True Grit

camel

I had to choose between a Land Rover and a camel.  I went with the former as I’d ridden a camel in another  life–back when my own seat had better padding and there was a guy I needed to impress.  Never mind that this rickety 4-wheel drive was old and dusty.  It smelled fine.

Our Bedouin  driver, whose name sounded like “Abusive” instructed me to photograph my son and husband, who’d chosen camels to get them from here to there.  I noticed behind my lumpy seat a barely dead chicken, 6-pack of sodas, some grimy blankets , a greasy old grill and dented teapot.  We were headed for a barbecue in the same sand where Peter O’Toole played Lawrence of Arabia way back when.  Call it a picnic in the desert–Jordan style.

Bracing myself with one hand, I snapped photos with the other while marveling at the stunning scenery.  Suddenly, without warning, Abusive slammed on the squeaky breaks, shrieking…

“WE FORGOT THE BREAD!”

Spinning us into a 180 the crazy nomad stepped on the gas.  Careening back towards where we’d come from, I noticed my family looked perplexed. Their faces read, “Where are you going?  And why??”

Little did they know…

“WE FORGOT THE BREAD!”

Given the camels loped along at a turtle’s  pace, I could not understand our rush. Clearly I had made the wrong choice in transportation.  I’d be killed in a Land Rover while my family arrived safely by hump-backed animal.

Regardless , we got the bread, piles of flat stuff,  along with a package of something that looked like human index fingers sprinkled with sugar. By then I had lost my appetite, along with my hat and composure.

But we had the bread.

Piles of it…


WHAT’S NEXT?

book

Those of you familiar with me know I am a writer.  And that I have been working on a book for longer than I care to admit.  Now that NAKED JOY is finished, printed, bound  and ready for release;I am panicked.  There is no turning back. Plus, I currently face the daunting challenge of marketing the darn thing .  And self promotion is not my forte by any means.

At this point, the first, inevitable question every professional in the industry asks me about NAKED JOY is:

“Who is going to buy this book?”  Like I am not only an author but a psychic.

I know better than to answer “How the heck should I know?”   And my temptation is to quip,

“Everyone, of course!”

But I know this is not true.  So I am compelled to think about a logical, sane answer to this probing question.

Hmm. Just who is going to buy my book?  For starters, I can only hope members of my family, dwindling as it is, will pick up a copy or two.  And then there are my friends, or those I assume are my pals.  Trying to be generous, I’d consider offering my stories for free to anyone kind enough to read them.  But I have been advised this is not the wisest idea.  My goal should be increased sales, not healthy human relations.

So I mull over this quandary.  I imagine strangers sauntering into a bookstore somewhere in the Midwest, in search of a good read or thoughtful gift.  Who’d be attracted to a cover with a bottle of dish detergent wearing a bra?  Although I must admit, most people seem to like the title NAKED JOY.  I fear it is for reasons other than I intended in naming the book, but at least it seems to draw interest.

Admittedly, my writing is full of offbeat, droll, sometimes dark humor.  The kind many readers would not understand, or could perceive as peculiar, weird, or simply–not funny.  I know this for fact.  These are the same people who see non-latex gloves featured on my Facebook page and are perplexed.  Enough to ask when they see me, “Can you explain the story behind the gloves?”

And I can’t.

There is no real backstory.  One day I was drying the gloves near the kitchen sink, each on its own wine bottle, and I happened to pass through the room. Lost in thought, probably about why I ever decided to attempt to publish a book, I noticed a pair of hands waving to me from the counter so I did the natural thing.

I waved back.

Something about his touched me so I decided to give these trustworthy, dependable gloves more exposure.  And suddenly, more so than myself, they had gathered a loyal group of followers.  In fact, when the handy pair do not appear on my page after several days or maybe a week, caring, curious friends start asking about them.

“Where are the gloves? Are they okay?  We miss them!”

On the bright side, I suppose I can only hope there is something for everyone in NAKED JOY.  Ideally, even those skeptics who think non -latex gloves do not belong on Facebook, let alone reading books, hanging out in hazy clubs, or traveling to exotic locales–places beyond imagination.