Monday, September 24, 2007

Broadening Your Literary Horizons

Today I discuss the literary world. There is so much going on that is depressing to me that I prefer not to be the reporter/journalist at this time.

I would like to discuss the importance of becoming a known writer, to get your name in print and to have readers nationwide recognize you and what you write about is the optimal goal of most writers. Not only that, having the public loving it too, is a hopeful given. I would like to cover one option available to creating and expanding your writing exposure.

For the fiction and nonfiction writer alike, workshops and conferences provide great exposure of you and what you write. Workshops that are part of a conference allow writers to present their expertise in what they write to a greater number. Fiction writers wish to share what they have learned over time. In other words, if you write works of fiction and it has been published by a traditional publishing house, the odds are you have a lot of knowledge on the expectations, contributions, and promotions thrust upon an author.

Due to the nature of the nonfiction writing, writers of this genre usually start their book careers as self-publishers. This in itself is a great stepping stone to learning the trade. The nonfiction writer most likely writes about everyday mattes, yet matters that are not the norms. Who else would know about Feng Shui other than the writer that lives by it, then writes about it? How about writing on processing wine or living as a Buddhist monk? The writers of these topics are the experts on them. One would be amazed at how much interest there is in these types of subject matters. Once the public is made aware of said material being available in print, they buy it. We all have heard the old saying, “if you want to know how many teeth a horse has, go look in the horse’s mouth.” Well, who better to learn the tricks of the trade from than the writers’ themselves. Both types of writers benefit greatly conducting workshops individually and as part of conference curriculums. They become conductors of a learning train, sharing and switching between different tracks toward writer recognition.

The key thing to remember here is that you want to write. But whether or not what you write is read is a different story. If the public doesn’t know you exist, they couldn’t possibly read what you have written. So get out there. Submit your work to anthologies and periodicals. Take part in workshops and conferences as you volunteer to do open mics. Each bit of exposure takes you one step closer to possibly being another Stephen King or Dan Poytner. You never know.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Everyday Lately Has Been an Issue

One of my dictionaries states one form of the meaning of the word issue is “the final result of an action.” The same is sometimes called a situation, “a state of affairs.” However we all choose to use words to describe what is happening in our lives has a matter of preference. Me, they are “issues” today. And I will tell you why.

Since the first of August I moved from one abode to another. In doing so I downsized, from a house to an apartment. Well, where should I start. Let’s try the phone company who is still trying to say I owe a phone bill from my old location for the time period August 16- September 15. Remember I moved on August 1 and the phone was disconnected. The gas company is saying that I must pay a certain amount on my current monthly electric bill for the past place of dwelling when I made a payment agreement with the billing department right after I gave them the last meter reading for the electricity and gas. The university I go to, which I will leave nameless, has screwed up my government loan money and I still don’t have that which is mine to buy books and many other related expenses for going to school. Leave it to say, each of these “issues” have cost me time making phone call after phone call to clear up the matter and yet, they are still standing as is.

Now, for a really good one. I have had for more than ten years a setup with my internet service provider to access my bank account to take the monthly charge for the service they provide. I checked my account this morning and low and behold, they accessed it three times for the monthly charge of September. I call and was told to fax them my bank statement and they will look into the problem and fix it. Look into it and fix it? Wrong answer. As I told the man I was speaking to, this could cause a great deal of trouble with my bank account because it is used only to pay bills and others will be coming through today and I might end up with an overdraft. You know what he said? “I’m so sorry about that but we will work on this as fast as we can.”

Normally, I am a pretty sensible, patient and a calm person when dealing with companies in error. But as of today, I am ready to call the TV stations and newspapers to let the world know what is really happening to the average citizen who wants to do the “right thing.” I think 48 days of trying to correct that which is wrong is long enough to wait for employees of different companies and schools to do their job. Their job is to fix things as quickly and efficiently as possible without any discomfort on my part. But that is not what is happening. I have spent more time in the last 48 days trying to get businesses to realize and accept responsibility for the errors they committed.

If any of you have any suggestions on how I might be able to fix things, please respond with a comment because I have had it with my “issues” for the last month and a half.