Of Hell, Wonder, and the L.A. Festival of Books

by wolf on May 18, 2016

mini cover graphicTechically speaking, Wolf Pascoe isn’t represented in the book of short plays shown on the right. Nevertheless, I designed the book, cover and all, and one of my pieces appears therein under my actual name.

As a piece of work, I’m pleased with the collection, as are the other Dog Ear playwrights. I’m glad to hit the Kindle lists with another incursion into the brave new world of indie publishing.

Some weeks ago, a Tinderbox writer friend and I rented space in a corner of a booth at the L.A. Times Book Festival on the U.S.C. campus and set up shop for the weekend. We had a pretty good run–between us we sold thirty odd books.

This was my first visit to the festival since it moved downtown from U.C.L.A. five years ago. I’d stayed away on account of the parking problem. But L.A.’s new rail line–the nearest station just a hop, skip, and jump from my house–now runs direct to U.S.C. in fifteen minutes. Go Metro!

My friend and I took turns manning our corner and wandering the grounds. The big change in the festival from its U.C.L.A. days is the independent presence. Gone, as far as I can tell, are the huge booths from Big Five publishers. A host of independent houses and authors has replaced them.

Sad to say, another host of booths fronted for Author Solutions, including a big one displaying hundreds of titles that no one was buying, although the unfortunate authors had paid thousands for the shelf space.

Writerly update: Have I mentioned I’m working on a novel about anesthesia? It’s finished, sort of, and lying fallow in a drawer while I contemplate my next move. Agent send out? Small press submission? Kindle direct? I haven’t made up my mind, so expect nothing soon. Every post I read on the Interwebs about the importance of hustling the next book tires me out, and convinces me to slow down a little bit more.

Which reminds me of a story about the great poet William Stafford, who wrote a poem a day. His method: he started in the morning, worked an hour, and put the finishing touches on it before bedtime. A student once asked him how he could adhere to his schedule if the poem was uncooperative and refused to be finished. “Oh,” said Stafford, “Then I just lower my standards.”

Just for fun, I did up a cover:

Henry-Gifford 175 pixel

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara Shallue May 19, 2016 at 5:57 pm

Oh my gosh, I’ve been emulating William Stafford without even realizing it. It’s the only way I finish anything! I’m so glad we are closer to enjoying another book from you. I love the cover!
Barbara Shallue recently posted..A Different Kind of Mother’s Day

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wolf June 26, 2016 at 4:41 pm

Somehow we all keep plugging away . . .

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