Looking ahead (hopeful premonitions)
One of my resolutions in 2016 is to raise and enhance my creative profile by getting better at promoting my work.
I make that commitment with, I confess, some serious misgivings. My absolute nightmare is emulating my hero, Orson Welles, who spent the vast majority of his time trying to beg, borrow or steal the money he needed to finance his pictures. He frequently bemoaned wasting his energy on this soul-destroying scut work when he could have been, y’know, making great movies. When he died, he left a string of unfinished projects and his body of work was far, far smaller than it should have been. That represents a crime against cinema itself.
I measure myself by the latest project in front of me—and that’s a major drawback. Once I finish a book or short story or poem I quickly lose interest, already eying the next challenge. I admit it: I have been completely negligent when it comes to plugging the ten books this press has released thus far. I send out review copies, write up some accompanying background material…and then pretty much forget about it. Onward and upward!
But I’m a sentient creature, I can learn, adapt, change. So during the past week I’ve signed up for both Smashwords and Wattpad, making a substantial selection of my writings available for free downloading and sampling on those sites (see: the “Links” sidebar to the right of this post). I’ve also contributed comments to a couple of writing forums and reached out to a few fellow indies.
As well, in the coming weeks, I’ll be giving you a step-by-step (blow by blow?) account of my efforts to publish the next Black Dog Press offering, a reprint of Righteous Blood, a volume featuring two terrifying novellas originally released by PS Publishing back in 2002. You wanna know how to publish a book, experience the joy and (mainly) torments of that process firsthand, well, keep watching this space.
I spent part of last autumn getting the text of Righteous Blood into shape, making sure there were no formatting glitches, etc. I also wrote a foreword and some end story notes. That part is pretty much ready to go. But I still need to find cover art, select an interior layout person (Chris Kent will once again handle cover design) and start the production ball rolling. My tentative release date is April 1st—better get a move on.
So…busy times. But I can’t forget to leaven all that labor with a little bit of fun.
Which means…see you at the first home game of this province’s new professional lacrosse team, the Saskatchewan Rush. I’ll be driving in to Saskatoon on Friday, attending the match with four of my favourite lads (including my two sons). The forecast is for cold weather but that doesn’t deter the hardy sports fans in this part of the world. Watch for me, I’ll be the guy in the yellow/gold Bruins hat, imbibing good, Canadian ale and grinning from ear to ear.
I love lacrosse. Fantastic game. Canada’s real national sport.
I’m a “Twit”
I’ve had a Twitter account for awhile—probably at the urging of Sherron, who’s much more plugged in than I’ll ever be.
I’ll be the first to admit I have little interest in social networking. I belong to a group on LibraryThing and sometimes do a little “tag-searching” on WordPress but that’s pretty much the extent of my on-line presence. I don’t have a Facebook or MySpace account and my virtual address book has less than a hundred contact names. The greatest tool of communication ever devised right at my fingertips and I use it as a glorified typewriter. Gawd, I’m dumb.
But for the past while I’ve been playing around with Twitter, working within the limitations of the format to devise little poems or koans or incantations (dunno what the hell you’d call them). The literary equivalent of gesture drawings, an attempt to sketch out my feelings or preoccupations at a particular moment in time. No forethought or pre-planning, just zipping down the first impression that comes to mind (in 140 characters or less). It’s an interesting exercise and I have to say some of the pieces make me sit back and go hmmmmm….