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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

Write Stuff: The Economics of Writing: 0

The first in of a series titled "The Economics of Writing" appears here on Write Stuff. Let's face it, every writer wants to be #1 on the NYT bestseller list. No writer wants to find copies of their beloved manuscript on the $1 rack at Barnes and Noble. Which means every writer wants to succeed. In order to succeed one needs a plan. I began writing this piece as a way to re-examine my writing/publishing strategy.

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Just when I think I should give up

Awhile ago this essay was published in an obscure local paper. I didn't think it made much of a difference in anyone's life. Then one day a blogger emailed a reply that included these encouraging words:
"You are very right when you say we don't have to have it all figured out and ourselves all neatly put together."
A month later another reader emailed me these kind words:
"I appreciate what you wrote... it is encouraging to know that this is not an abnormal way to feel..."
It is nice to know a couple people were moved enough to respond to something I wrote--a blessing indeed. Then I came across a link to my essay from a blog that promotes a book titled Get Up Off Your Knees. One of the books editors, Beth Maynard, writes that
"it's a nice piece of writing..."
And this encourages me to finish an essay I don't want to write in a paper that many people overlook and I wonder why I should keep writing--why keep typing late into the night with the glow of the laptop screen guiding me to explore inner thoughts, doubts, questions of reality and spirituality and ritual.

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There are those who watch things happen and those who make it happen

In an attempt to offer a serious discussion about Asheville and its economic future, I posted this on Asheville's own community blog--BlogAsheville--of which I am a contributor. As of yet, no comments. So, allow me to elaborate.

Recently, I've spent a lot of time reading business books and rethinking my personal career goals and path. A personal inventory or evaluation is always good for the mind and spirit. More than a year ago I transitioned from graphic designer to a manager because, in short, no value was placed on my skills as a specialist in the field visual print communications (i.e. graphic designer) and marketing (i.e. strategic planning of product placement). So, I've been reading Kazuo Inamori's book A Passion for Success (which I forgot to put on my list here). He writes that...
"there is a huge difference between those who have written themselves a starring role, and those who idle through life without aim."

In what he calls the "drama of life," an individual has the choice to write a role for him/herself in the play they wish to star. Does this strategy apply to cities as well?

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Business by the books

Jeffrey J. Fox writes a list, in his book How to Become CEO, of books to study. The list includes The Bible, The Art of War by Sun-Tzu. The Book of Rings by Musashi Miyamoto, The Prince, Webster's Third Unabridged Dictionary, The Complete Works of Shakespeare, The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway, The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White and anything by Thomas Jefferson.

This is not the complete list, but I noticed he does not offer why to read these books--just instructs to study them. This is good advice because it forces the individual to study and think rather than be told why the book should be studied.

Outside of Shakespeare there are no books devoted to poetry.

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Sorry, I'm not sure how that shoe got there

OK, so I arrive at Malaprop's full of vinegar and spice to "buy back consignment copies of Late Night Writing" only to find out that they are giving me back the autographed display copy and requesting my mailing address so as to send me a check for copies sold. Boy did that make me feel like the south side of a horse. So, and in big bold type...


This truly is a humbling way to begin the season of Lent. Happy Ash Wednesday!

Some times it's just not worth it

I mean come on. Malaprop's calls to ask me to buy back consignment copies of Late Night Writing.

[fill in your own expletive]


Maybe that one copy would sell if Malaprop's put it in a place where people might view it instead of rubberbanded together like a book-sandwich with other poetry books by local poets.

I've been invited to read at Malaprop's four individual times in the last 12 months (count 'em one, two, three, four, and that doesn't include Blind Date readings) and I've pimped my book every time. Either:
1. Late Night Writing really is as bad as I thought, or
2. the sales staff is seriously unmotivated when it comes to local emerging poets and writers, or
3. well, I don't know, help me out here. Are poetry books that hard to sell?

Yeah, I'll be there to pick up that one single copy before you do your inventory. Thanks for your support and Happy Mardi Gras!

DiLoA misfire or test run-- you pick

The discussion started here with Screwy Hoolie's letter. Somewhere in the comments a DiLoA (Day in the life of Asheville) was suggested. Or maybe it started somewhere else in the blogoshphere--it's hard to tell. Anyway, a Flickr group was established and a reminder to attend a meeting was issued.

For some reason I thought the meeting was to review photos taken of the assigned day--FEB 17. But I guess it was simply a meet-up. Zen described the meet-up as a time to talk "about everything from photography to love-lives to body decoration/mutilation to our day jobs." Edgy Mama offered this review of the event.

So, instead of attend the meeting, I tried to capture life in Asheville (not realizing the actual DiLoA day is APR 14th). The results of over a 100 images were narrowed down to a top 10 (+ one bonus image) are posted here.

UPDATE: Wow, MtnXblog was quick on this post--read it here.

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Confessions : : 02

01. Friday night's poetry reading was fantastic...
02. it was the first time I read a blues poem...
03. it seemed well received.
04. Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout is a new favorite of mine... though I completely missed the duck-rabbit diagram philosophical overtones where its name originates.
05. My feet are still cold...
06. I'm dreaming of Wisconsin woodlands.
07. A consultant shouted at me in a business meeting...
08. but I suspect the consultant was a wee bit over-caffeinated.
09. I woke up at 5:40 AM.
10. I'm reading three business books: The Forward-Focused Organization, Rules for Revolutionaries, Kotler on Marketing (opps, four titles: How to become CEO).

I'm on NPR!

Okay, my wife called this morning and said they mentioned my name on the local NPR radio station--WCQS. It is in regards to the Arts & Events Calendar--specifically the poetry reading at the Flood Fine Arts Center. I will be reading 6 to 10 poems with other poets--read press release.

So I had my three seconds of NPR fame. Back to your regular activities. But don't forget--Friday night, 7PM, Flood Fine Art Center.

(Now if I can get Garrison Keillor to promote this gig...)

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Poetry reading, be there

So, there's this poetry reading Friday night and you're all invited. And I think there's drinks and food available. So, like, I guess I'll see you there.

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Why does the elevator smell like a toilet?

Is it me or does the parking deck elevator behind Asheville's downtown Pack library smells like a urinal. I visited the library to do some research on forward-thinking business management and couldn't ignore the awful smell in the elevator. I think I'll take the stairs next time.

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Too legit?

Is there any of you who can vouch for the legitimacy of this site?

Write Stuff: Valintine's Day Card

This week's contribution to Write Stuff is a Valintine's Day Card.

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When all else fails... there is hope

"You don't expect your child to grow up to be a heroin addict," started today's This I Believe essay aired this AM on the local NPR radio station.
"I gathered bits and pieces of old beliefs and tried to assemble them into something whole. Sometimes I gave up, and sometimes I simply let go. Gradually, my search for blame changed to a longing for hope."

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Reader Rocks

I really, really like using Google Reader. It's one way to keep up with all my favorite Web sites and blogs.

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Poetry : Press Release

Flood Fine Art Center, Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC (January 31, 2007) – On February 16, 2007, Flood Fine Arts Gallery will host its monthly poetry reading at 7:00 PM, featuring the following poets:

Britt Kaufmann lives in Burnsville with her husband and three pre-school aged children. She hosts a local women's open-mic at Blue Moon Books and serves on the steering committee for the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival. Her work has appeared in The Pedestal, Literary Mama, Rapid River, WNC Woman, SouthLit.com, and The Mennonite.

Matthew Mulder is a senior contributor to an independent monthly newsmagazine, The Indie, a weekly contributor to Write Stuff (a Web log about writing), and had been published in ISM Quarterly, The Blotter Magazine, Rapid River, and other small press publications. His poetry chapbook, "Late Night Writing", is available from Wasteland Press and Amazon.com. He lives with his wife and children in Asheville.

Brian Sneeden has lived and worked in Asheville for three years. His one-act play, Act of Kindness, is currently in rehearsal for a mid-March world-premier. Brian's work has been found in Wander, Headwaters, and Eye for an Iris, as well as the spoken word compilation CD, Objects in Mirror. Brian is a recent recipient of the UNC-A Undergraduate Research Grant for Playwriting, and his first manuscript of poetry, Antlers, was completed earlier this year.

Barbara Gravelle spent many years of her writing life in San Francisco’s North Beach poetry scene. There she completed North Beach Women of the Fifties, a series of interviews and discourse with women integral to the Beat movement. Archangel Books published her first full-length poetry book, Dancing the Naked Dance of Love, in 1976. Gravelle is currently active in the local writers’ group, Women on Words, and is completing a new manuscript, The Woman on the Roof.

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01. I did not watch the Super Bowl.
02. I am working at Biltmore Coffee Traders via their WiFi.
03. I find it ironic that Al Gore is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on Inconvenient Truth when most of the US is experiencing record cold temperatures...
04. and I find it truly ironic that Rush Limbaugh is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize--it must be the dawn of a new ice age.
05. My feet are really cold...
06. and my office is so cold, like 50 degrees, that I am forced to migrate between Asheville's WiFi hotspots...
07. and I rather enjoy the life of a WiFi nomad and may never return to the 10x10 windowless office...
08. and a French lady from Wisconsin called to tell me it is snowing and would I like to buy a house.
09. I think I need another coffee.
10. Sorry I didn't say hi, EM, I was meeting with a client.

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Dreamin' of Chicago

Long time reader know I rarely post anything regarding sports. But since it is Super Bowl weekend, and DA BEARS made it...

I'm missin' Chicago and the Blues Brothers right 'bout now...

Fans doing the Super Bowl shuffle...

And Oh, baby, no one does Sweet Home Chicago like Buddy Guy...

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WiFi nomad

Atlanta Bread Company
Ah, crud. My WiFi hotspot, Atlanta Bread Company, is closed due to snow and ice. HELLO! Where's the panic? An hour of splatter and spit and the whole city shuts down. Even the office closed!

I have a new, better, cooler hipper hot spot--Biltmore Coffee Trader--that has a better connection than ABC.

But they closed at the sight of 2o minutes of flurries! ARGHHHHH! How am I supposed to work?

So, I'm at the Dripolator Coffeehouse iChatting about a new media ad campaign with a client in the Midwest and EM walks in and orders a chai...

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