Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Running Out of Ink

I received word this week that another one of my books is "going out of print". This is always a sad announcement, when the volume of sales (or lack thereof) preclude that the book pass beyond the bounds of the press and enter that great remaindered category in the sky.

As a writer who now has most of his books in the out of print category, it's difficult to feel affirmed.  It's another form of rejection.  And writers like me are continually looking for other ways to feel warm . . . that's why we buy heating pads and use lots of Tabasco sauce.  

Going out of print also makes a guy like me cling to the love.  I write my wife daily poems in the hope that she might read them and become aroused to the point where she will sign a waver granting me the exclusive rights to her retirement funds.  I dream that she will throw off pheromone signals indicating that she is willing to finish the landscaping project on the west side of the house.  I am also more bold to express how I feel, often through tears, and I often cry when I mention how much it would mean to me if she could Simonize the car and fix the muffler.

Going out of print has this affect on me.  I live in an emotional stranglehold, my nerves raw and close to the edge.  Sometimes I eat buckets of ice cream and call it dinner.  My children ask for $10 and I give them a $100 bill . . . just to gain their acceptance in exchange for five minutes, if only they will sit and willingly listen to my problems.  These in-home counseling sessions usually end abruptly, however, and with laughter.  My own children can't accept that I'm this messed up.  They post our conversations on Facebook and include photographs of me when I was twenty-seven years old and badly in need of a shave.

Believe me, if there are folks out there who dream of writing a book, it's not all peaches and cream.  Sometimes it's just yogurt, and badly spoiled.  Sometimes it's just cutting the cheese and looking sideways at the cat when someone asks, "What smells?"

But I've been out of print many times before and I'll get through this one, too.  All it will take is a lot of poems and a gallon of chocolate chip ice cream.

Or . . . if my wife totally loses her bearings and kisses me tonight . . . all will be well.


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