STRATEGY MEETING: Me, Crackers, Squibbie. A spider in the corner who is in charge of embellishment. She refuses to take notes. I’m the only one awake.
STATS: Close to 200,000 page views during the life of the blog. (April 1, 2004 to April 1, 2012.) No accumulated url’s (list of email addresses) partly because of a hard drive crash and partly because they would be useless anyway. They don’t group into any sort of category. except that they read this blog. My friends don’t realize anything about url harvesting, but I’m very wary. I check Google etc, even the images -- which are often surprising. (The stock images iNewp uses will show up with strange titles.)
INEWP: When I write a post that I think is of general interest, I send it to www.inewp.com which republishes to a broader audience. Once in a while something comes of it. Not often. They’re beginning to talk money for contributors.
ROPE AND WIRE: When I write a “Western” story, I might send it to this website, but I’m a little too racy and eclectic for them. My fiction is probably better served by being grouped and made available on my own blog. Or should I start a “story blog” and put all the fiction there?
ADSENSE: In theory, my account shows that I’ve earned $120.18, but I have yet to see anything except bits of plastic I can cash in for free advertising on other people’s blogs. The ads, of course, are usually inappropriate and opposite to my opinions. Pay no attention.
POSTS: To date, 2161 posts. The early ones concentrate on Blackfeet and include a lot of reviews of my personal library of books about Blackfeet and Indians, concentrating on Blackfeet. There are still a lot of rez people and diaspora people who don’t have or use computers. (Computers are increasingly available and there’s a surprising amount of Blackfeet stuff on YouTube.) I pick up readers who are scholars or who are doing genealogy. I post some contemporary obits.
BEGINNING TO GROUP: I’m beginning to group and organize the reviews of Blackfeet books. I won’t put them on Lulu at first or make them into eBooks. I’m just going to post pdf’s on my blog where people can download. I’ve discovered that people bootleg (“bookleg”) them into being ebooks anyway, so why not just let them do it? Why “fence the communion?” I’ve not been able to get across the idea that www.lulu.com/prairiemary is the place to buy my books. Amazon plays games: one day Lulu books are listed, the next day they are not. “Twelve Blackfeet Stories” has been pirated and is sold all over the planet. I’ve never seen a dime.
I’m not sure the film reviews are worth grouping. Maybe the ones on “religious” subjects. Some of the Blackfeet history or geology are already books on Lulu. I wouldn’t have to ask permission to post the pdf’s I originally sent Lulu.
Now that Valier has a librarian willing and able to use Interlibrary Loan, I can do far more scholarly research, which means I have less time but more personal reward. I love reading this stuff. But it means that some people find the posts harder to read.
Most Montana people are convinced that I have a stash of my books at my house and that they must drive over and knock on the door to get them. They also feel it is vital to have autographs. Many peripheral and unconscious bits of protocol floating around out there. My older Montana friends will pick up the old-fashioned landline and that’s good. They will also drop by, which is fine. The middle-aged and professional ones call from I-15: “I’m twenty minutes from your house. May I come to call?” Sure. But I don’t have any of my own books. I have to buy them and I don’t have the money to spare. In past times, authors left books on consignment all over the state. I’m not willing nor able to do that.
Interestingly, there are a few writers (mostly middle-aged males) who think of me as a consultant. The most interesting question so far was “what does it feel like to ride a really good horse?”
BOB SCRIVER: Most dismayingly, my formal bio of Bob Scriver has not sold well. It cost me several thousand dollars. (The Press was subsidized by a grant from a foundation.) Worse, Scriver bronzes have been selling at auction for EXTREMELY low prices. Not the little ones that the entrepreneurs have been pushing for decades, but the major pieces from the Sixties that equal in quality the fine 19th century classic bronzes. I think the causes are partly crooked but also partly demographic: They are dispersing out of the estates of the grandparent generation and are not valued or even recognized by the inheritors. Also, there is a scrum of new artists fighting to make names, particularly those using the easy shake-and-bake casting technologies. They use up all the air.
What to do about this? If I had a bankroll, should I travel and lecture and become a sort of docent? I’m finding that’s not welcome and I’m not up to it. Should I be writing another sexier, shorter, simpler bio? I should probably consult the U of Calgary Press, but I would not want them to publish. Maybe it could be an ebook. Should I see whether the Montana Historical Society realizes what they are sitting on. SITTING ON!! How much more of my life should be devoted to Bob Scriver? I do not like disappearing into his “legacy” when I have a life and products of my own.
BOOKS IN PROCESS: “The Molten Chalice” first draft is complete. It is good, keying into the furor over brain studies and also the religious hodge-podge out there. It is NOT religious in any institutional sense, but “spiritual” in a kind of poetic sense. PRE-religious. It’s stable enough to revise now.
“Prairie Gladiators,” the novel about small town athletics and corruption is gaining notes and clips every day. The newspaper is full of it. Montana is slowly beginning to realize that “our” athletes take success to be entitlement for very bad behavior and the coaches look the other way. It starts early.
AGING: At 73 I’m feeling good but not inclined to over-extend. More seriously, maybe, my cohort is aging and it’s work for us to comfort and inform each other. Even the keyboard users are feeling the pressure. Phone cards are a big help. The house is aging faster than I am. The cats are about ten years old now. Crackers has arthritic hips. We all appreciated this open winter.
POLITICS: I stay out of the fray mostly, but there are things that . . .
TECH EXPANSION: My big thing last year was getting a digital camera. It will take vids. Should I begin to experiment and post? I’ve also learned to make sound files. Should I put MP3 files on a separate blog? It’s not hard to make them. I haven’t used music in a world where music and vid are synonymous.
I am not running out of things to do!!