I have gotten the pricing of the book about right at last. I am waiting until it finally becomes available at Amazon.ca to begin a promotional campaign. At this point, just one copy of Notes from Oblivion has been purchased, on October 13th. I can't help wondering who this unique individual may be, and a few days ago expressed my thoughts in a little poem.
A Single Copy
A single copy of my book has been bought
No, not by me, but by someone somewhere
What made them notice it?
What was it they sought?
Do they live just next door or way over there?
Who is this lone reader with whom I feel connected?
What do they do?
Are they young or old?
Will they have any regrets once my words they’ve inspected?
Have they even read them?
Will I ever be told?
It’s wonderfully strange to have sold just one book,
but not something upon which I wish to dwell
I will always remember selling this single copy
until somebody else buys one to break the spell
November 30th, 2023
© Gary Russo
Hello Goodreads! I have just established my Authors Page at Goodreads. I look forward to interacting with the community.
I have been able to get the price of my book reduced. Please note that it is easily available as an eBook for ten dollars Canadian. I have provided a link on the main page, where you can also read the first four poems. I have composed a new poem, a seven-stanza, crass, anti-woke diatribe. I intend this to be my main and final involvement in the cultural wars, to go along with Mao Would Be Proud and Literary Goons found in Notes from Oblivion. It is called Probably, Not Necessarily and begins
Probably, not necessarily
your new-born child is indeed a boy
But freaks whisper that you can not be sure
until it has selected its first toy
I have recently completed a new poem, The Birds of Courtenay. It is ten stanzas long, featuring geese, finches, robins, crows, pigeons, seagulls, starlings, and eagles. Here is the opening stanza and a picture of Courtenay.
A pleasant little island town
nestled in a serene valley
Life’s winding road has lead me here
and so I contemplate and dally
Herbed Cream Cheese on Ritz Cracker
By Gary Russo August 2023
“Despise not the day of small things”
said Zechariah, the biblical prophet
So, we will take a humble, yet perfect, Ritz cracker
and add something artful to top off it
Verily, verily, chopped finely,
fresh basil, marjoram, and dill,
character, color, intrigue, and flavor
in our simple canape instill
Only the finest cream cheese will do,
please pardon my insistency
Place cold in a bowl and with a handheld mixer
beat with the herbs just enough for a piping consistency
In everything simple there are always nuances,
the piping bag should not be more than half filled,
and don’t pipe too close to the edge of the cracker
or your soiled-fingered guests will be less than thrilled
Remove the tops and the bottoms of red and yellow bell peppers
Lay skin-side down, deseed, and remove the membrane
with a sharp slicer knife and, for perfection,
carefully, accurately, evenly plane
Cut them into strips about one inch wide
and then into handsome spear-like decorations
This little extra step will help to ensure that
you exceed everyone’s expectations
As almost nobody is visiting this website, and I have not received a single comment in over a month, I write these lines for myself, to read sometime in the future. I still have no idea what the reaction to this collection, if any, is going to be. I had promised to provide another "glimpse" at the poems today, so here it is. I will not do any more as it is obviously pointless. This is the illustration accompanying We Are The Blockheads. It is generative AI by Adriana entitled Portrait of a Pit Bulldog dressed in a formal business suit. Watermarks do not appear in the book.
. . . We dominate you indirectly
We suffocate the quest for change
We stay in the same place forever
And we will never act strange . . .
Notes from Oblivion has stumbled coming out of the gate. As I have said, it will probably be the middle of November before the price becomes more reasonable. At that point I will relaunch the book. It is a mischievous, amusing, and provocative collection and I am sure it will eventually become popular, if not despised. In the meantime, I'll give you a glimpse of the poems. I'll do another of these next Friday. Here is the art accompanying the poem The Debutante (opening stanza below). It is generative AI entitled Tropical elegant pink flamingo and beautiful young woman concept by Uncanny Valley. Like many of the images, I found it at the excellent online resource Adobe Stock. The watermarks do not appear in the book.
The silver spoon may lay claim
to that beauty sitting over there
Yet I must pause and just consider
Is she really worth my stare?
It is going to take some time and expense to adjust the list prices for my book. I don't expect any changes for at least a month. I never thought Notes from Oblivion would have wide appeal, but the total lack of response is very challenging.
I am taking steps to have the cost of my book at Amazon, etc. reduced. I have clearly miscalculated in my pricing of the book. I would like to get the price of a hardback down to about twenty-five dollars. I don't know how long this will take, but hopefully it will be a matter of days. Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions on how I can improve my website I would appreciate them.
A week has passed since the publication of Notes from Oblivion. I have reached out to a few of the image creators and BC Bookworld to inform them, but after several days no response. Not a single sale nor any comments. It's very early days and I'm sure things will improve.