Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Standing Knee Deep in Literary Hoopla


I had a great time at the Texas Library Association--except that the powers that be had laid off so many librarians and cut the state education budget so much that fear was just under the surface of the fellowship. Those wonderful Texas librarians are afraid for their jobs. Fandango Stew and Green Mother Goose were well received. I'm thankful, but I found myself missing something I want to recapture from my youth.

Nothing approaches the pure joy I had way back when creating "underground" comics in the sixties at college. Not risque like Crumb, but satires about little things on campus. The quality of the  food in the cafeteria, the war between the cowboys and hippies, dorm life etc. I'd work for hours on a pen and ink cartoon and sneak over and post it on a cafeteria door or dorm wall early in the morning. The cartoons weren't officially sanctioned, so they were torn down after a while. But how I enjoyed "sticking it to the man" for those few hours. Nothing earth shattering. Nothing very important--but fun.

Now that I have some published books through traditional publishing houses, there are new pressures. Things are changing fast. The word for today's writer is promote-promote-promote. Everybody is blogging, Twittering, Facebooking, Linked in, sandbagging and pumping up resumes. Making literary mountains out of literary mole hills. But suddenly I find myself wading knee deep in literary hoopla all the time and not having enough creative fun. The reason I quit my bank job to draw and write full time was not to become an internet marketer. I realized I needed to get a little balance back in my life.

I've decided to fix the problem. I'm going back to the future.

I'm going to follow my old time bliss more. Do more of the things that attracted me to the creative fields in the first place. I still LOVE doing school visits, but I plan on feeding my comic soul a bit more. I'm going to do this blog for fun. And if it quits being fun, I'll quit doing it. I'm going to do more "hobby" writing. The work on picture books etc. will still be there, but I'm also going to do some experimental writing and get back into comic art. My first venture into this area is my memoir Travels With Grandpaw that I've just published as an ebook. I really had fun doing this project about growing up with my grandfather. I may sell a few, but the joy I got by doing it was the main reward.

I've looked at the bestsellers and if I was market savy, I should have titled it, "Midnight Zombie Travels With a Vampire Grandpaw in a Texas Twilight," or perhaps I should follow the trend and write a book about a werewolf writer with one of the one word titles so popular right now. Maybe "Unpublished" or "Unpromoted." lolol. Don't get me wrong. I respect all those skilled writers who write that sort of thing. It's just that my "inner Mad Magazine child" needs some attention. So, I've unpacked my dip pens, India ink, and old fashioned drawing paper.

And of course, I'm not pure. Here's a bit of shameless promotion. You can find Travels With Grandpaw for download at the Amazon Kindle Store, the Barnes and Noble Nook store, and at Smashwords. No werewolves, no zombies, no wizards, no vampires (other than Texas politicians). Now, if some movie producer will see it and  buy the rights to it for a million bucks, I can retire to my hermit's abode and kick back. One more thing. The only person to play Grandpaw Lacy is Robert Duval. Okay, enough fantasy.

Now, after writing this, I realize I am STILL standing knee deep in my own literary hoopla, and it's rising fast--at least I hope that's what I'm knee deep in...


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