Friday Wisdom – Haiku

Haikus are easy
sometimes don’t make sense



Some of you have seen reports of flooding and lots of rain here in California.  Some levees have been breached, there have been mudslides and Interstate 80 will likely be close due to heavy snow.

First, Heather and I are safe.  Our biggest problem is restless cats who can’t go out and play in the garden.

Second, the media is over sensationalizing things – again.

The house that slid in the mudslide shouldn’t have been built there in the first place and was coming down sooner or later.  The levees break all the time and generally flood land that’s not in use or it’s not an immediate danger (fallow farms, parks, wildlife preserves, green belts) – in fact some levees are meant to break to relive pressure.

And finally there are about 30 snow plows in the whole state and the stores don’t sell snow shovels.  Two inches of snow can paralyze the whole state.

The only news story here is that, it’s not rained in a few years and this is what happens when it rains.

If you need me – I’ll be trying to figure out what causes water to fall from the sky,



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Wednesday Writing – Just before the Press

Yesterday I got a call from the publisher and the typesetting is complete on my book, There was a Time.  Last night I reviewed the final PDF file for the book and approved it to go the press.  Now they will print a press check copy and send it out for my final approval.

I thought writers had a need for lots of validation and approval for their writing, but wow – publishers are really needed.

Next step is to work on my marketing plan.  I’ve got a few ideas there, but that part of the process doesn’t come naturally to me.

Well, it’s a rainy day here in NorCal and I get to head out into it.

If you need me – I’m trying remember where that umbrella is


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Just Stuff

This week I’ve given up on the notion of a coherent post with a real point to it.  Honestly, it’s just too cold to think.  Even with long pants, two shirts and wooly socks – my hands are too cold to think about anything really important.  Seriously, the high today was 48 and the overnight low about 36.  Then it rained and I can see snow on the hills.

Maybe I should get those gloves without the fingers so I can type with mostly warm hands.

I know, some of you are living in areas where 48 sounds like a heatwave, but this is California – land of sun and fun.  Normal weather hazards here involve sunburn and heat stroke.  I’ll admit that once the thermometer reads below 75 I start looking for a sweater.  At 68 I start thinking of building a fire and at 65 I go indoors where there is a heater, blankets, and kitties to snuggle.

Cold just doesn’t work for me.  It does force me to keep more clothes on – which some think is a good thing, but other than that cold just makes me think of how to get warm.  It drives from my brain all the things I was going to write about; and when even clicking the mouse button causes me to fear that my fingers will stick to them so doing my normal pre-post research lacks enthusiasm.

Pre-post?  Is that a word?  before-after.  Humm.

Anyway, I did listen to a little music before writing.  Which is always nice and with headphones got my ears slightly warm.  Didn’t help my fingers.

It’s been cold all week and looks like there’s no warming trend in our future.

Despite the cold last week Heather and I did manage to get the final copy of There was a Time and all the contract stuff over to the publisher’s office where they promptly sent back a list of corrections they’d like to make.  I’m hopeful that late next week we’ll get the PDF proof to approve and can move on to the printing process.

One of the reasons I decided to use this publisher is that I have more control over the printing process than I would with Amazon or other on-line publishers.  Turns out we poets are really picky about things like spacing, line breaks, and pagination.  Based on my requirements, I’d hate to work for me – warm or cold.

I have been giving a bit more thought to my book marketing plan.  Obviously, I’ll be promoting it here on the blog and am hoping that generates at least one sale.  If I’m really lucky I might get someone posting a review of my book on Amazon.

I just checked, Seattle, where Amazon is based, is currently colder than the San Francisco Bay Area.  Well, it’s almost always colder in Seattle, but that has nothing to do with my post.

In the world of poetry, most poetry collections are sold through personal appearances: book readings, book signing events, author’s talks, and the like.  There are a number of poetry groups around who will invite a poet to read poems from their work and bring a few copies along to sell after the reading.  With a book on cancer, it’s possible I might get invited to say a church group, service club, or local cancer support group to do a talk about my experience and writing.  Naturally there would be two conditions: Heating and being allowed to sell copies to the attendees after the talk.

Now when I say, “get invited,” I mean find the people running these groups and asking them to invite me – “Hi, I’m Andrew, please invite me to your group to do a little talk and sell some books.”

Yeah, sounds awkward, but it’s kind of how it works.  Sort of. You do try to be a bit more subtle, but the goal is to get in front of a group interested in your topic and is likely to have an extra ten bucks in their pocket for an autographed copy.  Sounds a bit commercial and mercenary, very un-artist like.

Of course, being an artist, I’d never sell myself out for mere money.  But if you do know of a group looking for a cancer surviving poet for their Tuesday night meeting – drop me a line in the contact section under “About me” just above this post.

I should mention that I am a great public speaker and you’d love my presentation.  Not that I want to brag about myself…

Well, okay, I’ll brag a little.  My writing is liked by a handful of people, but get me behind a mic and two handfuls of people like what I do.  Except for being an introvert and not liking large groups, I could make a living doing public speaking.

See this is what happens when it’s cold – my brain freezes up and I say weird stuff.  Looking at the word count, it’s about time to wrap up today’s whatever it is.  I am kind of hoping that there will be dishes to wash in the kitchen so I can get my hands in some hot water for a while.

It’s okay, I’m in hot water all the time.

Just ask Heather.

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Friday Wisdom – Reality vs Fiction

The difference between the real world we live in and a fictional world we read about

is that the fictional world has to make sense.

More wisdom next week,


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