Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Skipping Through the Graveyard in My Puke-Stained Suit

The day has arrived: Skipping Through the Graveyard in My Puke-Stained Suit: Growing Up in 1970s Rural Pennsylvania is now available on Amazon, in Kindle and Paperback versions.

The past two months have been insane. The key thing I’ve learned: proofreading your own book is like representing yourself in a court of law. You may think you’re smart. You may see yourself as empathetic. But when push comes to shove, there’s a ton of tiny details about yourself that you’re just not seeing.

I read this thing through so many times now that I’m simply exhausted. If there is a next time, I need to pay someone to have a go at this. It’s amazing how many minute details there were that took forever to detect, and I’m not sure I caught them all. Forget about comma usage … I’m all over the map with that stuff. But I have a propensity for dropping verbs and key words like “the” or “an” to make a sentence read as though a caveman wrote it. Mentally, these mistakes should be glaring, but time and time again, I missed details like this. If you do pick up a copy, feel free to let me know about minor glitches like this. Amazon allows me to edit the manuscript at any time, even after publication.

Overall, I’m excited about the finished product. In my mind, it’s a Frankenstein monster of bits and pieces I’ve written since about 1985 through last week. In the last two months, I added six new pieces that would have easily made posts on this site. One memory lead to another, and there were things I just had to include. Even now, there are bits and pieces floating around my head, but I just had to let this hen out. Whether it makes sense to anyone else, or has any appeal beyond people from that part of Pennsylvania recognizing their own lives in my words, time will tell.

You know how when you read a book, there’s an Acknowledgements portion in the end that recognizes what seems like a cast of dozens of people surrounding the author as he raises his new literary work and unfurls it like a flag?

For the life of me … I did this shit on my own! Sitting here where I am now, in my leather chair in my basement studio in Astoria, cranking this shit out, much as I cranked it out in my bedroom back home in spiral notebooks back in the 70s. The only assistance I had was Angie Jordan’s husband, Scott Sullivan, helping out with the cover design, taking a photo of the actual cemetery in question and applying a more professional touch to the image. Are these writers really living like this, surrounded by a swarm of people supporting them and picking them up every step of the way? That wasn’t my experience at all. I always feel like a dick when I read those Acknowledgement sections. More precisely, the word “Bull … Shit” appears in my mind. Don’t let anyone fool you. An undertaking like this, as Glenn Frey once sang, you’re all alone in the center ring.

So, please, if you’ve been reading along here for any amount of time, follow the link, buy a copy in your chosen format, you won’t be let down. If you like it, spread the word, get on any given social media outlet you may imbibe in, pass along a recommendation. I suspect that sort of informal “word of mouth” publicity is how things work now, much more than the old machinery clanking away at the publishing house. It’s been an interesting learning experience seeing just how fast and self-reliant a method of publishing this is. Of course, every crank with a book idea these days is doing the same thing. I like to think I’m a higher class of crank. You be the judge.