unnatural birth

I think I have mentioned a time or eleventy that I’m self-publishing a collection of short stories.

Well, I’m not all just talk. I’m also flailing hand gestures and raised eyebrows.

The collection is imminent.

Empty, Not Hollow and Other Stories is due to hit Amazon on September 1st. It will be available in Kindle format or as a paper and ink book you can hold in your clammy little hands.

Kind of exciting, huh?

I am excited, but I’m also feeling like a pregnant woman in her fifth trimester in that I’m more than ready to hatch this damn thing. (I may not know how babies work.)

Writing the stories was hard enough, but formatting them for publishing is like a trial in Purgatory. I think I would rather roll a boulder up a mountain rather than spend another moment inserting page breaks or fixing abnormal spacing due to right justification.

Then there are the myriad of important decisions that need to be made and, once made, can’t be unmade. Permanent decisions. Like choosing a tattoo. A tattoo you give to someone else.

What size do you want your book?
I donno. Book sized?

Design the cover yourself or have someone do it for you?
I’ll take “Whichever Option Is Free” for 200, Alex.

Thank everyone I’ve ever met in the Acknowledgements or limit my shout-outs to a few close friends/family and hope everyone else understands?
But the janitor at my office is super nice!

Number the chapters in the Table of Contents or don’t?
*loads revolver with single bullet*

Which font? What size do you want that font? Different fonts for the chapter headings? Chapter headings in ALL CAPS? THE WHOLE BOOK IN ALL CAPS? THE WHOLE BOOK IN ALL CAPS WITH DIFFERENT FONTS FOR EACH CHAPTER? OR NO CHAPTERS AT ALL? ALL STORIES JAMMED TOGETHER WITH NO SPACES BETWEEN WORDS LIKE THE STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS RAMBLINGS OF A STERNO-EATING HOBO? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?

I crawled into a box of red wine and nursed from the bag until the world went black. Days later, I emerged, sloughing off the cardboard and unfurling my damp limbs to warm them in the sun. My new life cycle had begun. I was ready to fly.

Times New Roman, it is.

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14 comments

  1. In a weird way, you captured the birth experience perfectly! You have all these great ideas in the beginning and THINK you know what you want, but by the end, you just want it done and out!

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    1. HA! Well, at least with a child, genetics takes care of the specifics like eye/hair color, freckle placement, number of digits . . . Just thinking of a name is hard enough!

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  2. It is a nightmare, is it not? Thanks ye gods I convinced my wife to do it all with the old “I don’t know how to do this” trick.

    Why is this the first I’ve heard the title, Empty, Not Hollow and Other Stories? This makes me feel empty, but not hollow… but something. And my hands? They’re clammy. What the hell!

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    1. Your wife is a saint. Seriously. You better be lavishing her with praise and affection every moment of your miserable life.

      I’ve been keeping the title under wraps until now. Parsing out the details to keep people wondering. I’m a tease that way.

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  3. Thanks for the heads up Amy. I am part way through my writing experience and am closing in on those tortuous decisions myself.

    So judging from your comments I should save myself and the world time and effort and just go ahead and eat that bullet sandwich now.

    Hope you come through all this, if not who’s going to write my zombie bedtime stories?

    Hugs

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    1. I talked myself down from the ledge. It’s not entirely awful, but I am a perfectionist and a little OCD, so I’m sure I made things much more worse on myself.
      So bite the bullet, just don’t eat one.
      Thanks!

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  4. I am not sure what to say here. I feeling like bursting forth in praise and song; or maybe it is joy and tears. I feel as much relief as you do in a way. You are finally gonna birth that child that has been growing in you since you first learned how to write your name…with your left hand no less. I have always taken a mother’s pride in your achievements, but as I watched your ability to express yourself become a form of writing that drew others to you, want to know more about you, and read more of what you had to say; well, I just became proud to know you. Congratulations on the first of many. XO M

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