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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Poker and Publishing

Anyone who has gotten to know me recently knows that I've squared up quite a bit. I haven't been to the Majestic or the Horseshoe in over 6 months --the games are dry as hell at Majestic and Horseshoe is just way too far from the southwest suburbs-- and I haven't played one hand of online poker since May. Even when I was playing within the past year or so, I played very sporadically because I work full-time and I only got two days a week off from work. Now I only get one, and the last thing I want to do is get on Poker Stars still exhausted from running on 3 hours of sleep for the previous 6 days in my work week and risk losing my paycheck due to a lack of focus and missing betting patterns, etc.

I would feel like a:



for being such an idiot and logging in to be dead money for the players who've been grinding out a few big bets per hour at 5 different tables everyday. Their focus is there because they've been playing everyday and they haven't been working a square job 75 hours per week. While my dumb ass would be:



Trying to concentrate and play:



Just to fuck around and get:





by more than one:



Besides, making that dirty dollar is a lot harder these days. I'm a better live poker player than I am online, but the live games in my local area are dry as rotted wood unless there's a big tournament going on at one of the boats, so I adjusted and started playing online and actually turned a profit, but not enough of one to quit my day job, so when my second job called and asked if I wanted to work for them again this summer, I said HELLS YEAHS and abandoned the up and down money swings in poker to grind for some steady money in a second square job so I can really get behind my publishing company and give my book A THOUSAND CHANCES more exposure to the public.

Once I made the majority of the money --I still have 3 more paychecks to collect this summer-- I wound up having a difficult decision to make. Should I spend all the money I made this summer on my publishing company? Or should I quit my primary job after the second job ends and use half the money for my poker bankroll and the other half for my book? I ended up choosing neither and decided that the smartest thing for me to do at this moment would be to put most of the money in a 15 month CD and use only a fraction of it for promotional purposes.

After all, I'm finding it extremely difficult to get into bookstores and those alternative venues that self-publishing experts like to talk about online such as hosting a book signing in a supermarket is extremely difficult to get into as well. I decided that because my book isn't going to be readily available to the public that I will have to get off my ass and direct sell my book peddler's license be damned. With that said, I no longer need posters, easel boards, ad space or orders of mass quantities of my book because no bookstore, gas station or supermarket will carry my book right now.

Fine, I'm taking a page from the street lit authors book and loading up my car or my cart and hitting the streets and approaching anyone who looks like they can read. Its not like I haven't been told no to my face before, and when I got rejected by the store managers and business owners in person it really didn't feel that bad. Either shit, or get off the pot, and they got off the pot immediately, I respect that. I also understand that for every 3 people who say no one will take a chance and say yes. If I get 150 nos throughout the day, I'll have 50 book sales per day using that ratio. I no longer feel any apprehension of appearing to be a sleazeball salesman because the people who criticize us street sellers are the ones not making any real money and worried about whether or not their jobs are safe. The fact of the matter is, I got a really good book sitting in my closet and I need to sell my inventory whether its through a store or out my trunk --a sale is a sale.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

They Say, I Ask

This was one of the poems I performed at the Mercury Cafe as a featured poet on July 31st. The name of the poem is in the title of this blog.



They say

Work hard, come early, stay late


They say

Put a little away in case of a rainy day and take advantage of your company 401k


They say

Buy American, forgo the foreign auto


They say

Pay a 10% tithe of your earnings and receive your blessing 10-fold


They say

Marry her for love, money's not everything


I ask

Why doesn't this protect me from massive layoffs?


I ask

How can I be sure that I'll still have my money if Citibank goes belly up while my face is down?


I ask

Why doesn't GM make a car that we want instead of the Chevy Volt?



I ask

How come the church pastor doesn't pay tithes yet gets to drive a Cadillac to his palace which is made of gold while his tithing members can't keep their lights on in their house in the ghetto?



I ask

If marrying for love works so well, then how come over half the country's filing for divorce?



I say

Live life on your own terms, because if you listen to what they say, and it don't work; oh well, they say you're a jackass for listening to them anyway.




© Copyright 2009
Glenn Gamble
All Rights reserved

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pursuing Secular Work vs Pursuing Your Dreams II --An Author's Loneliness

I was told recently that in order to be able to focus that one must be alone. Does that mean that a man or a woman who is married with children lack focus because they're not alone?

In that same instance I was also told that some of the great authors isolate themselves while working on their projects. Needless to say, some of the great authors of our time were also crazy as catshit. Some of the great authors have been known to worship vampires and talk to themselves on park benches. Does that mean that I have to do it? Is that the road that I need to take?

While I appreciate that young lady's input being alone is not as good as she's making it out to be. Furthermore, when I refer to my loneliness it has nothing to do with my ability or inability to make friends or get a woman. I speaking in reference to being the most popular person in a room and feeling alone. For instance having 3 women and still feeling alone. Being well-liked, but misunderstood is a lonely feeling.

Also being well-liked, but feeling isolated is the most accurate description of how I'm feeling right now. Its nothing I can't get over, I've been dealing with it in some form or fashion all of my life. I never understood the feeling until I had the pleasure of having Dante Feenix --author of Black Butterfly and Diary of a 12 Inch Brotha-- on 60 Minutes With Glenn last year and he explained to my co-host and I that all artists go through a feeling of loneliness that I'm talking about. People in our lives use artists because we bring a certain joy to their otherwise ordinary lives because for whatever reason we are always the life of the party or the one who jump starts a good conversation, etc.

After we get used and used we begin to feel drained because people draw from our energy due to the fact that we're constantly giving it to people in so many ways such as trying to lift people's moods and spirits, or trying to push them to achieve what they feel is impossible, etc. As a result we become used up and at times we feel isolated because we're not like everyone else. All those things in my last blog weren't distractions, they were draining me and I voiced my frustrations with it. When I get drained, I tend to lash out at people and say things that cut deep. On a few occasions within the past 3 weeks I said some things that cut pretty deep whether KR wants to admit that she was hurt or not. When I was angry it felt good to let my words fly, but when I thought back on those instances I felt terrible first because I was wrong. I can get over being wrong, but what really wore on me is that I hurt KR's feelings --whether she wants to admit it or not, I know I did. When I realized how much damage I had done it took a lot of out me.

Let's not forget that I'm working two jobs this summer and that's taking a lot of energy out of me. Yet people think I feel isolated and lonely because I'm single. It has nothing to do with not having a fruitful relationship --its been 7 years since I've been in a relationship because every time I think I've come across the right woman it doesn't work out-- its me feeling like everyone's using me and taking from me without giving a shit about how I feel. Its not always true; there are only a few isolated cases where someone or some people don't give a shit about how I feel, or about me; but that's how I'm feeling. My mistake this summer is underestimating how much working two jobs has taken out of me.

Furthermore, I have not recharged the energy that's been taken from me since May. For my creative people --writers, singers, artists, actors, poets, etc.-- whenever you're feeling this way the best ways to recharge your batteries is to go to a festival where other creative people are performing and sharing their creative energy with the audience. Its always refreshing to watch a good dance performance or listen to some good poetry or music live.

The only other way to recharge your energy is by being with a person of the opposite sex that you like/love. Being around a person you like/love and sharing sexual energy with that person recharges both you and her/him when you know that you like/love that person and that person reciprocates that like/love back.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pursuing Secular Work vs Pursuing Your Dreams

Last night's blog was very therapeutic for me. I forgot why I used to blog all the time a few years ago. Its relieving to express my thoughts in blog form and just writing down my thoughts provided some clarity for me.

I'm beginning to realize that our square jobs are nothing more than dream killers. Granted there are a few square jobs out here that serve a higher purpose than just trying to make the highest pay grade. Teachers, police officers, and a few that I'm forgetting are occupations where you can actually make a difference in people's lives and I have been strongly considering becoming a college instructor once I get in my early 40s in addition to running my thriving publishing company.

Teaching isn't a dream killer for me. Perhaps I won't get as big as Omar Tyree if I become a teacher in my late 30s early 40s, but success for me would be to turn enough of a profit on each of my books where I can enjoy a comfortable living. I don't have to be rich, but building my fanbase slowly but surely could make my aspirations a realistic possibility as long as I continue to write good books, which I will.

I have come to the realization that in order for me to have a writing career I will have to stop chasing dollars so much that I forget about the things and the people who are most important to me. I will never work 70 hour weeks for 2 employers again, unless I'm working for myself. Even then I vow never to be one of those business owners whose working 12 - 15 hour days to get to the top. The way I have my company set up affords me the opportunity to turn a decent profit without putting in crazy hours. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not so idealistic to believe that my business will ever afford me a 4 hour work week 52 weeks every year, but my business model incorporates leverage in every aspect of my company.

The reason I vow never to work 2 jobs again is because the same exact reason I took on my second job this summer --to support my writing-- is killing my writing. Although my reserves are much larger now than they were at the beginning of this summer, I haven't made one ounce of progess since the RIF book club had gotten so excited about A THOUSAND CHANCES upon its initial release date this past spring. Futhermore, as much money as I have made this summer working, I probably would have made more money had I developed thicker skin and took a risk in saying no to the contract job offer and sold my books out the trunk of my car.

See, a lack of focus isn't my problem --after all, it takes a certain level of focus to write a book from start to finish which I have already proven on Amazon.com. Its a lack of time. I don't have time to devote to my book and my company at this moment and that's the thing that I grapple with most when it comes to my literary work. I know that the person who commented on my last blog meant well --albeit a bit indignant-- but isolating myself from the world isn't going to get people to buy my book.

Actually, the exact opposite will afford me a better chance to gain exposure for my book. I have to get out and meet people. These two jobs have prevented me from meeting many of my potential readers here in Chicago all because I thought it would be easier to get into stores to do in-store signings in coventional or non-conventional venues. That was until I took the other day off to speak with managers and owners of some of the local area businesses. They all said no to me, and the majority of them mockingly chuckled when I was asking how I can set up an in-store similar to the newspaper subscription sellers at the supermarkets. The same people who allow the locals to solicit Tribune subscriptions all said no to me because I had a book in my hand, and while it was discouraging to hear no at first; I realized that it doesn't feel all that bad and now I know I can handle the word no as a peddler of my own book.

Has the clarity that I've gained solved my present problems? No, but at least I know the path that I have to go down is a long one and that the work that's causing my problems will only last one more month.

Glenn Gamble's Struggles

This is the first entry in my blog and I must say that its long overdue. Obviously, this is my author blog that all the internet book marketing gurus say that I must have. Although that advice may be golden, I will not create a blog that's totally dedicated to my being an author, even though it is the case. Before I'm an author I am a human being first and sometimes I will speak on things happening in my personal life too. If you dig deep enough, you can find some of the blogs that I've written in the past on MySpace and you will come across my personal Facebook page and if you're fortunate enough to have been able to follow those, you know that you will enjoy my blogs, but I digress.

I'm coming to a lot of realizations lately with a lot of things being thrown my way in both my personal and *cough* professional life. Should I go back to school? Should I take this job? Should I quit my current primary job? Why am I killing myself working two jobs? Should I put more effort behind my book marketing? Is it even worth the effort? Should I tell this woman how I feel about her? Or is she even worth it?

These are a lot of questions coming at me really fast right now and I feel like a zombie in the twilight zone and I really don't know what to do. Right now I'm at a job that I really hate, but I love the company. I just don't see myself doing this as a career for more than 6 months from today, yet the job market is so shitty right now that its not like I can walk away from this job to the next job. And don't ask "well Glenn aren't you an author?" AUTHORS DON'T MAKE MONEY WHEN THE BOOKS AREN'T FLYING OFF THE SHELVES!

Which brings me to another thing I'm grappling with. I haven't put any effort behind my book and I have cheated myself and wasted my time by writing this book and putting it out to the public. With that said, I'm proud of my book --A THOUSAND CHANCES which is available at Amazon.com and BN.com-- its a very good book and I stand behind my work. A THOUSAND CHANCES is a very personal book of mine --although its fiction-- because its loosely based on my life experiences as a former professional gambler who's stuck in square society wondering why I don't fit in. The book is not a totally true account of my real life, but the cynicism, my struggles with opening up to a special woman that I would like to forge a deeper bond with (KR), and the standoffish-ness are all true.

This is a story that every adult man and woman needs to read to better understand their own reluctance to commit to anyone or anything and you won't realize it because it does such a good job entertaining the reader --YOU. Yet, I feel like I cheated myself by putting the promotion behind this book on hold because I'm too busy working two secular jobs this summer to build my reserves. I haven't committed any time to my book, my poetry, or that special someone that I keep pushing away for reasons I can't explain. Everything and everyone I love has been put on hold for money which is starting to bring me back to my loneliest days as a road gambler who always had a several women from state to state who were a ton of fun, but none who are in my corner. Now I find myself aimlessly single with an equally aimless plan of creating more exposure for my book.