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.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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43 Responses to Just Stuff

  1. CJ Hartwell says:

    I’m not about to tease you about being cold at those temperatures. I get it.
    Also, I need to learn from you and forget about trying to come up with themes for my posts. Just write! Yours is an excellent example of how entertaining it can be for the reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Contrast – K.J.Ottinger

  3. Deb Farris says:

    You’re so funny.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Write a good press release and send it to your local newspapers, libraries, and civic groups and hopefully that will get you some speaking gigs. I just hope it’s not cold on those days you are invited to speak so you don’t have brain freeze. (Just kidding!) But seriously, I often have to chuckle at those of you who live in more temperate weather zones (and I used to live in Portland, Oregon so I can relate) because I’m very comfortable when the temperatures are in the 70’s and 60’s, thinking about wearing a sweater at 60°, a jacket outside in the 50’s. But I love the cold!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. If it makes you feel any better, we’ve got a foot of snow now. I know my flowers are still under there somewhere…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Debra says:

    A good friend of mine has self-published several books and travels almost continually speaking at Rotary Clubs, libraries and other groups, in order to promote her work. It really is a lot of work, but there seems to be the most direct path. As for cold, we have been colder in our Pasadena area than Oakland. I’ve been monitoring the temps and can’t believe it. It was 36 degrees this morning at 8 am! That’s almost impossible. I have ground to a halt. I don’t think I’d survive a midwest winter! LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It does seem that just throwing it up on Amazon doesn’t do it. I thought I’d give it a try like you friend is doing. Now, I just need to figure out how to contact all these groups (some I have contacts with so likely, it’s just a big networking thing). Like you, I’d never survive a midwest winter! I’m a confirmed Californian where weather is concerned.

      Like

  7. Margy says:

    I know what you mean by ‘cold’ in relative terms. It is cold here in AZ too (near freezing at night) and the problem is that houses that are equipped with good air conditioners don’t really have the best heating systems! Our Canadian home, on the other hand, has a glorious heating system and an air conditioner that gets used, at most, 2 days a year!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve been in AZ in both summer and winter so I understand that. Here in NorCal we just have a heater and fans for the summer. The A/C isn’t needed that often.

      Like

    • CJ Hartwell says:

      In complete agreement with you, Margy. I’m amazed how comfortable I can be in Minnesota, but in a Phoenix winter I could never warm up. I thought it was because there wasn’t enough of a temperature change between outside and inside, but never considered the heating system. The furnace we have here is huge! 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  8. katknit says:

    Andrew,
    I’d be happy to send you some hand spun, hand knitted fingerless mitts made from local wool fleece from Connecticut sheep. Just need your address.
    We’re in for snow tomorrow. Stay warm!
    Best,
    Linda

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s very kind of you to suggest that. I fear that they might only get used for a photo on this blog as this kind of cold is rare out here, but if you’d enjoy making a pair, drop me a line through my contact page (I would pay for any materials you used).

      Like

  9. Good luck with publishing and marketing your book of poetry, Andrew. BTW, I grew up in South Florida, lived in the Rockies for a bit, and absolutely love CA and the climate. We have gold-plated problems, weather-wise.
    Ω

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I know your feeling about cold. I’m looking for my retirement home (anywhere but this crazy state of California) so keep a list of possibles on my weather app. As cold as everywhere is this winter, I’ll end up in Florida.

    I’ll keep an ear open for presentation venues!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lorieb says:

    that’s what you get for asking me to send you snow! On the publishing note, have you heard of CreateSpace? you can self publish with as little or much help as you need from editors etc. It cost me nothing to publish my book. You choose a price for your book, they only print as they’re sold, they ship to buyers. They get a cut for every one purchased. Very simple process, beats having hundreds of copies sitting in your living room etc

    Liked by 2 people

    • I did ask for it. I looked at CreateSpace (owned by Amazon), but I’m a bit old fashioned and wanted to work with a printer/publisher I could call on the phone or see in person. The one I selected is one some of my friends have used and is a local business. In the end it came down to a phone call, “So if I send you the word doc and some money, you’ll do everything else?”

      Like

  12. Pied Type says:

    The temps you describe sound like a pleasant winter day here in Denver. But like you, my hands get really cold sometimes and I looked for fingerless gloves too. Ended up buying something called Wristies on Amazon and they sure can make a difference.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Hi Andrew, I review a lot of poetry collections on my other blog, robbiesinspiration. I love the sound of your book. Drop me an email at sirchoc
    outlook.com when the book is available on Amazon and I will buy a copy and review it for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Hi, Andrew, think about contacting local Kiwanis and Rotary groups to see if they’d be interested in having you come speak. They’ve been a great venue for me, and I always sell a number of books after. Libraries are also looking for speakers and most allow book sales. I, too, am an introvert who loves public speaking. Put a mic in my hand and you may have to pry it away from me…. Sorry, but you get no sympathy from me for your frigid temps. Here in Seattle (suburb) we have a foot of snow and it’s still falling heavily; it’s supposed to keep coming down for the next 2-3 days. It was 16 degrees this morning. We’re spending our days thawing the birdbaths and replacing frozen hummingbird water. Congratulations and good luck with your book!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hadn’t thought about those two. I’ll have to see which ones are here. Two of the poetry groups I know of locally meet at libraries, so I’ll have to check into that possibility.

      Yeah, I figure no one outside of CA has much sympathy for me. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you go to the central (international) Rotary and Kiwanis websites, you can easily get the names and contact information for all clubs near you. There are 33 Rotary Clubs within a 25 mile radius of my home, nearly the same number of Kiwanis. Lots of opportunities!

        Liked by 1 person

        • There are a lot out there. Better get started on that. I think I need to put together a standard presentation and a bit of a press/marketing kit so I’m not stumbling around when I start making those contacts.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks for the giggle. About the weather. 🙂 We just came off a cold snap that had us at 40 below for a week, and we’ve since (in the past 6 days) gotten over two feet of snow. On the other side of that coin, when I was in your neck of the woods this summer, I melted. It was awful. I guess we’re where both we’re meant to be!

    Liked by 2 people

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