atience I tell myself. Someone said, “Patience is a virtue.” So, then the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset is behavior showing high moral standards.

Many years ago, I typed a 30,000+ word manuscript with a Smith Corona portable. The proof-read copy was re-typed on a Smith Corona electric with a correcting cartridge, but paper alignment was a problem if an error was found after a page was removed. When I thought it was finished, I spent several days of time in a manual search of a publishers’ guide at the library for possible publishers. I carefully crafted query letters to 10 (if I remember correctly) publishers and submitted pages as guidelines required. Without copy-and-paste the body, then change the address, well you know.
I fussed internally for about 90 days – the number of days most of the publishers said was their response time. Nothing!
About six months passed, and I’d nearly forgotten about my attempt to get published when there was a letter from Random House in the box. “Thank you for your submission,” I’m paraphrasing, “but we’ve recently published other work in the same genre and cannot use your work at this time.” James Michener’s Alaska had just hit the stands. After reading it and seeing many things similar to what I’d written, I understood but got the feeling RH readers may have suspected the p word.
I found myself concerned that even though I followed all the steps (electronically of course) my self-published Nescient Decoy hadn’t made it to wholesalers in a few days. Aren’t electronic communications supposed to speed up these things? I started googling.


h, this is about patience!

Writing Block


’ve always had stories, so fiction was easy when assigned in school. The big however is, mechanics and other factors such as an inability to spell and atrocious handwriting resulted in low grades on those assignments. My take on handwriting is that I was born left handed and forced to write like normal people as it was considered in those days. Those days meaning deep religious roots and small-town school standards in rural America. Unknown to me at the time, left handedness was a prejudicial concern without cause. I’m not looking for another oohhh here, but I’m going to tell a truth anyway.

The cut-off date for first grade was October 15 and I would be six on the 19th. But Mother’s insisting that I could already read at a rudimentary level was of no avail. (I really don’t remember but she told me more than once.) Not only did I start school late, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I missed more school than I attended during the first three grades. Mother told me that we’d lived in over 50 places during those years.
Skip forward to fourth grade – new school – new teacher – same problem being left handed. If I did spell a word correctly, my right-handed cursive was nearly illegible – F in spelling and low grades in composition or other writing assignments. And often there was the whack of a ruler on my left hand for putting a pencil in it. Oh, my attitude: I gave up trying to memorize spelling words – most would be marked wrong anyway!
Seventh grade: Another new school and I’d already given up trying to go back to being left-handed. About half-way through the school year, I decided it was time to make a positive change in my academics. My English teacher gave us 25 new spelling words a week, and I decided to spend as much time as I needed to memorize that week’s words.
I scored 100% on the test. Then the teacher asked me to stay after class. I’ve still not forgotten her saying, “Benson, I don’t know how you cheated. I’ll re-test you after school.” I sat in a front desk and she read the words. For whatever reason, she didn’t believe my legitimately getting them all correct. She passed me but refused to give me the score I’d earned. I should have done the same study routine again, but I didn’t. I don’t remember passing a spelling test again.
In high school, I signed up for typing. Some of my friends had because ‘that’s where the girls are,’ but I had a different reason. If I typed my papers, they could be read. That was true, but the however was, compositions and reports had to be hand written to ensure they weren’t done by a student’s mother.
My spelling didn’t get much better when I could type papers in college, but the professors could read my errors. Then word processing with a computer came along. That was followed by spill chick which helped me with spelling.


nce I wrote fiction about finding boy scouts on thin ice who said they’re there by their choice. In that report, I had to type more than two pages too.

Waiting for That Big Check!


made some adjustments to the text and Nescient Decoy became available on Amazon August 6th. Several copies of the Kindle version and at least 2 of the paperback have been shipped.

It’s a little soon for the big royalty check to arrive, but I’ve been watching the mail. I’m not anticipating buying an Italian Villa with the first one, but a round of Starbucks for my friends will be possible.


The mail has been normal this week – advertisements for cremation services, hearing aids, real estate, etc., several requests for donations (at least one was legitimate), a notice about an insurance premium due…; well you get the picture.


o, what should I do while waiting to get rich? My economic experience with the publication of An Odyssey of Illusions wasn’t even reportable to the IRS – $1.37.

How did I make so much when I got the gift books for family and friends at wholesale (which included publisher profit)? I didn’t understand the commercial part of writing. This is not to say I’ve become an expert, but I’ll not be depending on someone else to sell Nescient Decoy.


here are several things to do while writing the sequel requested by two beta readers. There is considerable advice about selling a book, so I’ll not waste too much time lining up people whose web sites tout instant sales, etc. I do have a plan outlined, but it needs some tweaking. And, even if I only make 1-cent more than I’ve invested the venture can still be called profitable. Oh – about my time – what else would I be doing when my volunteering is finished, and TV is bad?

Publication Process


tried to get the attention of a number of agents and publishers for my current work Nescient Decoy. In one case, I was alerted that its working title New Film Noir didn’t fit the story. I reviewed my protagonist and agreed. Several agents said they were only accepting manuscripts from ‘well established’ writers or current clients. Are you following the series in the comic strip Crankshaft about a librarian trying to get her book published?

I decided I could be waiting for xx days or xx months to hear from someone considering what I’ve written. So, I looked at a number of self-publishing houses. Several do a good job for writers with enough funding to get started. And, I’ve read about some using “Go Funding” for financing. Not my style!

For some covert in my brain reason I avoided exploring Amazon’s publishing advertisements. Last week I decided to set aside the covert purist attitude and take a look. If you have a manuscript and can read, the Amazon process for paperback and Kindle is relatively easy. It provides downloadable templates, step-by-step instructions and free conversion software to process into Kindle format. And, they provide embedded in MS-Word software for processing a manuscript.


y preview copies of Nescient Decoy, at printing cost plus shipping, are on the way. After reading the previews, I can make edits or just click on the designated button and the paperback and Kindle versions be posted for sale.

I nearly forgot to mention the IBSN process. It’s affordable from Bowker and the process is easy. I bought 10 IBSNs which drives the price each down. I’m using one for the paperback and one for the Kindle. Even if I find a traditional publisher for other work I have having my own will reduce the hidden fee category.

Just Finished


ASON CARTER FINN never thought he’d feel like he was watching himself in one of his grandfather’s generation black and white movies, but that’s how he felt during much of 2016 and 2017. A note on a photograph he discovered in the late summer of 2017 gives personal meaning to something his grandfather said about decoys the last Saturday of the 2000 water-fowl hunting season.

Twenty-five- year-old Finn uses his personal diary and declassified CIA notes to write a travelogue of curiosity, intrigue, mystery, and confusing relationships during 2016 and 2017.
Hoping for another assignment and perhaps more time with another agent, his field assignments become confusing, frustrating, and meaningless to him. Realizing there are few opportunities for satisfying personal relationships as a document reader, the young agent resigns from the CIA and returns to rural Oregon.

Like his change of duties from the mundane reading room to mysterious field assignments, some of his after-career events are unpredictable. Driving away from an ideal location for viewing the 2017 solar eclipse in totality over southeast Oregon is just one of the things he doesn’t anticipate.