my kop raas...
|slave to good coffee|
I've been through literally months of set-backs. Because this is a bit of a journal-style blog (from the 'orses mouth one hopes) I'll just list a few here, not as a pity party but to clarify to myself where on Earth I could have lost such a lot of time!
- My health went awol. What we thought was a stomach ulcer was treated with PPi's which (most probably) finished off my gall bladder en route to damaging my liver. End result: a costly and concussive stay in hospital, the dwaal of which I'm still working to get out of. Slowly my energy levels return; I still freeze though, day and night. Yup. Now to find a way back to being young.
- Once out of hospital I worked my backside off to catch up all missed lessons... still nevertheless 2/3 of my studio "jumped ship", each student for their own reasons. Such diverse reasons as matric, workload, and neck injury.
- right, those were the two worst. Now for the good news.
For some surprising reason, books have started moving. Not hugely; but they do. These are paper book sales, mostly direct sales, and the "volume" sales are to music shops. Our two little music runners, "Violin Tunes" and Alan Solomon's "Not Another Scale Book", seem to be quite popular.
We also managed to sell a few Solar Winds (various sequels). The nudge is quite clear: This is not an experiment any longer, it's a business and we'd better get thinking in lines of proper marketing.
Sales are the lifeblood of the business. Without sales I might as well close shop. So, increased sales are excellent news.
P'kaboo has been in "project overload and results under-performance" for nearly a year (or more precisely, since its inception).
- Need to relaunch "Freedom Fighter" along with the next sequel, "Raider", which needs to be printed.
- In fact we're out of print copies of Freedom Fighter; first mini-run is sold out. This sounds grand but these are microscopic runs; nevertheless we're honing down our figures to become more market-specific. There's no point in printing thousands of books if sales are a trickle.
- With the relaunch of "Freedom Fighter" I should launch a paper version of "Mercury Silver"; the book needs to be promoted to libraries, schools etc. It's really a very quirky collection, I loved putting it together.
- Violin Tunes 2 is so far a pipe dream, until I've made friends with the music program. I'm using a different program this time, as Cakewalk can't handle slurs, fingering and all sorts of other nice stuff. Cakewalk is really a recording program and the notation function is an afterthought.
- "Not Another Scale Book" needs to be put together in its non-handwritten version (without illustrations, oh well). I've got the tools for it now; was missing the program (my Acrobat was erased with my hard drive back in my Windows days). PDF Shuffler or PDF Chain will do it though.
- I want to start another short-story or perhaps, poetry project. I loved Mercury Silver, it really had that energy to it.
- Need to make a catalogue of all our books, for Bargain Books (and other places). And perhaps, get some more flyers out, now that we have multiple more titles.
- Thinking of putting my own short-stories into a paper format too.
Get my head clear
The most important thing is for the owner of P'kaboo to get her head clear of the hospital fog. I've started retaking my life; I'm reconnecting with Pretoria's music circles (in line with P'kaboo's whole mission of getting young stuff out there, a young conductor contacted me and I helped him find more players for his orchestra, which has grown into a high-quality chamber orchestra and will hopefully grow more as he puts on more shows).
I've also retaken editing the SW series. There are one or two stories I've been writing in the interim, one because it simply happened, and one because my daughter challenged me that I can't write about vampires (which I can but I find them boring). Predictably, the "simply happened" science fiction story has a very clear direction, thrust, and that immense creative energy that predicts a story that writes itself. And the vampire story is contrived and painful, and fails to go anywhere. It's a non-starter. Maybe I really can't write about vampires. There's another little story lurking in the woods, a really spooky one, which promises to be quite short; I can see its ending. But it moves much better than the vampire story.
This is something I observed. Certain jobs take it out of a person where others feed you, energize you. Music in any shape energizes me, I can live on that energy. So does writing; and funnily, web programming. Writing is a pretty selfish kind of energy though, I'm still not quite sure why we do it. (Because otherwise the voices in our heads don't shut up?) What amazed me was the energy that spun off from Mercury Silver. Now to find a way of making that niche into a thing I can give enough time because it doesn't only feed my spirit but my family...