Last night I read “Hansel and Gertie” at the Northern Lakes Center for the Arts in Amery, Wisconsin. Readings by writers draw small crowds and last night was no exception to that, but I was pleased that the reading drew laughs in all the right places and even in some surprising places, with loud guffaws at what I thought might be funny, too. Now, on to reading at the Museum/Library in Luck on August 2nd. I’m not sure what I’ll read there but I’ll know after I size up the audience. I’m told there may be some interest in publishing with that group and I’ll be happy to share my experience and decisions.
My decision to self-publish was prompted by a distasteful experience with the Wisconsin Editor of the St.Paul Pioneer Press. Pat McFadden was the seventh editor at the SPPP I’ve worked with over the decades and I have real problems with his ethics and with the way he deals with writers–at least with this writer. Life is too short to work with assholes. At my age I’m especially aware of that. So the decision was easy: skip the editor completely. Fortunately, because of many years of writing for money and being in print and learning from the small adjustments editors have made to my work from time to time, I’m pretty good at editing myself. Putting my stories on Amazon Kindle also allowed me to get them out there to get reactions, as well as being able to retrieve them to make adjustments and corrections when they were needed. In the process, I could make some money as people bought and read the Kindle books. I can do the same with the print books and did so when the first dozen or so were printed with some awkward and embarrassing physical problems like dots in odd places and sentences that broke apart on the page. Most of those came from trying to adjust from 8 1/2×11 inch pages that were OK for Kindle to the 6″x9″ format for a print book. We learn by doing. I gave those odd copies to relatives and close friends, who have “a rarity”. Two of my kids bought the odd books, too.
Next week marks the end of weeks of guest preaching at the Upper St.Croix Parish churches of the Central, Atlas, Wolf Creek and St.Croix Falls United Methodist Churches. Pastor KookHoo and I have alternated weeks. I expect to be scheduled soon for Taylors Falls in August and September, usually once a month.