Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

lunes, enero 09, 2012

A Distant Tree And An eBook Solution

Of sorts.

When somebody buys my magical novella, Tulum, in soft cover, I am always thrilled to sign the title page and to write a dedication on it. To the reader, or to anyone else they choose. That makes the book more personal. And it marks my physical connection with the reader. That’s what is typically done at readings. Maybe it even helps sell books. Maybe the books are more prized if they're signed.

But if you buy my book or read it on Kindle or Nook or on your iPad or some other device as an eBook, you’re not going to get it signed. And you’re not going to be able to have it dedicated. Why? Because it’s not a physical book, and there’s nothing for me to scrawl on. Maybe there should be such an app (developers, are you reading this and thinking about it?) but as far as I know, there isn’t. Yet. So if you buy my book as an eBook, you potentially get shorted. I can't sign it for you. I cannot scrawl a quote from Shakespeare in the book and sign my name. I’m unhappy about that. And I know other writers are also.

So I have a solution. Of sorts. I can have some postcards made up, and if you want a dedication or a signed copy and you bought Tulum as an eBook, I can send you a postcard. Not by email. Nope. That doesn’t solve a thing. No, I will send you an actual, analog postcard via the US Postal Service. With a real postage stamp on it. And best of all, with the horrible handwriting I developed because of in spite of the feared Mrs. Reynolds, my first grade teacher at Hillside Avenue School in New Jersey. Maybe the postcard should be of the cover of the book. Maybe of some other scene from Tulum. I will consider the options.

Meanwhile, speaking of Hillside Avenue School. It’s now called, believe it or not, Walter Krumbiegel School in memory of the tall, deep voiced, mustached principal who was there long ago. Anyway, I was thinking today (I don’t know what may have prompted the thought) about climbing a tree on the front lawn of the school near the entrance. When I was small, when I was an 8-year old, it was so very easy to climb. It was, in fact, the easiest tree in the neighborhood. I imagined that by now, more than 50 years later, it would be gigantic. Majestic. It would be as tall as the school. No, taller. It would have a round, thick base. It would have tremendous, long branches. By now, no 8-year old could easily pull himself into its wide branches. A worry: maybe it had to be taken down because it grew so very large and was so close to the school building. Wrong. Completely wrong. It’s still there. The joke's on me. It appears that it was a dwarf or miniature flowering tree of some kind. Crabapple? Maybe.

How do I know it's still standing there with open limbs inviting children to climb it? You can see it standing where it always was, still flowering on the school’s lawn, just to the right of the stairs, up close to the building.

Etiquetas: , , , , ,