blogging

Some input, please.

Okay Okay Okay. My site is coming along nicely. But, it’s still a construction zone.

It’s still got a lot of type dummied in, and all kinds of building blocks – art, structural items, discarded text, etc. – thrown about, willy-nilly, saved aside in case I decide I want any of that stuff back. I learned my lesson tonight. Delete nothing.

I threw out a piece on Cervantes. An hour later, I wanted a passage out of it. I knew it was still on the (long unvisited) original site but I couldn’t figure out how to switch over in the editor, and I couldn’t go directly, I’ve forgotten how it was named. I had to find an old Facebook post, hit the link, and because I still couldn’t get to the editor through that back door, I had to copy and paste first into a word doc for permanent storage, and from there into my new site. Like I told them on Facebook, I sure am no expert. I just klutz around until I like what I see.

Well, the site is still a mess, but the menu is working. You can go on there and navigate around, finally.

I have added a page at the end: The Writer Coop Annex. I have a look mocked up. My idea is to post titles and a line or two of our marvelous posts, with links to here. Also some of my own content, why should you visit Writer Coop? What will you find there? And so on.

It’s gonna be a while (months) before I’m ready to rumble, to promote my site. I would hope that our WordPress layout gets more visually exciting beforehand. I’m willing to work on it, if everyone agrees. Take a look at my Writer Coop page and give me your opinions. I think it takes more than what we currently have as a set-up to impress and entice new members. I see this as a serious stumbling block. Does anyone else?

FYI: The actual width of my W-C page is the width of the menu bar, plus a smidge. I always have to cheat a little.

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The header will have copy tailored to the page. The Sly info is repeated, but I have tried to minimize it. I wanted to make the FIND THE STARTER PAPERDOLL banner not visible for the Coop page. That caused other problems, so I’m leaving it for now. I should try again to get rid of it. On this page, it bothers me. I ought to dump the My Sly as well, and paste it individually page by page instead of the universal insertion. It won’t be too much more work. The menu bar (naturally) will stay.

Another problem, some lines of type are displaced. What you see in the editor sometimes jumps up or down in the public-view. There are many little things that I don’t have a handle on yet.

It’s pathetic how I stumble around in Wix. I discovered only a day ago that I can make the type huge. I’d thought you could only go up to the limit of the slider bar. No! There is a field to plunk a number into. I thought the max must be around 300 point, I think that’s the limit in inDesign. (It may be 400 pt., but no higher.) I entered 999 by accident and – bam! – there it was, a monster. You want that from time to time, to make a statement. This is crazy. And great. As Steve Jobs used to say, crazy great!

On the finished page, the SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL column will be gone. The WOW! HUGE! will be replaced by a meeker message, making for a considerably calmer page, not nearly so bouncing-off-the-walls.

Here’s the address of my site: http://mimispeike.wixsite.com/myguysly. Copy and paste it into your browser. I don’t know how to make it go live. See? I am pathetic.

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Rats! I just patched over the STARTER banner (on the live site), but you can see the edges of the patch. If I turn off the default display (anything in the header shows on all pages, until you opt out) then the type falls behind the strip and will not stay forward, I’ve tried and tried and tried. Mysterious. Maybe I’ll find a fix eventually.

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You know, I would also like if the right column were wiped out, the left text as is, on a plain white ground, and in place of the oversized ‘S’, the cover of someone’s book, occupying the same space, a promo/review below. A regular feature: Book Of The Month. Or: Author Of The Month. Or a profile of someone’s main character: Meet Magali Rousseau.

I might even like that more. (In terms of style.) I think I do like it even better.

Here’s a question for everyone. GD says the sides of my page are cut off on his smallish screen. (I have the huge iMac, I don’t have that problem.) The actual page is only the width of the menu bar. The rest is fluff. Please tell me, is that menu shown in full on your computer screen? It is drawn within the Wix guidelines, so I find this very troubling.

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book promotion, writing technique

What would you do?

dilemma

In my last post, I wrote of my tribulations regarding the release of Perfume Island, which effectively put a halt to the whole process, forcing me to come up with another strategy. (Writing that, I realize I’ve made progress: at least I had a strategy. With One Green Bottle there was none.) Having read of the pulling power of reader magnets, I thought, ‘Yep, that’s the way to go. Offer something free to draw readers in, so then they’ll buy the rest of the series. And while I’m at it, make it permanently free and run a few Facebook ads to promote it.’

I could do that with OGB, my publisher having kindly returned the rights to me. But hey, it was a lot of work, so while I’m happy enough with the idea of periodic giveaways, I balk a little at making it permafree. A novella, on the other hand, would be perfect.  Less work, and people don’t need a full length book to see if they like your writing. 30,000 words is plenty.

So that’s my current, top priority WIP. Closed Circle, prequel to OGB. A 15-chapter murder mystery. Magali isn’t a detective yet, but she’s right there in the thick of it.

A novella, I’m discovering, isn’t easy. You’ve got to cram it all into half the space. In this case, a dozen characters of more or less equal importance, the usual twists and surprises, and above all an in-depth insight into Magali herself. After all, she’s the mainstay of the whole series, so the reader has to connect with her and like her enough to continue.  Technically, all that is a challenge. My initial breezy assumption that I could dash it off in a month has been drastically revised.

Still, assuming I manage to sort it out more or less satisfactorily, it might be ready for release in January or February 2017. So my question is this: when do I release Perfume Island?  I could do it tomorrow if I wish, but as things currently stand, it would go pretty much unnoticed. So I like the idea of having Closed Circle ready first. Is there a logic to that? Not really. But if I’m going to promote anything (and bearing in mind that Facebook ads cost money), it seems to make more sense to concentrate on promoting the free magnet.

Now, I could of course do that later, but do I want Perfume Island to be met with the resounding silence that greeted OGB?  Obviously not.

So there you have it – my marketing dilemma in all its glorious confusion.  Any advice will be welcome!

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About Writers, book promotion, Stories, writing technique

Carl E. Reed, Where Are You?

Writers of every stripe, self-published or working on it, brand-published, with minimal support, or else cut loose by a bankruptcy, the rug pulled out from under, we all need stroking and advice and a place to vent. Discouragement is a permanent part of our lives.

I fear this is what Carl Reed is experiencing right now. He’s written great stuff. He’d acquired some industry connections – last I spoke to him he said he’d just had lunch with an agent. But he has not made it out of the shadow, into the sun, not even in a small way. I google him up, I get nothing. I see links to Amazon, and to old interviews on Book Country, but nothing new. I don’t know how that web discovery thing happens, I can’t even think of what it’s called, but if this title pops up in a search and someone who knows Carl sees it, maybe we’ll get some info on him, or even a visit.

Think down the road. You’ve tried and tried, put your heart and soul into it, and nothing shakes out. What do you do? Keep plugging? Reclassify your writing as an absorbing hobby? Give up, like Arnbar, my friend from Book Country? Who writes beautifully, with a Mel Brooks-style commercial potential, my only criticism of his work was that it was too much of a quip-dependent stand-up routine. I couldn’t see it working for a novel. A novel of one-liners isn’t going to cut it.

My own coping strategy – I’m not kidding, folks – is I am convinced my work will be read down the line. Decades hence, even. That does me, does me just swell. The good thing about being a dead author is, I won’t have to give interviews. (I’m a raging introvert.) I’m not counting on making any money, so I won’t be disappointed there. I don’t yearn to be traditionally published, luckily, for I don’t think my thing has the necessary wide appeal. I feel for all you who chase that dream.

To put your all into a project, and wait and wait for a breakthrough is a soul-stomp indeed. The advice is, move on, start another piece, so that when you hit, you have two, three, many things to sell. That can keep you going for a good while.

Short stories, I don’t believe they have an impact until they reach a critical mass with wide distribution, or they are goosed by a well received novel, at which point we find them in big mainstream magazines. I was introduced to Irwin Shaw around 1960 by a story in Ladies Home Journal, I believe it was, that was quietly sexy (for 1960), drawing outraged letters to the editor. Filth! Trash! Filthy trash! Cancel my subscription! If you want a laugh, the title was: A Year To Learn The Language.

Major exposure is a coup, certainly. Lesser, as I’ve said, I’m dubious. My cousin by marriage Jim Meirose has been published in many literary journals (looking at his list again I see they are not the big names I thought they were), and has been interviewed several times in Central New Jersey newspapers, and he writes gorgeously and tastily, but still struggles, much as we do, looks like to me.

He’s got his style in hand, he told me he feels no further need to discuss writing. He must feel the same about marketing, or he would have barged in here by now. He’s interviewed and submitted and queried, worked it, for twenty years, first part time, now full time. He retired from the corporate world, probably with a nice pension, one of the lucky ones, two or three years ago.

His wife, my blood cousin, came out of a fervent Catholic family. That whole crew, it was the this society, the that society, the Catholic Young Adults, the whole nine yards. If anyone is in line for a miracle, it’s them. It takes something of a miracle, I’m afraid. That’s why we shouldn’t beat ourselves up if we fail. We’ve fought the good fight, done something grand.

All together now, with feeling: To dreammm  . . .  the impossible  dreammm . . . dee . . . da-a-a-a . . . dee-dee . . . dee-dee-dee . . . da-a-a-a. Hey, I feel better, how ’bout you?

The people who make it, how do they do it? Some go low-bar. Known quantities sell, dirty in particular. But not intelligently dirty, that may be Meirose’s problem. I’ll let you know after I read Eli The Rat. I expect it to be a smart, raunchy, rollick. If it’s not, I’m going to be bummed, for my sake, and for his. I want to be able to tell him that I think he’s brilliant, maybe get invited down (he’s two hours south) for a barbeque or something.

I accepted the Facebook friend request of one Jim Meirose, an author. I soon realized I was talking to my long-lost cousin. (It was blast-from-the-past Marybeth who’d contacted me, using his account, she hasn’t one of her own.) That side of the family and mine had not interacted to any great degree, lifestyles being the big divide.

Jim seems to be unwilling to interact with me as an aspiring author. He’s a minor celebrity in Central NJ, probably hounded for advice. Maybe he’ll engage with me as a reader.

It is great to be a part of this community, so full of wisdom and understanding and a ton of fun. Fun will keep us afloat, until our ship comes in. When you get downhearted, talk through it here. When they beat me up* in Wix Design Experts on FB, I trot over here and make light of it, easing my distress considerably. If, despite my efforts, Cousin Meirose continues unresponsive, ditto.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, kids. Until next time.

I’m kicking around an idea: Talk Dirty To Me . . . If You Write Like Henry Miller.

I guess I’d have to read 50 Shades. Gotta think about it.

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* One annoyed Expert said to me, You don’t know much. How’d you get into this group? I told her, I warned Brett I’m no expert, but he looked at my site and liked it, a lot. That seems to have shut her up.

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book sales, reading, Stories

Writing – A Team Sport?

anthology

As a writer, my quest to become an overnight success began nine years ago. Since that time, I have written numerous short stories, flash fictions, blog serials, novellas, novels, and a tome rivaling in word count the Icelandic Sagas. My undeniably clever, witty, yet strangely unsuccessful query letters are probably well known to vexed agents and publishers alike. Soon, however, I may achieve a modicum of success, depending on how you define the term. The overnight part? Let’s move on.

How am I doing this?

One word: Anthologies. You know, anthologies: those collections of stories, poems, vignettes, and what have you from one author or many, and often self-published. These collective works traditionally receive an instant rejection from most literary agents, the high and mighty gate-keepers to the hallowed halls of literary fame and fortune. However, I have found a path to success through anthologies and without the help of an agent. But before you label me an industry neophyte, order another pumpkin spiced espresso martini and let me ‘splain.

Gone are the days of waking up at 907 Whitehead Street, dropping a Spanish onion into a glass of chilled gin with the requisite splash of vermouth, putting paper into the typewriter and cranking out an iconic piece of literature as a seven-toed cat wanders between your legs. Not anymore. Today’s writer must do it all: write something worth reading, sell it to an agent or publisher, create a business model and social media platform, market your work and you, sell again, this time to the consumer, and then deal with insurance and taxes.

Now you know why publishing houses have so many employees. Faced with such a daunting task, how can you alone break into the business and rise above the din without having written the next Harry Potter?

Yes, you got it. Anthologies.

When I researched agents, none represented anthologies. Too difficult to manage the legal and financial issues of multiple authors on one project. Didn’t fit the paradigm. Publishers were of the same mold. If the anthology contained only your works? No different. We don’t accept poetry, picture books, screenplays, or anthologies. I’ve seen that statement on many websites.

That was then. This is now. We are in a different world today. I pay three bucks for a fifty-cent cup of coffee. My phone has more computing power than Apollo 11 had in their command module. Agents still shy away from anthologies, but...and this is my point: publishers are now embracing them.

What kind of sorcery is this?

I’m not saying literary agents no longer have value. Far from it. Get one. Everyone else has one. All the cool kids have one. Agents bring a lot to the table. But an agent isn’t an absolute necessity for you to get a start as a professional writer.

Anthologies can give you that first bit of street cred. My first short story, The Crucible, was accepted for the premier volume of The World Unknown Review (WUR), edited by L.S. Engler. Was the story good? I thought so; still do. Was the anthology a runaway bestseller? No, for a variety of reasons. But friends bought it. I think it is still on Amazon if you are curious. Did my story gain me anything? No Pushcart nomination, perhaps, but this solidified in my family and friends’ minds that I was a writer and not a retired guy with a hobby. And L.S. paid me with a $20 Starbucks card.

WUR used a vetting process – some works were accepted, others not. Mine made the cut. Success. And what about L.S.? She created and sold the anthology into a series which is now collecting stories for a third volume. Her effort created enough credibility that, when coupled with her excellent writing, she has become a contributor to The Saturday Evening Post. And to think I knew her when. To push my point home some more: L.S.s first book was an anthology of her own stories. Check out Bowl Full of Bunnies. It’s actually a very good read.

My story being in the first volume of WUR provided a nice bit of filler for my query letters. You are always asked to mention your previous success as a writer. Sure, it was just an anthology, but it proved I was serious about my writing. Effort goes a long way, even for writers.

My second (and current) anthology project has me intertwined with a cohort of 17 other writers. Many of these writers were in a local mystery writers club that had produced four anthologies earlier. The most recent book sold over 10,000 units, which for a regional book is amazing. I asked one of them how they went about creating the project, and seeing my interest, they asked me to submit a story for their fifth book.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

My story, Wyld Women and Wine, will be in their next anthology, titled 50 Shades of Cabernet. The regional publisher, Koehler Books, is taking on the project based on the success of the club’s previous efforts. They also admit the anthology having 18 sales agents, I mean writers, helps boost sales. As I said, today’s writer must do it all – including sell. This should not be a secret to anyone by now.

Before I committed to the anthology, I did my usual stalking, make that due diligence, and checked out the Koehler website. Turned out they had just put a notice up saying they were accepting unagented manuscripts. What the heck – what did I have to lose?

I sent in my manuscript, then received an email reply a few days later. I was to meet with Koehler’s chief editor, who called my writing quick paced, interesting, and very clean – meaning the text was in better shape than what he had seen from most first time novelists. After another phone call, this time from Mr. Koehler, I received an offer for publication next year. This deal comes with a content editor, copy editor, cover artist and book designer, and bonus: a marketing team. Haven’t signed yet, but we have the details pretty much carved in wood.

All this happened because of an anthology.

Will this happen to you? Maybe. Maybe not. Providence played a part in my success, I am sure. But like they say in the lottery business, you can’t win if you don’t play.  So go find yourself an anthology, get that street cred, get those personal connections, learn more of the business of writing, and maybe, just maybe, your short story will lead to something else.

Where to find anthologies? I Googled Anthology Accepting Submissions and found 420,000 entries. Mystery writers can check out MWA – they have started a yearly anthology. Sci-fi writers have one, too. Even Carina Press has a call out for romantic/erotic stories for their new anthology. I found these with less than a minute on the Internet. If all else fails, start your own. L.S. Engler did and her career is taking off. In fact, if you have something now, her World Unknown Review is still accepting stories for volume three.

Anthologies. Give ‘em a try. You can’t win if you don’t play.

Safety tips when considering participating in an anthology:

Check out the other authors – and the editor. You can have a great story, but if the rest of the book is amateurish, you lose. Guilt by association as the old saying goes.

Get the money figured out. And written into a contract. Are you paid a flat fee for the use of the story? Are you going to receive royalties? Was there an advance on royalties? Who received it? How does it impact your royalties?

Know your rights. How restrictive is the agreement when it comes to control of your story? Never sign away the copyright (I don’t think any editor or publisher would even ask this.) Does the anthology have an exclusive on your story for a certain amount of time? What about other rights? Can you concurrently shop your story to Hollywood or Bollywood? My goodness, what about licensing action figures?

My experience: L.S. paid outright for the use of my story for one year while I maintained copyright ownership and all other rights. 50 Shades of Cabernet? My story is exclusive to the anthology for two years. I retain all other rights. Royalties are 50-50 between the cohort and the publisher. I get 1/18th of that 50%. That works out to about 50 cents per book sold. Doesn’t sound like a ton of money, but remember – their last anthology sold over 10,000 units. Five grand buys me and my wife a nice trip to the Bahamas. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

And finally, be prepared to make a few decisions by consensus. Be ready to have some decisions handed down to you by the editor. And expect to make other decisions on your own. In the business world this is called managing uncertainty.

Maybe that’s why the writing business is best described as a business.

Good luck. And keep writing!

http://www.douglaslutz.com/

 

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About Writers, writing technique

Oh Spark Divine (more or less)

Always, in the process of writing, I am convinced that I am grasping toward greatness. It seems like the most important thing in the world. Even when I’m laboring through an uncooperative first draft and obviously mired in muck that will all have to be cleared away in the second, I feel like what I’m doing is vital and rich and worthwhile.

The final product is never quite what I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I love my own books, but they are all drastically flawed. They inevitably grow up in ways I didn’t really plan or expect. I’m enough of a control freak that this always bothers me a little, but I also know it’s unavoidable. In fact, it’s a good thing. It means your work has life and energy. So you say goodbye to your little book, wish it well, and start your next book, full of the fresh misguided conviction that this time you’ll see it through all the way and it will be perfect and magnificent.

That’s how it is for me, anyway. And probably it’s for the best. Without a deluded sense of self-importance, how would I find the energy to lift pen to paper?

Probably to the reader, a book like Spark seems like a frolic, a trifle. For good reason. It is a frolic. It is, in its own way, trifling. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. My first professional review (all right, it was from Publisher’s Weekly, but it was only a contest, and the book was never published) called my book “sprightly”—it had a “sprightly tone.” At first, I wondered if that wasn’t just a bit belittling. Sprightly isn’t, perhaps, the most dignified adjective to apply to work of literature. But eventually I appreciated it. I even came to embrace it or at least the playful energy it implies. Even in a serious story, prose can frolic a bit. Nabokov could be sprightly. So could Melville, not to mention some of my other personal favorites like Delany and Tiptree. It implies, I think, both facility and agility.

Or maybe I’m just trying to put the best face on it.

Consider Spark. It’s certainly got a light feel to it, but structurally, the novel’s tone is inverted. Even subverted. The apparently serious story with the apocalyptic overtones (the pocket universe, the skulks, the Duchess) is absurd, almost parodic.  And it’s ultimately trivial. It doesn’t amount to anything. Meanwhile, the apparent trivia of day-to-day life—boyfriends and basketball and friendship and loyalty— that is what the story is really about. That, obviously, is what really matters. That is what lasts.

Said another way? (big theme here, watch out):  The great machinery of the universe is inscrutable and inexorable. When we get too close to it, we are often threshed. We, threshed, rise up, dust ourselves off, and start reconnecting the fragmented bits of our reality. ‘Cuz that’s life.

Does this hifalutin bit of analysis mean I think Spark is a Great Book, worthy of term papers and Spark(ahem)Notes? Naw. Of course not. When the great cataclysm approaches, and the Powers That Be prepare the rocket-propelled time capsule, filling it with those Works of the Once Great Human Race that will justify our existence to the unknown civilization that finds the floating space library, Spark will not be onboard.

But this sad truth does nothing to quell or belie the impulse behind the writing. I don’t set out to write immortal books. I mean, who does that? I may hope for greatness, but mostly I think of a story, and if it intrigues me enough, I start writing.

But that process is, all by itself, magical and amazing. It’s amazing that we want to do it. It’s magical that we can. We are homo scribens, the race that writes, the storytelling species. Locking into that impulssvechae means messing around with greatness, with divinity. My goofy novel came from the same place as Lolita, as The Poisonwood Bible, as Moby Dick. In those quiet, passionate moments, when we’re dancing on the third rail of creativity, we catch a lightning glimpse of an immortal face, we hear the nonsensical muttering of the muses.

How can we come away from that experience untouched by greatness?

Those muses, those angels, do have a message you know, a very simple one:  We are here. We are real. And all of our twisting, writhing, passion-filled, agonized creations are nothing but a reflected bit of that seemingly infinite light. A candle flame’s worth. Without even meaning to, without even understanding, we are passing on that message.

They are here. They really are.

 

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writing technique

Writing Charms

Using one thing to remind you of something else is symbolizing. We’ve been doing that since we sat in the Hohle Fels caverns in Germany 40,000 years ago carving pornographic figures from mammoth ivory. I wore a 40,000-year-old fossilized walrus tooth, recently carved into a face, on a chain around my neck while writing about the first human children to use language. It helped me to feel something 40,000 years old. When my story shifted to early Mesopotamia, I wore a golden bull’s head pendant copied from one found in the royal tombs at Ur, dating to around 2500 BC. It helped me to imagine what kind of people would make such a thing. That’s what writing charms do. They help us to feel a connection with the story and to imagine details.

Whenever you find yourself looking at what may be called charms, talismans, totems, fetishes, figurines, or whatnots, think writing charms! A good one can be anything that relates to what you are writing. M and I drove up to watch the last shuttle launch and she had us standing in line in the NASA gift shop so she could get a photo autographed by an astronaut. As the line wound past the obliging spaceman and towards the cash register, I spied a dark blob the size of a small marble displayed on white cotton in a glass case. It looked precious & at $35, I looked closer. It was a fragment of the Sikhote-Alin meteorite that landed in Russia in 1947. Subsequent research showed it to be from the Asteroid Belt, formed with the solar system 4.5 billion years ago. Writing charm! Imaginations of life beyond earth become more real when you hold something from there.

Other charms in the drawer include a 1940s Alice Caviness gold typewriter pendant for when I just need to be reminded to write, a 19th century Half-Eagle coin for thinking about life before electricity and a new Charles Albert deaths-head pendant which does nothing for me now but I saw it and had to have it. Maybe I’ve been charmed into killing off one of my characters in order to think about it.

Writing charms are plentiful and inexpensive to acquire. They can appear in unexpected places and abound in second-hand markets from estate sales, antique shops, consignment shops, pawn shops, flea markets and garage sales. As symbols, they don’t have to be the real thing. They only have to focus your thoughts on your story. I could not afford an authentic prehistoric carving but a fossilized walrus tooth carved by a Renaissance Faire artist served the same purpose. And, serendipity, questing for a writing charm is a rewarding form of procrastination.

 

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book promotion

Anything Goes.

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Nothing substantial in the pipeline, so I’m cobbling a quickie. (Not that this piece is substantial, but it’s something.) Fun, anyway. Useful, maybe, to some.

I say we all need to think more pro-actively. We sit around waiting for the world to come to us, we’re gonna be waiting one damn long time.

To quote Mark Knopfler: It may be a game but I won’t play to lose.

Don’t scorn the old-fashioned basics. Don’t depend on the web to spread the word. Flyers, mailers, I’m going to try it all.

I’m researching bumper stickers. I see not only bumper stickers, but magnets, decals, and labels in a variety of sizes and shapes (like those I Voted Today labels you get on Election Day) for a modest price.

The bumper stickers cost a bit more than I had thought – around a dollar each. Can’t pass them out like sticks of chewing gum for that. It will have to be a more targeted give-away. Maybe they can be had for less, I’ve only begun to explore. I had hoped for around fifty cents each.

Magnets seem to run around fifty cents. (In quantities.) Any sticker or magnet can be die cut. Very exciting! Adds to the cost, I’m sure. All items are on thin, flexible vinyl. Weather resistant, durable.

A character from your story, with contact info (get your websites going) would be great fun, especially if it were Old Spice. GD, let’s figure out what he looks like.

Decals, plastered, say, in the NYC subway system, would that be illegal? Could it get you arrested? Anybody know?

I recall that the artist Keith Haring started his career by defacing posters in the Manhattan subway tunnels. Mysterious doodles, unsigned, got him a lot of attention. People were mad to know what the Radiant Babies meant. When he finally revealed himself, the press jumped on it.

Whoa! Now I’m researching Haring, looking for a representative image to post here. Damn! He’s got a bunch of stuff that seems to depict – can’t think of the word. What do they call it when you screw animals? Animalia? That doesn’t sound right.

Well, look. I found Keith’s little stand-up (cardboard?) sculpture of a sort-of Keep on Truckin’ figure. That would work for Sly. A 3-D paperdoll, leg raised, you bend it forward into a cake-walk. (I’ll go research R. Crumb now.)

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One of the guys in my seventies group house-hippie paradise painted a huge R. Crumb figure, much like this one, on the wall of the bathroom. And the motto – Keep On Trucking.

He was into Crumb.

The perfect way to display an outrageous wardrobe of boots. What’ja think? Wouldn’t that be great?

I’d make it great.

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