As a young boy, the preacher lady would sometimes force us to go to church with her when our folks were fighting. The Jehovah’s Witness bible is different than the other bibles but still set up in the same way. It has two columns per page. Once, while bored in church, another kid showed me that if you read straight across both columns on a certain page you got “God hates nothing so much as a bald headed woman.”
I wonder if God really does hate bald headed women? One thing for sure, a pretty face is pretty with or without hair, but an ugly one needs the hair and all the help it can get.
I wrote this quite a long while back. I incorporated it into the 2009 version ofSlackville Road which you can find here. It hasn’t made the cut in the rewrite that I’m sharing by email as a weekly serial though (you can sign up for that for free here) – but I still liked it, so with a few revisions – I’m posting it here. It’s pretty much the god’s honest truth, whatever that may be.
When I was six years old, I learned to read. Like most American kids in the 70’s, my favorite publication was Highlights Magazine which I got to read twice a year at the dentist’s office. You remember Highlights, right? It was filled with those morality lessons that religious people want kids to experience.
I still remember empathizing with Goofus as he got the short end of the stick in his relations with his goody two shoes brother, Gallant. In one story he grabbed the biggest cookie off the plate and it ended up tasting like dog-shit while Gallant’s little cookie ended up tasting like manna from heaven. The moral was that smaller portions taste better. Most of America’s fat asses should have listened to that lesson, though I don’t think Highlights meant anything like a matter of diet. More a matter of moral enforced humility. Leave the bigger pieces for those that deserve them. I figured if there was shit in the batter, it got in all the cookies. I hated Gallant. The first of many uptight, pompous, self righteous Christians I would learn to detest.
Just in case you were wondering where I got the inspiration for the novel I just finished…here you go.
Great feeling to be done. Lots of work still to be done on it, but the first writing is the hardest part. Just getting it down on the page.
This book has been quite a journey. Writing a novel in a month is no easy task to begin with but when you add that I was traveling the first 12 days, working from hotel rooms and then back at home, we have a 15 month old daughter and I’m running my business, editing Vagobond, and keeping more than 50 websites going while getting the visa paperwork together for my wife’s immigration visa – I feel very proud to have accomplished this again in 2012.
I felt like completing this book was a major step towards reconnecting with the part of myself that is and always has been a writer. It was an important personal journey. The fact that I managed to finish a few days early. It’s just icing on the cake. Man, this feels good and best of all – I think the book has some real potential too.
I’d like to invite readers to join me for a thousand and one Sundays of reading and writing. I’ll write if you’ll read. If you’d like to join me, you can sign up at http://eepurl.com/rMijn but don’t worry, if you decide one Sunday is enough, you can unsubscribe with the click of a button. By the way, there’s no charge for this.
One of the most important things I’ve ever heard about writing is that there needs to be an agreement between the writer and the reader. My agreement with you is this: Read my work and I’ll keep writing the best that I can for you. If you don’t like it for some reason, please let me know and if you can, please tell me why. My email is email@example.com and there is nobody I would rather here from than you, the reader. If you come across grammar or spelling errors, I would love to know about those too. Thanks in advance for entering this agreement with me.
This is a funny thing to do, but it’s nice to have a blog that’s all about me so I can do this kind of balderdash. I’m still in Marseilles very much loving it, though to be honest, mostly just enjoying the fact that I’ve got this lovely apartment and the time to work and think while I’m here.
Today I took a bus up to the 15th Arondisment , or the quartiers du Nord and wandered around a bit. It’s the rough part of Marseille but I found it was mostly immigrants from North Africa and Senegal. Three of the ten or so people I spoke with had booze breath and I saw one middle aged skinhead chugging Heineken on the bus and tossing the cans out the window. A rough looking Senegalese kid got up and gently gave his seat to an old Moroccan lady and I learned what Algerian Berber sounds like – not that I’d recognize it if I hear it again, but who knows. I might.
I also got some much needed prep for the WTM London done and managed to convince myself to write another novel for NANOWRIMO in November despite the busy month I have planned.
This novel was a labor of love. The hard part, as with just about everything in my life, is doing anything when I’m trapped in Morocco waiting for my wife’s visa to get approved. While I’m here, I have no professional contacts, no chance to meet with agents, no chance to attend book fairs, no chance to give my pitch to agents, editors, or anyone else. In fact, I don’t have any chance to even look for a decent job so I can afford to pay an editor, hire a promotion team, or anything else.
So, despite all the work that has gone into this novel, I am afraid that the launch today, may fall flat. One big fear comes from the silence of those who agreed to read the advance copies…my suspicion is that life is busy and it’s easiest to put off doing something for me because I’m hidden away in Morocco and relegated to online contact – at least that’s what I hope.
I worked with a video editor to create an online trailer for the book
I feel like that came out pretty good, as did the cover. I worked with a designer in Belgium to make the cover and I think she did a great job capturing the essence.
In terms of promotion, my major strategy is to utilize my travel website and write about the Sultanate of Baboob as if it is a real country. So far, despite about 1000 visits to the first post I wrote about Baboob and quite a bit of social sharing, no one has said anything – which means that people are either completely convinced it is real, or they just don’t care that it’s not. Either way, the results so far miss the mark of what I was shooting for. Time will tell though.
To promote the book (hopefully) I’m also giving away copies of all my other books on Amazon Kindle. Giveaways tend to be a pretty good promotion, and with any luck, it will hit.
I suppose my pie in the sky dream is that some hotshot agent, a publishing house, or a producer/director type will see my little tale of a less than remarkable guy who get herpes and stumbles onto a blood debt which leads him across continents in search of the woman of his dreams (who, like all the women of Baboob, dresses like a sexy nun).
I worked with another designer to create this ad, but we both agreed that the work was crap and so parted ways (okay, I said the work was crap and then we parted ways)
Time will tell. If no one notices it while I’m alive, maybe someone will read it after I’m dead and actually get what I was trying to say – but I’d prefer it to be while I’m still living.