Writing here has been an interesting experience for me, and I think I am a better writer for it, but really who am I to judge?
My update is in three parts.
Part I: School Days…
I never considered myself popular when I was a teenager. Oh, I had some close friends, but pretty much that is where it stopped for me. I really didn’t need more. Strangely, this reality changed for me 20 years after graduating from high school and just over the last 5 or so days.
See, on Tuesday, I learned that my old high school was closing and merging with our arch rivals. On Wednesday, I realized it was definitely stirring some emotions, so I sat down and worked on an essay to explain my thoughts around it.
Let me introduce this better: I started aggressively writing on this blog in January (as part of my New Year’s resolution, which was my first blog post for the year) and after three months I average about 30 to 40 visits a day. That’s not too bad, especially since I am not doing the “tricks” that other writers’ blogs do to get the higher numbers, and it’s only been three months. These are actual visits and it is growing a little each week.
As of the morning of Monday, March 19, my post “The Fall of the Vikings” (which can be read here), has had 1191 unique views, been shared on Facebook over 250 times, and has generated comments to me about it via the essay’s page, my Facebook, and even over e-mail. When you consider that I thought I would get only a bump of about 20 views, you will understand why I am floored by this.
I was then asked to write a follow-up article explaining why the school consolidation is a good idea; a point I agree with so I did. That article “The ending of a story… the beginning of a new one” (here) has been read 314 times. Hopefully, it will make a difference in the environment around this change in my hometown.
If I still lived in Wyoming, I could run for the school board with these numbers… heeheehee.
So, yeah, my numbers are mad right now on the site. As my brother pointed out to me, that is the equivalent of 7 to 8 entire classes in the days when we were in high school. It almost makes me wonder if I should get a varsity letter in English for this… and if not, they should so have them!
Anyway, while this has been fun, there is a reality check here for me. I can see the numbers and I know that few are checking out my books on amazon or checking out my other editorials. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It’s just about the article, and that is cool… Cool… Yeah… So for about five days, I was the Fonz…
The Fonz is still cool, right?
Part II: The Books…
So I decided to focus my attention on agents first. In many ways, agents are the gatekeepers for the bigger publishing houses; and I will like to give A Jane Austen Daydream a shot at the big time, because, frankly, I am proud of the work. Right now I have a few agencies reading excerpts from the work. If an agency jumps at it, I’m sure I will say something on the site. Fingers crossed.
It looks like my three books that are in print are about to hit as ebooks. My Canadian press wants to have My Problem With Doors and Megan released via Google’s ebooks. They promise it should be soon. I was also informed that my first book 3 Days in Rome should hit as an ebook as well on amazon.
I usually give novelists the advice of never looking back. Yet, I have made that mistake with each of my books, and EVERY TIME I pick up a finished work, I find something I want to correct or change! ARGH!
It could be as simple as a printing error, or something more fundamental in plot or narrative. It’s a dangerous practice looking back and I highly argue against it. For example, I still dream of the word missing in one sentence I found in 3 Days and Rome and it has been a decade now…
I’ll write a post once the three books are up as ebooks.
Part III: My Grandfather
Before the article on Wyoming Park, my most popular editorial was around writing an obituary for my grandfather who was passing away (here). He did die in February, and an entire generation from my family disappeared with his departure.
I have had a close relationship with each of my three grandparents that I was lucky to know; and it feels weird with all of them gone. As I told my wife, a part of me feels I can still call them. I know that is silly, but they still feel that close to me.
My grandfather was a letter writer and I have saved all of the letters he has written to me and my brother while I was in LA. And for the service I read excerpts from those letters, so people could get an insight into what it was like to be his grandson. It was filled with humor and definitely captured why I loved that old man.
I ended this “reading” at the service with a joke my grandfather sent to us then. Here it is:
A woman at a grocery store was checking out turkeys for her family but was unhappy. She went and found a grocery clerk, asking “Clerk, do these turkeys get any bigger?” “No,” the clerk replied, “They are dead.”