Updates & Ramblings

okay, the joys of visitation and funeral are done – there is of course more to be done, but it will be done when the executor of the estate lets me know it’s time to do it.
seeing a lot of old friends and acquaintances and family was good – reunions always are, even when the reasons suck ass. got to briefly see my old partner from my days working for Mom at Surety L&T… i’ve got to get back in contact with her, i miss Christie.
the less said about certain aspects of the service the better. the reasons i left the Baptist denomination behind are once again fresh in my mind, renewed, one might say, by my recent exposure.

this morning, in an odd bit of conjunction, went to a wedding at St. John’s UMC. it was nice, but strange, coming two days after the funeral. it was a lovely ceremony with only one bobble – the reason the Bridal March gets used so often is it lets the audience know when the fuck to stand up. the music used in today’s service did not fulfill that function, so the bride was a third of the way up the aisle before people started to rise.

Dorris has two position-possibilities – she heard back from the Nebraska job, they want to fly her up for a face-to-face. there’s a position in Branson, Missouri that’s interested in her driving up for a face-to-face. we’re really hoping for the Omaha job – the Branson position is lowballing salary (but yes, still more than Dorris is making now) and if Omaha doesn’t come through and it does, we’ll take it – but we’d like Omaha and Union Pacific to offer a position.
any way it goes, either of these positions or none, it’s pretty certain we’re going to be leaving this house at some point so i really need to start the whole packing process. selling it is going to be a nightmare, depending on how things work out we may just have to walk away from it, but i find myself looking at this place, with all its problems, and getting wistful, remembering how happy we’ve been here. you only have a first home once, and since we’re unlikely to ever be buying a house again, this is it… our one place we could really call our own.
great, just what i need, another reason to feel down right now – no major drama, just a downer.

one rejection for ‘the lament of maryam’ – expecting two more. i mean, i submitted it to ‘progressive Christian/religious’ markets, but there’s progressive, and there’s crazy enough to print that story. in the end, i imagine i’ll end up self-publishing it. been thinking a lot about the “contest/anthology vs. self-publish” – build up a resume (to impress who?) and introduce yourself to new readers vs. actually make money, no matter how little. face it, most of us are never, let me repeat that, never, going to have big book contracts with a publishing house – and even if we do, i’m seeing a lot of really shitty editing coming out in major releases, a lot of authors not getting the publicity support that’s supposed to be the forte of the big publishing houses, not to mention the publishers cutting their own throats, and their authors throats as well, on ebook prices. somebody is making money, but it’s so rarely the authors. anthologies in particular… i’ve been told they very, very rarely pay-out their advances to the authors included in them – so that advance is all the money you’re going to see. yet, undeniably, someone’s making money on the anthologies because they keep being published. i’m starting to see anthologies that are small self-published collections, where all the authors split the money by word count percentages – an idea i’m actually rather fond of.
and as to the “lower ebook prices are devaluing the author’s work” – so, before that argument can be valid, let’s compare how much money the author sees from each type of sale – hardcover, paperback, big publisher ebook, self-published ebook… it’s not devaluing my work if i make $.35 to $4.50 a copy as compared to less than that per book… then the question becomes selling more copies at the higher return, and the way the publishers are sucking at that, with shelf-space disappearing, the question becomes not ‘why are you self-publishing?’ but ‘why aren’t you?’
enough babbling on that.

i find i’m tired a lot – not a depressed tired (i know how that feels and i’ve been whapped upside the head by some of that recently – but not consistently), just tired – it’s 90% stress, more than likely, and there’s not much that can be done for that except relieve the stressors – and that will take some doing (job, moving, long-term security).

at some point in the next week, do yourself a favor – talk to someone you love, that you haven’t talked to in a while, and tell them you love them. with my mom, it talked to her a week before she passed, and i’m good with that, but it’s still something that, quite understandably, has been on my mind of late.

Listening to: Corn Liquor – Southern Culture on the Skids
Mood: ready for the big surprise? tired.

6 thoughts on “Updates & Ramblings

  1. Haven’t known you long but you grow on people quickly. So here, Love You too! < awkward hug > 🙂

    We’ve been to Branson, MO. Once. Mistake. Don’t recommend it. If you do, take a good book because the traffic down the main drag is bad. Get route information from them on how to get there without hitting the main drag.

  2. We’re really, Really hoping for the Union Pacific job in Omaha, but don’t exactly want to toss Branson away if the UP job doesn’t pan out… yeah, the place might suck, but it beats what are rapidly becoming our alternatives…

  3. and Tony… if I grow on you too quickly, I suggest a drill with a wire brush head and bleach – napalm should used only as a last resort. 🙂 right back at ya.

  4. Hey, Jim,
    1) want to add my best wishes for Dorris’s interviews;

    2) I haven’t seen Lament of Maryam. Want to throw it at me for another proofing pass, or are you past all that?

    3) Packing sucks.
    a) Liquor stores often have empty boxes which are good for books, though.

    b) Make sure you have plenty of supplies when you start, particularly good tape and a couple of black Sharpies.

    c) If you need advice on how to pack efficiently, Spider Robinson’s last Callahan’s book had a good method. I forget the book name, sorry, and the details of the method. But the basics of the method were: Pick a room, any room. Start with one wall. Put up a box and mark it with identification of the room and wall, and a sequence number (start with “1”, you clown). Fill it full, working from the top left to the bottom right, filling successive boxes with the same identity and progressive sequence. Repeat for all walls and rooms. Voila, you are done. And your back, knees, and arms hurt.

    Okay, I guess I did remember the details.

Leave a Reply