Monday, June 25, 2007

Eating Crow on My Overpriced Book: Amazon Error

I wrote the seller on Amazon who was asking $398 for my first book of poems, Elementary. She informed me that Amazon had made a listing mistake, that she didn't have the book and knew nothing about it. I suspected this from the first. Too happily I embraced an illusion without proper research. Good news should be questioned, bad news is likely true.

Although the book now lists for $39.95 from Mellen Press, the home page of the publisher states that it's out of print.

I've tried this before but I tried it again: I ordered a copy through Amazon, who wrongly thinks it available. Later they will inform me that the book is out of print, which I already know, and credit me with a refund. If it is available I will be shocked. Why I care about it is obvious; it's the only tangible proof I was actually an author. I continue to resist self-publishing, although 85% of books are self-published nowadays.

My gig at the Lavender Festival went well. Though the crowds were sparse I was well-received. Here's a picture Pat Jones took of me while I was playing "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" by Bobby Dylan:

Later I got to play on an actual raised stage. The wine and food were good, as they were yesterday when I acted as a volunteer guide for the Digging Dog Nursery tour, where I was able to answer a few questions as a "master gardener" about plants, but mainly pointed people in the direction of the wine and food.

Afterwards I started sliding into a depression, as I was trying to get by for two days on one capsule of my antidepressant again, hoping the order from Canada would arrive before I had to pay fifty dollars for ten more pills. One 60 mg. capsule is the recommended maximum dose, to be fair, but I know I require 120 mg. So I messed up. Again.
Yes, Virginia, this doctor-patient is that stupid. Luckily the medications came in the mail today, so I got my proper dose and hope the miasma of despair will soon clear and relapse will be prevented, provided the generic capsules from India are not bogus. Funny how they smell of curry...

Truly, managing my mental illness is the most important task in my life. But like other humans, if I feel well for even a little while I begin to forget why and risk foolish liberties. I should have refilled my local Rx Saturday when I was first forced to reduce the dose.

There's no fool like an old fool. There's no poet like an ex-poet.

I sent a query to the publisher of my poetry book about a second book, but they no longer publish poetry. So I sent another query about my book on Eliot and they said to send it. But in my depressive mode, upon reviewing my third draft of the book, I found it awful. They will never publish it. It is literary criticism in no man's land, somewhere between an academic treatise and an undergraduate student's hypertrophied term paper. And the prose style is much too dry; I had hoped to engage readers, but it bores me to death. Can it be fixed? Probably not. Will I try? Probably. Because it's work, and that's what I need, even if it's pointless. Consider it a basket-weaving class at a mental hospital.

Also, in signing up for a local writer's conference, in my depressive state, I had a great deal of trouble making decisions as to what to attend: Poetry? Prose? Memoirs? Publishing? Fiction? Non-Fiction? As I have unpublished books of poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction, I don't know where to go. Mostly I just checked anything to do with agents or publishers. In my present mental state it wouldn't matter if I published a bestseller; nothing will help except improved brain chemistry. I hope the Indian medications work; if they are defective I'm screwed. No--wait--I'm not. I just have to pay for the brand name in that case. See? I can still think somewhat rationally. Let my boulder of sorrow be a grain of sand.

Suddenly at 3 Kilorats,



  1. Anonymous10:48 PM PDT

    We too are in the throes of medication change, trying to reduce Respirdal, an anti-psychotic by a mere a quarter mg because things were going so well...the brain is such a senstive organ, reacts to change good ways and bad...many of us have experienced both of them I suspect. Most manage to recover...but it does get weary, doesn't it? Hope things improve for you soon...for us too! : )


  2. We are monkeys with typewriters regarding regulation of the brain by medications at this point, but it's better than nothing, and one hundred times better than it was fifty years ago. What surprises me is my vulnerability after years of relative stability--a vulnerability I think more often manifested in your charge, or so I surmise.


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