Friday, June 27, 2008

New and Improved for 2008

Hey, it looks like Blogger has done some cool changes to enable techno-impaired guys like me to soup up their sites, so I am hard at it. I will be adding pictures and ads and links as the days go on.
One of the reasons for getting back to this is that I have finished a novel (see Preview of Coming Attractions), and am getting it edited. I have been shopping it around to about 5o agents and publishers to no avail. So a company that does Print on Demand is next on the block. All the conventional wisdom says it is important to get the book out there, and this is one way to do it in a non-traditional manner.
As soon as I do the changes from the edit, I am submitting to the POD.
Should be interesting.
The book is called "You're Never Too Old For Space Camp".
Here is a sample from the first chapter.
_____________
ONE

“Why’d they have to pick yellow?”
I wondered this to myself as the school buses rolled into the lot. A black girl with blue eye shadow and pink fingernails over by the door glanced at me with an absent look, and then went back to checking her cell phone. Over by the benches, three would-be studs were crowding around a lass who was obviously what one could call an early-bloomer. She was drinking up the attention, until one of the guys accidentally broke wind---and loudly, at that. With a roll of her eyes, and an “Oh…My….Gawd”, she spun off, in search of girlfriends to hug and squeal with. As for the three young men, they collapsed into puddles of laughter, beating each other on the back with calls of “What a dork!” and “You loser!” and other less printable epithets.
Ah, yes, it was that time-honored moment, the exact end of summer, the beginning of who knows what will happen. It was the first day of school at Cedar Grove Middle School.

“So, Joe. I can see that you haven’t gotten any brains over the summer,” said a voice to my right.
It was Eddie Railey.
Eddie and I had gotten to Cedar Grove within a few years of each other. We had played in a softball league together before that, and I told him about the job opening up in Social Studies. It was hard to believe that was over 15 years ago.
We no longer play softball, by the way.
“Mr. Railey, Sir….Hey, I guess we both are dummies, since you’re standing here, too.”
It was standard practice for teachers to complain about how fast the first day of school comes, even though most of us still felt that tingle of coming attractions that we felt as kids. But whereas it used to be, ”Who will be in my class? or “Will that pretty red-haired girl sit next to me?” now it’s “Will I be able to do this for yet another year?”
Eddie smiled. “How was your summer? Overall, I mean.”
“Good enough. Got a lot done around the house, to Julies’ delight. Played a ton of golf, some with you, if you recall. Drank some beer, also with you. All in all, successful,” I said, as row upon row of long yellow vehicles fouled the curbside with their diesel exhaust.
“Lucky you. Three weeks ago, I had to go down to Texas to help my mom and dad move into an assisted living place. Pretty nice place, but they hated to leave their house. Then when I’d been home for a week I got a call in the middle of the night that dad died. Just sitting in his recliner one afternoon, watching The Price is Right. Mom thought he was nodding off like he did all the time. An hour later, she went to wake him to see what he wants for dinner, and that was that.” Railey choked up a bit, turned his head. “A peaceful way to go, I guess.”
“Oh man, why didn’t you call me? I had no idea.”
“Nobody did.” Eddie shrugged. “That’s okay. Besides, it was in Texas, and they wanted to be buried there. They’d been there almost 20 years. The funeral was small, since most of their friends were dead anyway. Dad had one brother, but he passed away a couple of years ago.”
“Mom is here with us, till we can get things squared away.”Over by the door, Miss Pink Fingernails was howling. “Go ahead and bring it then.

2 comments:

Jamie & Mark Hasemeier said...

glad you're back again...nice to know what goes on in the brain of my father.

Lee Strong said...

Congrats on finishing a novel.

I've been working on one this summer - a Catholic horror novel! - and have gotten up over 25,000 words. Dang, it's hard work, so I admire you for making it to the end.