How to Promote Your Book Without Knowing How to Promote Your Book

How to Promote Your Book Without Knowing How to Promote Your Book

portraitoftheartistsday’s childe

the day shifts and sways in the breeze.

a summer dress in pastel yellow rustles.

red-tailed hawk shifts from the light-pole to the roadside fence.

pages with red ink dotted turn to splayed gold in the sunlight.

silence makes for better kinds of daydreams.

the ocean is too busy, too loud, too much.

a plastic cover with printed words repeated.

in the center, fire and brimstone sermon.

the august days draw to a close at last.

in fall, in fall, in falling down we stumble.

one of those rare days

I got a rejection from a NYC big-gun agent and despite the “not in this awful market” reaction to my m/s, he will look at it again when it’s revised some more. What he said specifically about it was no surprise; me already knowing its limitations. But, I sat down at lunch and realized that since I evoked the Lord Ganesha, remover of obstacles, at the suggestion of my friend, Ronlyn, some week or so back, things have moved considerably in my world. I got a story into Word Riot, after numerous rejections, and a few other pieces picked up, too. Maybe it is Ganesha’s doing, or maybe it’s intention, but whatever it may be, it’s welcome.

So, I sat down after getting the agent rejection and thought about what he’d said in his email. It brought to mind a few things Jeanne Leiby told me on several occasions, so I took out my notebook and wrote down her ideas. Moments later, an overwhelming sensation of sadness washed over me, and I realized I’d just written down the answer to my manuscript’s biggest drawback. What’s weird is that I walked back to work absolutely certain that this book is going to be published, and successful. That certainty is the fuel that will propel me through the next phase until the draft is revised and where it needs to be. Now, I’ve got to pull out the old storyboard I used on my other novel when I was in New Orleans, and wipe it clean, because there’s work to be done, and there’s a finished novel to be sent out.

beak & claw

Owl. King of the cloudy night, the silent bird glides over the roof, bound for the upper branches of the old Macarthur tree, the rats creep in dark corners to avoid approaching death. Patterns change, the old habits swept off the table, the new pulled unwittingly from a hole in the body. Baby sleeps in its small boat, a branch knocking against the window, soft oohs fall from small lips, the midnight train whistles down by the water, and a patterned chorus of secret coyotes bark the night in two. These are the russet and black moochers who topple trashcans in search of scraps. Avocado rats run the skinny limb like fools, the daredevil act destined to end in beak and claw. Nights when there’s a fire in the stone circle under the tree, the flames creep toward the sky, curling the oily leaf-edges. A freak accident sees one rat fall into my wife’s arms and kiss her with dirty lips. She’ll wipe her eyes and curse the rat with the slang she picked up in Mexico City. Her years of digging in the dry earth, searching for ancient relics, are over, and now she counts success in rat skulls found. 

god is everywhere in our house

In the holy water font inside the front door.

In the miraculous medal about his neck.

In the statue of the Virgin Mary in my bedroom.

In the “For God’s sake, can’t you do anything right,” that he shouts at her. 

In the bleeding flesh of the Sacred Heart of Jesus above their bed.

In the miniature reproduction Old Masters hanging on the wall by the fireplace.

In the Catechism passages I have to memorize for school.

In the dozens of mass cards stored in the drawer of the bureau.

In the St. Brighid’s Cross made out of straw nailed above the front door.

In the First Communion badge pinned to my blazer pocket.

In the “Oh, Jesus,” whispered dark in the night when they think I’m asleep.