Daily Archives: October 18, 2008

Randy-a lesson brought home by William Styron’s son

“I’m easy” was a refrain of mine.   It was something I said, and something I tried to live by.   It was a phrase I first heard from an Australian while traversing Afghanistan in a Land Rover.   Adventurers from other countries easily influence me: I first got the idea of touring Asia by bicycle from a British guy who hiked across Borneo.   I never struggled in school and have chosen the easiest paths throughout my life.   (I’m not sure this last statement is totally true: struggle is certainly ambiguous and means something different to each of us.)   I quit and try something else when the going gets hard; I’ve gotten good at winging it.   Secure in my way of working and my level of skill (where I am), I may be naïve in thinking that I’ve been served well by this attitude of mine.   I use enthusiasm and energy and improvisation to succeed and excel where and when other people fail by trying too hard. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe in sloppy work.   And I’ve been accused of being a workaholic, especially by my wife; it’s what makes me tick, a contradiction, when “I’m easy” doesn’t equate to how hard or long I work.   Instead I like to zip along, as effortless as possible.   My ambition is high, but if I have to struggle for it I don’t seem to want it.   The struggling (another meaning for the word) author never reached his or her potential because he or she “didn’t work hard enough:” to me that represents a false equation.

I was involved one day with William Styron’s son (he may have had more than one son), when he worked for the National Coalition for the Homeless in New York City.   Every little bit of information I got from him about his father I remember.   I’m a fan of William Styron and admire his writing ability. I’ve read several of his novels, in college studied SET THIS HOUSE ON FIRE, and think now that I would enjoy rereading them.   Looking up to someone like Styron, while knowing little else about him other than his work and thinking what I had read was great, I had no idea that writing was such a chore for him; why did he continue then?   It made no sense to me because I had never struggled.   (And perhaps my prose reflects it.   What do I know?)   I couldn’t enter what I imagined to be his slow, meticulous world, not only because I didn’t want to go there but also because I thought if I did I’d get stuck.   I could see myself toiling, searching for the right word and struggling over each sentence.   I didn’t like the sound of that.   It sounded like too much work.   Then I remembered something I learned about acting (and I think it can also apply to writing); often by trying too hard an actor loses spontaneity and he or she is not as good as someone who doesn’t care as much or work as hard.   It was a great lesson for me.

With the encouragement, and possibly the help, of James Joyce, I accept the permission he gave himself after writing to “Dearest Papli” in the second chapter of ULYSSES, which some critics rank as the best novel of the Twentieth Century: “P.S. Excuse bad writing, am in a hurry. Byby. M.”

After all this time I hope I’m not fooling myself.

Good night, Randy Ford

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Arizona Book Publishing in Southern Arizona-News


Friends and Members of the Arizona Book Publishing Association in

* October 19: SSA Forum -- Kathy Lacapa, "SSA Writing Contest Awards!"

* October 28: ABPA Dinner -- " Get More Out of Your Amazon Page with a
Makeover," Steve O'Keefe

* Upcoming Events 


* October 19: SSA Forum - Kathy Lacapa, "SSA Writing Contest Awards!"
11:30-2PM, Four Points Sheraton, Tucson 

October Awards Luncheon - The Reveal by Mary Ann Hutchison 
   From start to finish, the Writing Contest consumes the better part
of ten months. Judges and appraisers are found and their names kept under
wraps, entries are received, emails are answered, meetings are held, decisions
are made, and the results are kept as secret as is humanly possible; only
given on a need-to-know basis. 

  On October 19, poker faces will be replaced by happy smiles as
winners meet judges, and vice-versa, and winning stories are revealed. No, our
judges do not know the names of the winners, and the winners do not
know the names of the judges. Hopefully, only immediate family members now know
which relative will receive a winner's packet along with applause-happy
secrets can only be kept just so long without being shared. 

  Although not a secret, how much do you know about Michael Lacapa, the
man SSA chose to honor by naming the First Place Winner's Award in the
Children's Short Story Category in his memory? Kathy Lacapa, Michael's
wife, will join us for the third year in a row, to share their story-one of
inspiration and love. Make your reservation early, and join us at this
happiest Forum of the year! 

To R.S.V.P. Forum Leave Phone Message at 546-9382 or e-mail:
forums@ssa-az.org WEDNESDAY before the Forum
$20 paid at the door


---------- * October 28: ABPA Dinner -- "Get More Out of Your Amazon Page with a PR Makeover," Steve O'Keefe Please note our meeting location! Marie Callender's Restaurant and Bakery, 4573 E. Cactus Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85032 Phone: (602) 996-0622 Program (includes dinner) 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Early Registration (by October 24): $25 members $35 non-members Late Registration: $35 members $45 non-members Advance payment is required for registration; no refunds after October 23, 2008. "Get More Out of Your Amazon Page with a PR Makeover" While publishers understand Amazon's importance as a sales option, there are definite ways to use this book site as part of your online presence for publicity purposes. This program will show how and why it is important to add better artwork, late-breaking reviews, new endorsements, a book excerpt, a longer author bio, and reader reviews. The focus will be on what you can do for free to enhance your Amazon page so it is working for you all the time. Steve will be demonstrating a new technology called Kyte by being with us via remote broadcast. Steve O'Keefe is a serial entrepreneur, writer, professor, and Internet pioneer. He is executive director of Patron Saint Productions, which has launched online campaigns for more than 1,000 books, and president of AuthorViews, Inc., a leader in online video for the book industry. Steve is the author five books, including Publicity on the Internet-Third Edition (2008), and co-founder of the International Association of Online Communicators. He teaches Internet Public Relations at Tulane University. Voice of Experience: Penny Callmeyer At 5:45, join us for an interesting discussion about savvy print buying. Prepayment is required for registration. Please register below or RSVP to the ABPA hotline (602) 274-6264 or email info@azbookpub.com. For speedy check-in, pay in advance by credit card (Visa/ MC) or check-mail to ABPA address: Arizona Book Publishing Association, 6340 S. Rural Road #118-152, Tempe, AZ 85283 http://azbookpub.com/abpa-education/oct-28/ ------------ * Upcoming Events -- November 16: SSA Holiday Book Fair 12-4 PM, Four Points Sheraton, Tucson "Get your Holiday shopping done early" Instead of our normal forum, SSA will hold its Fourth Annual Holiday Book Fair at the Four Points Sheraton Conference Center from Noon until 4pm, featuring two Award-Winning Guest authors: Rhys Bowen (IMBA #1 best seller Her Royal Spyness, The Royal Pain, Molly Murphy Mysteries) and Virginia Nosky (Blue Turquoise, White Shell-IPPY Gold Medal, First place Glyph trophy Arizona Book Publishing Association). This event is open to the public to attend and is a fabulous venue to sell your books. Space is limited to SIXTY authors-and it's filling fast. You must be an SSA MEMBER to sell, but everyone is welcome to attend. AUTHORS: $20 registration fee gets you a FULL TABLE to display your work, as well as munchies and beverages. DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS NOVEMBER 1ST. A registration form is attached to this edition of The Write Word. VOLUNTEER HELPERS: $10 sign up fee will cover food and beverages. We will have door prizes to give away to the public and a fun Holiday atmosphere to get them in the gift-buying mood. But it's up to YOU, SSA Members, to make this a great success! Tell everyone you know to come and find that unique gift for someone special. All genres will be represented-Children's Books, Mysteries, Romance, Historicals, Non-fiction-so there will be something for everyone. Don't forget-no forum, just BOOK FAIR! Sunday, November 16, noon till 4PM at the Four Points Conference Center, 1900 East Speedway (At Campbell). http://www.ssa-az.org/wwcurrent.htm -- December 3: ABPA Holiday Party 5:30 p.m., Burton Barr Central Library-4th Flr., 1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ Potluck Celebration Event! Registration (by Nov. 28): $10 per person Register: www.AZBookPub.com Please bring a dish to share. Utensils will be provided. Advance payment is required; no refunds after the registration deadline. http://azbookpub.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/2008hpflyer.pdf -- February 28, 2009: ABPA Annual Conference Realities of Publishing: Preparing for Changes in the Industry Jobing.com, 4747 N. 22nd St. #100, Phoenix, Arizona In today's economy, publishers must work smarter to create a more successful company. Making smart choices about editing, design, production and printing puts you on the right path. But what about distribution, electronic publishing and foreign rights? Discover the latest on how publishers can create best-selling products and market them to earn a better bottom line at this year's ABPA annual conference. Mark your calendar now for February 28, 2009 (moved from October), and join us! For advertising opportunities at the Conference, please contact Penny Callmeyer 623-465-8760 cpennyc@msn.com. http://azbookpub.com/events/annual-conference/ -- March 13-15, 2009: Tucson Festival of Books The Tucson Festival of Books promotes a region-wide public celebration of reading and literacy, supported by The University of Arizona, the business community, reading and literacy groups, and tourism/economic development organizations. http://www.tucsonfestivalofbooks.org/

Robert Casler, ABPA So. Arizona Chapter Chair

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