Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Writing, the holidays, and “Collect All 21!”

Without a doubt, this has been an interesting and adventurous and challenging and rewarding year in all sorts of ways, from relaunching “Collect All 21!” to Penguicon to the Towpath Marathon.

And, oh yeah, there was that thing where I was thrown headfirst into my freelance writing career.

“Roller coaster” doesn’t even begin to describe this ride.

I’m lucky to have a supportive and loving wife whose full-time job provides us health insurance and a measure of stability. Lucky to have the friends and contacts and encouragment to prevent full-on panic from day one.

There are, to be sure, fantastic pluses. I cannot possibly overstate how much I love working from home, and how much I’m enjoying the variety of editing and writing projects and assignments I’ve been offered. If this was only about the work, hell yes it would be totally worth it.

But it’s not just about the work: It’s about seemingly endless uncertainty, unpredictable pay schedules, the constant search for more projects, and the wrestling with budgets and tax puzzles. It’s about finding joy in earning just enough to no longer qualify for unemployment but still wincing at a monthly bill calendar that doesn’t care whether I get paid next Tuesday or in six weeks.

Still, I remain optimistic that by the time the one-year anniversary of my job cut rolls around in late March, I will be able to look back on it as far more of a promising beginning than a harrowing ending.

That said, it has not been an easy lifestyle adjustment, and with work slowing down as 2009 closes, Jenn and I are far more budget-conscious this holiday season than we have ever been in our 13 years of marriage.

What I’m hoping for this month, then, is to get a little holiday support for “Collect All 21! Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek – The First 30 Years.”

I have 27 copies sitting here in my office, and I would desperately love to send them all off to good homes for the holidays, so here’s the deal: Shipping for a nickel.

For $15 – that’s cover price plus five pennies – per book, I’ll sign and cover shipping for “Collect All 21!” anyplace in the U.S. (With apologies to international buyers: I’m ridiculously thankful to everyone in the seven other countries who has purchased my book, but I can’t ship overseas for less than $12 – but if you’re interested in one of these signed copies at that shipping cost, by all means get in touch!)

All you need to do is drop me an email at booth (at) – there shouldn’t be any problems at this point getting these sent out in plenty of time for the holidays.

And if I do manage to ship out all 27 of those copies, I’ll keep taking orders for signed copies at the nickel shipping rate through Dec. 24, although obviously I’ll have to place my own new order, and those won’t be mailed out in time for Christmas. (Think of it as commemorating the 32nd anniversary of Kenner’s famous Early Bird offer for Star Wars action figures in 1977.)

And hey, if you’re buying (or hoping to receive) a netbook or one of the several electronic book readers out there this year – well, “Collect All 21!” comes in a PDF format, too, which I’ll happily send your way for just $5. (I’ll admit up front that I don’t know the specifics about which readers handle PDFs best and which might require file conversion, or how that conversion will look on each reader.)

If you’d prefer to order regular unsigned copies through Lulu or Amazon or Barnes & Noble, that support is also greatly appreciated, and I sincerely hope you enjoy the read.

I have no illusions that my independently-sold books will ever replace a full-time salary, but I am hopeful that these sales can at least cover a bill or two, or be responsibly set aside for taxes (yet another golly-gee-this-is-fun facet of the freelancer’s life).

I’ve gotten encouragement from far-flung corners and surprising voices since updating the book in April, and I am deeply grateful and appreciative to every person who has bought it, blogged about it, reviewed it on Amazon or Goodreads or Lulu shared it with friends and family or just dropped me a note to say it sounded kind of neat.

If you’re one of those people who has purchased or recommended “Collect All 21!”, heartfelt thanks one more time from my little corner of Ohio, and if you know a Star Wars fan, or another former 1980s kid, or just a generally geeky type, I appreciate your spreading the word, whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter or your blog or wherever.

I’d walk through carbonite for every one of you.

December 1, 2009 - Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, Film, geek, Ohio, running, science fiction, Weblogs, writing | , , , , , , , , , ,

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