"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Sunday, December 28, 2008

70% Cool

Wanna see something cool? Go to: http://www.echelonpress.com/direct/buy-gc-fb.htm

Yes! It's my book, almost on sale now! The ad says "Coming in 2009", which totally excites and scares me at the same exact time. It's like a big old rollercoaster; I'm sitting at the top of the ride, and all I can think of is, "Oh, well, can't get off the bloody thing now." I don't know how long I'll teeter at the brink here, but sooner or later, you'll hear me screaming.

So why is this 70% cool? Well, it would be nice to know WHEN in 2009 the book will be coming out, but that's okay. I trust my publisher to let me know when it's time to start doing stuff, like scheduling booking signings, creating publicity/marketing materials, spinning wildly out of control. But beyond that, there's one thing that would move the coolness factor up at least 20%. May I direct your attention to the part of the Freezer Burn page that says: Reviews?

There are none. I'd love to have some people review my book - and say nice things about it. Saying mean, hateful things about it would kind of defeat the purpose, yes? So, now I begin the agonizing process of approaching people I know who might be willing to review my book and provide a sentence or two ("I laughed. I cried. It became a part of me.") to add to the jacket.

Why is it agonizing? Because asking people for something is my Achilles' heel. I hate asking for favors, even though I love to do them for other people. But, in the interest of my book, I shall overcome my fear and ask away! After all, I'd love to become one of those people that new authors ask for a review.

So, if you are a reviewer reading this post and are willing to review Freezer Burn, could you please follow the instructions on the page and contact Karen Syed at PUBLICITY@echelonpress.com? Thank you!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Seasoned Greetings!

For those of you who are wondering, I found a good book for my dad for Christmas. I couldn't find one about World War II - frankly, I can't remember which ones I've given him, so that war may be history for gift-giving. So I settled on the Depression, somehow fitting for his personality. It's The Forgotten Man, in large print. We'll see if he likes it.

In the meantime, I have boxes of decorations cramming my living room, all screaming for me to get them out and put them on display. We got the tree on Sunday - I've discovered I'm extremely allergic to it, but I've got to trim it anyway. But what am I doing instead?

The annual Christmas letter.

This is how I began my foray into writing. About 9 years ago, I told Dale I wanted to write books, so he got me a laptop for Christmas. I piddled about with it for a few months, writing a snippet here and a paragraph there, but mostly using it for engineer-type work. Then, when Christmas rolled around and I thought of the sameness of all the notes I wrote in each card, I decided to try my hand at a Christmas letter. Not the kind where boasts are made about everyone's achievements, but not a parody, where the house burns down and the kids flunk out of school. Just something light and airy, with a little humor and a lot of gratitude that our house didn't burn down and our son is still learning. Most important, it needed to be one-page.

I was completely shocked at the response. Everyone who received a letter thought it was the best one they'd ever read. It began a holiday tradition - what would be in Gayle's letter this year? Family squabbles ensued, when spouses would bait their letter-writing mates with, "Why can't you write a letter like Gayle's?" One year, one of Dale's cousins told me, "I hope you're writing more than just this letter. You should write a book."

What a great idea!

I've posted this year's letter and photo on my website: http://www.gaylecarline.com/gcxmas08.html. Between you and me, I've read better and funnier letters, but this one's okay.

As for the photo, we managed to get the picture taken in only 1/2 hour and 16 shots. You see, Frostie (the red horse) kept trying to bite Mikey (the dog) on the toes, which made him try to jump from the table. So we swapped him and Katy (the cat), whom Frostie immediately tried to vacuum with her nose. My husband, Dale, is pushing her head away from the cat, who would like to kill us all for putting her through this indignity. The only one behaving is the black horse (Snoopy), who is usually the nippy one. For those of you who know horses, the chain across his nose explains his good behavior. We do this every year!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas shopping and other stuff

I have a couple of topics to discuss here, and both need input. Yes, I suppose I could stretch this into two blogs, or talk about one here and another at one of my other blogs (http://gaylesbookshelf.wordpress.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/gaylesoo), but I've got other stuff to do today and I'm not a patient woman.

On publishing my memoir of columns: Now that I'm considering self-publishing my book of columns, I get an email from Publishers Weekly (yes, I'm one of their close, personal, mass mailing friends) about a deal being offered by BookSurge. Has anybody published with them? I need stories, anecdotes - give me the good, the bad, and the OMG ugly, please!

On Christmas shopping: Yes, I want to give books for Christmas. In particular, I usually give my dad a book for Christmas. He lives 2008 miles away, is approaching 80, and we have a strained relationship, so every year I find a book on Amazon about WWII, have it wrapped by the Amazon elves and shipped to him, and my conscience is clear. Dad's in very ill health. I think he'd like to die if he could just figure out how to stop breathing. I'm wondering if he's too ill and blind to even read anymore, but I can't think of anything else to buy him. Last year, we made a DVD of my son singing and playing guitar (my dad played), but he never indicated whether he liked it or not, so I'm back to the book idea. The question is: anybody know any good WWII books IN LARGE PRINT for a Christmas gift for Dad?

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