"CKR" Diary Post No. 65
Friday, July 1, 2011
Finally! The announcement we’ve been waiting for: CTM3 (aka Kid Rock’s “Chillin’ The Most” Cruise #3) is setting sail from Miami to Half Moon Cay, April 26-30, 2012.
I repeat: APRIL 26-30, 2012.
Mark your calendar, get out your AmEx card, and be ready to reserve your spot (tickets likely on sale to the public in a week or two). Kat and Sherri, the friends who took CKR on CTM1, missed the last boat, but they will DEFINITELY be joining us this go ‘round. And the neighbors are 95% sure they’ll be there, too. If you’ve never been on a cruise before, this is the best inaugural voyage you could ever take. And if you HAVE taken a cruise, you’ve NEVER been on one like this. It’s a floating music festival, with a dozen bands (all genres) playing all day and all night long, the food’s free, the atmosphere can’t be beat, and your fellow cruisers are ALL there to have a good time – just like you.
Here’s the best part, though, from my perspective: CTM1 sailed on the Carnival INSPIRATION (which I found appropriate…and inspiring), CTM2 sailed on the TRIUMPH (interpreted as a good sign, given that I was on the boat and that much closer to getting his attention), and CTM3 will sail on the DESTINY. I shouldn’t have to explain my thoughts on that one.
We’re going all out and getting a cabin with a balcony, but you don’t have to go crazy – just GO. If two days on a private island with Kid Rock and friends isn’t enough to convince you, how ‘bout I offer to buy the first round? The boat sells out fast, so don’t wait too long to decide. Details are at KidRockCruise.com. It’s MY destiny, why not make it yours, too. ;)
"CKR" Diary Post No. 66
Thursday, July 7, 2011
* Rocko ate 6 mangoes today – that I know of. In addition to breakfast and dinner, he nibbles on acorns, grass, crickets, lizards, and squirrels all day, every day, helps himself to trash if he can reach it, and gets fed treats all night by the kids while we’re sleeping. He might think he is, but he is NOT starving.
"CKR" Diary Post No. 66
Thursday, July 7, 2011
When I last spoke with the publisher, two weeks ago, all that stood between their finger and the print button was my approval of the cover and content. They sent me the cover last Wednesday (over a week ago). Given the timetable they advised, I thought the content would soon follow. I’ve been waiting ever since.
While waiting, I picked up Stephen King’s DUMA KEY. Actually, I borrowed it from a friend after I saw it on her shelf last Saturday (thanks, Dorothy!). I thought it might keep my mind off CKR and the cruise and keep my anxious self occupied over the three-day, Fourth of July weekend. I can’t say it was a complete failure; I enjoyed the book. Read the first half on Sunday – about all I could handle with a hangover (thanks, Dorothy!...et al) – before heading out with the neighbors Sunday night to Boston’s On The Beach in Delray to catch Ana Popovic at Red, White & Blues Fest (she rocked!). Climbed into bed around 2am (again after drinking too much), slept late, did laundry, and read a little more on the Fourth. I was hoping to get a good night’s (sober) sleep that night.
Around 4am Tuesday, we got a call from the boy that his car broke down on the off-ramp to our exit. I was ready to give him hell for calling us at that hour to say he’d run out of gas (Next time, you can walk!), when he explained he’d had a flat, stopped to change the tire, then couldn’t get the engine to start. I gave him a pass and a ride home. I tried to sleep a little more, was awakened again at 7:15 by the auto-call from FPL to say the meter reader was coming and could I unlock my gate and contain my dog, tried to be coherent when Scott left around 8am, so I could tell him goodbye before he caught a flight later that afternoon, then gave up trying to sleep around 10. Rocko was starving.* I worked on blog and Diary posts until 1:30ish, when the teenager (who’s rarely been home this summer) reminded me that she was going to Sebring for the week and we had to leave to meet her grandma – in 20 minutes. Three hours of steady driving later, I returned to the house with just enough time to take the boy to work.
I was reading Tuesday night when the neighbors called to invite me to the Grouper for a nightcap. There’s only one answer to that; it’s the Grouper. We started there and continued on at their place (I warn them constantly they treat me too well, but they don’t listen), where I stayed up past my bedtime, waiting for the boy to call for a pick-up. He sent a text at 11:49...to say he’d found a ride. Fifteen minutes later, I was walking through the yard when he arrived with a buddy from work and headed to the back house. I remembered to grab DUMA KEY and my whiskey bottle before seeking refuge in my bedroom. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about the Patrón in the cupboard until I saw the bottle on the counter the next morning.
The book was awesome. I even thought he did a great job on the ending (not one of his strengths). Scott returned home around six on Wednesday and helped the boy get his car off the off-ramp. After a Google search, they figured out what the problem was. Turns out it had an EASY button in the trunk. With all things settled and returned to (relative) normalcy, I turned my attention, once again, to the tick-tock of the publishing process. Throughout the week, I’ve been checking both email and my online account. At least twice a day. I knew, at any moment, I could be required to stop whatever I was doing and sit down to review CKR. This morning, my online account said there was an “ACTION REQUIRED” on my project. Thrilled, and thinking the timing couldn’t have been better, I looked for the action that was required of me – and found nothing.
I looked everywhere. Finally, after hours (days) of heightened anxiety and speculation, I called my contact at CreateSpace and asked what was up. She explained there was a glitch in the system, several accounts had received the same bogus message. I literally felt the wind in my sails *poof* out. Then she looked up my account and said it appeared the interior would be completed either today or tomorrow. Once I approved it, it would be “ready to ship in 3 to 5 business days.” I should have asked her to explain. I should have asked her to be more specific, give me a date to look forward to. Once she’d said “today or tomorrow,” though, my mind locked on and considered the rest extraneous. I’ll find out what’s next next.
That means I’m back to waiting. And speculating. At least I found time to write an update. Had the weather been better – or had the weather not threatened to be bad, only to be just fine – I’d planned to mow the lawn today. Still can, I suppose. But you can bet I’ll check my email first. I want this wait OVER. The suspense is killing me.
Once again, stay tuned…
“CKR” Diary Post No. 67
Monday, July 11, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
This is so fuckin’ frustrating! I’d toss back a shot to calm my nerves, but it’s only 9am (and I had enough over the weekend the thought is almost nauseating). Five years of sweat, tears, and aggravation got me here, and all I can do is wait – and suffer MORE aggravation – while the publisher deals with computer glitches (and Christ knows what else) and 3 to 5 business days turns into 12. I really thought it would be over by now, thought I’d be holding CKR in my hands, feeling its weight, turning its pages. I announced to the “world” (aka you) that it was coming. I spent a week producing a trailer and shamelessly begged my friends to “Like” my Facebook page. And what do I have to show for all the hype? Nothing. You’d think I was new. How on earth could I have allowed myself to believe THIS process would be any better or less stressful than every other damn process related to this book?
Why can’t one thing be easy? Just one. The inspiration hit me so hard it left a bruise. The drive to write nearly killed me. I lost my writers’ group, almost lost my marriage, and might have lost my mind. I want this ride to be over! I want to get off, regain my balance, and climb aboard something a little slower – think inner tube floating gently down a lazy river. DeSAIN is (impatiently) idling in the wings, and I’d very much like to pounce on it. The idea of spending the next several months in Malta (via my imagination) is extemely appealing, even with the bloodshed and sibling rivalry. But, given the need for focus, I can’t even begin to entertain the possibility of working on new chapters until CKR is out there. Whenever the fuck that is.
Regardless of what I do, it appears I’ll be tested to the end. Pre-sales for the Kid Rock Cruise started today. Booking times are assigned, based on seniority. I’m scheduled to reserve our cabin(s) on Wednesday morning. If I don’t receive the interior proof today, there’s a strong possibility I’ll be editing when go-time rolls around. Five other people are depending on me to secure their spots. I’ve gotta be at the computer, credit card in hand, when the time comes. No exceptions, no excuses. The big question, then, is: How far into the book will I be when I have to put it down? Two chapters from the end? Four pages from the beginning? Dead middle? Which would produce the highest levels of anxiety? And what if I don’t have a book at all and am still empty-handed and waiting on Wednesday morning? What state of mind could I expect to be in? Should I be trusted with a credit card under those circumstances?
Again, Fuck! I should have stuck to my original, childhood plan and become a superhero.
“CKR” Diary Post No. 68
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Four hundred pages? FOUR HUNDRED??! Are they shitting me?! I said it was REDNECK fiction. How many rednecks do they suppose will pick up a novel that looks like a dictionary? We agreed on an estimated 270 pages. How does THAT become 402? Did I authorize a large print version? Is it going to cost me extra to fix it…and put it where it was supposed to be? At least I can’t say there’s a doubt in my mind, anymore, about whether or not they’re reading the book. Or listening to me.
I thought they’d send an electronic version prior to supplying a hard copy. Instead, I received notice yesterday via email that my “physical proof” was ready. All I had to do was provide my mailing address (which they already had – twice, in the billing and royalties sections on the site) to approve shipment…all 400 pages’ worth…in 3-5 business days. I called to ask if they could correct the length BEFORE they mailed it to avoid adding another 3-5 business days to the 3-5 business days it’ll take to decline it, return it, and have it reformatted. They said I could make the change once I got the proof.
Why can’t just ONE thing be easy?
They’ve assigned a $9.46 price, which I thought I was supposed to do, though it’s possible the amount is only an automatic default entry, based on industry standards. At that retail price, I’d make royalties of $1.89 per Amazon copy and $0.00 per Kindle copy. [Ultimately, the sale price I settled on allows me to earn $.89 on paperback sales and $.91 on e-book.] Not exactly the cha-ching I had in mind. To add distribution channels (i.e., book stores, etc.), I’d have to increase the sale price to over $14. I think that’s too high. I’d correct it now, but there’s no sense confusing the matter; the formulas will all change once the book’s a reasonable 300 pages or less. Which will happen in 3-5 business days, give or take 3-5 business days.
On a cheerful note, I signed on this morning (as directed by Sixthman) and booked the cabin we wanted on CTM3. (That’s right: We’re headed BACK to the BOAT, MOTHERFUCKERS!) Our fingers are crossed that our homegirls can snag a room next to ours this afternoon. The neighbors get their shot on the 18th. It’ll be awesome to share this experience with friends, regardless of where our beds are located. But having three balcony rooms in a row would be so much awesomer. We’ll no doubt have to come up with some type of no-peeking or sock-on-the-door-knob rule, but we’ve got ‘til April to work through details. And I’m not opposed to holding a pillow over my mouth.
For the next few (3-5 business) days, I’m going to craft the final Diary post. It had to end somewhere, and the point has always been to tell the story of writing the story, from concept to reality. Once it’s published, the story’s over. And I think six years’ of entries is enough. I’ll continue to post material to the blog, of course (we’ve already discussed that ego stroking thing, so I won’t get into reasons why I blog). And I’ll hopefully tie up any loose ends I’ve left dangling. If there’s something YOU would like me to address in the last entry of The Diary of “Chasing Kid Rock,” now would be a good time to leave a comment or send a note. I won’t be back ‘til there’s a real book in my hands, so there’s no rush. Just make sure you pencil in a return to read the final post. I’m guessing it’ll be here in 3-5 business days, give or take 3-5 business days.
Post Script: It was raining like hell, but the Internet connection held long enough: Our homegirls are on the boat! All that’s left is the wait for the neighbors’ booking time…tick tock, tick tock…
(to be continued...)