Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My book, Streets of Gold

In a week or so, my book, Streets of Gold, will come out on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords etc. Streets of Gold is one of the two non-commercially viable books that I am self-publishing.
I wrote the novel in 1974, possible through to 77. I wrote the book on an old manual typewriter. Back then, Isaac Asimov was touting the new thing, a word processor. I wanted one badly, but the price started at $10, 000, which, at that time, was twice what my husband made a year. So I typed taking anywhere from twenty minutes to forty minutes a page, transcribing what I had written longhand in a notebook. I made anywhere from five to forty mistakes per page. Because correcting on a manual typewriter was too hard for me to accomplish, I would white-out the mistakes with a little brush and hand draw the correct letters. You can imagine how awful creating multiple drafts were. Whenever I typed, my toddler would run in and try to disrupt the process, and usually succeeded (I'm looking at you, Josh). We lived in the Ballard District of Seattle, in a church parsonage in exchange for doing janitor work inside the church and chasing away the men who thought our church was a urinal. Later on I got an electric typewriter, which made correcting mistakes marginally better as there was a white-out ribbon and one could roll the paper back and forth with less slippage than on the manual. That required me to recognize I had made a mistake before I took the paper out of the machine. When I got my first word processor for maybe two and a half thousand dollars installed on an Apple IIc, I nearly danced as I threw out my old typewriters. I think each storage document had a capacity of 54 kilobytes. At any rate, each chapter had to have its own document, and had to be short. Still, I could easily correct my mistypes (of which there were many and still are many because I have such a bad proprioreceptive memory) and typing sped up exponentially.
Streets of Gold is the first novel I wrote that did not deserve to be strangled in its cradle. Some may disagree with that assessment, but despite the faults of the novel, I still have a great fondness for the book because I did achieve one of the things I was striving for: the building of a wonderful world.
I should warn potential readers of the book that I grew up Baptist, an Evangelical, on the northwest coast of the United States, and in this book I was thinking out loud, as it were, about what the Faith as I understood it might look on another planet among aliens. I am able to read books written by Mormons, atheists, Hindus, etc., all expressing their worldviews and find interest in all of them, BUT, if you are one of the readers that throw a fit if you read a book that has a Christian in it, do yourself and me a favor and don't read Streets Of Gold. Life is too short to make yourself miserable. I think I can write from a little broader perspective now that I have visited and lived in different parts of the world, and have studied other branches of my Faith and made friends of those with other religions and no religion. But, as I said earlier, I am still fond of this novel, and hope you won't make too big a fuss about its birthmarks.

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