I’m putting this out into the blogosphere and universe to see what happens. Could be nothing, could be something, could be everything. The thing is this: your humble, currently unemployed (I prefer sans portfolio) blogger, bicyclist, book writer and other b-words cannot currently conjur the coins to enter himself into this contest. So, I’m thinking that perhaps perfectly pleasant people perusing these pages permutate into patrons.
That is, they (YOU) sponsor me to join the Texas Writers League and their Manuscript Contest – TODAY! (3/20/20) The benefis for me are having a snippet of my book reviewed professionally and even better, a shot at an awesome prize: free admittance to WLT’s Agents and Editors Conference. So if you want to learn about this and might want to pitch in, keep on reading.
For those just recently joining us, I’ve written the first draft of a book, similar to the themes of this blog. It’s a memoir about two years of my journey on a bicycle in which I pedaled over 10,000 miles. It’s about being car-free (over 15 years now), riding my bike long distances through training for and in charity rides (I raised over $12,000 in six rides), and hopefully inspiring other people to do more than they think they can on a bike or something else. I am still biking most days (6 months every day as of today!), and I walk, do yoga and write daily. Oh yeah, I’m a middle-aged, overweight fathlete, but I still get the job done. Sunday, I did another 50-mile ride, and last night, I did my second mile swim. Anyway, I think my book will be of help to and/or interest to quite a few people — if we can ever get it published.
Since 2016, I’ve written over 400 blog posts. Most of them are about bicycling, but more than a few veer into bike activism, politics, food, film, and more — even a couple of poems and a short story. I think quite a few are pretty decent and entertaining or informative. Several of them have been about the timeless tug-of-war between art and commerce. After four years, I’ve decided there’s no time like the present to ask YOU, dear reader, if you are in a position to become a patron of this little blog. The reward for you for doing this is knowing you’ve supported a struggling artist, my deep gratitude, and helping me have a shot at getting my book out there into the world.
The conference is nationally known and is where aspiring and published writers come together with agents and editors to learn about the publishing industry, network, hear what’s new in books, and have a meeting with an agent or editor to pitch one’s book. This is the most important part and has led many an attendee to get a publishing deal. That’s the holy grail of being an author, and while some people do it without the help of a conference, it’s obviously a lot easier when it’s set up to meet people in person and a lot of the ground work is done for you. It would be super awesome to get to go, but right now, being “between jobs” as I am, it’s out of reach.
The cost for the Manuscript Conference for members is $55, but I’m not yet a member, so that’s another $50 for one year. The conference is $429 until April 2, then the price goes up. I’m also aiming to join Freelance Austin which costs $85. So that means my request is for RIGHT NOW TODAY March 10, 2020 is $105, but really it’s $619 total. (Of course, with fears of the coronavirus, there is a chance they will cancel the conference, but we’ll come to, then jump off, that burning bridge when we come to it.) The point is I can’t do it alone right now, so I’m asking my almost 500 subscribers to help if you can. Of course many of you are also struggling artists, so it’s completely understandable if you can’t.
If you have liked, enjoyed, been challenged by, threw your computer or phone across the room because of, or otherwise been impacted by my blog and are in a position to pitch in (and are serious about it), please respond in the comments below or send me an email ASAP on 3/20/20. (If you see this after that date, get in touch anyway). I am not expecting anything, but I am hoping there are a few benefactors out there who appreciate what I do and are able to help out. That famous book says, “Ask and you shall receive.” But if you don’t ask, you get bupkis! So, I’m askin’. Thanks for your consideration. And please tune in again Thursday for another post.
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