Showing posts with label memoir. Show all posts
Showing posts with label memoir. Show all posts

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Don't Buy This Book

Writing a memoir is a tricky endeavor. There's the right (interesting) way and the wrong ("WTF") way. I think I wrote my memoir the right way, and I'm not even a professional.

I'd always heard that Jimmy Webb was a master songwriter, and as a songwriter myself, I was naturally interested in reading his story. Let me expand on that a bit: Truthfully, I never thought Webb was a "master" songwriter, but everybody says he is. I hated "Wichita Lineman" when it was first released in 1968. I like it now and I appreciate the writer's craft. "Galveston" wasn't as good, but it was good. Webb obviously thought he was good. One doesn't really know much about that, however, in this memoir. One does learn a lot about the properties of various street drugs. I guess I could write a history of my love of nicotine, but you really had to be there.

It's kind of sad if one's legacy consists of naked orchestral concerts performed after swallowing random little white pills. Let's just say the anecdote doesn't heighten my admiration.

"The Cake And The Rain" is a drug book.

I'm no prude. I'm a live and let live kind of gal. But again, I prefer not to define my life by my cigarette addiction. Jimmy revels in his pharmaceutical dependence. At his (advanced) age, one would expect a bit of clearheaded wisdom.

Here's a synopsis of the book (so you don't have to buy it): he had affairs with various married women and one of his concubines inspired one of the goofiest songs of all time:

I think Webb mentioned that he brought the song to the Association at one of their recording sessions, and their combined reaction to it was, WTF?? Kind of a universal sentiment.

Also, balloons.

I mean, come on... 

I think I borrowed the book from my library (I thankfully didn't purchase it) because Glen Campbell had recently passed away and I was feeling sentimental. This book just made me feel icky.

The author comes across as glib and severely out of touch. But he did buy drugs for Nillson and John Lennon, so there's that...

I don't know why I read the book the whole way through. I was perhaps hoping for a morsel of hard-fought wisdom. I didn't find it.

There's one thing I found admirable about Jimmy's songwriting -- and it was only found in the index -- apparently not worth but a cursory mention:

I'm told this book was only Chapter One. 

Good luck there, Jimmy. I don't know what else is left to say, but I won't be finding out. 

You should read mine sometime. It's actually interesting, and I'm not even famous.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Rich Farmers Update and Giveaway!

Yes, this is another shameless plug!

People tend to enjoy my music posts more than my book posts, but hey!  A gal's gotta make her $11.98!  Total.  Seriously.  And that's mostly because my friend took pity on me and bought a copy.

Be that as it may, I wanted to announce that Rich Farmers is now available on iTunes and Barnes and Noble (for Nook). 

I was going to say how honored I am to be featured (to use the term loosely) on iTunes, but then I realized that some of Red River's songs can also be found there; not through any effort (or knowledge) of the band.  It seems that one of our music libraries, Audiosparx, put together a few compilation CD's of various artists, and some of our tunes were stuck on five or six of those CD's (No sales to report!  Just like my book!)

So, I guess I'm an old hand at iTunes.....

Now is a good time to put in a plug for my book formatter and cover designer, Elijah Toten.  You can view his services here. He was very nice to work with, and I think he did a great job on the cover design.  Granted, I gave him a picture that I insisted he use, but the graphics, especially with regard to the subtitle, really convey the scariness and, I guess, shakiness, of that time, growing up.

I bet there are tons of self-published authors who only sell one or two copies (I write, sobbing).  I can still say I did my best, and I slaved over writing my book; and I'm GLAD I did it.

And now without further a-dewww, I am giving away three copies of Rich Farmers in whatever digital format you choose.

All you need to do is leave a comment on this post.  Guests on my author site will also be included in the drawing.  I will use the Randomizer to select the three winning entries.

Winners will be chosen on Friday, May 3, 2013.   

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rich Farmers Update ~ More Retailers

Getting tired of this yet?  Ha.  Well, I'm a business man (woman?), so I hope you understand that I am excited about expanding Rich Farmers to more retailers.

Therefore, just a quick note to let you know that Rich Farmers is now available for download from Smashwords here.  I have no idea why there are two copies available ~ trust me; both versions are one and the same.  I don't consider myself to be technologically challenged; I choose to blame the websites for any glitches that occur.

I'm counting the days until Smashwords makes my book available on the iTunes site.

And ~ ta DA!  I have 11 downloads now!  That, plus the two from Amazon, makes a lucky 13!

And here I thought the only person who would buy my book would be me.

Ooh, I can feel the $1.97 in royalties rolling in right now!  I can retire!  Hallelujah!

Seriously, though, Rich Farmers isn't half bad.  My friend Barb didn't actually use the words, "half bad", but she's still reading it!  That's a good sign!


UPDATE!  I just viewed my sales report via Amazon, and I have sold 4 copies!  So, 15 now!  What the heck will I do if I ever reach 20?  (And seriously?  There are fifteen people who will soon know all the embarrassing details of my life?  Eeeek.)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rich Farmers ~ Excerpt Two

Having lugged my behemoth accordion to school on the bus for show and tell, the plan was to have Dad pick me up after school, so I wouldn’t be once again burdened with the hernia machine that was making me tilt sideways as I tried to heft it.

I pulled the heavy case out onto the sidewalk, let it hit the ground, and I stood there and waited.

And I waited.

By the time I saw the last straggling teachers, and then the principal, stroll out to their cars, I realized it was probably time for Plan B.

I should have walked back inside earlier, and asked to use the phone in the school office to call my mom, but I didn’t want to have to carry that hateful thing back with me once again.

And now it was too late. The school was locked up. Everybody had already said their goodbyes.

The closest place I knew that had a pay phone was the Laundromat downtown, about eight long blocks away.

I was thankful, at least, that it was September, and still warm. I had enough problems.

After taking one last long look down the empty street in front of Valley Elementary, and still not spying even a distant glint of my dad’s car, off I went.

Read more here

Rich Farmers Update and a Preview

I have sold three copies of Rich Farmers!  Scoff if you will, but I didn't expect to sell any!

Within the next couple of weeks, Rich Farmers should be available on iTunes and other places that I haven't decided upon yet. 


Maybe it was a good thing we didn’t pack more stuff.

This place was tiny.

Not the motel itself, but the living quarters.

Curious as I was to check out the place, I despised the little kid who showed me around.

While Mom and Dad were huddled with the woman they’d bought the place from, Elsie; pouring over balance sheets, David Lee, Elsie’s son, became my official travel guide.

“Now, this is my room,” he intoned.

Well, no. This is now my room, and will a bed even fit in here?

Stomach churning, as I pranced along the short household tour, I tried to stop thinking about the new school, the new kids, that I would have to face in a couple of days.

Jay and Lisa were lucky. They’d have plenty of time to assimilate. Me, I was about to be thrown into the fire.

“Here, behind this sliding door, is the office. Right off the living room!”


Our privacy stops at this door?

How quaint. And I hate it already.

The little second bedroom was little, all right. A set of bunk beds hugged one wall; Jay and Lisa would be on the bottom bunk, me on the top.

There was room enough for a narrow dresser on the opposite wall, and a wooden door was built into the wall at the foot of the bed, opening up to a closet with three shelves, where I would stow my important possessions; i.e., my record player.

I felt unable to catch my breath.

I’m going to live in here?

It’s about three steps from my parents’ bedroom!

Life truly sucks.

On my farm, I could stretch my arms out wide, and not touch anything. Here, in this room, I couldn’t even stretch out my arms.

What had I gotten myself into? And can I just go back?

“Here’s the bathroom.”

Well, isn’t this nice? I have to get up at seven. If I’m quick, I can jump in the shower and wash my hair before anyone’s the wiser.

My big brother had pulled up behind us in his red Ford Fairlane. He got out; stretched.

“This’ll do”, he said.

“I can remodel a whole bunch of this stuff.”

My brother’s girlfriend, Kathy, was back at home. It was a drive, but he’d gladly run it.

I didn’t know anybody, and there was nobody worth knowing, least of all David Lee.

Jay and Lisa toddled on over, past the pines, and made the acquaintance of our new neighbors, the Merkels.

Friends for life.

I had nobody.

I shook a sheet of loose-leaf out of a folder, and wrote a beseeching letter to Cathy. “Come visit me!”

I was keenly lonely. And alone.

Read more here

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rich Farmers


My little Minnesota town mostly tolerated the river. The Red, eleven months out of the year, was kind of puny and babyish. Sure, it was banked by shady trees, and it was a lazy place for a waterside picnic. But it was no Missouri.

Once a year, though; that one month in the spring, the Red River turned into a hysterical, sobbing woman. When all the ingredients got stirred together just right; the ice jams, the melting snow creeping across the flat plain, the up-up-upping of the thermometer; well, then the Red wreaked vengeance on those who ever dared call it puny.

Sherlock Park, home to the town swimming pool, and the corny bandstand, where oompa-oompa bands serenaded clumps of families sitting in the shade; was but mere blocks away from the Red; but it seemed so much further away to us kids. At least until the flooding began.

The First National and Sacred Heart Church and the American Legion Club were only two blocks down and one block to the right of the Louis Murray Bridge, give or take. My town was a little town, and it took its nourishment from the skinny waters that confusedly wended their way north, instead of south, like a normal river would.

Every spring, my big brother got out of classes to help sandbag. High school kids are inherently altruistic, especially when they have the opportunity to get sprung from school.

It wasn’t just the Red that flooded, though. Every body of water that was man enough to call itself a “body of water” lurched like a drunken sailor and went knocking on doors. That included the coulee across the road from my farm.

What that meant for me was that the school bus dropped me off at the top of the hill, and set me on a journey of red rubber galoshes busting through banks of sloppy snow, as poor little me finally made my way across the field and to the waiting arms of my front door.

It wasn’t bad enough that the country kids (I say derisively, although I was one) made fun of my name, and called me “Bushy Tail”, as I sat, grumpily bumped up against the vibrating school bus window, all the way to town.

But I hated winter, and I hated post-winter; with its stinging slap across my face, taunting me with a squinty-eyed vision of someday-wildflowers bursting through hillsides that were currently drenching my snow pants up to the knees.

Read more here

Friday, March 8, 2013

Yes, I Am A Published Author!

Fifty-some-odd-years in the making, Rich Farmers is finally published!

My book is available on Amazon for Kindle right about here

Coming soon (I hope!) to the iTunes store and some other hot spots.

I guess I should download a copy for myself, but you know, I just don't think I can read that thing again for the 2,458th time (don't get me wrong ~ I like it ~ but I hardly ever read a book twice; much less 2K times!)

Oh, and please visit me at my new website:  Rich Farmers

I'm going to be adding music videos for some of the songs I included in my book, and other things, too. 

Forgive me if I post a few excerpts from my book from time to time, but Rich Farmers is my newest baby, so I have to pamper it a bit...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sneak Peek ~ My "Rich Farmers" Book Cover!

A few minor formatting changes, and my e-book will be ready for upload to Amazon!

The person I'm working with for formatting and cover design, Elijah, said:

"The book is very interesting too! I've found myself reading it quite a bit as I work!"

Ahh, my first review!  Wonder if I could put that on my website!

So, while I have no actual words to share (yet), I can share my book cover! 

(Yup, that's me, standing there in the back.  My little brother, age 4, was not actually suicidal.  It was a toy gun.  I think maybe he had a teething issue.)

And, by the by, standing next to me is my husband (well, we weren't married yet ~ ba-ZINGA!)  This was the very last time I was taller than he.

Once everything is in place, you will be the first to know.  And then I will sit back and watch nobody buy it!

Can still say I did it, though!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Book ~Update

For better or worse, my manuscript is done. 

Sure, I could keep fussing with it, but I have to draw the line somewhere. 

Truth is, the reason I have kept fussing with it is because I'm afraid. 

Some poor fool is going to buy it, and say, "Well, that was a waste of $x.xx!" 

Or, "Who told this imbecile she knew how to write a book?"

Or, "There sure are a lot of boring parts in here!  Good thing I have this handy push-button on the side of my Kindle, so I can fast-forward!"

Or I will scroll to my Amazon page and see that nobody has purchased a copy, and I will feel like a failure.

Or, somebody will buy it and give it a scathing review (given a choice, I'd go with nobody buying it).

I guess sometimes in life one has to make that leap.  I've only really taken one leap in my life before this, so I'm hardly used to jumping.

I have contacted a book formatter to help me.  Very soon, this whole thing will be a reality.

And then, what will I do with my time?