Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A mostly commercial announcement that was supposed to be brief

1. Very much commercial: I've closed my eBay store, which is where I was selling my old author copies (as the sole source of mint- or brand-new-condition signed first editions).  Sales had been dwindling and I've had four straight months where the store was wobbling around breaking even, nor did I see much prospect of bringing in vast hordes of new buyers.  I think the collector population is pretty much all Barnesed up, and eBay stores, while wonderful from a convenience standpoint for both buyer and seller, are also somewhat costly.

2. This doesn't mean I'm not still selling signed first editions (and foreign editions and other good things).  I'm putting together a catalog/pricelist, which I will make available to newsletter subscribers as soon as I finish it, and to everyone on request around November 15 (i.e. at the start of holiday shopping, the six weeks during which I've usually made about half my sales for the year).

3. And speaking of the newsletter, another one is imminent, with various news of various Barnesian projects, plus a longish essay (usually 2000-6000 words) that I pledge will never go anywhere other than to newsletter subscribers.  (Permission to quote is however readily granted).  If you've ever bought anything from me via eBay, or the e-Junkie service, or directly, then you're on the list unless you asked not to be.  You can also get on it by emailing me via the link to the right.  I hand manage the list, so all formats are fine -- any way in which you tell me you want your email address added is good.  (And of course you can also drop me a note asking to be taken off).  I have hopes the newsletter will go out tonight or tomorrow morning.  (And if you see this too late, nil desperandum; I always send the previous newsletter to new requests).

4. Cider House Rules, in which I am acting, is getting great reviews and pretty good buzz in Denver, so if you were thinking of seeing it, since the house is small (the back row is the third row!) you may want to get tickets soon (it plays through Sept. 30).

5.   A chapter of Tales of the Madman Underground has been adapted for performance by Denver's own One Night Stand Theater.  Jim O'Leary has done his usual splendid job at converting page prose to stage poetry, and I'm pretty excited that this is going to be performed, on Sunday, October 7.  (Denver area SF writer Steve Raznik Tem also has a story in the performance, so you know this is a class operation all the way).  Details and ticket orders here.

6. More stuff soon.  I'm still having thoughts, it's just the paid gigs are eating up typing time.  See you all soon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I open the bag again

The Book Doctor's Little Black Bag: Facing up to goodness – Getting to the Good Parts ...: Symptoms and diagnosis: "Mary Sue"  is a term in literary analysis/nitpicking that is something like "paranoia" or "neurotic" ...

As life drifts back into normality, I'm getting back to some longrunning projects, one of which is The Book Doctor's Little Black Bag, in which I share some of the tricks I learned as a book doctor.  Plenty about it over there, including a warning page about the audience: most of this was originally things I explained to people who were almost-publishable.  It may not be applicable to beginning writers (or it might; i'm simply not worrying about them, as heaven knows there are plenty of sites and workshops for them).

 This particular episode is about Mary Sue-ism, and especially about how fixing it can lead you to better things than just a repair and an acceptance.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Where I'm back again from, and what's up

Well, yes, it's been a while, more than three weeks actually, but the chaos is drawing to an uneasy close, like one of those wars that ends in a long miserable drag-out where everyone is just trying not to be the last official casualty. The old office is evacuated, with just a few of the hapless Embassy maids and cooks falling from the helicopter skids, the new office is getting set up at a rate for which "glacial" would be a compliment. Opening night for the play I've been in rehearsal for is tonight, I'm caught up in my paid blogging for various technical and business websites, I've had some sleep and showers, and I'm back at work on The Last President, which is the third Daybreak novel.

So this entry is just sort of a catch-up, and herewith a few links:

I've sent out email notices and changed account addresses to everyone I knew I had to, but those of you who regularly deal with me via streetmail (especially the couple times a year collectors who prefer streetmail, and any of you lovely people who mail out checks) might want to drop me an email if I've overlooked you.

The CiderHouse Rules, in which I am an actor, opens tonight, at the VintageTheatre, 1468 Dayton Street, in Aurora. It's a long play -- there's a Part I and a Part II -- and this weekend we're just opening Part I; next week we'll go on the schedule of Part I in the matinee and Part II in the evening, so Friday and Saturday, today and tomorrow, are your chances to see Part I at night. First time I've walked onto a stage (except to build a set, check a light, or throw rehearsal furniture at actors) in 19 years. Details about the show and ticketshere; I can feel two to four 3000-Word Ramblers impending about it, but since I don't know how soon they'll swim up from the unconscious, or really what they'll be about (I usually don't know till halfway through the first draft) meanwhile, go see the show.

For those of you who still wonder what a statistical semiotician does and how it differs from the semiotics or semiology that your English or art history professor might have talked about, recently one of my editors at UBM was foolish enough to ask me that same question, and published my answer.  Contains no numbers or graphs.

Over at Metafilter, cgc373 noticed my I Hate Snark post from December, and provoked a very interesting discussion of it, of exactly the type that I can enjoy reading because I'm not the least bit responsible for maintaining or policing it, and therefore feel fairly little desire to comment, defend, expand, etc. myself. But if you've been wanting to say something about it, a bunch of civil and smart people (some of whom I agree with more than others, obviously) are talking about it there. Also, in his blog, Joshua Miller posted something so interesting that in a week or a month or whenever I know what I think about it, I'll probably say something in this blog, so go read his piece and watch this space.

The RNC is now history, which means that Raise the Gipper! (still available free by clicking on the link off to your right) is now alternate history. Interestingly, sales hit their highest spike just before the convention, which I think was a case of people preferring an imaginary world where the Republican nominee was a decaying brain-destroying corpse to a real world where it's Mitt Romney, and, on balance, who can blame them?*

I now plunge back into the mountains of boxes and furniture; there's an office in here, I'm pretty sure, if I just keep moving things to where they belong. More much sooner than lately.***


*Stray observation: before the convention I thought of old Mitt as an amiable doofus pathetically trying to reach above his doofushood, so that's how I depicted him in Raise the Gipper!. Nowadays, to me, he looks more like a doofus who is willing to be vicious, but to remain mired in his doofushood, as long as he gets to stand up front and look important. Doesn't it seem like the Republicans revere Reagan so much that ever since he retired they've been nominating people who make him look somewhat better in retrospect? I mean, at least once a month during both Bushes, I found myself beginning a sentence with, "You know, even Reagan didn't ..."**

**there has now been a footnote, and a metafootnote. This entry is therefore complete, though short by my odd standards.

***the more I look at that phrase the better I like it. I must have bumped my head sometime this morning.  Hope I bump it again.