I just terminated my contract and got the rights back to FAMISHED: a memoir of my NH childhood, growing up in the 60s, alcoholism, law school, ditching the law for writing, conversion to Catholicism, 30 years in LA…all centered around food–with recipes!
In one of my more severe colloborating with-/trusting-others debacles (there have been many), the book (which I GAVE to the people with no advance, our supposed collective hope being to earn money on royalties) was previously published and then, for reasons that will forever remain obscure, basically during the course of four years, not available for sale. No need to belabor the point, other than to say live and learn.
Still, untold hours of writing, editing, revising, correcting galleys, “marketing,” etc. later, I dithered over what to do with the re-acquired manuscript. Should I just lay it to rest and forget about it? Should I pay a book designer a few thousand dollars to design anew, then self-publish? Considering what had gone on before, and the attendant psychic fallout (because in retrospect the whole experience was kind of ghastly), that seemed a little extreme even for my you-need-to-bleed-for-your-work ethos.
Yesterday morning in prayer, it came to me: why not just put the whole damn thing on my website and if people can handle a non-kindle, free-flowing format, they can read it for free?
So that’s what I’ve done. Here’s the PAGE.
As I say at the very end, SHOULD YOU FEEL MOVED TO THROW A FEW BUCKS MY WAY FOR THIS AND THE MYRIAD OTHER OFFERINGS FOUND ON THIS SUPER-SPECIAL WEBSITE, I WOULDN’T FIND IT AMISS. THERE ARE VENMO AND PAYPAL BUTTONS ON THE SIDEBAR TO THE RIGHT. EITHER WAY–THANK YOU!!!
AND TO THOSE OF YOU WHO ALREADY CONTRIBUTE, SEVERAL REGULARLY, EXTRA THANK YOU.
My next freewill offering is going to be a nearly 8000-word essay I wrote about moving from LA to Tucson which after I finished I realized was too long (and too “Catholic”) to be published basically anywhere.
So again (after a truly inordinate amount of time spent working on it over the course of the last several months), I thought Well put it on your website which you spend 300 bucks a month to maintain.
This all might sound like “underearning,” as they say in money-recovery circles. But the reason I can afford to write what I like, give it away if I feel like it, travel where I like, do with days what I like, is because trust me I am way on the ball. Because I work hard to earn a humane living writing, speaking, etc other ways.
I am clear about my money, I’m a good steward of my money, I can give away some of my money, I know exactly how much I earn, how much I spend and on what, how much I have set aside for this, that and the other.
Also I have lived below my means my whole adult sober life.
Most to the point, since quitting my job as a lawyer to write, I have taken to heart Christ’s “Store up your treasure in heaven, where moths cannot devour and rust cannot corrode. For where your heart is, there will your treasure also be.”
It feels good to be able to offer something, to give something. it feels better than anything in fact. So take and eat.