Cookie Monster Presents The Song Of The Week, 8/30/2012

It’s all about the cookies this week…

First, this isn’t a song, but it is the funniest damn thing I’ve seen in a couple or three weeks on the internet. I’ve probably watched it twenty or more times and I always laugh:

Our actual song this week I offer in honor of the Republican National Convention currently infesting Tampa, “God’s Away On Business” by Tom Waits, karaoked by Cookie Monster…

I’d sell your heart to the junkman baby
For a buck, for a buck…
If you’re looking for someone to pull you out of that ditch
You’re out of luck, you’re out of luck…

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A Visual Guide To Publishing*

*Traditional publishing, that is.

Author Nathan Bransford has posted a clever visual timeline of a writer’s experience in writing and publishing a book. It’s funny and accurate, though he left off the parts at the end where you don’t get any promotion for your book and it probably falls out of print before your next one is ready for release. Or the part where they don’t pick up your next one because they blew their budget for this quarter on Snooki’s new magnum opus.

Also, it’s amazing how many of these steps disappear if you publish as an indie, and how much more quickly your book is available even if you do the necessary things you ought to do, like making sure it’s properly edited…

The Publishing Process in GIF Form

Doc Wilde Is On His Way!

The end of August is nigh. According to our original plan, the first two books in the Doc Wilde relaunch should be out by now. That hasn’t happened, as I’ve explained previously, because of schedule conflicts artist Gary Chaloner had to deal with.

I hate that the plan has gone awry, not just because I’m losing possible income every day that goes by without these books being available, but because I feel bad that I said I was going to bring them out now and failed to do so. I was too optimistic, or unrealistic, or both. And it’s conceivable that had I made certain choices I might have managed to stick to the schedule, or at least closer to it. I could have found another artist for the books, and that might have sped things up…though maybe not, because I’d have had to find them and negotiate the deal with them and familiarize them with the world of the books, and then might have had timing issues on their end as well. And it would have meant not having Gary’s art in the books, which would have been a shame.

I could have opted to forego the interior illustrations, and just have covers by Gary. We almost certainly could have had the books out on time doing that, but I promised illustrated books all through the Kickstarter, and I’m wedded to doing it that way because I want the books to be everything they can be. That was part of the big appeal in going independent in the first place.

So the decisions I’ve made have been to the detriment of the original schedule, rather than to the detriment of the books themselves, and I think most would agree that’s the wise choice. I’m loathe to give a publication date at the moment, considering the way things have gone, but Gary is hard at work finishing up the interiors for Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom and painting the cover of Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull. Here’s an early peek at that, complete with cackling skull, unfriendly dead people, and snakes made of fire:

We’re also producing a book of supplemental Wilde material including deleted scenes, historical notes, personal essays, and lots of Chaloner art tracing the artistic development of the characters and their action-packed world. And we’re going to give a free digital copy to every one of our Kickstarter friends as a token of appreciation for your patience.

We’re sorry for the delays, but we remain excited about the Wildes and committed to producing all the books as promised in as timely a manner as we humanly can. When the books are in your hands, I’m confident you’ll think they were worth the wait.

When I Leave Berlin (Song of the Week, 8/23/2012)

Bruce Springsteen recently played to a crowd of 55,000 in Berlin, which was his second biggest crowd there ever. The biggest was in 1998, with the largest crowd the band has ever played for, and it had historic import beyond its size:

Berlin, largely a working class city, has been a special place for Springsteen since his July 1988 concert behind the old Iron Curtain in East Berlin.

Watched by 160,000 people, or about 1 percent of then Communist East Germany’s population, it was the biggest rock show in East German history, and The Boss boldly spoke out against the ‘barriers’ keeping East Germans in their portion of the city.

Some historians have said the concert fed into a movement gaining moment at the time that contributed to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall 16 months later in November 1989.

‘Once in a while you play a place, a show that ends up staying inside of you, living with you for the rest of your life,’ he told the crowd on Wednesday after being handed a poster from a fan thanking him for the 1988 concert. ‘East Berlin in 1988 was certainly one of them.‘” (REUTERS)

As a special treat for the Berliners this time, Bruce and the E Streeters debuted a rousing cover of the song “When I Leave Berlin” by British folk musician Wizz Jones, and that is our song of the week. Enjoy.

Vote! (or “I Believe In Harvey Dent”)

If you refuse to vote because “both parties are the same” and “it makes no difference who you vote for” all you’re really saying is you’re just going to bitch until society crumbles and rebuilds in a more perfect form.

Good luck with that. I’d rather claw forward and embrace any progress we can make. Better to be a warrior for change than a sour scold watching things crumble and offering only bile.

Also, if you think both parties are the same, you’re sort of an idiot. Both parties have fundamental problems in common, but their agendas in a lot of vital areas are very different. While in many ways it’s true that they are just two sides of the same coin…

The coin is Harvey Dent’s.

Harvey Dent is the government. He started out as an idealist, but was deeply damaged and corrupted, though his more noble nature still exists in him, at war with his darker, more violent side. How he acts, good or bad, is decided by the toss of a coin, a force outside of himself, our elections.

The coin has two faces, the two parties, and Dent will choose to be “good” or “bad” according to which comes up on the toss. Now, for the most part, “good” is less a matter of taking beneficial action than it is of not taking maleficent action, though that’s not an absolute; sometimes Dent will go out of his way to do good things if the coin toss dictates he do so.

He will never do good things if the bad side of the coin comes up. For the record, in this analogy, the bad side is the Republican party. Perhaps at one time their face was noble, but they have scribbled and scratched so maniacally at it over the years that almost nothing of their original nobility remains. (And through unethical and undemocratic actions like vote suppression, they’re busily trying to scratch up the other side of the coin, too, so they’ll always win the toss).

Would it be better to not have Harvey Dent as our government? In realistic terms, with power and greed and human nature being what they are, in a representational system is it possible to not have Harvey Dent as our government?

It would be better to have someone incorruptible, someone who does not do bad things to advance his own desires, someone who will always look out for his fellow man. But I don’t see that guy anywhere, and don’t expect to. Maybe he’s still on Krypton.

We have Harvey. And the coin. And the way it falls may not make the world perfect or imperfect, but it can make the difference between whether Dent shoots us in the head or not.

2016 UPDATE: Turns out that guy who always looks out for his fellow man? He was in Vermont the whole time. But people were too stupid to see the opportunity he presented. Meanwhile, the “good” side of the coin is as bad as the “bad” side was when I wrote this, and the “bad” side is damn near destroyed.