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Questions for Writers

1.Proofing!  How many times do I have to read the same page before I get all corrections made?

Answer: It goes on forever. No matter how many times a page is proofed, it has hidden errata!

I just wrote an article on e-zines about the frustrations of being an old fogey and getting a book formatted digitally for smashwords and amazon. If I had known all the painful steps beforehand, I probably would have quit. And, the marketing – yuk.  I have stepped over the threshhold of timidity and I’ll ask anyone to buy “Shunned.”

2. How did I get over the reluctance to market? Seven kind souls wrote me or phoned me and told me they really liked the book.  If I can get just one positive affirmation a week, I’m buoyed up for another week.  Today a friend called to say she loved the book.  She was the first one to talk to me about the “Hell” part of the book.  Most people talk about anitdepressants.

Well, no matter what, I’m into it now, and I’m going to keep going! Cynthia

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Bob and Cynthia

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Bob and Cynthia

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I am getting a lot of positive feedback from readers about Shunned:Outcasts in the Land. There are many people out there who are worried about the use of antidepressants in this country. There are countless stories of tragedies people have related to me. Bombarded every hour by ads sponsored by the drug industry, people are naive in believing that it is all right to take antidepressants, that they will have no deliterious effect on them. It reminds me of the novel 1984, with its “Soma, soma, puts you in a coma.” However, it is not the government doing it to us; we are doing it to ourselves. Cynthia Darling Shunned:Outcasts in the Land at amazon.com in digital and paperback and at smashwords in digital.

computer vs. creativity

i have had to spend so much time formatting, pushing the keyword, web siting, finding a graphics person — etc. — that it has become a luxury to take an old fashioned pen and paper and actually write.  digital may be fine for my novel, but not fine for new ideas, new stories.

anyway, my book will be in paper back in september on amazon, but nothing matches the feel of the real proof copy that came in the mail yesterday. i can hold onto it, warts and all.

but wait. next will come the marketing, the postcards, the pushing the product.

i want to get back to writing. help!

I was reading some history of Western Kentucky, when it was really the frontier, when the Ohio’s banks held out-laws who preyed on the poor creatures coming down the river on flatboats. The history said that the worst outlaws were the Harpe brothers, whose family had been Tories, and who felt ostracized by others. They used this excuse to kill men, women and children in order to get even. I guess that is one way to handle it when you are shunned by others. Thank God others merely suffer inside.

Shunned

Did you ever  have the experience of going to a new school and wearing the wrong socks?  No one pointed it out to you; you just knew you weren’t like the rest of them.  Girls have a subtle way of sutting you out.  They raise their eyebrows, they talk among themselves, but they never do give you the common courtesy of telling you what you need to know. Boys would probably blurt it out and it would be over.  No, for girls, these socks of the new student will come with her again and again to school, providing secret laughs and superiority complexes for those who know the secret — that other one is different.

But socks are nothing. There is no evil intent implied by the wearer.  It is only ignorance, which can be supremely entertaining to others.

But what if you are an adult and you decide to take a stand against something you don’t like that others approve? Well, at least the adult feels morally superior and strong at first.  Then, there’s the fear. Suppose you tell a group of boys to leave a poor little cat alone.  Will they attack you?  Will they curse you out?

Finally, there is the case of committing a sin, a faux pas, against the ruling power of society at a particular time.  Hester Prynne did this and got the scarlet letter.  Is there anything in today’s world that would cause a knowledgeable adult to be shunted aside by others? What about George Zimmerman? What about a minister who insists on preaching about Hell when his congregation don’t want to hear it? What about a child molester?

Who are you comfortable in shunning?  Or do you not believe that society has the power to push away egregious actions of others?