mad in pursuit notebook


Detour or back on track?

The weird part about a vacation is that I board sort of a mental train... get on at one station... but then the train often lets me off at a different one. It's unpredictable.

Follow this logic: I'm processing all my vacation memories... liking the idea of "Zuzu & Zim"... deciding to mindmap the whole Z&Z potential, right?

Next thing I know, I'm creating a "Roadtrip 2008" photo book at Blurb.

My research into print-on-demand self-publishing, leads me back around to that novel I wrote in the 1990s. My grand ambition between about 1988 (?) and 1995 was to retire from the 9-to-5 world as a novelist. I came SO CLOSE, with a New York City agent pounding the pavement for me. But the dream slipped by.

Novel-writing is no careless undertaking. It means years of commitment. And the odds are increasingly against making a breakthrough. I loved the novel that I finally wrote. I poured everything into it. The thought of starting all over with a new project is only depressing -- my website and my radio quickies have had more immediate feedback, if not exactly glory. But getting my baby published is just about the only thing on my "bucket list." Since I've been throwing all my "gems" up on the web, it would seem a shame to abandon my one long work for someone to toss into the dumpster when I'm gone. It would be like that Nancy Drew knock-off I threw away in 9th grade.

Long story short: I honed in on self-publishing via Amazon. All it costs is my time (formatting, uploading a PDF file), then whatever effort I want to put into marketing. And buying copies for all my friends. Ironically, the novel was called "Mad In Pursuit," which was the source of this website name. This time I'm going to call it something that searchers can find easily, like "Pakistan Murder Mystery" or "Love and Death in Pakistan." And shouldn't a thriller set in Pakistan be more popular now than in 1995?

I pulled out my 15-chapter draft and set up an Adobe Indesign template. Since Saturday I'm nine chapters into a quick revision and pouring it into my template. Oh, what fun I'm having! Meeting up with my old characters Jackson, Nellie and Dan are like sliding into an old comfortable parallel universe.

This isn't about making money (though the sugar plum fairies of fame and fortune do a quick dance now and then across my mind). It's about finishing up something that I was really proud of. Pride, yeah.


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