Dita Parker

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

When I'm 84

Mercifully free of the pressures of youth, I'm gonna grow up, settle down and leave childish pursuits behind. On second thought, no.

I'm gonna start smoking cigars. Not like every day but every once in a while, those big fat juicy ones that last all afternoon. I'm gonna sit outside in a comfy chair, a book in one hand, that cigar in the other, puffing the day away.

I'm gonna eat candy. Like every day. Not many I really like but the ones I like I really really like so that's what I'm having.

I'm gonna have some port every night before bed. Or every morning before I get out of bed. I'm gonna have a glass of whatever the hell I want whenever the hell I want it.

I'm gonna try out a hallucinogen. Gotta know before I go what all the fuss is about.

I'm gonna have a this-is-what-it's-all-about heart-to-heart with my grandkids, if I have any. I assume that by the age of 84, I'll have some wisdom to dispense. And the wisdom to discern if I don't.

I'm gonna make sure I live where I've been happiest. I think I already know where that is. You're welcome to visit 'cause I ain't budging, I'mma soaking in bliss till the end.

I'm giving away but the bare essentials so there's no fuss and no fighting over what's to be done about them. Can't take 'em with me, can't put a price on what's priceless, and the most precious things sure as heck don't fit in a box.

I'm gonna take a daily walk around the neighborhood, or block, or garden, holding Hubby's hand. Or maybe we'll just sit outside, side by side, talking or just watching the bugs, birds and bees, the wind in the trees, and maybe we won't see them or hear them as well as we used to but at least we'll be together.

I'm gonna die on my birthday, but I'd rather not do it when I'm 84. Let's make that 104. Nice, round, coming full circle ring to it, don't you think, dying on the day you were born, in the middle of a great book/good meal/interesting conversation, nothing left unsaid, nothing left undone. Well, except that book/meal/convo. Being dead, I doubt I'll mind all that much.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Many a little makes a mickle

Temperature: a rainy 8/46 degrees

Eating: what's left of that Saturday night of sheer delight, see below

Drinking: not for a while, had too much fun and way too many cocktails just the other night with a couple of couples we invited over for dinner

Watching: The Wind Rises and Rio 2 with or without the wee ones real soon

Listening: to the poetic soul of Anthony Joseph

Writing: wrote a round of takedown requests just the other week thinking fuck you very much, even visited a forum where users thanked one another for sharing Alex, a book they could have bought for $0.99. You can imagine what my share of those ninety-nine cents is. And so you probably imagine I won't miss those cents. But those cents add up. Ten books here, thirty-four there, another one hundred and twenty some place else. Many places. Way too many places.

Support authors. If you like it, buy it, the slogan on that forum read. In that order. As if they were doing us a favor. I felt sick inside. So damn sick and tired and I know what you're thinking, “Don't go there. Why did you go there? Why do this to yourself?” Look at that pic on Denysé's blog. Look at that royalty check. I'm still waiting for mine, hoping for the best, expecting the worst. That's why. You want to make sense of things. Am I really that hopeless? Are my books really that bad? Sales have plummeted, books tank, so you wanna know why and what's wrong because how the hell else will you be able to fix things. But how do you fix this? How do you make it better?

Any suggestions? Anybody? And don't say just ignore 'em. Some authors do. Most can't. They feel that's like giving permission. Like a shopkeeper turning a blind eye to shoplifting as long as someone buys something, but when they steal more than you sell... That's not what you'd call a sustainable business model, is it? And if you are to treat writing as a business you have to take these things into account so it is kinda hard to just ignore it and it's becoming ever harder for many of us to justify our profession, business-wise, you know. Working for free is not a vocation (except for the very wealthy, which for the most part authors aren't), it's volunteering.

Feeling: I want to write as Dita too. But do I want to feel like this every time I do? Mad, sad, bad? Is that why I've navigated toward other shores? Not just because I got mouths to feed and bills to pay and talents I want to put to good use but because of the emotional toll Romantica has taken? So I come out as the strong and stoic type. I'm much more sensitive and vulnerable than you'll ever know. All authors, all artists are. We have to be or else we lose connection with the world and ourselves, with the tangible and the invisible, with everything we feel so keenly and love so dearly and try so desperately to put down in words. Do you understand what I'm saying? Can you sympathize?

Authors don't necessarily need a publisher. They need a good editor and maybe an agent and even a lawyer. Readers? Do authors need readers to write happily ever after? Some are starting to think that they don't. That if there's no money, no future in writing for publication i.e. the reading public, then what the hell are they doing pissing in the wind? Writing makes them happy. The business end of things makes them miserable. Cut the business end of things and go back to being happy. Problem solved.

I kid you not, folks, that is how some of us feel, and I will never ever forgive those making things so damn hard for all of us if some of my favorite authors go back to writing for the desk drawer. Put that in your pirate pipe and smoke it. If you can get your hands on it. Which you won't be able to because it will be hidden away with all the other precious things in their life and if you'd shown some respect when you had the chance maybe we'd still be enjoying the fruits of their labor. I dread the day but it's coming. For some of us, it's just a matter of deciding today's the day. You think working on a dream is hard. It's nothing and I mean nothing compared to giving up.

Support authors. Buy a book. If you like it, buy another. My heartfelt thanks to all readers who do.