Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Books and Blogs

Of the millions of things I do not and never will understand is how I can possibly have built such a gothic palace of egocentrism with no evidence of a foundation. The walls of my palace are largely constructed from my desperate (a tad melodramatic a word, I know, but I am give to the melodramatic) need for acknowledgement of my existence by others. It is the driving force behind all my writing, and specifically behind these blogs.

And, by the way, I should point out that I consider there to be a vast difference between "ego" and "egocentrism." Ego implies an inner sense of superiority; egocentrism refers to being focused on one's self. I'd much rather be thought of as an egocentric than an egotist--though I'm sure you may have a differing view.

So, as I sat here sitting here amidst more than 575 accumulated blogs, fearful, as I always am, that my words may get buried in the sands of time and lost forever, I began to wonder how I might keep them above the surface of the sands for a bit longer. I approached Jay Hartman, the editor of Untreed Reads, a publishing house devoted to producing e-books, and asked if he might be interested in doing a book comprised entirely of blogs--my blogs, of course; we can't lose sight of that egocentrism for a single moment. I did point out the minor problem that, whereas not one of my print books exceeded 110,000 words, my accumulated blogs come in at around 450,000 words. Even with a lot of judicious trimming, that's still an enormous number of words. And Jay was kind enough to tell me not to be bothered with word count (you'd never hear that from a print-book publisher), This can be an 800 pound gorilla to print publishers whose production expenses go up with every 8-or-16-page folio added to a book...not to mention the necessary rise in price of the finished book. E-books, having no physical restrictions, therefore have considerably more flexibility in word length.

Jay suggested there be two books; one focusing on the writer, and one on writing. My Dorien Grey and Me blog site is subtitled "Volleys from a Loose Cannon," and that is basically exactly what they are. The firing off of various brain synapses in all directions.

I've found that for all their randomness when just fired off every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, they tend to sort themselves out into patterns not discernible when viewed as a jumble. So the first book will be divided into somewhat manageable categories: the basic facts of life, major influencing milestones-- emotional and physical--family and friends, etc.

And since Jay wants to emphasize the personal (not a problem with me--egocentrism, remember), I've reluctantly had to leave out some of my favorite posts...mostly my spittle-lipped rages against internet spam and the general stupidities, bigotries, and idiocies which threaten to destroy us all. I've also had to sacrifice some of my pontificatory--yes, I just made it up, but I like it, so I'll use it--screeds; a real shame, since I think I do "pompous" rather well, when I put my mind to it.

So I've been spending the past several days, and will be spending the next several, going through each and every blog like a chicken farmer candling eggs, assigning each to the carton into which I feel it would best fit, and with great reluctance eliminating others.

But for all the work involved, I've been pleased--egocentrism aside--to find several of which I am really rather proud and which say pretty much what I wanted to say in the way I wanted to say it.

I hope when the books are pieced together they come off not so much as a Frankenstein's monster of unrelated pieces, but as more of a completed jigsaw puzzle with a discernible picture with which the reader can identify. But that determination will have to be made by the reader...and really I hope you might be one of them.

New entries are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please come back...and bring a friend. Your comments are always welcome. And you're invited to stop by my website at, or drop me a note at

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