Listen to Pilot Light

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Day at the (Duck) Races

I finally made it to the Deming (New Mexico) annual duck races this weekend. We writer types have to immerse ourselves in all sorts of things to have material to put into our books, right? Well, this has been going on for 34 years and I had never made it.

So we went. As you can see in the picture they actually do race ducks there. Live, quacking ducks. There is lots of enthusisasm. What there wasn't a lot of was duck iconography. There were no duck hats. No duck balloons. No windup ducks (that I saw, at least--I might have missed them).

But there were the races. Two days of them. The outhouse race, however, was unfortunately cancelled for unknown reasons. You can't have everything.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The dark side of writing

Now that we've made the transition back to New Mexico and I am settling in to a work routine, I am confronting that demon all writers face. No, not writer's block. I love the act of writing and seldom have trouble getting into a writing mode. I speak of the unspeakable--marketing.

I know some people who work in marketing, and I will confess that all of them are not demonic villains. Some are nice people. The ones who have been doing it a long time are all competent. I even know how they spend their days. It gives me shivers.

Oh, I have done it, will do it (and wash my hands after), but it is an excruciatingly difficult task for me to wax eloquent on or to drum up enthusiasm for. The problem is that marketing reminds me of busking. I was never that good at busking. I liked performing too much. Sometimes I forgot to put out the tip jar.

Yes. Pathetic.

So I look for the less embarrassing ways to beg (and isn't that what the "please buy my book" line boils down to?). I look for ways that project my books. Ways to make it seem cool to own and read (God forbid) them.

Not many come to mind. A few lovely reviews have appeared for UNDER LOW SKIES and THE INVENTION OF CLAY MCKENZIE on Amazon, and I am happy for that. I'd love to get more. For all the books. But it takes a certain kind of person to be willing to buy the book, read it and then comment on it publicly. And it takes all three steps for a review to matter.

Meantime I can dream of hiring a publicist who does it all, while I sit writing the next book.