Thursday, February 5, 2015
Samuel TanOaks was a boxer, a member of my family. He had a very intelligent face, ovedrawn with concern for you. And he was a worrier. He worried, morning noon and night - even when there was nothing to worry about. That never stopped him, he was creative that way, finding reasons and causes, but it was always about you, not him. He made you feel you were the center of his universe. The nicest thing about him was that family always came first, over any distraction. He always knew where you were and he made sure you knew where he was. We watched a lot of TV together, and he didn’t mind sports, news and serials. Long hours I would write, getting sunburn from solar bursts of my monitor, he be there with me, encouraging. Whenever and whatever I cooked, he be interested. He never refused a taste, and no doubt considered me a culinary artist. Me - an artist. He was always very sociable. Had to be the first to greet any guest, then would claim them for his own. With all his enthusiasm, he was irresistible. Now he is gone and the house feels empty without him. I miss him. Terribly.
My God, I haven't written anything here for well over a year. I have been concentrating on my books and hadn't had time for anything else. All my creative juices went to feed the books and I now have 20 ebooks online with smashwords.com under Paul Telegdi. Crazy eh? I'm still writing, of course, #21 is awaiting final edit. Just finished first draft of #22, and got #23 half finished. I don't know if I'll ever stop; they will have to bury me with my keyboard, the new one for this is pretty well worn out from the incessant pounding. All I know for sure is that writing is highly addictive. I have reached that point in my life that I would rather write than have ... well, ice cream. But to let a whole year pass is criminal! Your Honor, I wish to plead guilty to all counts of willful neglect and abandonment. Not that anyone cares. When did I last get a comment? People have to be lost to find me in here. Still, this is the place where I moan and groan and let it hang out. I will try to come back but won't promise anything just yet.
Friday, September 6, 2013
Rufus my hero is out on his own, peddling Strike the Red Hammer, on Smashwords.com . It's free (for the first 2000 copies) and has already had an amazing number of downloads. As a spill over, my 11 other ebooks are also experiencing a fresh surge. I'm counting down, anticipating the arrival of the first comments. It will be days however, as the book is 420 pages long. So then Rufus is free, the umbilical cord had been cut... and I too feel free of the burden of the long incubation. I feel like dancing in the streets, giddy with the sudden lightness of my conscience. Although there are new stirrings, Girard, my medieval hero in The Locksmith's Dilemma is also trying to pick the lock that holds him trapped in my computer. Girard wait! Have patience as I must have patience and most importantly perseverance. Then there is Orkan, my Viking in Learning Berserk... he too wants to be next. Chaiko, my prehistoric hero of the Young Adult Stones Series, has been waiting the longest-- since the late 1990's. They are all written, need only one final run through for quality control. AND the machine in my head is looking for a new theme for a book to latch onto. I think when I die, they better bury me with my keyboard, for surely I will still be writing on my way up.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
I'm suffering through the third semester of pregnancy--at least I think I am. No, I'm sure of it. It's been long overdue, the delivery has to come soon. And when it finally arrives, what will it be? A healthy, progeny, full of life, or the runt of the litter? It is, however, 12th on the list, though of an earlier conception. My career as a writer started ages ago; nearly 18 years have since passed and now 11 books are online. But what does it matter, only the next counts, trying to bring it alive for public appraisal. Not by myself, of course; my wife tracked through every inch of the plot, hunting down offending lapses of creativity, not to forget pesky typos. I have lost count how many times we had done this already... BUT we are getting close and the birthing should be soon. I am excited. This book, more than any of the others I have written for myself. I have indulged myself and make no apologies or excuses. Total self-gratification. Yes, it will be here very soon. But I am tired of the effort, my brain has written it too many times. Everything else is all set, name is chosen (Strike the Red Hammer), and a place prepared among the family of the rest. Yet I wonder; will it achieve recognition? Bring me pride and a modicum of notoriety? What does it matter? I wrote it for myself and have been amply rewarded. Just... one... more... push and we'll be done with it...
Friday, June 21, 2013
I click on and sign in just to see if my flypaper has caught anything. Nothing, nada, ZERO... as usual. I cycle through and sniff all four corners but detect not a whiff of a stranger's presence anywhere. Makes no sense, Google Analytics tell me a few have passed through, through left no comments to document their states of mind. I'm like a blind pitcher, not knowing if I'm throwing balls or strikes.
That's OK though. As with my books, I write for myself and like the concept of a lone voice crying in the wilderness. I come here, mainly to meet myself. Like Robinson Crusoe, I walk my haunts, suddenly threatened by discovering a footprint in the sand. Who has invaded my island of solitude??!
This week though, I had to recalibrate. Completely. I have to deal with the fact that US-NSA is monitoring everything I write, logging every keystroke and warehousing every blog I release to the world.
Ever since this secret has been unveiled, I have nightmares that some analyst buried in a bunker at an undisclosed location is sifting through my blogs, appraising content. A super computer is chewing through my material looking for something suspicious in code. It is possible that every once in a while, the machine burps, and regurgitates a fragment for the operator sweating over the keyboard, who has maybe a fraction of a second to decide if there is anything there with hostile intent.
Well, HELLO. Let me make it easier for you, mister Big Brother. I'm a security threat only in a bakery where I find myself unable to resist cinnamon flavored specials and would certainly resort to subterfuge to get the last of the last yummy roll oozing caramelized sugar glaze. I confess to those cravings. I have a cinnamon gene on my chromosome that predisposes me to this vulnerability.
But never anything political. Read my books. Romance and adventure only. Nothing that pretends to change this world, or any world. I hope to stimulate imagination, that's all.
But Mr. Big, welcome to my words. I know that in your paranoid search you have no time to admire the fine quality of writing or let yourself be impressed by the insightful wisdom buried between the lines... but welcome anyway.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
In the guise of my true identity, Paul Telegdi, I've self-published 11 books through Smashwords.com, and the 12th is on the way with the 13th right behind it. On the whole the response has been good, and I enjoy the comments I get, most particularly those that peg me as a storyteller. That's how I see myself; spin a story, make it entertaining and at least believable. I love my characters and I hope you can tell.
Now onto the dark side. Some of you have noticed errors and wish for better editing. So do I. But I've already invested so much effort that more is not in the cards. Why? Well here is the breakdown.
I've written 19 books that I'm trying to bring online. A professional edit cost about $6,000 per book on the low end, adding up to $72,000 total, which is beyond my means, especially as I'm giving so many away for free. In a way, I'm subsidizing the reader's enjoyment in a big way. When I consider how much of my life has gone into those books, I've to wonder if I could've done better to invest in some other passion. All I know for sure is that my books, and especially the characters I've created, have enriched my life immensely.
But getting back to errors: after trying the traditional path, looking for agents and publishers and surviving their rejections, I've given up on that route. Left to them, my characters would have suffocated in the smallness of my computer. To a large extent my effort was on their behalf--to seek some public recognition for them (and some for myself, I admit). My own needs were satisfied with the first draft to carry through to the end and see how the story shaped up. Then came the swamp of editing, going over and over, always finding more errors. I did my best, in spite of a trick eye that jumped over words and hated to slow down and in spite of wrestling with tenses and the correct use of prepositions. If it weren't for the generous contribution of my wife, vital in all respects, the errors would have overwhelmed these books and they would have probably died in infancy.
Still there are errors, and for those I apologize, yet I don't feel ashamed, for the books themselves are a gift to my readers, as they have been a gift to me. I hope you can find the generosity of forgiving the errors that catch your eye. Mea Culpa.
However if you still feel offended, try to write an error free short story and see how difficult it is to produce a clean copy. Nonetheless, I've enjoyed having you on board; a book, any book, is a collaboration between the writer and the reader, and hopefully I've tapped into your imagination sufficiently to bring the stories alive for you. Hope to see you at my next book.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
So now that I have written 18 books over the past 15 plus years, where am I? Just finished first draft and the 2nd walk through of my latest effort, a Viking saga.
Sometimes I think it unconscionable of me to ambush an unsuspecting public with books that I wrote for myself, starting with a vague premise, just to see where it ends and how it turns out. In the process, I push my own buttons and only afterwards do I think that there may be people out there who would enjoy this book--all I need to do is find them.
So, I'm fighting for readership and to that effect I have given away thousands of my ebooks. I have 11 of them online. Although I do get an odd response, the silence out there is deafening. Though I don't much trust people praising my work to me face to face (though my ego basks in its glow) and definitely I'm not about to trust feedback from friends and relatives. Sorry friends and relatives, but why would you risk our relationship by honest comment(s).
That is why I need you, should you wander onto this neglected corner of the Internet and by some mysterious link up, got to my site. Perhaps you have read one of my ebooks, and hopefully liked it--enough that you have looked me up to see what I do in my spare time. That's easy, I have no spare time. Any discretionary time gets gobbled up by more writing--rewind that! Not writing but EDITING. And in spite of all the hours at it, there are errors still.
But then, I'm not doing this for myself. I have resisted publishing for near 15 years, but do so now, because I believe that the characters I have created and love, deserve some sort of recognition. So I'm taking this leap of faith to brave "the coming storm of slings and arrows" for their sake. As a disclaimer, I must take any shortcomings of my work onto myself, although I feel that once I have established my characters, they wrote the book for me.
On the other hand, my characters play out many of my own issues. Central to my story line(s), is fighting evil, starting from nothing and aiming high, huge on redemption, respect for learning a language, love of music, and always an adventure in context of an evolving relationships. I can't conceive of writing a book without a romantic thread, though that is often not necessarily my main thrust.
Stamped into my writer's DNA (or my RNA from the reptilian part) is an inability to leave my characters unfulfilled, though I might drag them through hell for most of the book. I know that is often regarded as a negative in books and movies, but I'm writing for entertainment, not for literary acclaim. I can't resist self gratification of happy endings. That makes sense, as my books are a result of extended daydreams, though I'm not the hero.