The Madness of Robin Randle Variant
Variant Cover Art

I’VE got a few things I need to get off my chest so I can throw paper-work away, close the emotional book and generally clear my mind a bit. Nothing major or earth shattering just life,maybe that is earth shattering. We take life for granted and think our day to day problems are something major most of the time. At least until a devastating EF4 tornado plows through eastern Alabama last Sunday (March 3rd, 2019). A mile wide tornado that kills at least twenty-three people is a major earth shattering event. Gives one the perspective he needs.

Keeping that true perspective my issues are minor. More like a buzzing fly that won’t leave me alone.

  • The Chatham Bars Inn issue – Nothing ever came from all the complaining I did. I wrote a scathing review about them and the General Manager replied wanting to “talk about it” but never called or email. Didn’t even text me. Worse yet he refused the registered letter of complaint I mailed to him on 8/29/18. I still have the unopen letter. Just so everyone knows, that happened. Now I can throw it away and forget about it. Don’t go to Chatham Bars Inn if you ever visit Cape Cod. Wequassett Inn is where you want to stay. You won’t regret it. Check them out at https://wequassett.com. Okay, done with that.
  • My book launch is next. Talk about 100% time consuming. I read all those dumb books on how to self-publish, talked to a few people who have done it and thought I had a clue but did I? No. There wasn’t nearly enough detail in any of those book to prepare me for this complex task. I need three of me to be doing this effectively. Not figured out the bilocation thing yet. I have websites to update, blogs to write, Facebook pages to keep current, posts to boost, mail lists to form, mailings to create and send, get book reviews, get the word out to social media which means, Goodreads updates and reviews, Twitter, Instagram, you get what I mean. Oh, and you need to sell some books too. My wife, Patti, can’t believe how much I’ve learned over the last few weeks. Things like vetting promotional services and plotting where to best spend your money. If there truly is a PR firm that helps organize all this stuff, is honest, affordable and will do what they say I’d love to know who they are. I am selling books and as I’m learning about self-publishing things are moving away from being a major pain in the neck to a fun challenge. I do love to solve problems.
  • Finishing my next book. This is working itself out now. I got real derailed with this book launch thing. You should do the book launching after you finish writing your next novel. Then you could pound out some short stories between your book launch work. Just saying. I also want to prepare a high quality print from the cover artwork Elizabeth Dickinson created for my book. That includes a draft cover (call it a variant cover) she did that is just amazing. To me, the water color paintings she did are glimpses into this world I created in words. Some of the greatest compliments I’ve received on the book came from her and my photojournalist son. They both told me my story was visual. Andrew used the term, photographic. A writer must show not tell as much as he can and to find out from two visual artists that I did that warms my heart. I struggle so much with this show/tell thing it drives me nuts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back to some Ray Bradbury story and studied how he writes. He was a master at showing not telling. So, I’m almost done with the novel and then get to start the editing process.

Enough of this for now. I could go all political on you. I think most of our leaders have lost their minds. The focus is no longer on doing the people’s business, it’s all about politics, getting even, and being right. Finding a synergistic third alternative through listening to all dissenting views won’t happen. Dr. Stephen R Covey use to tell me effectiveness was defined by the story of the goose and the golden egg. When you want what you want then you kill the goose so you can extract all the golden eggs at once. What you find is there aren’t any eggs in the dead goose. You need to keep it alive, nurture it and feed the goose to get those golden eggs. That goes for us and our relationships with each other. There is no such thing as a “quick fix.” Before the 1920s society worked from a character based ethic. Like Popeye. “I am what I am and that’s all that I am.” You could take the measure of a man (that means women too). Since the 1920s we’ve moved toward a personality ethic which is all about how I look to others. Now people hide behind Facebook like websites trying to build a persona that isn’t true to who they are. If we want to return to the character ethics of our past then we have to put the phones down and look each other in the eye. We have to listen with our hearts and do what Jesus taught us, love one another. Oh, I could write a book here but I’ll stop. I hope you get my point.

I’ve got calls to make, an office to clean and books to mail. Oh, and I almost forgot, a book to write! Carry on.