Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Well, the depressing professional fallout continues. A scheduling snafu kept me from Stoker Weekend in Long Island, where I was slated to speak on a few panels. Now, I'm coming to the sinking realization that I will not be attending Convergence in Minnesota, either, where I was scheduled to give a reading and speak on a few panels.
Basically, the economy sucks. Freelance writing isn't paying the bills anymore (I have made $30 this this week,) and I literally cannot afford the plane ticket due to the current snail pace of freelancing. No quality work, no quality pay. It's all part of the reason why I seen no choice but to return to the retail rat race.
Not to mention, my mother keeps on getting worse. In the time I was out of the country, she seems to keep getting frailer. She's now a body with emaciated limbs. That shouldn't be surprising. I spent the day with her today, and she mostly slept. All she had to eat was one bowl of cereal.
I do not believe in God in the traditional sense. However, I'm starting to take the impossibility of going to Minnesota as the world/nature telling that it's a positively bad time to go. My mom may not have a whole lot of time left. This will likely be her last July 4th. Never mind that recently she couldn't remember my name. I should also count myself lucky for two other reasons. I was able to go to Bermuda, recently. And my mother didn't pass while my wife and I were out of the country.
Monday, June 20, 2011
I should be upfront. As everybody knows, there are certain perils that come with self publishing. Only four years ago, obvious POD books could be a kiss of death to an author. However, with the rise of eBooks a newfound credibility has cropped up. Blight and Johhny Comes Lately were my two cracks at doing the Kindle thing by myself. Turns out, no matter how hard you work, you still need at least the services of a good proofreader.
Blight has some typos. Lesson learned. Hire a freelance editor (which I'm in the process of doing). For example, Jerrod Balzer gives the story a good review, before pointing out the blatantly obvious....
For me, returning to Bermuda was a strange experience. I felt a little bit of nostalgia, but not terribly much. First, I only spent three years there in the 1980's, and second, it had been so long, I hardly recognized the place. Sure, the geography and the climate were the same, but most of what I knew was gone. The house I lived in was still standing, but much of the naval base was bulldozed. So, the place seemed familiar, but only slightly. I'll likely expound on this later, as I upload some photos.
It also gave me a lot to think about. Next month, or in August, KHP/Skullvines Press will be releasing my 80,000 word short story collection about Bermuda. I haven't written about the place in years. New seems like a good time to generate a new collection of novellas/novellettes about the place. I'm also thinking of perhaps starting a flash fiction blog, as a way to use a lot of the photos I took.
Monday, June 6, 2011
As it turns out, I was scheduled to be part of two panels at Stoker Weekend in Long Island. A scheduling snafu has it conflicting with my trip to Bermuda. So, I'll will not even be in the country. It sucks ... because, well, the two panels were on poetry. If I could reschedule the trip to Bermuda, I would. However, it was paid for by somebody else as a way to celebrate my wife's entrance into a Fordham's PhD program. And, the reservation cannot be altered. So... one of the biggest horror conventions of the year, or sub-tropical sun with my wife? There's an easy answer to that....
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Sucks. Sometimes, in the name of being married, you have to do certain things you absolutely do not want to. For me, that means returning to WalMart. When I left, I thought I was onto the next big thing in my life: freelance writing. However, certain realities change, and change rather quick. The nature of freelancing is unstable, but even more -- there's the issue of health insurance. When I first left, my wife was working for a University, and we had great benefits. Circumstances change, however. My wife is going into a PhD program in the fall. We don't have health insurance ... and, thus, I go back to WalMart. I don't now what round two will entail.
The first time I worked there, I took the job to get out of the grind of adjunct college instruction. The two years that followed consisted of trying to play the "Climb The Ladder" game. This time, there's none of that. It's not about a retail career -- it's all about health benefits and steady cash that can be supplemented by freelance writing, and nothing much more than that.
Friday, June 3, 2011
So, because Blight ended up being an unmarketable length of 15k (so what is new in my world?) I have uploaded it to Kindle and Smashwords with Nook to follow soon. Waiting for the uploads to process. For fun, here is that story's soundtrack -- music I listened to while writing it:
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
So, when you have a relative -- in my case, a parent -- in hospice, the tendency is to think, "OMG! She's about to die!" All. The. Time. I think it's just human nature. So, just a week ago, my mom was talking in a very scrambled, non-linear way, often referencing people who were not on the room, but pointing and laughing at these non-existent people anyway. Not to mention: her phlegm-coughs were scary sounding by themselves.
Well, oxygen was brought in. And finally, for the first time this year, the air conditioner was turned on. So, things have calmed down a little bit. The irritability and delusions have quieted a bit. The point is ... when you don't know what the hell you're talking about half the time, everything always seems much more dire than it possibly may be. Of course, what do I know? Not a whole lot when it comes to these matters.