The librarian behind the counter was startled as Raymond thudded down the two heavy-looking boxes, and then realization dawned on her as he removed books from the boxes and created columns of books upon the countertop.
“You’re the person,” she said, her wide eyes narrowing down dramatically. “You’re the one who’s had thirty-three books out for four-and-a-half months and who owes in excess of one thousand dollars in overdue fines.”
“Has it been that long?” Raymond wondered.
“Yes, it has. We’ve all been wondering if you’d ever show up.”
“Well, I’m here now. And here are the books.”
Frowning, the librarian asked, “Didn’t you receive our letters of collection for payment?”
He shrugged. “They made good bookmarks.”
Which did not amuse the librarian. “Why didn’t you just purchase the books from a store?”
Raymond shrugged again. “More interaction at the library.”
Her frown deepened. “What? Twice rather than once?”
“Or none, if I bought them online.”
She shook her head, possibly because she had a difficult time believing why he had kept so many library books for so long. Owning books was one thing, but these were borrowed. Her frown finally gone, she asked, “What on earth have you been so busy doing that you couldn’t return these books?”
Raymond blinked at her through his eyeglasses. To the librarian, there was something in those eyes. A yearning and a loneliness, perhaps. An emotion that didn’t come into the light until you were three-quarters through a novel. But maybe, she thought, it was just her imagination.
“I’ve been reading,” he said.
When I looked back in on my blog, I discovered that my most recent post was last year, in June … 8 months! I had kept a much better schedule before that, since starting this blog in January 2010.
But I chose to keep my blog quiet for a while to work on other stuff. I’ve been keeping busy with various activities: family time, client work (I’m a freelance graphic designer), reading, writing, and a little bit of drawing.
A lot of time was also invested in researching indie publishing and how to put together an ebook. A goal of mine has been to publish my writing beyond this blog, and I decided that self publishing an ebook would be a good way to go. Since my book would include flash fiction and poetry, I figured this was the easier way, instead of collect a stack of rejection letters from traditional publishing companies.
I’ve learned a lot, thanks to the many writers out there who share their experiences on their own blogs. I’m grateful for their sharing — in particular Guido Henkel for his advice and “Take pride in your eBook formatting” series, David Gaughran for his blog about the publishing market and his book Let’s Get Digital, and Joanna Penn for her posts on crafting a book and becoming a creative entrepreneur, not just a writer. But these are just a few of the loads of writers out there offering their lessons learned.
The book that resulted out of my work of writing and researching is 50 Stories + 50 Poems = 1 Book, and I’m delighted to have it out there for people to hopefully discover and read. There’s the question of why someone would buy it, when they can read the flash-fiction stories and poems for free right here on my blog. I really don’t know the answer to that — I suppose time will tell.
With my ebook published, I’ll be working on other stories that will eventually be self published, too. Those will be longer stories, which won’t be published here — just in excerpts.
These ebooks will be pieces of my work out there for view, along with the many posts here on my blog, and my designs for sale on T-shirts and other merch. Ideas for various pieces keep popping up, and I try to wrangle them into life in a story, poem, drawing, etc.
I’m going to go back to posting more stuff here. Given my 8-month absence, I think it’s not a great idea to commit to a posting schedule, like I did in other years. But I can guarantee that I’ll post something before another 8 months comes to pass.
I feel tremendously lucky
to wake up and hear the
intricate chattering of
multitudes of birds, as if
they’re telling each other
of their dreams dreamt last night
and their plans for the day.
Fortunately, spring is not silent
here in Silver Spring,
where Rachel Carson lived for
many years (while summering in Maine).
This spring, my daughter and I
heard Linda Lear give a talk about
her biography of Ms. Carson
(after the talk was postponed due
to a snowstorm), and the room
was packed with eager listeners.
So Ms. Carson still talks on, with warnings
for those ears who still pay attention,
to our eyes thankful to see bald eagles
in their full-winged reality and not just
in a Google image search,
to our wishes and plans and work
for infinite springs
filled with chattering birds.