Thursday, November 29, 2012

This is why writers need wives…


 
Or, at least, this is a story that explains just how much I need mine.

I might have mentioned over on the Ken La Salle blog that I had been working on an audiobook for Daughter of a One-Armed Man. (I’m not sure. I never read it.) And, you know, this was the case. I recorded the entire book and began working on post-productions issues of sound quality, editing, and so on.

After I finished a couple of chapters, I asked Vicky to give it a listen. In fact, I cornered her in her car, as we drove to dine with her family the day after Thanksgiving.

Almost right away, I noticed something going on with Vicky’s nose, as if she smelled something… very bad.

“How is it?” I asked.

“It’s fine,” she said. But she seemed to be lying.

But then, after a while, she began to turn green.

“You okay?” I asked.

“Yep,” she lied. “Just enjoying it.”

Now, here’s the thing. Not only did I want to play the disc so she could hear it, but I also wanted to hear it. Before this point, I’d only heard the book on my PC as I worked on it. I knew that hearing it “in the field” so to speak would prove very useful in knowing how it had turned out.

And it hadn’t turned out well. Despite my care, there were several problems, most stemming from the dramatic nature of the book and the limits of my technology. In other words, the book sounded horrible whenever I raised my voice and inaudible when things got too quiet. This wouldn’t be so bad if I had a studio… but I don’t.

Right at that moment, I was standing on the edge of a decision. Should I continue working on the book or should I chalk it up to a failed experiment and move on to the next project? (One I will comment on much further over in the Ken La Salle blog.)

That’s when Vicky had heard enough. “I don’t know how to tell you this,” she said, which was really all I needed to hear.

“Just tell me,” I said. Even if I didn’t need to hear it, it would help to hear it.

So, she told me. And she confirmed a lot of my concerns. You see, I am always overly critical of my own work and it was this knowledge that I was going to be much harder on myself that had kept me on the edge. Knowing that I wasn’t just being overly critical, that the book had turned out poorly, was enough to help me reach a decision.

“I’ll move on,” I told her.

“Do you have to?” Vicky asked. “I hate to think you wasted all that effort.”

“I’ll learn from this,” I said. “Nothing is wasted. It’s a learning experience.”

So, to return to my original point, I am fortunate to have Vicky around. Because I generally think everything I do is shitty. It’s only the enthusiasm from everyone else that changes my mind. It’s good to have someone I trust who can assure me. “No. It really is as shitty as you thought.”

Ken's Holiday Deals...


The holidays are on their way! What better time to pick up an audiobook or a paperback (or even an ebook) for a friend or loved one? (Wouldn’t want to get those confused.)

Audiobooks!

Did you know you can give audiobook downloads as a gift? It’s a great way of buying a gift for someone far away – better than a giftcard!

The #5 Self-Help book in Finland (October 2012) is The Worth of Dreams The Value of Dreamers. It’s the perfect book for anyone pursuing their dreams. You can download it from the following sites to play on your iPod/phone/whatever. (Just click the links!):

Emusic!                                                              Amazon! Just $5.95!

Audible! Just $8.40!                                        Audio Book Store! Just $7.49!

iTunes! Just $5.95! (You can find it on iTunes or check this webpage for their shelf of books by Ken La Salle.)

For more information, just go to The Worth of Dreams The Value of Dreamers page on my web site!

Paperbacks!

You don’t need an ereader to enjoy a paperback! And Climbing Maya is available from all major etailers! (It’s only $12.99 on Amazon!)

What is success? And what’s the point of working so hard for it if you don’t know what it is? Check out the Climbing Maya page on my website for more purchasing options, interviews, and the book’s trailer. (Climbing Maya is also available as an ebook.)

Ebooks!

Do you enjoy ebooks? Well, I have ebooks! A whole lot of ebooks! Everything from fantasy novels, short story collections, political novels, and memoirs. (All are under $4!)

If you’d like an ebooks for your Kindle (or Kindle-app), check out my page on Amazon.com, listing all of my ebooks. For any other ereader, from Nooks to Schnooks, head on over to my Smashwords page.

Happy Holidays! And thank you for your support!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankishly filled…


You often hear people on Thanksgiving talk about those things for which they are giving thanks.

Man, does that sound awkward. I’m not just talking about that sentence structure; I’m talking about the incessant and gratuitous thanking that goes on. “I’m thankful for my job. I’m thankful for my family,” they say. No kidding? Thanks for pointing that out, because most people aren’t…

My point is, it’s easy to be thankful for all the things that make your life better – because they make your life better! But what about those things that make it crappy? Where would you be without that? How would you know just what you have and just what you have to be thankful for if other impediments did not stand in the way?

And so, it is with this in mind that I present the following list for this Thanksgiving…

 

I am thankful for the three jobs I lost this year, because without them I wouldn’t appreciate just how hard this journey to become a full-time writer is.
I am thankful for my weight issues, because without them I’d probably be much lazier.
I am thankful for my wife’s often-fragile health, because it reminds me just how temporary our time together is.
I am thankful for my father-in-law’s stay in the hospital, because it helped me appreciate my in-laws better.
I am thankful for the mistakes I make, because I get an opportunity to learn from them.
I am thankful for my messy pets, because they would be insufferable if they were perfect.
I am thankful for the friends who left me, some of whom read this blog, because it makes me appreciate the ones I still have.
And lastly, I am thankful for this life. It ain’t perfect. Hell, sometimes it ain’t all that good… but it’s mine.

 
(But I’m not thankful for Justin Beiber… let’s not get crazy.)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Things left unwroted…

 

I had several ideas for today’s blog but they just didn’t go anywhere. Some of them included:

  • The stoner I met on my job yesterday (He was mid-bong-hit when he saw me coming and ran away...)
  • My return to playing WoW
  • How my ex-sister-in-law made me realize my mistake
  • The possible connection between Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD and James Roday (of Psych)
  • How hungry I am

But, as I say, none of them seemed to go anywhere. The truth of the matter is, well, things are pretty quiet over here. We’re in pre-holiday mode, which means getting all of our plans together. For instance, this Thanksgiving we’ll be celebrating twice with three different parts of the families.

… you see? Boring stuff. Certainly not worth writing about. I’m just in a boring place. And, you know what? I’m not minding it all that much, to tell you the truth. I’ve been DVR’ing old movies, working on a new audiobook, and working at a new part-time job. Things in these here parts are nice and slow.

… How are you?

Friday, November 09, 2012

That’s me all over…


This entry begins with a fat joke: Me.

Now, you may have noticed that I keep pretty active. Between jogging and cycling and playing WoW (that doesn’t count?), I get out pretty often.

So, why were my clothes getting tighter and tighter?

Recently, Vicky picked up an app for her phone called MyFitnessPal, and she suggested I try it. When I say she suggested it, what I mean is she worked it into every sentence. “What’s on TV tonight? (cough) Getmyfitnesspal (cough)

I could take a hint – after a couple of weeks. Besides, I knew something was off. You shouldn’t gain weight from jogging, after all. I had the exercise down. I had to find out what was packing on the pounds.

So, I downloaded it and decided that I wasn’t going to diet right away. The best thing for me to do was just to track my eating and find out where all the calories were coming from. I set my goal at 2000 calories/day, which I hear is supposed to be life-sustaining. If I ever went over 2000 calories, I would know.

… within 15 minutes, I’d eaten twice that.

I may have found the problem.

You see, I like eating. Pardon me if I shock you. I fucking love eating! And it’s not just good food I love to eat. I love just about everything! My weight gain should have come a no surprise when, after Vicky’s last business trip, I was eating an entire pizza for dinner. My caloric intake was 2000 calories an hour!

The good news is that I really don’t have to go on a diet. I don’t have to watch everything I eat. I have learned that if I just eat like a normal person, I’ll be fine.

For instance, I have a bed habit of eating something and saying, “Those dozen burritos were pretty good. I think I’ll have another!” No… that’s not how normal people eat… ANYWHERE!

Relearning how normal people eat is going to take me some time, as will losing this weight, but being aware and knowing where I went wrong was an important step. Maybe then, I’ll stop being so fat that when I walk outside in a yellow raincoat people shout “Hey taxi!”

Saturday, November 03, 2012

La Salle takes Finland…



I haven’t posted anything about my writing career around here in some time, so allow me to steal an article from my other blog…

Here’s how this happened: The Worth of Dreams The Value of Dreamers climbed the iTunes Self-Help/Self-Development Audiobook chart last week, all the way up to #5. Typical of me, I discounted it as a joke. Why? Because I’ve been so conditioned by people I thought of as friends to discount any achievement that I couldn’t just accept it and embrace it.

Then, my friend Ernest, who is the Editor over at RecoveringThe Self, suggested we run a piece about it and I thought, “No!” I was afraid of being judged negatively – once again – by those folks who I had once considered friends but who fed me so much negativity, well, I shouldn’t have.

And when my agent, Jeanie, heard about it she reminded me of something. “This makes you an international author,” she told me… and it took a few days for that to sink in. This achievement I had been discounting had actually been a good thing! And I realized I should embrace it and accepts it – and that I should do the piece Ernest had talked about.

And you can read that piece right here: http://greenheritagenews.com/ken-la-salle-takes-his-new-audiobook-to-finland/. I’m rather surprised at how it makes my life sound almost like a straight line to this point. There’s no such thing as fate, but it’s surprising how strong a tool hindsight can be.

This news was subsequently picked up by the Bozeman News: http://bozemannewsonline.com/ken-la-salles-audio-book-wins-attention-in-finland/.


It’s nice to put one in the win column. And it’s good to know all the negative people are gone and I have the support of people like Ernest and Jeanie.