Writing at Disneyland

Image: Disneyexperience.com
Image: Disneyexperience.com

There’s something sort of crazy about being, well, sort of crazy. At the top of the list is that you don’t have to explain anything – well, I’m just sort of crazy like that.   You get lots of clever adjectives, like quirky, and different. And, because you’re just sort of crazy like that, you know, quirky and different, you find yourself with lots of free time on your hands. Let’s not invite her – you, know, she’s quirky and different.

This big and mighty world tries really hard to convince you that being busy is doing something. You can be busy all day long at Disneyland, but, what have you accomplished beyond exhausting yourself and dropping two hundred bucks to a guy in a mouse costume? Nothing, Jack. For all that busyness, you accomplished nothing.

So it is with we quirky, different writers, dontcha think? This endeavor right here, this very one you are reading, which hopefully brings a smile to your erstwhile lips and perhaps gives you something over which to mull when you are not busy being busy, may very well be busyness for the sake of busyness.

It occurred to me while thinking about marketing…I mean, promoting…my book, my mind spinning feverishly like a rabid squirrel in a hamster wheel, that there is nothing to do about marketing…I mean, promoting…my book until my adorable editor is done with it. For the record, she did say she thought this was the best so far, but had scarcely started chapter two. Sigh.

Without a product, what is there to promote?…coming soon from John Reinhart, the author who is, well, uh, is kinda waiting in limbo while his editor wraps up his glorious…wait, where ya going?

BUT, there is a sequel to MARIGOLD’S END, tentatively titled PELICAN’S WAY… there’s sort of a theme here, see, where the Marigold is a ship in the first novel that gets blown up…oh, poop, I spoiled the ending…double poop, because NOW I spoiled the ending by telling you that Phineas blows it up at the end of the book…oh, triple poop! So, see, Pelican is a ship in the next book that gets…well, you’ll have to read that one.

Anyway, the rabid squirrel brains rattled out a good synopsis of that book on Tuesday. And I must say, it’s a ripping good synopsis, as synopses go. That was Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the quirky, different sort of crazy writer that I am, I sort of cracked out a terrific synopsis for my other series of books, called DROPPINGTON PLACE. For a preview of Droppington, scroll to the bottom of this page and you’ll see that I have a blog for that, too. Oh,  I’ve thought of everything.

So, while my lovely editor does everything other than edit my book, my NEW plan is to work on DROPPINGTON PLACE. And thus my hands will be busy.

But, is busyness productivity? If the words crackle and dance from your fingertips, but never get published, is that accomplishing anything?

Maybe that’s why my crazy, quirky, different friends are so fond of Disneyland.

Gorilla Marketing Phase I: In Process

Photo: carpictures.com
Photo: carpictures.com

At eighty miles an hour, hauling bananas down the freeway, the steering wheel of your new Yugo pops off the column and into your lap. Turns out the factory hadn’t quite gotten around to tightening the steering-wheel bolt. First, it’s a miracle your Yugo can go that fast, but, most important, you rather expect the thing to be complete when you find it in the showroom.

So, bringing the book to market.

Instead of guerrilla marketing, which takes advantage of evolving market circumstances and opportunities to quickly and effectively advertise a product, I’m using a technique called gorilla marketing, which takes advantage of overall laziness and general inaction with a grudging commitment to minimal effort. The gorilla marketing maxim: how much can you get done without doing anything.

Gorilla marketing is certainly affordable, both financially and time-wise, although it may not be as effective as that guerrilla thing in getting a book to market.

But, guerrilla or gorilla, you gotta do one thing: finish the darned book. Finish. It. Cross all of the T’s, dot the I’s, and get it done beyond done. Spell check it. Grammar check it. Re-re-re-read it once more.

I am happy to have an utterly brilliant editor very close by. My wife has a master’s degree in Russian literature, is an avid reader, and, most important, a mother of three terrific kids.

In the best gorilla marketing tradition, I didn’t even bother to print the thing out, but simply emailed a copy of MARIGOLD’S END to her. I just hear the boop as it arrived on her cell phone. That’s really close to doing nothing about marketing my book.

Jackity-crackers, kids, we’re working now. Although she is perhaps the slowest dignity-danged editor on the planet, she’s really good at it. And the price is unbeatable!

She will clean my clock on just about every sentence in this thing, and will make me rewrite the stuff that just doesn’t make sense to her, and we’ll have approximately 27 arguments over why Phineas says this and not that.

But, at the end of it, the MARIGOLD’S END that comes out will be the cat’s underwear.

So before I sent it to my editor, and in order to bring the number of soon-to-be-coming snarky comments to a bare minimum, I had to spell- and grammar-check it one more time. Found a couple of things I’d missed – who knew? The grammar-checker challenged my sentence structures – fie on thee, grammar-checker! Anyway, it’s done, and the missus has already said she regrets taking on the task. Cool!

Now, how to fix the steering wheel in my Yugo…