Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the month “December, 2009”

A Change of Direction

I have changed directions this month. I am taking a break from marketing Oilspill dotcom, to edit and prepare my manuscript for two upcoming competitions that focus on unpublished novels.

The first is Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel contest that leads to a contract with their Amazon Encore program. I recently met Francine Howard, a member of the California Writers Club and our new marketing group. Francine’s book was placed in the competition last year and is being prepared for a significant book launch.

The second competition is the San Francisco Writer’s Conference contest. I believe the fact that the competition is based in San Francisco and that much of my book is a love-fest with the city, um, the City, makes it extremely attractive.

I hope to finish my edit of the book this week and then to send it to a couple of willing friends to comb through. Then I will work on their corrections in the first week of January, before sending it off to be judged.

It seems strange that after so long of going through the publishing process with Oilspill dotcom that I am now focusing on another book. I feel like a parent, eager for the arrival of the new baby and yet feeling guilty towards the older sibling, who is used to being the center of my world.

Oh well. Today is my oldest son’s 11th birthday. I’m sure he can relate to the analogy.

Happy Birthday, Pele. Good Writing, everyone else.


Alon’s Website

Another Perspective

I admit it; I fall behind on my TV shows, which is why there wasn’t a blog last week (not really) and why I am a faithful worshiper of the Church of Digital Video Recorders. My biggest sin: I am behind on The Colbert Report.

Watching the show from December 1st, I was stunned to see Stephen interview Sherman Alexie, the author of ‘War Dances.’ Alexie was great, a Native American poking fun at the white guys. But this blog entry is not about Native Americans or white guys.

As you have seen, I am proud that Oilspill dotcom is now available as an e-book, available in all formats that exist today. I am doing my bit to save the planet. Even if I can’t afford a Prius, I am taking bold steps to save the trees, energy in production and distribution, and able to help provide free copies of my e-books for our soldiers.

So I was kind of taken aback when Alexie advocated against the e-book revolution (my embellishment, not his). He will not publish his book in electronic form because:
– He fears that we are giving the government the ability to control what we read, write, see and listen to.
– It makes our work vulnerable to piracy
– It prevents any physical contact between author and reader, a relationship that he sees as essential for both sides
– It takes away revenue from independent bookstores already on the brink of extinction
– It prevents any celebration of books within the community

I want to take issue with Alexie, but I have two problems: he is correct, and he is very cool.

So I will take a week for rebuttal, and if I can’t build a case, will catch up on outstanding Colbert Reports.

Good Writing,


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