Late Long Weekend Notes

I’m a USian, so I’m supposed to be all patriotic and uplifted because it’s Memorial Day. Sorry, but I’ve never been good at emoting on demand and the sight of that ugly red, white, and blue flapping in the breeze has never managed to change that. The hundreds and thousands of death that have taken place all over the world, for centuries, and that continue to take place, many of them a result of this country’s empire ambitions, have haunted me since I was old enough to understand what war was all about, starting with WWII and Hiroshima. So here’s my offering for a day when most Americans are watching parades, stuffing themselves with hot dogs, getting sunburned, and having a generally great time.

How Memorial Day Glosses Over the Real Horrors of War

A Jo’rneyman’s Song

On Memorial Day Weekend, America Reckons With Torture

Now, in the tradition of shifting attention back to the really important stuff, the rest is all about me.

Revision of Gift of Blood (to be renamed Gift of the Ancien) is going well. First novel and all that, it’s benefitting from the authorial maturity attained over the last two years. Plot holes are filling in, characters are becoming more rounded, and the end of the story is finally resolving itself. Unless I stumble into one of my black holes, there’s a chance I’ll be able to publish it in June — late.

I’m still waiting for The Darkest Prison to be price-matched to zero on Kindle. On Smashwords, it’s had about 160 downloads and much to my surprise, it got a review. Four stars is very encouraging, since the review is . . . well . . .  “Not too sure what to say. That was possibly one of the most devastating stories I’ve ever read. I kind of want to go curl up and cry now.” Makes me not too sure that I want to write any more psychological horror if it can have that kind of impact.

For sales, May has been my worst month so far. But it could have been even worse. Started out with no sales at all, then a little flurry brought it up to six, Smashwords and Kindle combined. More silence from the millions of customers out there, then a little dribble, and finally, a hiccup. So it looks as if May will end with a grand total of . . . wait for it . . . 17 sales. Ta Da!

I’m learning not to get discouraged, because sales go up and down, even for the most popular authors. We indie authors who can’t follow the golden path of popular genres will always be swimming upstream. Just think of the muscles we’re developing.

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7 thoughts on “Late Long Weekend Notes

  1. Well, for me Memorial Day is less about honoring the military (nobody in my family was military – they were never the right age or they were 4F for asthma) than about a family tradition of remembering deceased relatives. My mother always told how in southern Missouri where she grew up, they went out and collected wild flowers and made wreaths to go on the family graves. She persisted in a similar custom her whole life, so I continue to honor her memory in that. Every year I visit the cemetery where my mother and other relatives are buried and put some token flowers on the graves. It’s the only time of the year that I go and I want to verify that the memorial stones are still intact and haven’t been vandalized. I’m the last of my family, so that tradition will end with me.
    I figured up my own sales yesterday and while I can’t say I’m rich, I can say that the paperbacks are much more lucrative than the ebooks. I had one free special on the “Monster” Kindle that yielded no royalties, of course, and a 99-cent special on Termite Queen, v.1, that yielded a total of 1.66! I’ve sold 13 copies of paperbacks (all titles) and the royalties are 38.42. And I know I’ve sold 2 paperbacks to .de and one to .it that don’t show up yet in the statistics. So I’m not too unhappy.
    BTW, Catana, when Smashwords says that 5 copies went to B & N (I assume that means Nook) but no royalties are shown, what does that mean?

    1. My family never had any rituals of any kind, and I’m temperamentally unsuited to them. I can see the value of personal rituals, memorials, etc., for other people, but they leave me cold.

      Your B & N sales should be showing on your Sales and Payment report. If you’re talking about paperbacks, they may be reported differently than ebooks.

  2. Catana, it sounds as if your Memorial Day is the equivalent of our Anzac Day over here in Aust’a. I used to love Anzac Day when I was a kid: There was a dawn service at the eternal flame, a march and a church service; it was a very sombre day with the pubs closed (you could get in to the Returned Soldiers’ Clubs if you were a member), and the emphasis was on sadness at the loss of all those beautiul young men. Now, unfortunately, it seems to have turned into just another excuse for a gigantic national booze up and the perpetuation of war mongering by the resident government, while makers of minature flags and wigs in national colours make a fortune. The same thing happened to Aust’a Day, which is an even bigger drunken-yobbo booze up, and one dreaded by the staff of hospitals all over the country.
    PS I too remember WWII and Hiroshima. I was in Brisbane at the time, we would have been invaded if the Japanese hadn’t bombed Pearl Harbour, thus pushing the US into the war in the Pacific.

    1. I’ve never seen any colored wigs (maybe that’s an Aussie thing), but the mini flags — gads yes. I’ve seen whole lawns taken up with them. Always wonder if the number of flags is supposed to be a measure of patriotism. For most Americans, war is just a spectator sport, and even then, it isn’t something they pay much attention to. Oddly, I just finished reading a novel that takes place during WWII. The central character is a young Englishman badly wounded at Dunkirk. There’s a reference to the new meds that are keeping people like him from dying of infection, and I doubt most people reading it today would be aware that the use of antibiotics, “miracle drugs,” began then. And today I read that 45% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans here have filed for disability help. Antibiotics don’t do anything for the kinds of damage they’re suffering in modern warfare.

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