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August 30, 2019: The Writing Life: A Chance Meeting

It’s raining today, perhaps ending a three month drought in our area. The leaves on the trees are yellowing and crispy. The dust on the road rises in clouds when cars and trucks pass. The hunters, they drive fast – the dust they leave in their wake chokes walkers, horseback riders and their horses, bicyclists.

I hope that this rain tamps down the smoke. It is so bad that my clothes now smell like I have been hanging out around a campfire. Yesterday we went to the Alaska State Fair and again did recycling pick up. The smoke down in town and at the Fairgrounds was thicker than here. The brown-gray haze created a more subdued atmosphere. At least I was more subdued.

It was a subdued me who stopped by the Alaskan Authors book booth, and then, on the spur of the moment, I decided to check out what the vendor had to offer. I parked my cart, handle up, mid-fair stream, and stepped inside. I was immediately greeted by Sharon Aubrey, who’s name tag that read Senior Bookworm.

I wasn’t sure if her company publishes and/or distributes books. After talking with her a bit, I realized that she does both. The wheels then started turning. The writerly wheels have been turning very slowly the past few years, this from a lack of use. I used to be adept at giving publishers what’s

Alys at the State Fair

called a pitch. Oh, I thought, this is what I should be doing. Mine was a slow, jerky, disjointed pitch, which is one that lacked punch.

It occurred to me that I needed to get Sharon’s attention and keep it. I also knew this was going to be difficult because I looked so slovenly. I had purposely donned my grubbiest clothes in preparation for dealing with GARBAGE. I also was aware that I need a haircut. And my running shoes, they now smell like I’ve been hanging out in a barn.

I wound up for the pitch, saying “I have written a book about my experiences working in the Alaska State Fair recycling area.” After a pause, I added “And it’s entitled If You Come to a Fork in the Road Pick it Up.” Sharon said she liked the title, so I prepared to toss the ball, adding that I had a proposal on hand, one that I’d sent to the University of Alaska Press eight months ago. “And they have not yet gotten back to me,” I added.

Sharon, who I think was genuinely interested in what I had to say, suggested self-publishing. I then pitched the ball, saying that I have continued to seek out a reputable publisher. She said not to discount this option. I presumed that the ball had not connected with the batter. Still, we continued to talk about this project and her business, with me interjecting information about this particular project.

Well, perhaps the ball did connect, although she did not swing. I’m to send her my proposal, and after, we’ll get together and talk. I’m thinking that at the very least, she will provide me with the impetus to resume finding a publisher for Forks.

Next: 241. 9/1/19: The Gift of a Good Ride

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