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Monday, November 14, 2011

To Read or Not to Read


This is a letter following a request to see the rest of my novel after the first 48 pages had gone unread for some time. I would think my caution in sending larger bits of it is self explanatory.

At some point every author living in a world of defective support networks has to deal with people offering to read their work and failing to do so. Not that these are malicious doings, but rather like the nature of most folks who aim to read a book.

I would have to say that eighty percent of the books I own are presently unread. It is part of the human condition to want to read the collections of our great works of literature. So many of us want rather than do, and, for the most part, the thorny weeds of our lives snag us away from such things.

Life is full of barbs I guess. They are unavoidable, and we should be mindful of those who are as afflicted with them as ourselves.
15 October 2011
Dear Cassi,

Here we go with chapter five of my novel. A standards stamp can carry as much as six pages. With one letter and double sided sheets that’s about ten pages of text. Two stamps will carry sixteen pages or one letter and about thirty pages of text. That would dictate that the whole novel could be sent in about twelve envelopes.
   
I still only intend to send the next chapter if you read this one. I know how easy it is to forget about a novel. I’ve read half way through lots of them myself. In any case I’m still editing and such, so sending along something I know I’m going to change is simply counterproductive.
   
Another point to make is that if you have any gut reactions to this you should just say them. Kind words are nice, but getting published is the goal. If it makes you sad, causes you to put the pages away for a spell, or makes you hate the character I need to know.
   
I can tell you that there is no better way to stick it to your ex-husband than to get this book into print. If there is one thing he always fought with me about it was story ideas, and the reason was that he couldn’t deal with the possibility of my success.
   
Sometimes, ‘I’m going to stick it to that sack of crap’ is what gets me through the hard parts.

Stay safe, Cassi,


Richard Leland Neal