Ever try spinning seven plates at one time without letting any of them smash into tiny pieces on the floor? That is my life today. The fact that things are moving fast is a good thing, but it also means working from the time I wake until the very latest wee hours of the morning (sun-up). Two blogs, three fb pages or groups, other social media and connections, studying, writing – my work and editing others, and my The ITFO Newsletter which I am late getting out this month. Did I say seven plates?
Because I haven’t been able to post as often as I’d like because of this I thought it would be a good idea to tell you what is up.
The rewrite of the book, “Inside the Forbidden Outside” I started two years ago is in full swing. When it comes to learning a craft, you can really only learn it by making every possible mistake there is so you know how not to make it again. I am far from learning all I need to know, but I have learned enough to realize that first draft is only usable as far as pulling out certain facts and scenes in it, but as a book that is publishable, if I had tried it would have been as big of a disaster as some of the free books self published books I download from Nook – just to study how badly most of them have been edited.
I took two writing classes this past year and worked closely with a story editor to get it on track. If you have ever thought about writing, the University of Iowa teaches free six week courses in all kinds of writing. – called The Power of The Pen. Through that I met many other writers – some new, some published and 22 of us have joined together in a separate writer’s group to continue to read and critique each other’s writing. Because I also write poetry I am starting another class this week on poetry and playwriting. There are also good resources at All Writer Workshops
Most of you have heard at least one piece of piano music I have recorded. It is on quite a few blog posts and 37 pieces can be found at SoundCloud. I was contacted by the GM of London based SkunkRadioLive about submitting my music to be aired on their show. They play an hour of instrumental music between 1 and 2 – their time or 8 AM EST. The music submitted is called an “audition”. They play it for a week. If it gets good feedback – from people liking it then there is the possibility of it played on a regular basis and having a digital album cover done to be used for promotion.
I would use the same title and artwork and that will be created for the book to better create a sellable brand. The attitude of “Write a book, put it on amazon and buyers will come” is a pipedream. I haven’t spent all this time developing something using hope to sell it with. I’m spending the hours to learn how to market my self, book and music together. I might be getting close to being a dinosaur in music – but the decades, playing, teaching and composing brings out the best in a player.
To pull this all together means I will have to get back out in the public and play gigs again. I retired fifteen years ago. My last gig was at La Te Da’s in Key West. I later went through years of illness after illness never thinking I’d be able to play again. It will still be a struggle, but I had to decide if I was still alive or dead – and being alive won the battle. Living on a disability check clinched the deal for me. Broke is not fun.
So, hang in there with me. I need your support. Jamie needs your support – because he is on the cover for all of this. I’m hoping to get down to the prison to see him after the worst of the Tx summer is over. I also plan on being back in the Keys this Winter. My son is moving back in a couple weeks. I HATE WINTER!
Life is for the living – go live it instead of just thinking about it!
Stay current on prison issues and inmate writings. As I build followers for Jamie with the book I’m writing about Jamie Cummings life, Inside The Forbidden Outside, keeping people informed along the way is important. It gives him a purpose when he gets out that he can help other lives. Much of the information is not on this blog and it’s important we reach people everywhere. We have a government now even more gung-ho on locking up as many people as they can for even longer years – making crimes out of things that were never crimes before to placate the prison corporations. It is going to affect even more people who will get knocked sideways when they find themselves behind a steel door. Staying informed helps you protect yourself, because, yes, it can happen to you, too.
If you know an inmate who writes poetry or is an artist or has a story you’d like to tell you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamie Life in Prison at Face book . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world
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