Thursday, January 22, 2009

Deep midwinter

Darn it's cold around here. And the snowbanks reach to the eves. Reminds me of the Russian winter scenes in "Doctor Zhivago", but this is Maine. Everything seems to have slowed down even the writing. Although I did send off two new pieces last week. In each case the editors responded and accepted them for now. And this morning I launched a home grown direct mail campaign of twenty-six letters addressed to various bookshops within Maine. I had probably sent these same stores emails in the past, but now I'm beginning to think unsolicited emails get rejected about as often as they are read. This time I went with good old "snail mail". Handwritten no less. At least the address and the envelop. This was a two page letter introducing the book and encouraging folks to include it in their plans for the summer. Here in Maine the craft shops and book stores and gift shops all must do their buying early in order to have inventory for the summer tourist season. So I thought I'd try to get in on that cycle. The small number of letters reminds me of a "Calvin and Hobbes" cartoon in which Calvin has set up a sidewalk lemonade stand. He's charging some outlandish price for a single glass of very weak lemonade. When Susie confronts him about his high prices, Calvin says something like he only has to sell one in order to make a profit. I wish it were that easy. The other impediment to creativity has been all the hype about the inauguration. Certainly it was history making and had world wide significance and like everyone else I was carried along on the wave of good feeling and hope that seemed to sweep from coast to coast. But now that the oath has been taken I wish the media would go find something else to write about and let the new guy get on with his job. We'll see. Around here besides shoveling snow, we're still looking for new publishing and publicity opportunities. I'm also reminded of "Come Spring" by Ben Ames Williams and how his families longed for spring and how they struggled to keep warm and fed during the winter. We began the season with just two cords of firewood and they're shrinking fast. I guess if we can make it to March we'll be OK.
Hope so anyway.

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