November of this year will mark the fourth year I’ve been writing this blog. What started out as a forum to stimulate dialog on interesting facts and observations about the human condition, morphed into mostly political dialog. I, like most Americans, became consumed by what most of us perceived as relentless attacks on good will tradition and normalcy by Donald Trump, and could think or talk about nothing else. As a result, an important part of my original objective was lost. Originally, I wanted to entertain as well as inform the reader. As the country became more polarized, only those who shared my political views were in the least bit entertained by my commentary.
Consequently, I’d like to shift gears a bit and share with you some of the fictional writing I’ve been doing. One of the more positive byproducts of the pandemic for me has been that, as a result of the hours and days of isolation, I have been a prolific writer. The posts you’ve read on this blog for the past year or so are but the tip of an ice burg of writing I’ve done during that period. I’m sure you’ve noticed the link to the fictional epic novel I published on Amazon at the heading of this blog. That book chronicles the life and times of a baby boomer named Arthur Adams over a fifty-year period. In addition to that I’ve written numerous articles and letters submitted for publication in a variety of venues and many more pieces I’ve written that I haven’t done anything with yet.
In the course of all this writing, I’ve come to an interesting conclusion about the communication industry in our country. Anything one endeavors to communicate to the masses, whether it be entertainment or informational in its content, with few exceptions, that material must pass through a series of gatekeepers before it has a chance of mass distribution to the public, particularly if it’s in printed form. When you think about it, that’s really a good thing. Not everything published is suitable for mass distribution and people like Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee and Simon & Shuster are needed to screen out the thousands of literary products submitted for distribution to sift out the few gems you see on the shelves of bookstores and on television and in movies. In fact, the product must pass muster through at least a half dozen underlings before it even gets the attention of the deciders. But ultimately it’s you, the public, who decides what’s good and what’s not. Of all the products that even the gatekeepers hold out to be the cream of the crop, less than 10% turn out be really successful. For example, most people have never heard of, let alone actually seen the movies nominated for best picture at the Oscars this year.
My understanding of all this has freed me up to submit directly to you, the reader, any of my creations without concern for whether you accept or reject it. Thanks to the Internet, it’s possible to bypass all the critics and gatekeepers and present directly to you. If you like it, you’ll tell your friends and family, and they will tell theirs and so on. If you don’t, you won’t. It’s as simple as that and that’s good enough for me. In fact, of the hundreds of thousands of all material published every year, 99% of it only gets read by a few dozen friends and family members of the writer. However, that’s no indication of the value of the material. Some things are best shared only with people who know the author. I would venture to say if half those obscure publications got the same exposure and promotion as the items that do have the approval of the gatekeepers, they would be equally successful. In fact, I’ve heard President Barack Obama say that the only reason his book, The Audacity of Hope, went from being an interesting piece of literature shared by 30 or 40 of his best friends and family to a multimillion dollar best seller was his speech at the 2003 Democratic Convention and the notoriety that followed.
My purpose for telling you all this is to announce that I am in the process of putting together a book of fictional short stories. Their only purpose is entertainment and not for the purpose of making a political statement of any kind. The stories range from the supernatural to the comical. At some point I’m sure I’ll resume my political commentary, since there is much to do and say in this divided post Trumpian world we’re living in, but these short stories are not written for that purpose. I intend to publish the first of these stories, free of charge, on my next post. Please write me back and give me honest feedback, positive or negative, on what you feel about it after you read it. You may use the response vehicle on the blog, Facebook or email your responses directly to me. I hope you find it enjoyable.