In the Company of Walt, Beatrix and Benjamin and…You?

Imagine a world with no Leaves of Grass. Or The Adventures of Peter Rabbit. Or Poor Richard’s Almanack.

Or imagine further, that after you wrote that first draft, of the first attempt, of your first real writing adventure…imagine there was no tome of instruction called The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., with his student E.B.White. Yes, imagine if this first response in writing instruction, had not been available.

That could very well have happened. Because along with being great contributions to our literary existence, all four of these works have something else in common.

They were all…dare we say it? Self-published. Every one.

On Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at 7:30 in the bright, early morning, I will be leading a session discussing the very topic of self-publishing, or indie publishing, as it’s called today. Technology now allows virtually anyone to be published. For some folks that’s not a good idea. But for others it is a duty to humanity to share their gifts. Depending on your contribution, self-publishing is not vanity. I would go so far as to call it duty. It is incumbent upon you as an author to find out if the world will benefit from your contribution.

Walt Whitman. Beatrix Potter. Benjamin Franklin. Legacies we have to enjoy because they were bold enough to publish their own work. Who among us is being called to join them?

If you have not registered to attend the Tuesday session, watch this blog for further announcements. More sessions are in the works. Thank you as always for stopping by.


Do you have an organization and need a speaker? How about some hot topics?
Would you like to know what Karla’s offshore world really looked like? How about a PowerPoint presentation to find out?
Or would you like to know the latest about indie publishing? And what that might mean to you?

I would love to come and join you! Just drop me a line here or at

And did you know…

The Edge of the Grace Period is now live on Kindle! Check out this companion novel of The Offshore Triumphs, also on Kindle for $3.99!!!

Events Scheduled:

UHCL presents Small Talk/Big Ideas
In the Company of Walt, Beatrix and Benjamin:
Indie Publishing Then and Now

Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 7:30 am to 9:00 am
University of Houston at Clear Lake,  $15.00 admission
To register go
Seating is limited. To reserve your seat in the conversation by phone, call Kris Thompson at 281-283-2040.
This event is presented by the UHCL Alumni Association. For more information on the association, please visit

Southern Belle Book Club
Saturday, April 28, 2012, 10 am
Bayou Vista

UH Clear Lake Official Book Tour Launch: Book Signing and PowerPoint Presentation
What would Karla’s offshore world really have looked like? The rigs? The helicopters? The gritty work?
Come join us for a PowerPoint presentation to have a look at just that! Stick around for a free reception and
book signing. Enjoy fabulous nibbles created by the inventive Cindy Smith!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 6:30pm to 8:30
University of Houston-Clear Lake
2700 Bay Area Boulevard  Houston, TX 77058

Garden Room and Atrium I

Give An Inventor a Shove Day

I log on to the computer and look at more sad news coming from conflicts across the world. And my simple mind comes to the conclusion that what this world needs is a brand-new invention. Something life-altering like railroads, electrification, moving pictures, airplanes, computers. Something that would alter the very infrastructure and commerce of society. All these deadly and futile wars are really about sources of income. What we need is a new industry. Ideas? Let’s hear them. Here is my idea. Personal flying transportation devices. Something akin to the jet packs we were promised as kids. Imagine how society-changing that would be. Imagine moving just above tree level along designated flight paths. Imagine all the positive sources of revenue this whole new industry could generate. Why not imagine it? Why not create it? Somebody smarter than me needs to get on the ball with this. Where are the inventors? You probably know one. Let’s make this, March 12, 2012, Give An Inventor a Shove Day.

Now before anyone even thinks it, reject those thoughts regarding the dangers of personal flight. Every mode of transportation can get you killed, including walking. If you move off your spot you might get killed. And if you sit on your spot you might get killed by a storm or a meteor.

Remember, my generation was promised jet packs and telephones that would show your face as you spoke. Well, with Skype, we got half that. I want my jet pack and I want it soon.

See what happens when I get a day off? Go out and see what you can discover or invent! Happy Spring Break!

Mounting a Square Hat on a Round Head

“But it’s really a good story. Really!”

After seven years of thinking, plotting, writing, revising, submitting, proofing and finally publishing, that precious time comes at last when as the author you get to actually hold your printed, bound, glossy, glowing masterpiece. So you hope, anyway.

But before the euphoria is even allowed to infect your being, you know it’s also time to do what comes most unnaturally to a majority of artists: it’s time to sell your work. Only now it’s called a product. That you need to market. In the marketplace. For money. To strangers. And worse, your friends!

Publishing a book is a very long process, and one I have just recently completed for the second time in my life. It was intense, concentrated and laborious. And at its end I was forced to watch helplessly as my book became “live” electronically via my publisher’s website and online retailers around the world. I waited in anxiousness for the author’s copies to arrive so that I could physically hold my own book for the first time. There is an indelible nose print on my front window as I watched daily for a visit from UPS. (To further my angst, the books arrived on my doorstep sometime early in the morning on a wet, humid day. While stepping out to feed my stray cat, my foot landed smack on top of my delivered, moist books. Yowch.)

But the books did arrive, both hard and soft covers, and they look good. The website is up and progressing, blogs are rolling, Facebook and Twitter announcements are in the pipeline, events are being scheduled…there remains nothing to do except to ask, with all humility, the five hardest words coming from an artist:

“Will you buy my stuff?”

Asking this is well nigh impossible for this creator, but necessary, nonetheless. Turning an author into a marketeer is not unlike trying to pound a square peg into a round hole, or mounting a square hat on a round head, as this case may be. That said, I now humbly ask you to purchase a book, and more than that, read it and tell your friends. Because in the end and in all honesty I can say:

“But it’s really a good story. Really!”