The McManual

Blogging my little heart out in poetry and prose.

Category: atheist

Self Publishing Requires Self Confidence


Hellp.  Ha, I meant to write Hello, but maybe hellp is better.  It more accurately reflects how I feel right now.  I have been putting off blogging because I was asked some questions about self publishing, I told people to follow my blog, ( I have no idea whether they did or not) and now I feel obligated to sound like an expert and write things that will help people.

But here’s the thing, I’m not an expert – I’m going in fairly blind here, and I don’t know what I’m doing at all.  But I’m determined that this is going to happen.  This book – Someotherville, which I do love and which so many of my friends and family (and a few strangers) have financially backed through Kickstarter – is going to come out.  And that’s that.  So I guess it’s time to stop stewing and get on with what needs doing.

I should receive the funds from Kickstarter on Monday.  That means that I can go ahead  and purchase ISBNs and once I have an ISBN, I can officially get permission to reprint the John Ashbery poem that I need permission for, and then I can get my galleys printed and send out advance copies to reviewers.

I should also write a press release to say that my kickstarter campaign was successful and that I’m gearing up to publish the week before Valentine’s day.  And I should start writing to local bookstores explaining that this is coming out, and that I’d be more than happy to come out and do a reading.  Oh, and I should write a letter to Minnesota Atheists thanking them for their support in putting my information in their weekly newsletter, and I should also write to spinning and weaving guilds to let them know that they might be interested in the controlling metaphor of the book.

When I write it out like that, it seems simple enough.  Easy, really.  No problem.  No reason to be absolutely terrified, right?

That’s what I keep telling myself.  🙂  Ok.  Brave face.  Time to be bold.

Thanks for reading – if I write any more right now, it will just be a way to procrastinate.  🙂 S

8/30 – NaBloPoMo – Emotional Vertigo


I have been a do-gooder all my life.  Always wanting the best, the ideal.  Not materially, but spiritually.  I revel in good deeds, in participating in a successful endeavor that will do no less than change the world.  The next right thing is my mantra.  Joy is being useful, helping people.  I want to do good and seek out the good in others.  I want to be the first to catch a glimpse see it, coerce it out if it’s latent.  Maybe this is why I am a teacher.

Lately, I have been experiencing something strange – a confusion, a dizzying mental drag causing me to sway in my belief in humankind.  It’s as debilitating as the vertigo I used to occasionally suffer, but again, it’s spiritual and emotional.  A doctor once explained vertigo to me as a brain’s confusion between reality and its perception of reality.  If the muscles in my neck are too tense and a breeze caresses them in just the right way, my brain will believe that I am falling although I am simply standing or sitting.

Emotional vertigo, I posit, is the confusion in my brain that arises when my ideals are brushed by even the lightest hushed wind of a disappointing human reality.  When my expectations of something or someone I’ve idealized are met with non-ideal reality, my emotions swoon inside.  My elbows tingle, I mix up words as I try to speak, I weep without direct cause.

The cure for physical vertigo that has worked for me is to stretch my neck and to ice those muscles.  I am still seeking the cure for ’emotigo’ – I know that the disillusionment will not last.  Reality may not be ideal, but it’s not bad either – somehow to stretch my mental muscles and reset back to reality.  Perhaps vacation will do the trick.

6/30 – NaBloPoMo09


Everything is an advertisement lately. I was reading some advice about blogging, and the article mentioned advertising on blogs. I have never even thought about trying to advertise anything. Sometimes I talk about my novel, *still seeking representation* but I don’t consider that to be advertisement.

The author was saying that if you had enough viewers every day, say 1000, that you could get a company to place a banner on your page and they would pay you $200 a month. Weird. Perhaps I can be accused of not knowing what I’m talking about, since I have a daily average of about 5 readers – and that is a vast improvement over a couple of months ago… (thanks, you 5) but even if I had a large readership, or perhaps especially if I did, I would think that letting some corporation try to influence you to buy some crap you don’t need – or even crap that you do need – would be a let down. I would be disappointed in myself.

I hope that if you are another blogger, you will agree with me that advertising on your blog is not the way to go. I actively seek out pages that are by people who are writing for the joy of writing or because they are committed to the topic – not because they are mildly clever at embedding a bunch of key words that advertisers want you to click on.

Not everything needs to be a goddamned advertisement. That said, someday Jay will get his t-shirt printing endeavor together, and maybe I will offer his atheist themed shirts. But then it would be a cottage industry, not a corporate interest. And I would be sure to only offer shirts which would be entertaining to read in an ad… then it’s an even trade, right?

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