Thursday, January 14, 2010

Catching Up

I've been behind on things since the big freeze. The windows went in, but the day-to-day chores suffered.

Let's face it; I'm not up to cleaning stalls in a -5˚ f day, too many broken bones and arthritis makes for cold weather misery. That's why we live in Kentucky, not Northern Ohio, or god-forbid, upstate New York. Three days flat on my back with some disgusting virus put me even farther behind.

Today was in the high 40's, thanks to a good friend; we played catch up and won. There is a new round bale in the pasture. It wasn't easy moving a thousand odd pounds of hay for a couple of women, but we managed. Applied physics is kinda cool, when you have a tilting trailer. Shove here, push there, slide and pow! One hay bale unloaded. The stalls are clean. Four words do not do justice to the size of the task. The house is still neglected, but hey, nobody is perfect.

I've been researching self-publishing, not finding anything post-worthy. Most of it is the same information: self-published books sell less than 100 printed copies, unless a) they are a niche market, non-fiction book and b) the author markets the hell out of them. If the 'average' UK published book sells an average of 18 copies, then there isn't a hell of a lot of difference between publishing in the UK or self-publishing. (That sucks.)

I'm still looking for American numbers, but I doubt there will be much difference. Unless you are willing to sell via Kindle, and sell really, really, cheap – like $.99 or $1.99 – you are going to have to sell the books by hand, or out of the trunk of your car. Gathering new data is a slow process.

Tonight, around sunset, I went out for evening stables. Leo was waiting for me, scratching the old gelding's neck and leaning on a cane.

"Hey." His hair was still unruly, he was unshaven, out of uniform and he looked tired.

"What's up?"

"This is one ugly horse you got here."

The old gelding is gaunt, his legs are crooked, he's camel withered, swaybacked with a roman nose and a lump on his head. Most people never see passed the thick, shiny blue-black coat and the fact that he's 66 inches tall, or 16.2 hands. At 22 years old, the poor boy has seen better days.

"You know horses," I grinned at them.

"I rode horses on my uncle's farm, as a kid." No cut today, he wore jeans and denim jacket, both well-worn. The old gelding bumped him in the chest, demanding more attention. Leo flashed a smile as his fingers returned to the itchy spot.

"What brings you here?"

Leo didn't answer. Not that he needed to say it out loud. I had promised him November, but hadn't finished the second novel. I still haven't finished the second novel. It has yet make the novella stage of 55k, let alone the tipping point of 80k words.

Yet, Leo's story is barely a handful of index card with plot points, and one opening scene.

The term 'old war horse' came to mind as I studied him. The swaggering biker who appeared on my porch last summer was no-where in evidence. This was a man who had seen too much Рa terrible clich̩ Рyet he was more compelling for it.

I was reminded of the first draft of "Let's Do Lunch" – some 10 years ago – of a shy boy-next-door who would barely talk to his boss's daughter. That boy needed a serious back-story and a new name – but he became 'Tag' McTaggart.

Maybe it was time for me to get back to writing.

No comments: