Thursday, November 4, 2010

It Takes a Minute To Check.

by Louis Bertrand Shalako


All Rights Reserved

After ten months of editing and re-writing, and then publishing my first four e-books, it feels good to get back to ordered routine and lighter duties. So far I'm basically just combing through my science-fiction folder and submitting stories that have never been placed.

I have also jotted down another three or four titles, which is often all I need to get a story going. I have a list of twenty-five titles! Until I get really desperate, I'm still not ready to write short stories. The foreign-language submissions are good practice, and I might just pick up another credit there. Another thing, is to put a steno pad and a good pen beside my pillow and write down my dreams. Usually three or four key words are all that is needed to remind one of a particularly weird dream. A few of them do make it into my stories; oddly enough.

At some point I really do have to update the list of sales and rights assigned. I have already caught myself once. Clicking on 'send,' firing an e-mail off into cyber-space, and then suddenly wondering who might be archiving that story, in what language, and for how long?

It only takes a minute to check, is what I am saying.

Let's see here. My list of submissions is up to about 546; and it is kind of hard on the eyes to scroll through it endlessly, but before I submit a story, I want to know if I have already subbed that particular one to that particular editor, and once or twice in the past I have in fact 'double-subbed.' It just makes me look dumb, right? Speaking of which, I really need to go back to many of those previously-published stories, and just maybe re-read the rights purchased, etc, by those publishers. It's a good thing to review once in a while.

It only takes a minute to check, I guess that's what I'm saying.

I just read three articles in Douglas Smith's website, about being interviewed. So far no one has asked, but you never know.

'Be prepared,' and even if it never happens, at least you were prepared.

As for the art today, the image appears on my French-language blog, 'les shalako,' which basically just gives me an excuse to fool around with translations.

It's called 'Snake Girl,' or 'la jeune fille avec une serpent.'

Mon Francais il ne pas bon!

My eyes get tired. I have to go back and check for typos all the time.

There are still lots of things to be done. I really should pick a standard size, and make all the pix of my books the same! It's just unprofessional. I really should update the poetry blog. But there is only so much time in the day. The key thing is to develop good work habits, focus in on the little details, for surely the beauty lies in the details--and let that work ethic have free rein.

Because honestly, I'm no stranger to hard work.

As for promoting the books, for some reason I'm still a little shy.

Let's see here. When Mike Resnick and I first 'friended' each other on facebook, I knew that I had read at least one of his books. A no-brainer, right? He's got like sixty-five of them, and I used to haunt the sci-fi section of the local bookstore. The problem was that I could not remember a title, and that bothered me. I dug through the shelves of a back closet and came up with a tome by another author. Not Mike Resnick, thankfully, for it wasn't a very good book. Anyhow, when Mr. Resnick posted a link about his book, 'Santiago,' I recognized the cover instantly. And yes, that was one hell of a good book, as I recall, many-many years later.

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