Sunday, December 18, 2016

Finishing What I Start, Adventures in Self-Publishing, Refined Sulking

Lately, I’ve been on a kick about finishing what I start. I don’t know if it’s because it’s the end of the year, or if there is some psychological issue at play, but lately my life feels haunted by specters of the half-complete, and it’s bothering me. One of those half-complete things is my poetry chapbook from years ago titled “The Acme Employee Handbook,” which was selected for publication for two different presses over the years, but for various reasons never got off the ground with either. I have come to think of “Acme” as my little orphan child. This weekend, in the spirit of completion, I got a wild hair and started delving deep into the vagaries of self-publishing. I signed up with Lulu and enlisted Mr. Typist’s aid in all of the formatting/proofing/grammar-checking stuff, and got the book uploaded. It’s not actually published yet—I still have some steps to go through to get to that point, but it’s lying in wait. I need a book cover and a “marketing plan” and I need to make some final decisions about pricing. I’m trying unsuccessfully not to get super-daunted by the whole thing. My goal is to have it published by the end of year. Lulu is the first self-publishing site I’ve worked with, and so far, I like them. There were a few glitches, some I am still working through, but they are excellent with giving clear instructions and walking you step-by-step through the process.  I will let you know when it’s ready for download! It will be available on Kindle, Nook, etc. More details to come soon.

Another move in my new-found zeal for completion will be to re-conceive “The Diary of Wolfpine Glen” and start the project up again in the new year, with renewed purpose and focus. Therefore, I am taking down the site for now. “Wolfpine Glen” will return at some point, hopefully as a weekly series, once I’ve been able to give it the time and focus it needs.

Buddy, who has thrown some truly epic cat-tantrums in his short lifetime, has managed to turn sulking into an art form. He’s a pretty vocal cat as it is, but he’s really expanded his range. His whines and cries have gotten much more elaborate and drawn out, complete with ear-shattering flourishes and trills all his own. Today, he came into the computer room and proceeded to enact a truly Shakespearean-scale whine-ologue when we declined to play Feather with him. Fed up, Mr. Typist shooed him out and shut the door. A few minutes later I found Buddy sacked out in the bathtub, glaring at the shampoo bottle. I guess that’s his newest sulking spot. I need one of those—a place I can go to pout. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just dark and quiet, preferably with a locking door. And soundproofing.

 -Kristen McHenry

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Acme Employee Handbook didn't get published by either press in the end? Did rights revert back to you in both cases? Let me know when you've printed, and I'll be happy to buy it!
Happy holidays and New Year, and keep up the energy, Kristen!