The #part-timer qualifier finds it’s way into most of my job titles. Sometimes it’s thesaurus-ed into #adjunct or #visiting or #temporary or acting. I’m a part-time writer, part-time teacher, part-time stay-at-home-dad, part-time spouse. These made up words balance quite a load on that little hyphen. Hyphens as meaningful signifiers, as key to comprehension as the period. Period.
The hyphen, the part time qualifier, implies (correctly) partial training and capital investment. Part-timers fly by the seat of their pants. Those pants came from a thrift store or a second tier retailer. We travel with a load of laundry and a few boxes visible through dusty “Wash Me” windows. It may not be pretty, but we will get to where were are going. Period.
My New Book
The “we-got-this” ethos is alive and well in the Inland Empire. I wrote my second book, Secret Inland Empire (out this week!) with Reedy Press part time, while spinning various part-time plates along the way. That’s why you’ll eat from chipped dishes in my kitchen, and why this book came out now instead of last year as originally planned. Given the longer time it took to finish, you would think that gave me extra time to put together some slick marketing plans. Alas, I filled that “free” time with teaching, looking at art, and raising a four year old.
Which made access to free training and motivation all the more valuable! My fellow writers understand this all too well. As my book went to print last month, I started teaching a new class about the art and science of book publishing. Meaning, while I was teaching my students about how to market books, I was learning and doing it myself. There are few things part-timers enjoy more than to be able to do two jobs simultaneously. It’s one of the few ways we feel like we are getting one over on the system that employs us sporadically and trains us unintentionally. We also like free stuff, so at the bottom of this post I copied a recent article from The Press Enterprise.
Secret Inland Empire shares tales about the hidden figures and history behind all the wonders created or perfected or improvised by the Inland Empire: McDonald’s, highway safety, the date, green energy, adobe homes, water parks, Native American museums, three-phase A/C current, citrus, animatronics, plus plenty of outside and outsider art.
My book is a little about part-timers as well. Many of the stories that explain the origin of the Inland Empire’s places, practices, and peoples are actually tales of part-timers. They capture the hopes of dreamers and drifters and people who tried and failed until they made it here. Sometimes they failed here and left. Sometimes they lived here part-time, until the climate or the employment or the food or the love of their life made them clock in full-time.
See my post next week on my top ten favorite pictures that DIDN’T make it into the book!
Thanks for Reading (this and my new book!)
Notes for Final Exam
Book purchase plug here
The book just arrived and I’m already #3125 in the US, State and Local History category on Amazon. For those who are not in the publishing world – Amazon is a tax haven for a couple of billionaires that happens to sell books on the side.
Hey Larry?! Why is an article about book marketing attached to all this?
It was helpful, that’s why. It found me when I needed it. Here’s hoping it provides some rhythm to your melody as well.
Most small-press publishing does not come with a book tour or a marketing budget.