Resolutions and You Missed a Chance to Call Me On That One

“New Year’s Day! Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving the road to hell with them, as usual.”–Mark Twain
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Go back on diet.
Don’t fall down.
Don’t have any health problems.
Be more organized.
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Hey, y’all. I said something a couple of posts back that could’ve been taken two ways, and taken “the wrong way,” it might sound pretty dismissive and/or racist. In light of my having gotten after somebody else recently for doing pretty much the same kind of thing, I feel I should fix this. Y’all should’ve called me on this one.

I mentioned that I wasn’t sure that young African American men were historically big book buyers. I was just thinking out loud there in a marketing sense, but DANG if that doesn’t sound racist. So I want to apologize. I didn’t mean it “that way.” It is my fervent wish that they–and others–DO buy books, and Troy CLE’s book in particular. But I’m concerned about *everyone*’s ability to spend money on books, actually. I’m a bit worried about the way the economy is going, and that may mean that MOST people have a reduced budget for books in the coming year, but you know what?

I’m going to go right out and buy a copy of Troy’s book. Don’t care if it is something that I would ever sit down and read; I just want his series to be a success. I salute him for finding a shortcut to success and having a strong platform. Wish I could figure out how to “cut in line” just the same way.

I *also* said in that same post that I think the culture glorifies things other than reading, specifically the “cool gangsta” and “street talk” stuff. That ALSO sounded a bit off, and I want to apologize for that. (I was thinking of a particular media-touted subculture in which people seem to focus on things other than reading and getting ahead.) Unfortunately, I *did* sort of mean that the way it sounded, *but* upon reading Denny neo_prodigy‘s comment, I realize that he’s right: it IS the media that’s selling us this picture. Do the youngsters of today REALLY all idolize ONLY rappers and sports players? The media kind of portrays it that way, but heck, I certainly don’t know that for sure! So I want to apologize for the way I might’ve sounded. Because there are a lot of smart kids and smart people out there who don’t fall for whatever’s popular. I still fear that too many people do fall for the “be cool” stuff, but then they always HAVE. It’s nothing new.

Forgive me. I’ll try to do better. (Although I’ll always be an outspoken, opinionated type. As Dolly Parton said, “Lord, you know me, I’m liable to say anything; so if I’ve offended anybody, well . . . tough.” Still, DO call me out on things that are really likely to be taken The Wrong Way so I can rephrase or rethink!)

Verter muz men vegen un nit tsailer. [Words must be weighed, not counted.]– Old Yiddish proverb
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[EDIT: I love what kateelliott just said: “[R]aking myself over the coals about past misdeeds, mistakes, misunderstandings and so on is far less productive than taking the new day as a point of forward motion with the intention to act differently where called for and more of the same where that is working out.” Yay! Add that to my new philosophy.]
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On the subject of “dangerous stuff to bring up online”: OMG, a published author saying something along the same lines as what I have occasionally dared to say (and when I say similar things, I often get labeled as a crazy person who simply won’t accept that my work Ain’t Good Enough):

“There have been disappointments in both Thirteen and Breathe remaining unpublished despite some very close calls. I’m competitive and dare I say it, objective enough, to know that both of those are better than a lot of what’s on the shelves right now, but the genre isn’t “right,” or “popular,” the lines which they straddle too fine and the balance too precarious to make it easy for an editor to want to take a chance.”

Bravo for coming out and saying this in public, fashionista_35. I’m sorry to hear that these two books are still waiting in the queue, as I like to read mostly that which is offbeat or Out Of Style. I wonder whether readers would go big-time for some of the things that the industry thinks just wouldn’t sell at all? You never know what will hit big, and they admit that, so it’s a shame that the marketing types with their charts and the bean counters have hold of the reins. Here’s hoping you get them into print this year! Let us know when!
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“A writer must combine the qualities of storyteller, teacher, and enchanter — especially enchanter.”–Vladimir Nabokov

“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at something worth doing.”–Theodore Roosevelt

“OMG–you mean this thing is on?”


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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