Saturday evening, 13 June, marks the second anniversary of the first Odd Thursday at Super Happy Fun Land. Every time Thursday falls on an odd-numbered date, Kyle Blue & company host this literary event, featuring poets and other wordsmiths. It's partly an open-mike affair, but Kyle also books guests specifically for those evenings.
I have purchased 10 copies of Earthworm and 5 of Small Town to sell that evening, hoping that all the copies will arrive before the 13th. We'll sell signed copies to you, the reading public, for $20 each. That saves you $2.95 off the cover price of Small Town. If you insist, we'll give you a nickel back for Earthworm, but you do get to skip the sales tax and shipping on both titles.
There's something else you should know about the 13th at Super Happy Fun Land: You'll see naked people. That's the night of the World Naked Bike Ride, Northern Hemisphere edition, and Houston is participating. Actually, H-Town is participating. H-Town cyclists will be riding through the city to demonstrate for bicycle safety, for body freedom, against fossil fuel dependency, against car culture, and against Houston's tendency to destroy and gentrify its coolest places.
So bring $20 for a book, plus your bicycle, plus your devil-may-care attitude, plus some more money for drinks because WNBR will be stopping at a few taverns along the route.
If you can't ride on the 13th, WNBR H-Town will also have its Victory Lap the following Saturday.
iUniverse sez Earthworm is now available for browsing and purchasing online. Unfortunately, the preview text is all in one paragraph, and it's the wrong text: the text I originally submitted through the online form months ago, before proofreading. Don't look at the preview text yet; it looks like crap! I expect they'll change it soon, after which I will post a link. Meanwhile, if you want to look, you can search the site. It you want to buy a copy or e-copy, you can do that too.
You went and looked at the preview text, didn't you? Rebel.
Did it, done it, waiting for release date.
I have signed off on the interior, cover, and pricing for The Earthworm That Blows No Trumpet. iUniverse says it's usually 15 to 20 days between approval and availability.
You should be able to purchase the hard copy or e-book around the first week of June. It won't be in your neighborhood bookstore, but you can order it through iuniverse.com, amazon.com, or barnesandnoble.com. If you search by author's name, I recommend using the whole name David Bruce Collins, because searching by just David Collins gets 224 hits, and I'm not responsible for all those books.
The one book currently on Barnes & Noble that I did actually write still has one review from 2001, and it's a five-star review. No, I didn't write the review, but I give it five stars too. ;-)
My Publishing Services Assistant at iUniverse sent back the correct book block last Thursday, and they fixed almost all of the errors that I had found. Fortunately or otherwise, I this the opportunity to read through the entire block again, and I found almost as many errors that I missed the first time.
As a rule, it's difficult to proofread one's own work reliably: Having a second pair of eyes on the job is always helpful. Sometimes it's even more difficult to find that second pair of eyes, unless one is willing and able to pay. I'll be paying extra for the second set of corrections, but not enough to break the bank.
iUniverse has plenty of ways to break one's bank. The company does many things I like, and a few I genuinely don't like. Yesterday one of their marketeers called from the noisy call center in the Philippines, inviting me to take advantage of a service that would get my novel reviewed in Kirkus Reviews and two other publications. Sure, a good Kirkus review can provide an invaluable boost to a book's sales. Sure, it also costs $3,499. Does that money guarantee a positive review in Kirkus? I do have scruples about such things.
I just sent iUniverse the proof forms for the book block and cover. In my proofreading, I found a couple dozen things I wanted to fix or change in the interior text, ranging from a missing close-single-quote to entire subordinate clauses. I also substantially revised the sloppy back-cover copy that I had originally submitted.
So that's yet another small step for Earthworm in the direction of becoming an actual book you can hold in your actual hands. If you're lacking actual hands, maybe the electronic version will work better.
A novel in which an assortment of UU's get to be heroes: Priceless?
I also still plan to re-publish A Small Town for Its Size, as I'm sure I have stated previously on this blog, with a few dozen errors fixed.
For multiple reasons, I'm not supporting Bernie Sanders for President. But I will defend his right to run, whether he runs as a Democrat or an Independent candidate.
He won't win. So what? There are higher purposes in running for public office than actually winning the election. That's less true when winning requires raising and spending a billion dollars, but if you can use your political capital to point out how utterly debased the system is and advocate populist solutions, go for it.
If the political tides change drastically and he does win, he'll be 75 when he takes office. So what? He's far more lucid than our last geriatric president.
He has voted for some icky pro-Israel resolutions. He also voted for the PATRIOT Act. These are not in the "so what?" category.
I am not anti-Israel, but I am anti–Israeli aggression, just as I oppose any government's aggression against its neighbors or internal ethnic groups. I especially abhor US aggression overseas and our police state at home. I wish more US Congressmembers, whether they claim Jewish ancestry or not, had the courage to stand up to Israel and AIPAC. I wish AIPAC and friends did not loudly equate misgivings about aid to Israel as anti-Semitism.
The massive USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 was written before 11 September 2001, but it was introduced as a response to it. Our legislators didn't read it. Their staffs likely didn't read it. They had only a vague idea of its implications. In the Senate, only Russ Feingold of Wisconsin voted against it, despite 66 representatives voting Nay in the House. What does this have to do with Bernie? It shows either a) how susceptible to peer pressure he can be or b) how he is willing to break from progressive orthodoxy and vote in ways that he perceives as beneficial to the nation. (Maybe there were lucrative contracts for Vermont firms buried in the PATRIOT Act; I'm certainly not going to read it, or even research online, and try to find them.)
It is important to remember, at least occasionally, that politics and governance are complex beasts; that some of the men and women we elect have complex reasons for their actions, whether or not we approve of those actions. Also, people change. Bernie may have once been a devoted Socialist, and may still talk a good game of redistributive economics, but the man has too much Washington in his blood.
The best reasonable hope for US Greens is that Senator Sanders will energize a sleeping electorate, lose the nomination, and convince those millions newly minted Progressives and Socialists to vote Green rather than settling for insert Democratic nominee here—I'm not falling for the Hillary Clinton Inevitability Narrative.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.