I find it difficult getting my work published—even when I do the publishing myself!
It takes time to get all the elements to come together (and for me, it takes time to do anything at all). I can work fast if necessary, as it was while The Odyssey was in production, but in the main I find it’s not worth the stress. When all is said, I’d rather enjoy myself than highball to get a thing out the door sooner. The product will be more “me” this way.
Also, rush jobs are usually not quite satisfactory. There will be errors or other signs of shortcuts having been taken. That’s not to say that my work is without errors (and feel free to report any to me if you spot them), but I think you can tell by the look and feel of a thing what quality of love and attention has been lavished on it. The very finest things are totally uneconomical in this way: they manifest excellence and loved in a way that goes beyond their sticker price. They show that the creator could not possibly have been compensated adequately for his time and effort. He was serving the goddesses Love and Beauty, and very likely felt privileged to do so. This is the labor of art.
It’s what I seek to do with my own creations. The work that I am in the process of bringing to publication is another short story, this one called The Thought Dial. Like A Tourist Visa, it’s a story I drafted long ago, in 1992, and it got pushed aside by other, more pressing projects. With the power of publication in my own hands, I don’t want to let any of my potentially publishable work to go to waste, so out the door it goes—soon. One thing that has taken time to get right is the cover art. I came up with the concept and design, and engaged two separate artists to help me bring it to fruition. The design is simple, but it takes time to get the details right.
At last, though, I feel that the cover looks the way it should, and I can publish at last. Now there is a new glitch: the planet Mercury has turned retrograde in the sky, which is a negative indicator for starting any new undertaking (I have heard that Stephen Spielberg will not allow any film of his to be released while Mercury is retrograde). The retrograde will last until December 23. I will publish The Thought Dial, a story about a teenage boy anxiously preparing to ask a girl for a date, as soon as I can after that.
Meanwhile, I would like to offer you a glimpse of the cover for the e-book. This is what all my fussing was about. You can contemplate as you await the arrival of that new story. Enjoy.