Life’s back to normal. I had a dentist’s appointment this morning. I took my car to the garage to get everything checked out, replace the worn parts, stuff like that. I’ve got a stack of bills, a hamper of laundry, income taxes to finish.
Just like everybody else.
In a sense, basketball season ended in that the Presbyterian Blue Hose played their last home game Saturday night. I really enjoy the local scene. The same people from town are there every game. I enjoy bumping into someone I know and chatting about the game, not to mention football recruiting, baseball prospects and the inevitable gossip around town. After spending 20 years on the road as much as off it, I’m gradually becoming a full-fledged Clintonian again.
I really thought this process would drive me crazy. I’m past that now. I think I’m content to write my books and songs and gradually try to reach the point where I’m making a living with them. I just chip away at it every day. I know it’s going to take time. I’m just working hard and trusting in a future I’ll have to form for myself.
Baseball will begin soon. Hope springs eternal. Last year I was pessimistic about the Boston Red Sox, my team for almost as long as I can remember, and it proved right. This year I know they’ll be better. I just don’t know how much. Since I live far from the madness of Boston, I think I’m a little more patient than those who are closer to the action. I’ll be watching the Red Sox on NESN like I always do. Even if the team disappoints, there’ll be the soothing presence of Don Orsillo on the play-by-play and Jerry Remy offering his often humorous insight. Baseball announcers can be like family.
I’ll be on the road soon to promote my novel, The Audacity of Dope. That’s going to give me a chance to travel, though I doubt I’ll be boarding any planes any time soon. In the next few weeks, I’ll be in Martinsville, Va. (March 7, Binding Time, 3-5 p.m.), Winston-Salem, N.C. (March 8, Barnhill’s, 6-7:30 p.m.) and Charlotte, N.C. (March 16, Poor Richard’s Book Shoppe, 5-7 p.m.), and there are more after that.
Pretty soon, the editing process of the second novel, The Intangibles, will undoubtedly begin. The third novel, Crazy by Natural Causes, is about a third of the way through the first draft.
I’ve got to find time to work on some songs. I haven’t even memorized one, “Scuppernongs and Muscadines,” that I wrote a couple months ago.
One aspect of The Audacity of Dope that is unique is that the main character, Riley Mansfield, is a musician. I wrote his songs. The lyrics are in the text. When I have a book signing, I talk about the book, read from it and pick up my guitar and play a few of its tunes.
Would you like to see my act? Get me a contact – a phone number, an email address, a web site – and I’ll pass it along to my valued associate, Rowe Copeland, who’s booking me into places to sell the book. She’s my “book concierge,” a profession I didn’t know existed until she and I had a meeting at a Starbuck’s. I can play music in a coffeehouse and talk about the book on the side, or, talk about the novel in a bookstore and play a few songs on the side. I’ll do my best to entertain you.
On my own, I’m a little reticent about promotion. Selling myself embarrasses me. I want people to book me, or put me on a radio show, or hire me to write, because I’m good, not because I bug them to death. I need someone to bug them to death for me. I don’t have a bit of problem selling myself when I’m up on a stage or sitting behind a table, but it works better to have someone else who believes in my ability and wants the world to know, also.
Hell, I don’t know yet whether I can pull this off or not. If not, I’ll figure something else out. For now, it’s fun to try.