See that book cover with the blood-splattered feather on it? I almost titled it ALIEN SHORES. I realize now that would have been a big mistake.
You see now, back when I was blogging here how I struggled?
Now it makes sense! I was blogging to the wrong audience.
So … to borrow from the Maryland Reporter, enough is enough! Ha!
I know now what I was trying to say here …
Just be yourself. Just blog and tweet and the rest will follow.
Diversify your tweets. Don’t just talk to writers. Talk to random strangers. Practice random acts of kindness. Be good to each other, but know your limits. Don’t sell yourself cheap.
You know who really should have been sitting in that chair? Amanda Hocking. She was doing blogging and social media correctly before any of us old fogies got a clue. Kudos!
You see, if I didn’t blog I wouldn’t know about Silverchair … which almost got mentioned in that novel up there. But the song came out after 2006, so … so much for that. And the devil is in the detoils. Ha ha ha …
Please click on those links, if you want to understand my private hell.
I have been wasting time and worshiping the wrong blogger.
So … slow … fucking … clap. Well, done, Miss Curlers!
If it weren’t for
Hitler Amazon and the publishing industry’s own stupidity, Amanda Hocking would have hit the New York Times bestseller list well before me, because the Nook might have stood more of a chance, if it had been developed by a tech company and publishers weren’t too dumb to see that trusting a retailer who opened the door for everyone to self-publish their work through them was opening the floodgates. We are now swimming in the proverbial tsunami of crap. We all have to build our own lifeboats now! Penelope Trunk was right! Build your platform, authors. But be real!
Speaking of which, here are some photos we took yesterday. Places around Ocean City, MD, which is where a lot of RIPTIDE takes place.
Sorry … got that photo of LA from Google. We didn’t actually go there. Let’s get real. Ha ha ha …
That photo was taken on the north end of the boardwalk. We were reminiscing (sp?) about the times long ago when we used to ride our bicycles down the boardwalk together. My kingdom for a simple bike ride.
We used to come here
nearly every summer, especially after his parents got their condo. Free place to stay. Yeah, whatever.
Finally, one year we went to visit my funny sister in Portland, OR. Awesome!
Now, it’s like a pilgrimage. Going to Portland. Yay!!! The great Northwest. Almost California.
Then, I got dystonia and I realized want to live while I can …
Sorry, I digressed …
The story about Gen Cove! Every time I saw that building, I’d say, “Glen Cove police station! … Sergeant Emil Klinger … I don’t believe it, either, mother!” Ha ha ha ha …
And, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you need to see this movie … especially this part! Ha ha ha …
Okay, given everything I’ve blogged, who’s the crazy one?
Pick the real zombie, without looking at Ann Coulter. Ha ha ha …
Woody Allen truly is a genius! We are the sum total of our choices.
weird interesting how much we have in common …
We’re both from New York.
We both love movies.
We both don’t give a damn about the critics.
We both struggle to believe in something, but can’t embrace the idea of blind faith.
We both joke about gimpiness! Ha ha ha …
We both really hate Hitler! Ha ha ha …
In fact, the answers are all right here!! Click that link! Please. Then, read it and laugh or weep or whatever. Ha ha ha …
Remember … we all have great choices!
That’s not me, but I made that sign, while looking out at the ocean. I was looking across the pond to my friends, and wishing them well.
May we all make the right choices.
Including Miss Curlers. Really!
Oh, yeah … have I mentioned that I’m certifiable? Here’s my certificate to prove it! Ha!
I Googled it myself! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …..
Plus a bedtime story from the Python boys!
PS: Okay, one more thing, then I’ll shut up. I’m just going to share more of my shitty first draft of DEEP SIX, the fourth Sam McRae novel. I promise I won’t keep doing this. In fact, I was thinking of posting chapters from my published work, to give you an idea of what I’ve done. But this was too funny (to me, anyhow) not to share.
It’s probably only funny to me, but so what? I’ll just post it and you can read it, okay?
Okay, here goes. End of Chapter 2, I guess:
Back at my desk, I pondered the options of finding a new office I could actually afford and moving all my shit, begging for a loan I’d have to pay back eventually (with or without interest), finding a part-time job to supplement my income, or taking the damn zoning case, $8,000 retainer and all.
I decided to call Jamila Williams.
Much to my surprise, I managed to catch her in between meetings and putting out the “fire du jour”. “How’s it going, Sam?” she said. “I’ve got only a moment to talk, but it’s great to hear from you.”
“Yeah, me too.” The words slipped out, even though they made no sense. “I just have a quick question. What do you know about zoning law?”
“Zoning? That’s not really my thing. I could hook you up with someone here who does that, if you have a question.”
Well, that was better than nothing, I supposed. I stared out the window and breathed deeply, trying not to freak out.
“Sam, are you okay?”
“Well … not really.” I sounded like my vocal chords were paralyzed. I explained the situation to Jamila as quickly as I could. “Now, this case has come along and it involves an old friend, but it would pay the bills. However, I’m not a zoning expert, so I’d really need to know there’s someone I could count on to assist me with the down and dirty details.
“I’d be more than willing to cut your firm in for a percentage of the fee, since you or whoever at your firm would essentially be consulting with me on this. I’d much rather do it this way than borrow money and create yet another debt to be paid. This way, your firm will get something, I’ll get something, and my client will get an attorney. How does that sound?”
“Well, that sounds reasonable.” Jamila paused. “I wonder if I should refer you to our zoning department or if I could liaise with them and work with you.”
“That would be great,” I blurted, sounding like a beggar. Gathering my wits, I said, “I’d love it if we could work on this together.”
“Let me run it by the zoning department and my supervising partner. I’ll get back to you real soon.”
“How soon? Today? Tomorrow?”
“Uh … I’ll try to make it later today, if I can. Or tomorrow, if I can’t, okay? Boy, you’re in a hurry, huh?”
“Jamila, I’m nearly broke.”
That’s when I couldn’t hold back any longer. The tears started and they wouldn’t stop.
After the dam broke, Jamila offered to take me to dinner, but I was still stuffed with filet minon. Frankly, all I wanted was a friend to talk to, not more food. So, we made plans to meet at a nice restaurant with a bar called Rinaldi’s near her office. I’m not a drinker, but I could’ve used one glass of wine. Jamila offered both wine and friendship. What more could I ask?
When I arrived at Rinaldi’s, Jamila was seated in the waiting area. She jumped up when I entered, ran over to me and hugged me like I was her long-lost sister and we’d been reunited.
“Um, hello,” I said.
“How are you doing?” she murmured.
“I … I’m not bad, actually.”
She let me go and stood back, peering at me. “That’s not how you sounded on the phone earlier.”
Suddenly, I felt like shit. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean that. Yes, I’m having money problems. But it’s not the end of the world, okay? I’m going to get through this. I know I can. I could just use some help right now.”
Jamila stood there, looking at me. As always, she looked like Halle Berry in a well-tailored suit in muted brown plaid that suited her complexion perfectly. She was always so cool and perfectly appointed. I always admired her courage and strength of character. Especially after learning about her difficult past. One to rival my own childhood in the worst part of Brooklyn, compounded by other difficulties, which made it no picnic in the park.
Finally, she smiled. “Let’s go get a drink and talk. Okay?”
So, we went to the bar, ordered our drinks, and, between sips of wine, I explained how slow business had been, how I was behind on the rent, the phone call from Linda, and so on.
“Here’s the thing, Jamila,” I said. “I’m not flat broke. Not yet. I’m just afraid of being broke. I have a little money saved up, but if I use it, it’s gone. Then what? I have no other back up. No life insurance. No house to mortgage. Nobody to depend upon. Just me. And my freaking cat. That’s it. I need this case, but I can’t handle it alone.”
Jamila placed her hand on my arm. “You know you’re my closest friend, don’t you?”
I nodded. “Same here.”
She extended her arm around my shoulders. “I’ll do it. I’ll make the arrangements, no matter what it takes. I’ll consult with you personally on this, okay? It’ll all be fine.”
Thank God, I thought. If I’d only known what was to come, I wonder if I would have made the same decision.
After we hung up, I called Linda and told her I’d take the case. She was happy to hear that I was willing, but cautioned me that she’d need to get approval from the group before she could sign the retainer agreement. She assured me that this was a mere formality, since no one else seemed willing to take on the case.
“Okay,” I said. “I’ll prepare a standard retainer agreement and wait to hear back from you. How’s that?”
“That sounds great.” She almost sang the words.
“When do you think you’ll know?”
“I’ll have your answer tonight. We’re holding a strategy meeting tonight. Afterward, I’ll call you and let you know for sure. But I wouldn’t worry.”
We exchanged pleasantries and hung up. Awesome. Hello, eight grand!
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
The thought niggled. I hate thinking so much. But it was true. It wasn’t a done deal until I had cash in the bank and a signature on the dotted line.
So how was worrying about it going to change anything? Get back to what little work you do have, Sam.
Before I left for the day, I got calls from two possible clients. One wanted to have a simple will prepared. No problem. Of course, when she gave me her financial information, if, as so often happens, she needed more than just a simple will, I’d have to find someone who knew what the fuck they were doing to handle that part. I could get a finder’s fee possibly or we could work together on her paperwork, but rich people aren’t my forte. Many people don’t realize how much they have.
The other one wanted a divorce. I hate divorce cases. I hate the bitterness. I hate the fighting over money. I hate the grudges over stupid things like who gets this thing or that thing or who did what to whom, etc. And when kids are involved, they become pawns in the game. Take it from an orphan, who wishes she could see her parents again, this is so not cool.
But, I was desperate enough to arrange meetings with both of them.
Law is such a glamorous profession, isn’t it? Just like on TV. I tried to picture Cameron Diaz playing me. I failed. No, it was Cameron Diaz who failed. So there, I said it.
Thank you, Stephen Leather! You really are awesome!
BTW, can you spot the looney? Ha ha ha ha ha …
PPS: Okay, a few links of interest and I’ll really, really shut up.
The publishing business is fucked up! You guys screwed the pooch! Don’t come crying, because the publishers were stupid, and … oh, fuck it!
I will always love this movie.
Have I ever mentioned that one of our cats is named Mose? Except my husband spells it with a “z”, apparently.
“Knows where Little Debri is.”
My funny sister can’t stand this movie. Go figure.
“Put an amen to it!”
Ha ha ha ha ha …
PPPS: Let’s pretend I haven’t revised this post. But I’ve made changes above, because I’m an idiot. I’m not really drunk, I just blog like I am. Really!
What more can I say? My husband is a saint.
UPDATE: Dear God! I get the feeling that my husband has said this to me (or wanted to) on more than one occasion. I’ve been so
tortured busy writing in my head blogging in my head thinking up plots and scenarios having epiphanies trying to function normally, I’ve failed to hear.
“If a man cannot make his point to keen boys in ten minutes, he ought to be shot!”
And here I was the Girl Scout! Shame on me for being unprepared.