Unexpectedly, things were changing, one after the other. It did start with my sister’s sudden death and Valentine’s Day week filled with funeral arrangements and a quickly-called family reunion. But, since Kippy didn’t live with me, it’s hard to see any connection to the continuing frenetic activity. Let’s see if I can figure this out myself…why I still haven’t caught my breath after almost a month of a life in rearrangement mode:
My book, IN SECRET DIFFUSION, has been at the publishers for three weeks now. The final version of the manuscript was sent out on Valentine’s Day, the same weekend that Kippy died. I wanted it to be finished by the time she visited me so that I could concentrate on our activities, though she died before we got together. The cover took a week or two longer to finalize, but that amounted to bouncing versions back and forth between me and the artist, until we got a wonderful, most beautiful, result. Now, that artwork is being married to the entire front and back cover template and any day, I will receive an electronic version to approve or tweak. But it’s in good hands and I know that I will love our final result. Also in competent professional hands is the interior of the book which is being formatted to industry standards. At some unknown date in the near future, I’ll be sent an electronic proof copy of the entire formatted book which I must then carefully read and either correct or give my final approval. When I sign off on it, my book will go to press and I will wait eagerly for my first bound copies. Once we have such a lift-off, my application will wend its way through the Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com, and many other online booksellers, as well as the vast catalogs and distributors of books to bookstores, libraries, and public outlets. This will possibly culminate around the middle of April and I will be listed for everyone to see.
Right now, most of that operation is out of my hands and requires only short bursts of attention.
But back in January, I had initiated the marketing efforts for this new book, having learned that things happen slowly, or not at all, if one does not put great effort into publicizing and marketing a book. For my first one, HEY BOOMERS, DUST OFF YOUR BACKPACKS, I did a bit of marketing but mostly took my own advice and dusted off my own backpack for a four-month exploration of South America. Even so, that little book has climbed to #100 in the Senior Travel category on Amazon.com all by itself. Where would it be if I had given it the attention it deserved?
This time for this book, which has required me to ‘fess up about a long-hidden secret of mine: the fact that I (gasp!) Hear Voices…and that (double gasp!!)… I insist that it is The Holy Spirit to Whom I speak… This time, I am stepping onto the gangplank and am willing to jump into the unknown sea of having to quantify what it is that I’m talking about; while learning how to say anything at all about it; to possibly my greatest nightmare of Doubting Thomas’s, which I will deliberately attract to myself through these very marketing efforts. It is a weird and strange, self-shooting circle of which I have already experienced the briefest glimmer of someone’s rude behavior.
Anyway, I’ve joined a very competent group of authors taking a highly-intensive online training course from a proven marketing coach who teaches the ins and outs of modern internet marketing…definitely NOT spam…and my first few weeks of lessons taught me one thing that wasn’t in the course. I needed a dedicated work/study space for this, that was separate from my writing desk. There was just no room for both operations on the same desk. That realization led to a trip to my favorite thrift shop in the whole wide world on a mission to find the right furniture to get myself into business mode.
For years now, I have bemoaned the space-hogging sleep sofa that dominated my small living room and the large round dining table that fought constantly for primacy. Both had to go! The first tug on this sweater-thread came in the form of a lovely rectangular oak dining table that could also double as a desk. The second, third and fourth tug followed soon after in the form of a marble-topped corner cabinet, a rolltop desk and a smaller sleep sofa. Kaboom! Delivery was set for the first of last week. The old sofa and table would be carted away when the new ones arrived.
But I didn’t leave that sweater-unraveling alone at that. No, I had to go all the way down the pike to an injured knee and a remodeled kitchen. You see, there was this fine, double-doored freezer/fridge there for only $200, when they sell for $2000 originally. I’d long been wanting to get rid of my old refrigerator, if only to be able to clean behind it. It was wedged into a cramped place, but also its motor always seemed to be revving high and that was suspicious. The new one was an inch and a half too wide, but my dear neighbors, Walt & Dottie, came with me to inspect it and Walt declared that he could saw my cabinet and help me install the new one. Deal!
However, I got the bright idea that as long as the refrigerator was out of its spot, why didn’t I take the lifetime opportunity to re-tile the dark brown kitchen floor? I had done that years ago on another house. Self-stick tile makes it sooooo easy, as I recalled. And then, of course, once the old fridge was out it became obvious that I was going to have to paint the walls as well. My sweater-unthreading went on all last week, with kitchen stuff piled in the living room and cleaning, painting, floor preparing going on rapidly so that we’d be ready for the furniture delivery truck last Tuesday.
Working on the floor so long, albeit perched on a small stool, caused my right knee to flare up and get water on its little old brain. It does this now and then, but this time, Nurse Dottie insisted on a doctor’s visit and that led to an MRI. The doctor rarely sees me and took that opportunity to put me back in her diagnostic system, which is already starting to consume time. Meanwhile, Walt finished laying my tile. Bless him. Bless both of them – the best neighbors in the world.
By Thursday, my Business Kingdom was remarkably together. My kitchen is gorgeous; my floor is shiny celery green, and the fridge works perfectly. Thank goodness…it’s always a gamble when you buy second-hand. I sit at my new desk, aka my oak dining table, and survey a serene and happy space. I feel good about myself. I’m ready to take on my first radio interviewer: a forty-minute taped session with Rob McConnell of the Xzone Radio, in Canada, who has been interviewing the paranormal for many, many years. Surely, he won’t think I’m so strange. I had already sent material about my book and myself and a few suggestions for questions. I was psyched and looking forward to it, so glad that my heavy-duty house conversion was behind me and my knee could now be pampered. Talking on a phoned interview about my favorite subject would be a piece of cake. Right?
Wrong! I think I rattled poor Rob’s little brain. He wound up practically yelling at me when I said, quite honestly, that I couldn’t prove that I was talking to The Holy Spirit. “How are you going to sell any books if you can’t PROVE that fact?” Ummmm, I’m not going to sell any books anyway with this interview because they won’t even be available for six weeks. He rattled my little brain though because I didn’t think of the many good comebacks until after he had suspiciously-quickly terminated the interview. Now, if I can’t even talk to the liberal-minded, what a rocky ride I’m in for here. I have some homework to do to try to figure out how to handle these blind alleys.
Hey, has anybody ever been able to even prove the existence of God yet? I don’t think so. Why didn’t I say that to him? Ah well, he taught me a lot anyway.
But serendipity came to my rescue yesterday when I got into a long conversation at the beauty parlor with a lovely lady named Margarita who absolutely GOT what I was saying and can’t wait to buy the book. I never chat with the other customers while I get my hair cut! She didn’t have an appointment, but got in for a permanent anyway. Timing. Serendipity. A new InterGalactic Friend discovered.
And again, we’re off to the races.