Not often does a person get to meet the folks he corresponds with online, but I recently had the pleasure of meeting Carter Jefferson and Ruth Douillette near the end of my vacation in Massachusetts. They are—surprise! just as nice in person as they are in their emails in the IWW.
Writing habits don’t change easily. My new novel is not writing itself, alas, nor have I put more than a couple thousand new words into it during this family vacation. Tomorrow we leave Cape Cod for Vermont, the home of Nancy’s 101-year-old grandmother. Barbara is tiny, blind and frail now, but her mind is as strong as ever. We have known each other for well over 40 years, and I can attest that she is a genuine lady. When she heard about my novel, she had a friend order a copy from her local bookstore; she wouldn’t hear of accepting a copy as a gift if she could boost my sales instead.
After a day visiting her, we’ll begin our trip home in earnest. Our plan is to skirt the Great Lakes, pass through Kansas and Colorado, and drop into New Mexico from the north. We expect to arrive home on July 5, or July 6 if we get lazy. It’s been a fine vacation, but Nancy and I are both ready to have it done now. I suspect that our travel companions, George and Gracie, will also be happy for familiar turf. When Nancy started cleaning the big carrier the cats travel in, G & G hot-pawed it out of sight. Gracie quickly forgot her worries and wandered back to greet us, but not George. We began to worry that he might have slipped out, which would have been serious, but we eventually we found him hiding under the bed.
Here is an old photo of the cats who rule our lives (Gracie is on the left):
Once we’re home, I have to figure out how to improve book sales. I’ve had a couple of radio interviews, have been featured on the cover of a (small) literary magazine, received glowing book reviews, and so on. My online sales are insignificant. At book signings, my sales to date have ranged from two to six copies. I do have a couple of upcoming events where I expect to sell a good deal more, but hand-selling won’t move copies quickly.
Wow. What a whiner. The fact is, having a book in print—a good book, one that makes people laugh, is a lot of fun.