Publication Decision: A Realization

Publishing a book requires taking thousands of tiny steps, bare-footed and blind-folded, over a rough blacktop road littered with tacks.

— Me, Today (expletives deleted)

Quote me on that.

Inching toward a go-no go decision on self-publishing the memoir of my two years in Southeast Asia during the Viet-Nam war.

Now I wonder, of course, if the title is right: HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos.


Fits for me, but I’ve already read it (dozens of times). Perhaps it doesn’t say enough to the potential reader. And does anyone know that Laos was part of the larger “Viet-Nam war”?

So maybe it should be: HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos and Viet-Nam.

That’s really long. I could shorten it to HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos and & Viet-Nam.

Shorter still would be HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos and & Viet-Nam.

That wouldn’t be totally accurate since it’s not an expose or pure history. And I liked the Hotel Constellation link, since I practically lived there. But maybe that’s too touristy.

Maybe call it “Secret War”? Nope, literally hundreds of Secret War titles on Amazon.

“Hidden War”? Far fewer Amazon titles, but still this is not just history.


Ah, well.

Also working on metadata, keywords, BISAC book categories , ISBNs (Got ’em but have to register), Library of Congress registration and copyright. Also need a cover designer, interior designer, converter, distributor …

Someone once said of publishing a book that it’s like walking on tacks. What a wise man.


Where Have I Been?

Damned if I can remember.

Shoved a full-flown memoir of my two years in Southeast Asia during the Viet-Nam War — “HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos” — to the family and a few very close (tolerant) friends.

Finished a supernatural adventure novel called “The Mark of the Spider” and sent it out to beta readers last spring. Still awaiting feedback, so that’s not promising.

Rewriting a straight sci-fi called “PSNGR” — formerly “The Passenger”? — seemingly forever. Instead of tackling chapter 28 today, I’m doing this.

I first wrote PSNGR as a long short story; then as a graphic novel when I had a comic book publisher willing to take a look at it. Now trying to finish it as a potential indie publishing project.

Bailed on my writer’s group for personal reasons having nothing to do with the calibre of their kind feedback.

Journeys, which is what this writing process was intended to be, can be tortuous. Witness The Odyssey. Which is not to say my journey has been nearly as exciting, or even interesting.

And the point is …

But I digress from my intent today, which is to point out links to two stories that struck my fancy.

Ten Books that Were Written on a Bet — From the terse Dr. Seuss to the loquacious James Fennimore Cooper and C.S. Lewis, I’ll be dipping into this list in future.

Publishers Are Now Shedding Best-Selling Authors — So … what’s the point?

Bottom line


Words Matter

As Mark Twain is supposed to have said, There’s a difference between a horse chestnut and a chestnut horse.

I would argue that words can convey emotions, even when not intended.

Unfriendly Patient signIn the sign at right, which I found outside a medical building where very serious things occur, I wondered about the concept of “loading” and “unloading” patients.

As someone who transported corpses to the hospital morgue in a previous life, I wondered if “loading” conveyed the intended meaning.

Perhaps “pickup” and “drop-off” might have been better as well as shorter.

After all, what are patients? Sacks of potatoes?