Coffee Share 201107: Catching Our Breath

This is a Weekly Coffee Share Essay.
I’m part of a small group of bloggers who stay in touch and chat about blogging, writing, or just about anything else that might be of interest.
Link to This week’s full list
Link to my Story Blog:  Table of Contents.
Greetings all,

It’s been quite a week, and if anyone in the US was paying attention, they must be as exhausted as I am.  I was going to avoid commenting on the national embarrassment we hoped would be an honest election but, opps, I seem to have managed to do so already.

Okay, how about this.  Our ever-gracious host Alli, in her invitation post asked a great question which derailed my plan for my own post enough that I wanted to respond in her comment section, then liked what I captured at her prompt enough to want to quote myself here.   I hope you find it as anodyne as I intend it.

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Thanks again Alli for providing us with a place to just breath after this past week.

I would agree with what you wrote except I would have said that half of us seem to have voted as an act of hate. Mid-week I had to step away from election news completely because once again, our government is tolerating and funding blatant cheating that even when exposed will not be prosecuted because those in power agree with the results of the cheating.

Our systemic multi-tier system of justice has worn me out. Our biased media has worn me out. Most of all, all those who benefit by keeping us at each other’s throats have worn me out. I am friends and family with people on both sides of this mess and I resent what has been done to us, so I will first resist the planted urge to hate in response to what just happened to all of us.

How to be a force for improvement? I’ve thought long and hard about this and, regretfully, don’t have an answer other than to avoid adding my very-annoyed voice to the chaos unless directly invited to comment. Even with our coffee shares, I don’t sense many who seek my “wisdom” on the question so will most likely remain a quiet learner, prayer-er, and quietly work to bring peace and calm as opportunities appear.


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In other, less earth-shaking news, our weather is finally cooling and I welcome most of the implications.
We greatly need some rain, which cannot be too far off now. 
My good friends, the backyard alligator lizards are getting ready for hibernation and I’ll miss dodging them as they recline in the sun on the aggregate path in our backyard where I walk often.
My not so cold-war with nature has left me again the victor in the struggle to save a favorite tree in our front yard from the local woodpecker hoard.  Once again this year, we detected the subtle tap-tap-tap first from our wood panel encased smoke stack which echoed down to our living room and disturbed my wife and I as we were reading one day, then it escalated back to the tree where I could see one adding to the destruction of previous years by boring new holes in the largest vertical branches. 
I also made a new discovery about this attack.  The woodpeckers holes have filled the tree with hummingbirds. By watching closely, I could see them hovering near and sipping at the holes.  Seriously?  Why are they . . .?  Ah, the tree sap must smell sweet to them and they are feasting.  The woodpecker has to go.
But of course, the creature is not interested in my opinion of his trespassing and must be encouraged.  He does not “scare” away, at least not for long so a disincentive is needed and my BB gun provided it. 
Woodpeckers are small and BBs are low velocity projectiles in the spectrum of ballistic weaponry, so they’re not highly accurate, thus the bird is hard to actually hit.  But hit him I did and he chirped in pain and spiraled down into the ivy at my feet where the humane hunter in me put him out of his misery as quickly as I could, given that the BB gun is not strong enough to kill.
I thought this to be a victory until the next day when a woodpecker reinforcement arrived and the fight continued for two more days until I was able to get off another accurate shot and ran off the wounded recruit, who, thankfully, has yet to return.
What I do have is plenty of dead new growth branches on the ground around the tree.  These sickly sprouts are knocked down by any breeze and by looking up, it is easy to see the damage the woodpeckers did. Large areas of the canopy are now dead or dying.  Sigh.
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I was also thinking more about publishing as a goal lately.  I’m reading a book, “An Insider’s Guide to Publishing” by David Comfort, itself published in 2012 (thus 8+ years old now) which is essentially a writer’s guide to the recent history of book publishing and thinking out loud about what the economics of publishing is doing to everyone involved, especially publishers and writers.  In short, both are being crushed by the desire to make a buck from a traditional  industry which by any reasonable measure is dying.
Customer base is shrinking so publishers are less willing to take a risk on new, unpublished authors, and don’t miss this, regardless of the quality of the manuscript before them.  Best sellers are notoriously hard to identify without making the huge investment of producing and publishers cannot afford to produce and sell anything other than a best seller, but too many of even their best choice volumes  instead face-plant on seller shelves at a huge loss.
The situation seems to be better if you don’t write artistic stuff as both fiction and poetry are at the bottom , mud eating layer of the food chain. 
If we want to write, fine, write self help, tutorials, user manuals, fee-to-read blogs or — wait for it; Indy Publishing, where the author does it all including funding editing and design, making print or post decisions, final production, marketing and dragging reviews from valued readers.
So far, this seems fraught with pain and risk with minimal time spent doing the part we love, writing and hearing nice things back from paying readers.
So, I’m going to progress my actual story production and pay attention to both traditional, kill-a-tree, publishing and how the Indy market matures.
Okay, I’m off to visit each of your coffee share so I’ll talk with you in a few. Thanks for stopping by.

GW bio card 4

14 thoughts on “Coffee Share 201107: Catching Our Breath

  1. I agree with Dinah. Try self publishing, its a fun process and you’ll learn a lot. There are so many ways to do it nowadays. Read a little about different ways, and download a free program and start playing. I bet you would have fun! And of course you could always share the progress with us here 🙂 Thanks for the coffee!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Maria. I do wish I could just retire wealthy enough to play with something like this. It took me the better part of a full year to start, build and created enough material to “open” my story blog to visitors. I often get only 30-90 minutes / day to progress blogging and website maintenance and creative writing. Indy looks less painful but also seems to depend the most on the marketing connections that the author may or may not have. But every thing I read about the state of traditional publishing, at least for the creative market is miserable. Those who have connections fare better, but still easily find their work ignored by non-responsive editors. I’ll keep studying.


  2. The self publishing and hybrid models to get published have their pros and cons. The big question to answer is what do you want the book to accomplish for you. Is it a product to sell guide for lectures, speaker events? is there a something in your writing process that is “teachable”? A collection of your personal essays would be a means to discuss remembering and writing memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi EC, yea.
      I likely put too much into this post and perhaps I should have just steered clear of our sorry election. Such topics so easily turn into rants that leave no one happy with having spent precious time writing or ready it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am not the US and I am exhausted by all that… what was that? lol although it sort of made me feel better that see it happens everywhere makes it seem like its something unique only to us ..
    movin on we seem to be stuck in another heat wave again, its dry and hot and not a cloud in the sky
    where is the rain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Beaton. To your question, that was a national embarrassment. It was corrupt and dishonest in epic proportion to even our history. The courts hate getting involved in our elections so, evidence notwithstanding we may be stuck with this mess.

      I too have been wondering where the rain is. My yard is starting to look like a thirsty desert. Our weather apps have been promising Fri, but these predictions often unfold worse than our pre-election polls so well see.

      It’s too bad because our tortured great country really needs a shower after that election.

      BTW, we have enough souls interested in doing a coffee share zoom call but the timing sucks. It seems to least bad if I put midnight in the middle of the pacific ocean where most timezones are uninhabited but even that leaves Zimbabwe and Singapore uncomfortably early or late.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. weather app has been promising rain since Thursday through into the past weekend, still just a whole lot of sun.

        I am sure I can set an alarm and wake up for the zoom ^_^


  4. Sorry I was late for coffee Gary. Your woodpecker makes me think of my cottage when I was younger. There was a very tall tree a few steps from the window where I slept and a woodpecker had taken up pecking in that tree. It decided to be just above window level on my side of the tree. It was such a familar sound that I never thought much of it over the years until it was gone and so was the tree…

    Liked by 1 person

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