Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 254 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis




Like any other writer, I have certain authors whose works I turn to over and over. One of my favorites is that wonderful master of grit and gripe, Charles Bukowski. I happened to take a volume of his poetry, "War All The Time, Poems 1981-1984" off the shelf last night. The third poem in the book struck a real nerve with me. In it he is speaking to and of the writers from his immediate past. Hemingway, Pound, Hilda Dolittle, Fitzgerald. These were the greats of the 1920's, before the so-called Golden Era of American publishing.
His complaint was that so many imprints had sprung up that any lout with a little patience and perseverance could get into print. No one would need to fail or succeed in this atmosphere. Everyone would be judged on relative merit not actual quality. They would all be remembered for their simple numerical superiority.
Sound familiar? Except for the diminishing of presses due to on-line, self-publishing, you could, and should, say the same thing. Only with even more horror and revulsion!
Honestly, take a look at the ocean of crap we're all adrift in. There is so much pure bullshit being put forward as the best work of this, that, or the other poser, that it is getting near impossible for the truly talented and skilled to rise above the tide. Or is it?
That's the beauty of the whole thing. Sure, there's a lot of self-indulgent manure being spread through the field, but that's what makes the roses grow taller and bloom all that much more fragrantly. I love it when I see another one of these half-thought out, under edited, thoroughly un-designed tomes slide into the market. Why? Because then, when someone does their homework, when they put in the time to learn the craft, when they invest the emotion and effort into developing the art, they just look that much better when an actual PUBLISHER puts their work on the market, that's why!
Are people buying the $0.99 specials on Amazon so they can curl up with them on the couch, the beach, or beside a campfire? No, they're buying these because then they don't feel bad when they hit the delete button a third of the way through them. Think I'm kidding? Check out "APE, (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur) How to Publish a Book" by Kawasaki and Welch, or James Scott Bell's, "The Art of War for Writers, Fiction Writing Strategies , Tactics, and Exercises".
Yes, today anybody can get their name on a book. Does that mean they should? If I was going to go along with the trendy egalitarianism of the mob and be ever so PC I'd say, "Why, yes! Of course!" If I was to be myself and deal in the brutal truth, I'd say, "Hell, no! No more than a toad can be kissed and turned into a frog! Let's talk literary skill, not fairy tales." Which do you think I'm leaning towards?
Meanwhile...live, love, write (just give the publication thing some real serious thought).
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page. You can leave comments in the form below. I can be reached directly at dbaylis805@gmail.com . You can also find links to some of the sites I visit from time to time on the right. I'm also looking for submissions to the Your Work/Your Love page. Authors retain all rights.
Dane F. Baylis

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