Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Networking is a Two Way Street

Note: Yes, I am two weeks and two days behind because I have been busy working. How about you?

In a discussion at one of our book signings for Eyes On Fire: Witnesses to the Detroit Riot of 1967, me and my writing partners were talking about reciprocating between writers. What we realized is that most new writers have no understanding of networking being a two way street. New writers attend the workshops and conferences, then write their book and want each and everyone they know to come to their book signings and buy the book. What they don’t understand is, they too much go to book signings and buy books.

Too many times I have done workshops, vendor events, and conferences yet, I hardly ever see the people I connected with at these writer affairs at any of my affairs. What’s up with that? One or two may show but where are the rest? And repeatedly these same people e-mail and call me to give them insights on how to promote, pitch, and get in with the right people when their book is in print. Give me a break!

To all the writers out there remember that, success comes from staying connected all the time with other writers. You have to do as I try to do as much as possible, travel a two way street. When I come to you, you should plan to come to me. No it is not being selfish, it is being smart. One hand washes another. If I know your work and can depend on you at all times, when I run across an opportunity that I can’t fill, it just could be you I recommend. Yet I can’t do that if I never see you until you want something from me. Writing partners, it is up to you to sell yourself and you can’t do it if no one ever sees you. I am not bashing, just passing on a little advice.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Random thoughts from me, the freelance artist

As I took part in an anthology of the Detroit Riots of 1967, it has turned out to be a very successful venture for the publisher Heather Buchanan and the contributors. Borders, one of the leading bookstore chains has set up on their own three additional book signings after we did one at the store on Mercury in Dearborn, MI. It brought many people interested and aspiring writers to it and each bought the book and signed up for more information on writing from me, Heather and our editor Sharon Stanford. If you would like to know why this book stirred up so much interest, visit aquariuspressbookseller. The name of the book is Eyes On Fire: Witnesses to the Detroit Riot of 1967.

I recently moved to a new abode and found out that I don’t like moving. I not only moved but I downsized too. When you live somewhere for over 13 years, you collect a lot of stuff. In a much smaller space you cannot accommodate all you have. Before I moved I held three yard sales and gave away things but, guess what, I still needed to use my storage unit with Public Storage. In moving, one thing I learned is, get rid of what isn’t absolutely necessary to survive. Otherwise you will end up with more than you know what to do with or where to place it in your new home. The next time I have to move I know I will give an estate sale. In other words, I will sell everything I own at the time. It doesn’t pay to become attached to material things. It can all be replaced.

I have recently gotten a new computer for a gift and it came with the new Windows Vista system. Loaded with tons of new security measures, it has not been a picnic getting patches for software programs I already have. Vista is a totally new version of Windows and it will take patience and fortitude to make any adjustments. Having had it now for about a month and a half, I am still learning new procedures with it and finding out that not many others out in cyberspace know any more than me. Here is the kicker, it doesn’t matter what type of computer you buy, they all come installed with Vista. You are going to be converted, like it or not. So get ready everyone will soon be using the Windows Vista system. Even the software companies have already changed their software to be compatible with it. Very soon no software support will be available for any old versions of windows or any software. My advice? Get your mind set on making a lot of changes with your computer because it apparently is the way things will be in the future. Just thought I’d let you know.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Can I Have the Truth Please?

I was just reading Jack Lessenberry’s column in the Metro Times, Detroit’s weekly alternative. He discussed the high cost of a higher education and how it will affect the future of this state.

I wholeheartedly agree with his finger pointing. The universities are not to blame for the new cost for an education but our state representatives are; the ones who raised one hand with the other one on a Bible, and swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth as they serve in their respective political positions. As Lessenberry stated, “Your elected representatives are lying to you.” For a state representative to hint that our universities are spoiled, is a bold-faced lie. Did that representative forget how he got his degree? Did he forget how his education was paid for?

I personally don’t believe he has. What I believe is he and other representatives based their decisions on who makes the donations to their campaign funds. As a matter of fact, I have always known this to be true. Just in case you forgot, let me explain the real deal.

If you ran for a political office, you would need lots and lots of money to sell yourself to the district you would represent. When I say lots of money, I am talking millions. The only ones that have that kind of money to give away are the super rich. The super rich are normally those who have an agenda of their own in mind, to keep taxes on them as low as possible. In other words, let somebody else pay the government's bills.

Now let’s say I was one of the super rich and donated up to $10,000 dollars to your campaign. Now once I did that, I would want you to keep in mind that I want to be able to first write the money off my taxes in some way, then, in return I would want some kind of hidden favoritism with a heads up on any upcoming new laws and how they will affect me. Let’s not leave out tips on any way my business can make money off of the government. Getting the picture here?

If all this is constantly going on, do you really think that state representatives or those in any branch of the government, no matter how much they want to, can look out for your best interest? I doubt it. This is why you, the lowly citizen with on a modest income and big bills to pay doesn’t have a prayer in being influential. Yet, as a group of people with big mouths and a lot of guts, you could agree as I do with Lessenberry saying, “. . . each of them should be impeached and charged with criminal negligence.”

Now to let you know, I am back in school getting my masters. The raise in tuition cost means I too will be paying through my nose if I live long enough. Am I mad? You dam right I am. The only advantage I have over some of those trying to go to college is, I do already have a bachelor. And I paid for it out of my own pocket. It’s a shame I now have to pay with my blood to go a little higher in the field of education. You should be screaming your lungs out and do as Lessenberry suggest, impeached and charge your representatives because they are talking to you with their fingers crossed behind their backs.