Friday, September 24, 2010

Publishing Is What Dreams Are Made Of, Says Sylvia

By Anne Sullivan

“I did it. I finished my column,” said Sylvia. “Now may I have my breakfast, please, ma’am?”
“Certainly, my dear doggie. Your breakfast awaits. If there is anything else you would like, please don’t hesitate to speak up. I would be only too happy to get it for you,” SHE said with proper humility.
Sylvia ate her breakfast, enjoying every bite of the delicious kibble and feeling properly
grateful. “That was an excellent breakfast,” Sylvia said. “I loved every bit of it. You prepared all my favorite things. Thank you ever so much for your kindness and generosity.”
“Would you like to rest your weary head now, dear Sylvia?” SHE asked.
“Oh, yes, I would. Thank you so much for thinking of it,” Sylvia said. “But I must go outside first. I can’t wait to go outdoors. It is so beautiful this nice fall day. I love the sight of the Mountain Asters and the Rabbit Brush. Their colors are so complementary. This time of year is truly glorious. Would you like me to pick some wildflowers for you to enjoy?”
“No, thank you, my dear sweet dog,” SHE said. “You are too, too kind. You spoil me. I don’t want you to exert yourself too much. So that you can keep up your strength, I will have another good meal for you in an hour. It will be steak. I know how much you like steak. I was going to cook it for my dinner but you are so wonderful, you shall have it all. Meanwhile, since you mean so much to me, here are ten doggie biscuits, your favorite kind.”
As Sylvia licked her lips with anticipation, a loud clap of thunder echoed across the canyon.
“Uh, uh,” muttered Sylvia, shaking her head. “Where’s my steak?”
“Steak?” I said. “No steak here. We haven’t had steak for weeks. I’ll get your kibble soon. Wake up, Sylvia, and make yourself useful. Get out of bed, you lazy dog, and go find Gordo. He hasn’t got the sense to come in out of the rain. It’s going to pour any minute. And you can’t sleep all day.”
“I’m only sleeping because I can’t face life,” Sylvia said. “Since My Rejection life hasn’t been worth living. I don’t know how I’m going to get my mystery book published.”
“How about rewriting it and making it more of a book than a short story or, conversely, making it a short story by cutting out the chapters and having a proper beginning, middle and end,” I suggested.
“Oh, I couldn’t rewrite. Just writing it the first time took everything out of me.” Her head drooped. “My life’s blood is down the drain.”
I sighed and said, “Since you refuse to rewrite, there’s only one way I see that you can get it published.”
“What’s that?”
“Self-publish? What’s that?”
“You are the publisher. You have to do the artwork, edit all the writing, correct all the galleys, everything. There’s a company that does the actual printing. You order the number of copies you want. And you do all the publicity, all the distributing and all the selling.”
“In other words, I’d be the big boss.”
“Yes, pretty much. There’s one catch, though.”
“You have to pay for the published copies.”
“How much?”
“I’m not sure. It depends on how many copies you order. The books might cost four or five dollars each and there’s probably a minimum number of copies you have to order.”
Sylvia groaned. “I should have known there’d be a catch somewhere. How am I ever going to get that kind of money? It took me ages just to pay you back for the postage.”
“We’ll have to think about that.”
After two and one half minutes Sylvia spoke once more, “I’ve thought. You could give me the money to get my book published. After all, I’m your dog. You’re my mother. That’s what parents are for.”
“Think again,” I said.

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