isn’t my lucky day,” I heard. “I’d recognize that butchered posterior with my eyes closed.”

Before I could maneuver myself to see who it was, she said, “Good morning, Mr. Johnson. How’s your butt doing?”

“Maybe better after today, Renee,” I told her. “It’s good to see you again.”

“Drew short straw, Mooner.” And she chuckled like she thought she was funny.

But the highlight of my entire experience was chatting with Sandra, the Doctor’s assistant, as we got ready for my thingie.

“Sandra,” I said when she introduced herself. “That’s a pretty name.”

“Hate it,” was Sandra’s sharp reply.

“How come,” I asked. “You look like a Sandra to me. Or maybe a Veronica.”

Sandra is Hispanic, pretty face and piercing eyes.

“My daddy named me after his last girlfriend,” she said, and rather clinically.

I tried to think of something to say.

“Well, thank God he wasn’t dating Bertha. Or Hildagard.”

I got the full heat of those piercing eyes, and she said, “That the best you’ve got?”

Sadly it was.

But I got to thinking, how can I help this situation? What might I do to ease her pain?

“How about we have a contest to get you a new name?”

“You’d do that for me?”

I didn’t even need to think about it. “Of course I would. Will.”

So. Here’s the deal. We’re having a contest to find Sandra a new name. No rules except that I’ll give the winner a copy of my book when it comes out, and I’ll publish their name.

This will be fun, right?

Don’t suggest Lupe, Mary, Hortensia or Blancita because those are my suggestion- already refused while I was under the knife.

Make your suggestions by comment, and let’s help Sandra!

Drink Carta Blanca and come back manana, y’all.

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Pickled Pecker Plight and Beagle Sniffer Search Engine Bots

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

 

So. I’m going to dress and head to North Austin Surgical Center for another ass procedure. I just checked my bloggie stats as I do each morning. I like to see who has been reading, where they live and I am fascinated by how they got to my site.

My WordPress blog setup has a feature that shows me the page a visitor was on when they check onto my site. Camel toe inquiries via search engine are number one, followed closely by various publishing queries, and so on.

But this morning one of the search engines referenced my bloggie in what I felt a hurtful manner. Someone from New York City typed in their Google Search screen the words “over active gag reflex- causes and cures”, and was given me as an option.

My initial impression was to see this as a negative. I mean really, do I write so badly as to make people gag? Are my actions terrible enough to induce vomiting?

Maybe. Even probably. OK, of course.

There was this one time I fell into a patch of prickly pear cactus as a kid. I had cactus needles piercing me from my knees to my belly button. When I got home and removed my clothes, it looked like a thousand miniature Indians had shot me with tiny arrows.

If you’ve never been attacked by a prickly pear, the needles are stiff with sharp barbed tips. I don’t know if they actually carry a toxin, but they poison as if they do. When you remove them with needle nose pliers, each extraction leaves a small wound in the shape of a red bump. After I got all of them removed, I was all red and swollen and looked like I had a nasty rash. My penis looked like a red dill pickle.

Between History and Spanish class I showed Woozie Wozniac, now Sheriff Wozniac, and little Suzy Ashburn my perforated pecker. Woozie fainted straight out, and Suzy gagged and puked.

So. After my initial reaction of hurt feelings, I’m choosing to see the bright side. First, I was able to reach someone forcibly with nothing but my words. That’s powerful.

Second, whatever I did caught the attention of a search engine beagle bot. It sniffed me out and pointed this unsuspecting visitor to my site. And like my Gram always says, she’ll say, “Who gives a shit, Mooner. Long as they find ya, yer done found.”

Drink Carta Blanca beer because I can’t.

Manana, y’all.

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A Tennessee Williams Memory

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

 

So. I obviously needed an attitude adjustment after getting pissed about our country’s treatment of veterans. I decided to dust off my copy of Where’s Poppa?, the great movie from back in the ’60’s. I attended a lecture by Tennessee Williams at UT, and halfway through he said to the audience, he said to us, “Fuck this. Let’s go next door to the Dobie Theater and watch Where’s Poppa?”

Mr. Williams said it was the best movie he’d seen in years and he wanted to see it again. Off we went, maybe a hundred of us, to the Dobie. The Dobie Theater is located adjacent to UT, and maybe a block from where we attended the lecture. Many of us lit doobies on the short walk, and a music student with us started singing about doobies at Dobie.

What a great time. Tennessee Williams is another of the men I most admire.

And what a great movie. I feel better now that I spent the time with the movie and my memories. I’m still unhappy about the vets, but I’m making plans to make a difference.

I’m also aggravated with my lack of progress rewriting my book. I keep getting distracted, both by my ADHD and the outside world. It’s time to renew our medical insurance for all of our companies, and I’m pissed about that now.

Fifteen years ago, insurance for each of our employees cost $37.55 per month for full medical, dental and vision. Doctor visits were $10 copay, prescriptions were free for generic, and deductibles were $500.00 per year.

This year, the closest I can come to duplicate that plan costs $595.00 per month, has $30 copays, $3,500 deductibles and charges 20% after that- it doesn’t cover 100%. Basically, that’s more than a 1,500% increase, 100% per year, and an important decrease in actual coverage. Then you have to haggle over every fucking thing to get them to pay for any fucking thing.

It’s a wonder we don’t have a medical insurance crisis. Asswipe Republican HMO’s.

I’m going to drink a few cold Carta Blanca beers and rejuvinate my sense of humor.

Manana, y’all.

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Publishing Establishment and Self Publishers Agree On Something

Monday, October 11th, 2010

 

So. I have now managed to piss off many on both sides of publishing- the traditional publishing establishment, and the self publishing upstarts as well. It seems that by having appreciation for each method, I’m writing myself out of Twitter followers.

I’m now down to but a handful of Twitter Bugs in an apparent response to my taking both sides of the publishing debate. I have taken both sides because both sides are right.

And both sides are wrong.

What is starting to be funny to me is that everybody takes themselves so… fucking … seriously!

Anyone entrenched in the publishing establishment who thinks that alternate publishing is a passing fad is delirious. If you think that way, we need to help you find a touchstone back to reality. You are losing market share by the buckets full. Bucket fulls, maybe. That one always snags me.

Those who think that in a year that alternative publishing will be the only profitable methods for publication of new works are likewise full of shit. You don’t have enough buckets to steal all of the business. If you think that the big houses will let you take everything, you are wrong.

History is a strong a predictor in this business as it is with any other. History will tell you that if there is but one rule in life, that rule is that nothing ever stays the same. History will also tell you that what typically happens when an established industry faces enormous technology upgrades, new players emerge, many established players go up in flames, and many established players adapt to what’s new and thrive as well.

What I love is that little old me can manage to piss so many people off on both sides, by simply stating the obvious. My guess is that the people who are blocking me on Twitter over this issue are likely angry and narrow minded fuckballs.

When I told my Gram about losing so many followers, she says to me, she said, “Who gives a shit, Mooner? Let’s go pee inna sink down to City Hall.”

My God I love that woman.

“I’ll drive,” I told her.

Drink Carta Blanca beer. Manana, y’all.

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Mooner’s Rule For First Books- an Agent’s Dream Come True

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

 

So. The more I rewrite on my book, the more deep level thinking I’m doing about the publishing industry. Before writing a book and attempting to get it into print, I thought this was a pretty simple dealie. A, B, C- ,1,2,3 and voilà, I’m a published author.

Wrong-o Chuckie. Nothing is simple in publishing, everything is brutally difficult. I’m just now discovering the true difficulties in writing a book as I rewrite. Beginning to understand editing, and readability, and Fourth Walls, and tense breaks and shit has been an eye opener.

And finding an agent is a bitch. I didn’t get that, really get that, until I read a Tweet from an agent who lamented that she receives dozens of queries a day. At a thirty-page average, that’s 360-pages of reading per dozen. If she got only one dozen in a 24-hour period, she would need to read a book every day before she had the time to do anything else.

Helps explain all of those unanswered queries.

Then we have editors. What a thankless fucking job that must be.

“Here it is,” I told my editor. “This won’t take you long.”

“But, Mooner,” she started, “I know how you think. This won’t be simple.”

I hate to admit it, but she’s right. It doesn’t matter how funny and interesting I think I am, I first must be funny and interesting, and then I must be capable of communicating that to a reader.

Of course, all of you professional publishing types are saying, “Well fucking duh!”

I know you are. Then you’re thinking, “Yea, dumbass, and what about cover design, layout, marketing strategy, interior print design and the title?”

Ugh, I hate my working title. I used to love it but now I hate it. “I’m Not That Crazy, or How Oprah Winfrey Almost Ruined my Life” is my working title. An incredibly accurate and descriptive title for the book that follows.

To quote my editor, she says to me, “Are you fucking kidding me with this title?”

She went on to tell me that first, I am too that crazy, and second, how can I say that about Oprah when she is one of my heroes.

“You read the book, so you know how it happened,” I told her politely.

“Don’t snark at me, Mooner. Just because a lunatic tries to ruin your life after watching Oprah’s TV show, that does not connect those dots. You can’t blame Oprah.”

“I said almost, for shitsakes.”

“Yes,” she replied, “and you said ‘not that crazy’ as well.”

Look, here’s what I’m thinking. I think that we need a rule for new writers that I want to call Mooner’s Rule For First Books.

Simply put, my rule states that every writer must self publish his first book; only published authors may send queries to agents; this rule applies to celebrities and public figures as well.

Genius, right?

I just need to figure out how to get it implemented. Going to need help with that. Carta Blanca beer might do the trick.

Manana, y’all.

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Mooner Faces The Truth And Pukes

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

 

So. I’m really busy trying to get my book ready to publish. I’m talking about the actual words of the book, and not my self publishing stuff. I got my manuscript back from the editor when I was still in a drug fog from ass surgery. Each time I tried to read it, I got dizzy and wanted to puke.

I decided to put it down until my mind felt fully purged from manufactured drugs. I finally picked it up this morning. Started reading, got dizzy and wanted to puke. I didn’t think I was that bad a writer, but this fucking thing is unreadable.

It’s a nifty story with some incredibly funny stuff. But it is organized like my mind is organized, and even I can’t follow it. So, now I am restructuring and editing and rewriting. I don’t blame the Editor, this is all on me.

I had Streaker Jones and Dixie take a look at it over lunch to give me their thoughts.

Streaker Jones said, “Wouldn’t wanna read it onna full belly, Mooner.”

Dixie said, “It isn’t that bad. It just reads like when I’m talking to you. After three pages I catch your ADHD, and find myself laughing so hard I pee myself and start looking for a knife to slit my own throat.”

I’m thinking to myself how maybe that isn’t so bad when Streaker Jones adds, “It ain’t too awful, Mooner. Jist find a way ta sew it ta-gether.”

Been sewing all fucking day and my brain hurts. But I do get it. Like I’m deep in the middle of a murder investigation and I start talking about a sex dream, and the next thing you know, I’m talking about grapefruit.

Not that I don’t understand the logic in that sequence, but I get the sewing things together dealie. Right now my book resembles a box of leftover end pieces from the fabric store. I need to put them in a smart order and sew them down.

I need cold Carta Blanca beer.

Manana, y’all.

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Twitter Me This

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

 

So. I had my ass surgery and have mostly returned from the fog of anesthesia and prescribed pain medications. I stopped taking the Vicodin this morning because I was so stoned that my distractions started suffering distractions of their own. I started to take this time to tell you a funny story about this one drug-induced dream I had, but it can wait.

Instead, I want to talk about something I find both funny, and sad.

As a writer of a first book, I am encountering all of the obstacles unknown entities face when attempting to break through publishing barriers, and get into print. As a businessman, I understand the risk undertaken by a business anytime it decides to take on a new product or employee, or a new philosophy. I realize that a publisher takes a huge risk anytime it signs to produce a book.

Publishing a new book requires huge investments of time, labor and contact resources. Likewise, I get it that publishing an unproven writer ratchets the risk of loss on those investments to uncomfortable levels.

As an observer, I have studied publishing to educate myself as to my options as a new writer. I see that new writers are nearly impossible to publish in a standard house. While my personal style is to knock the door down if my knock goes unanswered, I always try to make sure someone is home first. My method always works, unless nobody is home to field my queries, or their doors are too heavily fortified to yield to my boot-jack kicks.

Obviously I’m still a little stoned from the meds because that makes no sense. Let me try again. Standard Operating Procedure for me is to:

  1. Study my options.
  2. Evaluate said options.
  3. Prioritize choices.
  4. Act.
  5. Don’t take “No” for an answer.

 

My research into publishing has led me to the conclusion that it is a jumbled world of disparate business models, old and new. I have found publishing industry people to be just like those in any business- some good and some bad. The establishment has professionals with high quality skills and dedication, and so does the new wave of self publishing companies. Likewise, both have their share of asswipes.

Unlike many of the other first-book writers I have encountered, I’m not angry about any of this. I won’t kick your doors down because I am not going to do any more knocking. I give a shit, because it is controlling my universe of choices, but I don’t take it personally. This isn’t about me, it’s about an industry in turmoil.

Publishing is no different from any other industry that has technology’s bullseye on its back. Like Blockbuster Video, publishing is vulnerable to computer-aided work output. Just like the classic pen-and-paper graphic artist is at risk to the computer graphic whiz kids over to 99Designs.

Imagine spending days laboring at your drafting desk at Disney Studios, sweating to get this animation cell of Micky Mouse, carrying the bucket of water in Fantasia, perfectly synchronized with the previous cell you completed last week. Today’s computer graphic designers can do that in a few minutes.

Everything is changing. Hell, the entire Earth is in a state of rapid flux, it isn’t just publishing.

I accept my plight. I’m OK that I can’t find any agents to read my queries. I know my stuff is weird and different, and that it will be very hard to sell even if it is good reading. But I don’t know if it’s good reading, or not. I won’t know until someone qualified to pass judgment reads it and comments.

It’s OK with me that this endeavor is difficult. What right do I have to expect anything else? So what if it’s hard to get published. The finer the sieve, the smoother the sauce. Quality products are a condition precedent for any industry to survive.

Maybe quality products are conditions subsequent to industry survival as well.

Last week, I commented about some of my publishing industry observations, both positive and negative. I explained how I have come to realize that I am either not a good enough writer to grab the attention of the classical publishing movers and shakers, or I don’t fit the mold of what sells. I’m not already successful, my celebrity is local, not national, and I’m not a vampire or cowboy writer.

Self publishing is my only current option, so I’m taking that route. Steinbeck didn’t have this choice, but thank God it’s available to me. I’m OK with doing it myself, and now excited to learn the process. I think I have found the people to guide me along the way and will report on my experience.

So, get to the point, Mooner, you are boring the shit out of me, right? Here’s the point. Since posting about CreateSpace Publishing last week, I have had my Twitter account blocked from following numerous accounts of publishing establishment professionals. I have been following the Tweets, blogs and writings of various industry people in my efforts to learn about the industry. Some have decided to attempt to keep me from watching them.

As one said to me in a private note that accompanied her de-Twitterating me as her Follower, “We thought you were one of us, Mr. Johnson. How can you support the germ that has invaded fine literature. How can you feed it the money it’s using to consume the flesh of our centuries-old profession?”

Me, I’m wondering if this is one of those “feed a fever” sort of discussions, when she continues. “I reject you, Mooner Johnson. I reject all there is about you.”

Seems some people actually enjoy the process of rejecting writers. But how can she reject me when I made no submission to her? I reject your rejection, Madam. I’ll not stand for it.

The other person, an agent, who wrote to explain why he was rejecting me as a Follower said, “I think you are funny and your insight is spot on. Nobody knows the future of our industry and you might have some hope. But my boss just told me to nix you from my lists. Goodbye, Mooner.”

They’re going to teach me, right? I already set up a dummy Twitter account and listed them to follow. Because of technology, they can’t get rid of me that easily. Kicking down the back door in this case.

Now, I’m starting to sweat and swoon from all of the antibiotics in my system, and my butt is starting to throb, so I’m going to make my point. If I can figure what it is. I want to say something smart. You know, moralize this dealie in such a brilliant way as to make the shitheads who have blocked me hide their faces in shame.

Instead, I’ll just say it’s funny, and sad. It’s funny that I can get such a strong response from someone I said nice things about. And it’s sad that they can reject me because that support isn’t 100%. Block me because you think I’m a moron. Block me because I fray your moral fiber. Toss me from your Twitterland because my writing is unreadable.

But, when you throw me out of your club because I don’t agree with you 100%? That’s what right-wing religious fuckballs do.

I need a cold Carta Blanca.

Manana, y’all.

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CreateSpace Still On Target; Ass Surgery Deadline Looms

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

 

So. As we were discussing yesterday, I’m giving CreateSpace Publishing the chance to earn my publishing business. Ashley Regan promptly responded to my original request for assistance and sent me a naire with eight questions to answer yesterday.

I’m not talking about the hair removal product that stinks so bad. I’m talking about the word that means, “A form, formatting device or platform used to list questions or opinions. As in questionnaire.” I’m growing to like the word naire. It’s one of those words that doesn’t sound settled or comfortable when you use it. It rattles around in your mouth before you say it and tries to stick on your tongue. I like using words and phrases that make you uncomfortable. Like right-wing religious Republican fuckballs.

I thought carefully about my answers to the naire’s questions because I like getting good scores. I answered all eight questions satisfactorily I assume, since she then asked me to set a time for a personal phone call. I said, “Any time before Friday is fine with me.” Friday is out because of the ass surgery I have scheduled with Dr. Ashworth.

Ashley suggests to me, “How about Wednesday at 3:30 pm Eastern Time?”

I say, “That’s 2:30 in Austin, and fine with me.”

It’s now Wednesday and 3:00 pm Austin time, 4:00 Eastern, and I just got off the phone with Jenny Legun. Jenny is my Publishing Consultant, and a Senior PC at that. Ashley assigned me to Jenny, and Jenny made the promised call at precisely 2:30 pm Austin time. You pronounce Jenny’s last name to sound like Regan except with “L” as the first letter, and I felt special because Jenny is a Senior PC.

Jenny has that sexy telephone voice that a confident woman develops when she moves to New York City. I don’t mean to say that Jenny is overtly sexy acting, but rather that she has a depth of character and no-nonsense cadence in her voice that makes a person listen to her every word.

I don’t think she’s a native Manhattanite. I don’t think she got her confidence growing up there. She didn’t have the natural impatience with my ramblings exhibited by most native New Yorkers I’ve encountered. Come to think of it, she sounds a little like SAC Ellen, so maybe she’s from the near mid-west. Ohio, maybe.

Would you say, “Manhattener,” instead?

Anyway, Jenny walked me through all of the many services offered to struggling newbie writers, like me. She carefully explained what she can do and answered all of my questions as we went. And she didn’t step into any of my traps.

See, I am basically distrustful of sales types, and Jenny is just that until I sign on her dotted line. It’s Jenny’s job to counsel me into publishing with her company. Once signed, others will do the production stuff, and she’ll counsel by holding my hand.

As an un-trusting kind of guy, I like to set traps for sales types when I first meet them. What I do is say unkind things about their competitors, and then see how they react. How a person handles these traps determines if I will move forward with them.

Like when I told her of my unpleasant experience with her direct competitor, she didn’t respond at all, which was the best response. She could have said that she was sorry I had the bad experience, but that she knew the competitor had helped others successfully, which would be a solid response. But to have said anything negative would be strike one.

To rant about her competitor and tell me horror stories would have been strikes two, and three.

When I told her my conventional agent story, she didn’t berate conventional publishing practices at all. Instead, she said very supportive things about them. She explained why the market has developed for her company’s self publishing services by telling me how difficult it is to be an agent or a big publishing house in today’s economic environment. She actually had me feeling sorry for the burdensome job professional book people have.

And she used real, factual evidence. Like how many new manuscripts there are and how expensive conventional publishing is, and how 70% of those books published lose money.

She hit it out of the park.

I told her I would like to see what kind of package of services she could design for me, and she asked me some questions about my needs. When we hung up the phone just before 3 pm my time, Jenny promised me an Email, “In about 30-minutes time.”

Then we set a date for next Wednesday to discuss her proposals by phone. I can’t do it before then, what with my surgery and recovery time, and Jenny can’t do it next Thursday or Friday because she’s a bridesmaid in a wedding. I wonder what color the bridesmaid dresses will be. Since Fall just hit, I bet they’ll be one of those strange purple-brown colors.

Guess what. At 3:26 pm Austin time, as I was writing, “70% of those books lose money,” I got an Email ping announcing that my proposals arrived from Jenny. Hoo-yah!

Now, I’m starting to wonder if Jenny is located in NYC. I assumed so, since she’s in publishing, and on Eastern Standard Time. Isn’t Amazon up to Washington State? But I’m here to tell you that Jenny did not refine that voice in Seattle, Washington.

Look, I can’t worry over the origins of Jenny’s voice. Like Gram always says, she’ll say, “Who gives a shit.”

I’m going to celebrate possibly finding myself a publisher, and crack a cold Carta Blanca beer. It’s time for my second dose of Gram’s surgical potion that tastes like ostrich shit, and Carta Blanca is a great chaser.

Manana, y’all.

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Publishing Dilemma; Customer Service?

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

 

So. I seem to have chosen the most confusing of all times to become a writer. I’m getting ready to publish my book, performing my due diligence on the many choices available. I think that in the case of a writer investigating his options for publishing a book, it should be called doo-doo dillegence.

What a crock of shit.

For starters, computers and the Internet have turned the entire publishing industry upside down. The future is so uncertain that everybody is pulling the headless chicken. E- books and Kindles and Lulu have given writers viable choices over, what I have discovered to be, a very snotty-nosed conventional publishing crowd. You would think that the established procurers of new work would be scrambling to identify and sign new writers.

But, unless you are a celebrity or an already established author, or your first book is about vampires, agents and publishing houses don’t have the time of day for you. A writer buddy of mine asked me what kind of response times I was experiencing in getting replies on my queries.

“What response time?” I answered. “Someone would need to reply back to me first.”

I can’t even get anybody to write back to tell me I’m full of shit and should find a real job. Which surprises me when you consider that traditional publishing is losing its grip on books. I follow dozens of Twitter and blog accounts of agents, writers and publishing people. Everybody is concerned about the future of the publishing establishment. You would think that agents, especially agents, would knock themselves out when they get a query.

And don’t go getting all snarky on me. I’m not saying all agents are doofusses. Doofusi, maybe. It’s just that the only agents that have accepted my queries have yet to be responsive. I follow many of the better agents, but none seem to handle my variety of writing. I see agents holding Twitter conferences with writers, assisting them with how to contact agents, and how to do a good querie.

There are good agents out there. And good publisher reps as well.

If my compost customers were leaving me to go buy from a competitor, the last thing I would do is ignore their inquiries. Even if I didn’t want to sell to you, I would still respond. I’d say, “Thanks for calling Mooners Compost Plant. I am disappointed to tell you that I can’t help you, but you might try calling those ignorant fuckballs over to Baily’s Compost. They’ll sell to anybody.”

You know, make a thoughtful response and try to help the poor sap. You never know when a kind deed will be returned to you. It’s just the right thing to do. Like this one time I had a young kid come out to the plant. He was driving an old pickup truck so rusty it looked painted brown. I think the original paint might have been that funky looking green color they were painting trucks back to the early 1970’s.

Sister bought a 1971 Ford F-150 in that color, and it was the ugliest thing I ever saw. But I think lesbian women must like weird shades, because several of Sister’s buddies had trucks that same color. I can ask her about it. Maybe the preference for ugly-ass colors is a genetic marker in the lesbian gene. She and her wife, Anna the Amazon, wore these matching wedding dresses in a color so ugly you wouldn’t see it on the bridesmaid’s dresses at a straight wedding.

When Gram got her first look at the expensive, lacy finery, she said, “Looks like a pig done wallerd on yer dresses.” Then she eyeballed the girls up and down, and added, “But, who gives a shit. Yer in love.”

My God my ADHD is on the fritz. So, this young kid in the rusty truck of questionable color comes in and wants a tour of my compost operations. I’m thinking to myself that this will be a waste of time, but maybe the kid will grow up and be somebody some day. I also love to show off my facilities to anybody willing to take the time, so I showed him around.

He’s asking questions like a two-year-old. “Why do you do this, and what does that machine do, and what is the benefit of using compost.” Question after question for an hour.

When we finished, he handed me a business card and said to me, he says, “I’ll be getting back to you sir. You’re the only man in town willing to give me the time of day.”

That kid turned out to be the owner of what is now the largest landscape company in the state, and my biggest customer.

Which brings me back to my due diligence. I found the conventional agent and publishing house book printing model to be unavailable to me, so I turned to the new methods. What I found there was totally different in form, but most similar in function.

Do it yourself publishing is a wonderland of options. When you type, “self publishing,” into Google, and then hit the search button, you are told it found, “About 43,000,000 results in 00.47 seconds.”

I haven’t checked out even one percent of the sites yet, but I can assure you that it is confusing. The choices are staggering and confusing. I tried to learn how to do it myself with one of the self-publishing companies, and was ready to pull my hair out five minutes into the exercise.

The instructions were so computer geeked, I couldn’t navigate my way through the first page. I got so frustrated that I sent an Email to their support team asking for help. I await their response now, two months later.

So, I’m all geared up to blast everybody in the entire publishing industry for being snot-nosed shitwads, when I get a ping to my mail system telling me I have new Email. The ping occurred as I was typing the word “geeked” up in that last paragraph. I finished the paragraph and logged on my Email account, and there, I found renewed hope.

See yesterday, I got to the low twenty-thousands of the about-43,000,000 Google search results for self publishing. Number 21,236 was for CreateSpace Publishing. I got on their site yesterday, and not only found it easy to use, but they also offered things to help a writer figure things out.

They had a free things-you-should-know booklet, which I downloaded and found helpful, and then they had a “contact us to discuss stuff” button. I figured it was a waste of time, but I clicked it and filled-out the questionnaire anyway. Why are there two n’s in questionnaire? What the hell is a naire?

The ping I got when writing “geeked” was from Ashley Regan of CreateSpace Publishing. It was a thoughtful response with an eight question naire. It promises that if I answer the eight questions, and tell her when I’m available, that she will call me on the actual telephone.

That’s right, she says that she will call me in the first person on the phone of my choice and at a time that works for me.

Totally screwed up a good rant.

As I was finishing the responses to her naire, Gram came to my office to give me the first dosing of the potion she made to prepare me for my ass surgery this Friday. Its about time Mooner pissed on his ownself is my grandmother’s first attempt at a chelated formulation.

She hands me a tincture bottle and says, “Here, Mooner, swiggle this, sweetie. This is tha first a three dosin’s you’ll be needin fer yer sugicals.”

I took the cap off the little bottle and stuck it to my nose. “Oh for shit sakes, Gram. What’s that smell?”

“Jist shut yer yap and drink it down.”

I did, and had trouble keeping it down. “What the hell is that taste Gram. It tastes like the ostrich Rick Perry just shit in my mouth.”

The old gas bag gave me a toothy grin, and said, “He did. Now go an brush yer teeth.”

I did, and rinsed with mouthwash as well. Gram is always a good person to bounce things off of, so I told her about how I was all wound up and ready to blast the entire publishing industry. Then I told her about how Ashley Regan had spoiled my pity party and ruined a good bloggie posting.

When I told her I didn’t know what direction to take with my story she said to me, she says, “Who gives a shit, Mooner. This is one a them winner-winner-chickin-supper dealies fer you.”

I asked her to explain her logic. “Look at it this a way. If this Ashley does a good job, ya can praise her. Iffn she don’t, then ya put the horseshoes to her.”

“Don’t you mean I can put the screws to her if she messes up?”

“Don’t be silly, Mooner. You got a girlfriend already. I mean ta put her in a gunny sack with a mess a horseshoes, and drop er inna lake.”

Redneck justice.

But I get Gram’s point because this is a win/win for me. I’ll just report to you guys here to bloggie world and tell you about my experience.

Ashley is a girl’s name, right? Isn’t the man’s version spelled Ashly?

I need a cold Carta Blanca beer to cover the taste in my mouth.

Manana, y’all.

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