Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Where the rubber meets the road."

I woke up with a Nyquil hangover the other day. Headache. Dizzy. It wasn't the cold I've fought off for the past few days. It was the dumb idea of taking a generous shot of Nyquil at two in the morning and then waking up at six. Los Angeles traffic has its own rhythm, but that day it was a monotone tune. It made me pensive.

If you look to your left and right while driving in the street or in one of our freeways, you'll see people driving too. But it's a snapshot of life. The further you drive away from where you live, the less likely you are of running into someone you know. Eventually, you reach the Abstract Realm; people are there who weren't there yesterday. You'll never come across the same people again. They exist only to fill the urban landscape and you wonder if they're real at all.

At Long Beach State University, I was a zombie. But as I headed for one of the Starbucks a crowd of people were all about me. The semester is not in session so this was a strange thing.

Oh. Graduation. The Commencement ceremony was that day. Students and family. It was their day. The proud wore their gowns and an assortment of regalia.

"Where the rubber meets the road," I said, but to myself.

The expression is similar to another one, "This is the moment of truth." In other words, it's time for you to perform or die. It's a little extreme, but that's how I learned it in the Army.
At the end of April, when I published Absolution, I gave myself a modest goal: Sell it to ten people who said they would buy it if you published it. I had to do that while the novel was still relatively unknown, before the start of the marketing campaign. Yesterday, I met my goal. That may seem like a very small amount, but it's the principle behind it. In my gut I know that if I can sell it to those ten, then I can turn around and sell it to a multitude of strangers.

To celebrate this, I lowered the price of the ebook version of my novel to $0.99. That's right. I'm almost paying you to read it. Also, the links work again! The paperback edition is ready at Createspace (good luck finding it on Amazon). Barnes and Noble has it in their Nook book store. Even Diesel and Kobo have it (though it will be a few days before they lower their price to $0.99).

And so, cliche, cliche muses, hear me! This is where the rubber meets the road.