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Thread: A gratifying personal accomplishment

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  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    The right earlobe of North America

    A gratifying personal accomplishment

    For the past four months I have been having treatment for a significant health problem, prostate cancer, which has gone very well. It was caught very early, and we went after it with radiation guns blazing right away. Except for a bit of fatigue and needing to spend a lot of quality time in the bathroom, I feel fine. I finished up with that two weeks ago. But that’s not what I’m posting about, only here for backstory explanation of the important story.

    While at the radiology center, I met several other men in the same situation (it’s a very common problem for us folks in our late . . . 30s . . . and I made some new friends. One of them, a guy named Tony, shared a significant experience with me, serving in the military in Vietnam in 1969-1970, overlapping closely the time I served there. We got to sharing stories, and laughing a lot (it was a situation in which the only way you could react a lot of the time was to laugh), and he lent me the set of DVDs of Ken Burns’s Vietnam documentary, which I hadn’t seen. It is fabulous, if you haven’;t watched it.

    But, in return, I gave him a privately printed copy of my Vietnam novel, kind of to get slightly even. He read it in a week, and liked it so much he sent it to his brother, who lives in Texas, and also is a Vietnam vet. He told me his brother also really liked it, and sent it on to a friend of his who had been a career Army officer, retired Lieutenant Colonel. All that made me feel pretty good, I have to say.

    Then, another non-vet I had got to know at the radiology place, a retired financial exec with a local bank, named Wayne, who had heard the two of us talking about our experiences, also asked to see the thing. So I got him a copy. It arrived via USMail last week, and I made a trip down to the radiology place to give it to him. Today was his final day of radiation treatment, and they hold an informal “graduation ceremony” there and you get to bang a big gong signifying you have finished the treatment. I went down to help him celebrate, and he told me he had read the thing in three days and also really liked it.

    So, today, I had a bit of a boost, which leaves me with some decisions to make about the book. I at least have an audience of several, which is an improvement over . . . before. The last time I queried the thing was over two years ago, and I got a request for a partial (after three months), and a polite, rhoroughly professional form reject of that partial (after another three months). Which was so disheartening that I haven’t submitted anything anywhere since.

    So . . . do I get back to querying, knowing in my bone marrow that “submit” is a synonym for “invite rejection”? Do I self-pub the thing, just to have a few copies available for interested parties (I’ve long given up the fantasy of ever selling at a commercially-viable level)? Or do I just rathole it?

    In any case, while I consider the options, I do feel good about these guys having read it and made a point of saying they liked it. So I’ll take that as an accomplishment.

    Last edited by blacbird; 12-23-2017 at 09:20 AM. Reason: typo: I hate them bastards
    Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.

    -- Terry Pratchett

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