I hate reading out loud. I feel like I’m publicly luxuriating in my ability to enunciate fluent English, or showcasing the melodic quality of my voice. Reading to a roomful of people makes me anxious. I buy my 1 and 4 year old nephews books when I visit, which means I must read to them, but I don’t really like it. It makes my mouth tired and I hate when I start to sound nasally. Generally when reading out loud, I feel my persona or whatever vibe I may have at the moment intruding on the text. Reading out loud also makes me feel like I’m showing off how well I can read out loud.
At my author reading on Saturday for my book Mean-Spirited Tales, the words rolled right off, of course, because I know these stories blind. I think I did a fair job of being animated when necessary. It felt like a performance. A lot of people came and there was some interaction. My one good friend was the ring-leader with her laughter and applause. My sister came from Massachusetts — how blessed I am. Fellow blogger Margarita from Serenity in the City came with her husband — what a pleasure it was to meet her! “We actually exist,” I told her. She’s a very attractive woman with a great vibe. I talked to her for a while.
I was overwhelmed in a good way at all of the support that I got. When I got up to read there was screaming and loud applause. The laughter was fun. I often laugh while writing some of my shit, hoping that others will laugh when they read it, but I was surprised even at some of the places where people laughed. I stopped at one point to ask the audience, “That was funny? Okay,” and I laughed along with them.
People called the next day and said they had a good time. Whew! To me it was rather exhausting. Ms. Waiting from The Waiting described doing readings as nerve-wracking — that’s exactly it. I don’t know if I want to do another one. If I do have another reading, maybe I’ll ask someone else to read.
And thanks so much to all of the bloggers who wished me well a couple of days ago. I took all of the well-wishes with me.
Hey everybody wish me luck. Tonight I’m having an author reading from my home-made book, Mean-Spirited Tales. I’ll read two regular “mean” stories and part of one horror story in honor of Halloween. It’ll be at a local café.
My friend came by the other day. He told me that he finished my book. I asked him if he saw any errors in it and he said no. I did catch two in the Kindle version, before the hard-copy was published. I fixed them though. It would’ve sucked worse if there were errors in it after I had paid somebody two hundred and fifteen million dollars and ninety nine cents to edit it. I’ve seen this before – books from “reputable” publishers with errors. I saw a mistake in An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England. I wonder if Brock Clarke saw it. It made me not feel so bad about the errors in my home-made book.
Before I published my book I read this WSJ article about another home-made book that did really well. So I did the same thing this author did as far as advertising, etc. I might have missed something though, because hers sold a gazillion copies – ha! She said she didn’t spend more than $1500 I think. I spent less than that. Let’s see, she bought a review from Kirkus – check – she bought an ad on Goodreads – check – but I swear I don’t remember her saying anything about an editor. I did have friends look at some of my stories. The one published in Calliope, Night Terrors, only needed a couple of edits for clarity so I thought I had a handle on editing, although ‘they’ say never edit your own stuff. Ah but bunk it! Maybe I’ll do it for my novel – hire a cute boy editor.
Of course I’m one in the legions who harbors a fantasy that my home-made book will be the next self-published success story. Aghh! At this point I’m just happy that people are reading the book that I wrote. No that’s a damned lie. I want to be the next self-published success story.
My book cover is complete. ‘Mean-Spirited Tales’ is on there twice but I like it like that. I just have to proof the interior. Create Space mailed it to me. I hope it’s not jacked up on the inside. I had trouble formatting it on their site. The people at Create Space tried to help. A couple of the ‘specialists’ there had poor communication skills and talked over me, or cut me off before I could finish saying what my problem was.
I learned some communication skills from How to Win Friends and Influence People (I know it’s funny, right?), so I wouldn’t do that if I had that job. Today I was sarcastic to a visitor at the gallery, so I don’t always practice what I learned in that book. I was repentant, so that’s good. I have tingling in my face after having my tooth pulled two weeks ago which makes me irritable. I think I have nerve damage or worse. I don’t want to be around people as much. I’m going to the doctor today. I was unhappy about having to go to the doctor, and I’m upset because I might have to postpone a movie date with a friend because of it and I need my playtime.
I’m overwhelmed, but still taking care of my agenda. I take the steps and look back to see that another task is complete. I promised that I would put my short stories on Kindle during my hiatus from work. I’ve been here for seven years. It’s a great gig. But with the economy tanking things shifted around, so I moved to the gallery which is closed between December and March. I didn’t know if I would be called back, but didn’t look for work during this time. I wanted to use the opportunity to publish my book. I’ve been back since April. My job is not stressful so I have energy for ‘marketing’ my book. I had one story published but got tired of waiting for literary journals to publish my other work. In the old days, self-publishing was considered cheesy, so I didn’t want to do it. It is a lot of hard work to ‘do it yourself’.
Sometimes I feel like I’m doing all this for nothing. But I need to get it out of my system. I have a novel called “The Unavoidable” that I want to publish then I need to move on and write something else. I’m spending more time blogging and wrapping up book issues. At least I can say that I wrote a book. After writing these stories I thought, these stories aren’t going to read themselves — I have to publish a book.
When I sell another book and I don’t know who the person is, I get excited. My first 16 sales were people I knew. A friend or family member would say, I’m going to buy your book. I’d look at my records in Kindle and, voila, another sale, to John. It was an, awre, kind of a thing.
The last few days amidst spasms of PTSD after dental surgery, I trudged through part of the process of turning my Kindle book into a hard copy book, using Amazon’s Create Space online publisher — following technical instructions — bleh. I’m formatting the pages of Mean-Spirited Tales to fit into the Create Space template. It’s tedious. For anyone considering using Create Space, there’s a nice man there. He walked me through the technical instructions. I told him that he had great communication skills and that he was very suited for the job. I hope he didn’t think that I meant that he should stay in a job like that all of his life, though I’m not a job snob. How could I be, with the job I have? But you know how some people are.
The key to life is knowing you, and being humble about what you can do — you can do it, you can do it, you can DO it Sandor! Oh yes Sandor’s my other pseudonym — Sandor’s a superhero — anyway, I must remind myself of my capable me. ‘Remember when you completed the Kindle book technical publishing process Sandor? Sandor, remember when you rode the Nitro Roller Coaster at Great Adventure and survived, although the paramedics carried you off in a catatonic state?’ These accomplishments are very nice reminders of what Sandor is capable of doing.
Some of your insights are really brilliant. Genius I think. You write better than Doestoevsky! The way you capture a character, the depth of it requires rare talent. Very, very good Sandee! That’s my wittle Sandee boo boo! Who’s a good girl? Who’s a litowawee genius? That’s wight, YOU are! That’s a baby girl! YES! Woo woo woo!