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  • Clarke Wallace

MAKING A MESS OF THINGS

I’m lousy at organizing stuff. Each year I’m determined to jot down what’s ahead in a new Brownline Journal, so not to miss something I shouldn’t miss.

That’s when things fall apart. I put the Journal aside and make notes on a large notepad, on small notepads. On those little yellow Post-it notes, reminding us they're recyclable.

Come late summer and nothing’s been done. I missed connecting with ‘Word on the Street’ where authors and the public spend time together. I missed the 1000 Islands Writers Festival in Gananoque because I didn’t sign up soon enough.

Hold on! I have now started filing things in the Journal. Emails I’ve received that need replies. Along with making a list to visit small independent bookstores this fall, taking copies of HARM’S WAY, my latest novel, along with me.

I’m lining up reader’s groups. It’s amazing what questions those who attend ask. Yet there’s often someone who’s read your book very slowly, cover to cover. Why? Finding a typo or a word misspelled makes their day.

I spent yesterday moving notes and scribbles on pads and dumping them in the Journal. Call backs where I had pitched an idea, or to remind them again what I’d pitched to them.

I phoned a veteran bronc buster asking if he’d had a chance to read a western screenplay I’d emailed it to him a month earlier. His reply? “I promise I’ll read it in bits and pieces sandwiched between what keeps me busy.” You can’t argue with that.

Author’s comment: I'll spend the rest of the day finishing what else needs to be in the Journal. Most important, what’s ahead. Like reaching local libraries to arrange times to meet those who’d listen to an author. Q&As work best for me. Meaning everyone's involved. Don’t wait to ask a question. Stand up and shout it out.

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