What I’ve Been Up To

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted here, and also since I’ve done a podcast episode. There are reasons!

After publishing Killing Berthold Gambrel and The Basement via Draft2Digital last fall, I decided to republish all of my previous efforts on Draft2Digital. Why? I don’t know that it helps my sales much, but I like the idea of my books available much more broadly than what Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing makes available. In the last few months, I’ve republished One Night in Bridgeport, The Dime, and my two previous short story collections. Those collections I combined with The Irrepairable Past into a single volume titled A Little Bit of This.

Here is what publishing through D2D has made possible. My ebooks are available on just about every ebook platform there is and they are also available to libraries through Overdrive and a few other platforms. Meanwhile, the paperbacks can make their way into bricks and mortar stores and are also available in on-line book stores. So far, my searches have seen my books show up on the following websites: Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books, Books-A-Million, Harvard Book Store, Walmart, and Amazon, of course. I’m sure there are more.

Here are links for each of these books. The links take you to a list of where the ebooks are available. Click on the link of your favorite ebook retailer and it should take you to my book.

A Little Bit of This

One Night in Bridgeport

Killing Berthold Gambrel

The Basement

The Dime

By the way, if you like the covers, and are a writer looking for a cover artist, I highly recommend Karen Phillips (phillipscovers.com). Very reasonably priced and easy to work with.

That should be it for my publishing activities for awhile. I’ve got nothing new in the pipeline. Which leads me to the next bit of news. I’ve assisted another writer over the last year — reading three of her manuscripts and providing editing and feedback. In return, she read what I had written on The Jump and offered me some valuable feedback.

I’ve started to, very slowly, go through The Jump and make changes based on her feedback. The most fundamental change is that I’m revising it from dual first person narratives to third person. This will allow me to introduce additional aspects of the story into the piece. But, it’s also tedious and monotonous and the last thing I want to do. So, it’s a struggle. I just need to keep reminding myself that it will improve the story. I’d love to have this all done in a few months, but realistically, I don’t anticipate The Jump will be finished and ready to publish until the end of the year.

There are, as always, other stories that keep trying to bubble up. The next episode of my podcast will include a reading of Carnies, a short story about an old carnival barker. It’s a part of a larger story that I want to write some day. There’s also a sequel to The Dime that I both need to and want to write. I left that story in a bit of a lurch at the end and I want to finish it up. I’ve thought today that I don’t need to do it with another novel-length piece, but instead write another novella-length part — Part IV — that wraps things up. I know how I want to start the rest of the story and what the primary theme will be. Just got to sit down and do it.

And then there’s Carlota — my sexy, end of the world, space romp. And every once in awhile, I ponder Jack McGee. When I finished Bridgeport, I came up with two additional story ideas featuring Jack and additional crises he faces later in life. I’d like to take a shot at those stories at some point.

And there’s more.

But these days, I’m not writing much. Why? Because at the end of January, I applied for and was accepted for the Elk Grove Festival of the Arts. I’ll have a booth there on April 29. I’ll be featuring my books, my acrylic pour art, and my photography. Since I got the news, I’ve been spending a lot of time getting ready for it. My wife suggested making coasters with my photographs, to provide a cheaper, more accessible option for my photographs. So, I’ve spent all of February making coasters. I have a little over 100 unique pictures that I’ve picked out for coasters. I’m also going to do a few additional acrylic pieces. And then there are all of the organizational matters I have to take care of. How to display all of this stuff, for instance.

That’s what I’ve been up to. No short stories to speak of in recent months, although I’ve had an occasional idea.


About kingmidget

About the name. I was the youngest of four. Until I got to kindergarten, I didn't have much to say. All I had to do to get what I wanted was to point, and a sibling, or loving parent, would fulfill my request. As a result, my father coined the nickname -- King Midget. At least that's the way the story goes. I am a father, husband, friend, and lover, writer, runner, pizza maker, baker, and many other things. What I am not is my occupation. It is my job that pays the bills and provides for my family. But, it does not define me.
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20 Responses to What I’ve Been Up To

  1. Oh, wow, “Carlota” sounds like it will be amazing!

  2. You sound like a very busy man! Good luck with all your projects! Sharon

  3. Those are all simply amazing covers, great work done there

  4. C. Miller says:

    I want you to know, when I read the bit about changing it from dual-first-person to third, my insides felt like they got twisted up. There was a (literal) internal moment of NOOOOOOO!

    I’ve never had to do that (though I’ve had overlapping scenes where I’ve had to change something from one person’s point of view to another), but I can only IMAGINE the torment of going word by word, changing ‘I’ to ‘they’ and such. And I can only imagine the misery induced by it.
    Not in any way trying to belittle what someone else said or undermine your own thoughts/decisions, but…
    Are you SURE it’s worth it?

    I understand about making the story as good as it possibly can be. And clearly, you’d be the one to know! But …
    Would it bring you JOY?
    (Maybe I’m biased because I’m partial to first person. Yeah, you don’t get to see THE BIG PICTURE. But in third you don’t get to see THE SMALL PICTURE and all the details. If that makes sense.) I guess it’s all a matter of what’s important to you/the character(s)/the story!
    But ‘the last thing I want to do’ being said makes me so sad. D:

    Reading back through this, it sounds so rude! And I’m sorry. (Also sorry for basically commenting the length of an entire blog post! HA)

    It sounds like you’re so busy! I definitely understand, but how are you finding time for all this?! (Also… Do you have pictures of these acrylic arts/the coasters and such? It sounds super cool! Do people still say ‘cool’? I honestly have no idea.)
    Loving the covers! I hope you’re feeling happy about having them available beyond Amazon. While I was away, the only (few) sales I had were outside Amazon. But I never tried Unlimited or anything. (Giving it a try right now to see how it is!)

    Which of your books would you consider your favorite that you’ve published? I’ll want to get a paperback copy. (I’d buy all of them, but I’m (beyond) low on funds at the moment! I just went to look at the prices, and one of them is $3-something for paperback. How can that be?! I’m so confused!)

    Anyway. Wishing you all the luck in getting all your stuff done!
    I hope you’re able to get/find some time to enjoy yourself and your work.

    • kingmidget says:

      I’ll reply to this later. So much to say.

      • C. Miller says:

        I look forward to it! (It might take me a couple days to log back on, but I clicked for it to email me for new comments! I think that’s how this thing works? ha (It’s been a while!))

      • kingmidget says:

        If this works, this is an example of the photography coasters I’m working on currently. https://twitter.com/mkpaxson/status/1629271668324708352?s=46&t=Pvsej-EtcdVtGwSLSHRjIQ

      • kingmidget says:

        And here is a post with some of the acrylic pour from a couple of years ago. https://kingmidgetramblings.wordpress.com/2020/06/10/its-all-about-the-paint/

      • kingmidget says:

        I just finished re-reading Reave. I really enjoyed it again and am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

      • C. Miller says:

        Okay, so…
        WOW about the coasters! (Never thought I would say that! I only realized after I typed it.)

        I saw those, and it was just O.O …
        Those not only could be functional as coasters, but I could see people making wall collage things with those. They’re just beautiful.

        I hope so much that your art does well at the festival! And then maybe you might want to consider trying to get those coasters into a store or something. They’re SO BEAUTIFUL. (Obviously, I’m not ‘telling you what to do’… I just can completely see those being sold in any of the home decor stores and such.)

        Would you say the shots are lucky shots or do you time/wait for them?

      • kingmidget says:

        Thank you! I’m really, really enjoying putting these coasters together. And I do want to come up with a way to sell them more broadly once the festival is over. Not sure if I mentioned, but I have over 100 distinct coasters — different picture on each one. And I could find more in my collection of photographs.

        As for how I get them. Some are about waiting for the shot. Or … with a sunset, just keep taking a picture every minute or so as the colors change and shift. Same thing with crashing waves. I’ve sat on a beach and taken wave pictures for an hour. But there are other times, when it is just luck. I’ve been taking my camera on vacations for years. I have thousands and thousands of photos. I’ve picked out the absolute best for the coasters, as well as the ones that work as a square image. I have a broader collection of about 300 photos that I consider worthy of putting on metal prints.

    • kingmidget says:

      My very first novel … the first creative writing I did in decades … was in first person. But I decided to change it to third person. It allowed me to introduce elements of the story I couldn’t in first person. Fleshing out other characters besides the first person narrator, as well as other storylines. It also allowed me the means to reach a more detailed ending.

      I wouldn’t be going through this exercise with the current WIP unless I thought it was worthwhile. And it actually has me excited about the possibilities because of the additional elements it will allow. That excitement, however, does not entirely make up for the tedious nature of making these changes. I’m struggling with motivation at the moment. 😉

      I go back and forth between writing first person or third person. Some stories go one way, others the other way.

      So, if you want to buy one of my books, and you like first person, I recommend The Dime. It is told in first person from the perspective of three different main characters, along with an occasional chapter from the perspective of a side character. It’s a contemporary, coming of age story, YA but without zombies or vampires.

      If you’re interested in a little more variety … I’d say to buy A Little Bit of This. It’s a collection of short stories, and includes a novella, The Irrepairable Past, which along with The Dime, is probably my favorite. These books are all available in paperback in a lot of different on-line retailers. Plenty of those locations are cheaper than Amazon.

      • C. Miller says:

        I ordered two of your books earlier. (They should get here Sunday!)
        I do want to smack myself, though, for not coming back to reread what you said about which before I ordered.
        I did pick up The Dime. I read the first bit of it in the ‘Look Inside’ thing the other day and knew I’d want to get it. I also picked up One Night in Bridgeport.
        Neither of them are in my typical reading genres, which is actually kind of exciting! They both seem like ‘A LOT’ to handle (emotionally), and I’ll have to do a bit of … spiritual fortification beforehand. That probably sounds weird. Probably also sounds weird when some of the stuff I write about is A LOT.
        (I’ve read a lot of YA with Vampires. Only a couple with zombies! Not much/many with ‘normal people’. And it’s been a long while in general.)

        I wish I had picked up the one you said was your favorite! I just wrote it down right next to me so I can pick it up sometime (when I’m not doing the equivalent of counting change…).
        I’m really looking forward to them!


        Third person really does give you a lot of space for more information!
        I’m sure that after you get through the tedium, you’ll feel a massive sense of accomplishment (fingers crossed). I hope it helps you get your story exactly where you feel it needs to be!

        (And thanks. About reading/rereading. ^.^ (Is that a really happy face?))

      • kingmidget says:

        Thank you for ordering my books. I hope you like them. But even if you don’t, let me know!!

        And I totally get your need for “spiritual fortification.” Bridgeport is likely a bit less challenging than The Dime, but I don’t shy away from difficult topics. The Dime, in particular deals with a lot of stuff.

        I don’t recall all my comments to you over the last few days (it’s what happens when you get old), but I have friends who complain that my stories are depressing and they don’t want to read them. Fine. Don’t read them. But I don’t know how you get to “happy” without going through a few things. And … there is no drama in happy!!!

        The “other one” — The Irrepairable Past — is just a story that has more meaning for me and I wrote it a bit differently than my other efforts. More rhythmic, more poetic … and I just like the ark of the story and what I came up with to end it.

        If you’d like, I’d be happy to send you an autographed copy free of charge.

    • kingmidget says:

      Oh … and yes, I absolutely love having my books more widely available. I googled a couple of them today and found even more websites where they are available!! I’ll send you some pictures of my coasters and acrylic art stuff, or links to posts where I’ve shared them on my blog.

      As for time to do all of this stuff … I am now semi-retired so I have a lot more free time. But … there are so many things I want to do I still struggle with finding the time for all of it. So, I just keep on plugging away.

      • C. Miller says:

        It really was exciting for me to see mine available in different places. Then checking after years and seeing, ‘Hey! A few people rated this well on Apple!’
        I don’t know. It was cool.
        I hope ‘going wide’ works out well for you! Did you have much ‘luck’ with Select before?
        I’ve just had my first few page reads on it the other day, and I don’t know why, but there’s something moderately terrifying about it…. ha

        I know there are pros and cons both ways about wide and Select, but I guess whatever works for a person works for them! I hope a bunch of people who will love your work will be happy to now have access to it! Wishing you not only the best of the luck with it, but double that.

        (Getting ready to comment on the art….)

      • kingmidget says:

        Since I went wide I’ve sold about 25 books a month, which is a lot better than what I was doing being exclusively Amazon. It also helps that I have published five “new” books in the last six months. I say “new” because several of them are re-published from Amazon to now go wide. To be honest, while I got some page reads from Select, I never thought it was enough to make a difference. And just being available more widely is a better feeling.

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