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thanks You, Open Salon!

June 6, 2011
JUNE 6, 2011 8:34AM

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I came to Open Salon a little over a year ago hoping to find readers. I found more.  Good writers to enjoy, some of whose styles have influenced me. And I’ve made some friends, something I really treasure at my age.

OS is also helping to serve as a platform for promoting me as a writer.

Just a year ago I published the introduction to my memoir, Escaping the Giant, here at OS. It is the peculiar story of how my father requesting that his children build his coffin when he died. The piece was cross-posted to Salon.com.

http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2010/06/04/building_my_father_s_c…

Someone at Radio Netherlands International read it and asked if I would be interviewed by their show “The State We’re In,” their version of “This American Life.”

I gave them their interview then waited for it to air. And waited. Finally I forgot about it.

Last Saturday it was broadcast. It’s here in segment b, 9:09 minutes in:

http://download.radionetherlands.nl/rnw/partners/smac/english/tswi_…

I didn’t give ace the interview: it was my first. Something about sitting alone in a little room at the local public radio station WFCR answering a disembodied voice in headphones from across the ocean, from a guy I’d never met disconcerted me. I forgot many of the things I wanted to say and said a few I wished I hadn’t.

Ah well. They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Now as to my feelings about platforms, self-promotion, being in the public eye…I’m deeply conflicted. I find shameless self-promotion quite shameful. I would prefer to stay here at OS writing and reading and commenting, out of the public eye.

But I am greedy for readers, MORE READERS! And fool that I am I would like to get paid to write. Therein lies the conflict: if I want lots of readers, and people to buy my books, I’m going to have to get out there and do stuff I don’t want to.

In music they call it paying your dues.

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Comments

Congratulations on both counts. I remember that piece about your father’s coffin and it’s gratifying to see it took you to an increased global audience. Well done.
Congrats. Just opened Open Salon this a.m… your story popped up.
Why is shame part of what authors must do to make a living? Good luck and look at it as an adventure in meeting new people..
Congratulations. I did a radio interview pulled over in the breakdown lane of a six-lane highway by phone one time. Thankfully, I never heard it after the fact.
Congratulations and best of luck to you. -R-
Congratulations on all this! I’ll check out your links. Missed it the first time around.
Congratulations. This is one of the reasons that I really appreciate OS. You get to learn about the journey that others are on in their quest for recognition of their writing. Wonderful.
I love your writing and have been a fan for some time. Iwish to add my congratulations to those of the others here.
Excellent, wright on!
Congrats… HUGGGGGGGGGG
I recently started blogging news stories on another site. I HATE it but realize I need experience to do many things. I do not think I will ever be picked up anywhere but at least I will have confidence to do things.
I am thrilled though that the piece was picked up.
HUGGGGGGGGG
Congrats, Muse. I missed the coffin story, too. Hafta go check it out.
I say, drink up the self-promotion! Nothing to be a shamed of. Congratulations for getting acclaim for your writing. Not much is sweeter than that.
I came to OS straight off a book release and all the humiliation that entails. The anonymity here is delicious (I’m not so good at the friend side). So is the instant gratification and the blurring of the constant rejection that comes with writing for hire. (If people in every field were rejected at least once a day in writing like most writers are, our suicide rate wouldn’t stand out from the general population!) In any case, I wanted to write quickly, test an audience, and save the heavy revision for when I’m not living someplace I ought to be, well, living in well. Blogging on OS and elsewhere has been perfect for this. But most writers aren’t “discovered”–they climb a long ladder. Which is to say, I don’t think you have to give up on OS to go pro, but you’re right, you do have to stick your neck out beyond this cozy circle. Good luck!
I remember that piece…it deserves the attention. Congratulations!

Self promotion makes me queasy too, but there’s a line that can be walked, and you walked it well in this post. I’m definitely going to give you a listen.

Same ambivalence about OS. I’ve loved writing here, and recently had a piece accepted for publication in a snooty Brit scholarly journal about visual literacy in academia. The mag costs 18 pounds for individual issues, and no reading online, so I won’t plug it to innocent bystanders. Like your interview, it is on cold molasses time and will not be out til January 2012. Still, I credit OS for the writing practice.

LM, kudos on being interviewed about your OS story! Given that the intent of the site is to be a publishing platform with a social networking component I’d say your story is proof that OS works in that fashion!
congratulations! that’s one of the best things about this place – the practice we writers get, the exposure and confidence to spread out and do more in other places. nice work.
Thank you for sharing your good news, as well as so much of your great writing on OS. Sincere congratulations !
♥R
Dear Luminous,
That was a tremendous piece on building your Dad’s coffin and I’m not surprised there was further interest. I’m looking forward to listening (I love radio) but first I wanted to say … Thank You & Congratulations to you, friend.
Yes. Ah! Thanks. I type on a homemade 8- foot ‘Plank’ of wild cherry wood.

It’s a local harvested Tree.
I built my Mother a coffin.
O, well. Beautiful Memory.

When I was in Nova Scotia there was a book with Anthologies of Poetry and Prose. BBC 4 Programmer. The radio show was called`
`
“With Great Pleasure.”

You? Thank You Too.

You need a new TV?
It’s black and white.
You need $.25 cash.

Sell TV for a quarter!
Stand in Manhattan.
Yell all day. Go Rant!

Yell `
Sell my TV for one dill!
Dill Pickle Gelato cone!
If Ya no sell – Kerry L.?
He need new Kitty cat!
Ay Be nice and pleasant.

Congrats on your anniversary here, and for finding a broader audience. Your efforts deserve it.
Congratulations! That is amazing! xox
What great news. Congratulations.
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