I’m having an argument with myself. I have another book-length story, which I wrote a few years ago. It is the original source of the early, shorter Interpreter Stories, which are spaced throughout it as intermezzos. When I finished the story, I was proud enough of it to hope it might someday be published. I went the usual route of researching agents and publishers, and sending out query packages according to their various specifications. All of which led to nothing, as it almost invariably does.
So I printed the whole thing one more time and put it in a shirt box. It doesn’t really fit very well in a shirt box, sort of slides around in there, but there it remains.
Here’s the thing. Today is my birthday, a reminder that I am getting older. One of my presents was a three-pack of reading glasses from Costco, a truly helpful reminder. As I get older, my would-be book becomes less relevant to my present, ever-changing life, and I find it harder to muster the conviction to try, try again to have it published. There are vanity presses, which perhaps amounts to throwing good money after a considerable cost in time. I don’t want to go that route. If you’re going to self-publish, why not just put it online? I’ve already done that once before, and I really didn’t want to “waste” a book again, but here’s another thing:
I was almost run over by a large dump truck pulling a pup-trailer the other day. It was a place where the bike lane suddenly ends and the road narrows. The truck was barrelling along; I’m not certain the driver even saw me. It was a matter of inches. Somehow I jumped the curb just in time, as the huge tires blew past. I’ve been bike-commuting in this city since 1998. That was the closest I’ve come to a mishap. Or being flattened.
Apart from all the other complications and unpleasantness of being run over by a dump truck (and pup-trailer), such an event would pretty much be the final nail in the coffin regarding publishing my story.
I would like it read, but I would prefer it were first professionally edited, to make it as good as it can be, but that’s more money there too (and I’m sure it isn’t easy finding an editor who fits one’s particular style.) I expect some readers would enjoy the story as is, based on the kind comments I get on the interpreter series. Unlike those stories, it is written in the first person (apart from the interpreter-story intermezzos), the narrator being the interpreter. He actually has a name, and it’s not my name. Other characters from the online series are in the book too. I recycled them for the longer, more recent stories in the series.
I’ve started constructing a website to contain the interpreter book, which is titled, “The Jesus of the West.” If I’m not careful, I’m going to post it.