I just got some news from my publisher Sterling and Ross - my book The Price of Right is at the printers and is expected to be shipped by the end of August!
I'm excited and a little nervous, but mostly excited. I never in my wildest dreams expected to write a book, and I'm so grateful to have been given the opportunity to say what I want to say in print. Now that I have an actual ETA, I can start talking about it in earnest, and I'm relieved that it will be out before the election.
To recap (I'll be quoting from some of my older posts) - this book came about in a very interesting way.
Like so many of you out there, the 2004 selection left me absolutely gobsmacked. Although I've always been a liberal, I never felt a particular need to be active - I figured there were other people who were doing that sort of thing. I knew even before the 2000 election was stolen that Dubya was a bad, bad man. I knew this when I heard about the Tucker Carlson interview with Bush when he was still governor of Texas, in which he mocked Karla Faye Tucker, the woman on Death Row who had become born-again while in prison (much like Bush himself) and asked him to spare her life.
I don't believe there is any other elected office in the United States that has the direct power of life and death other than a state governor - certainly not one which is called upon so often to exercise that power. I am very much against the death penalty; nevertheless, I would hope that the people who have been granted that power by the government to decide if someone should live or die would make that decision with the utmost respect, dignity and humility. Instead, this sociopath (who set records in Texas for the number of executions carried out during his term as governor; Time magazine reported in August of 2000 that "George W. Bush, who has had more executions during his five-year tenure in Austin than any other governor in the nation since capital punishment was reinstated, has made his support for executing mentally retarded inmates clear.") dared to defile his office by mimicking and mocking a woman (however guilty, still a human being) he was about to put to death. That story alone told me all I needed to know about the character (or complete absence thereof) of that evil man, and I believe my observations have been borne out.
When the Supreme Court handed the Presidency to George W. Bush, even I, who had the lowest opinion of him imaginable, figured that he would be in and out without much fuss, given his past record of complete incompetence in every situation that was handed to him. Even I, who had the lowest opinion of him imaginable, was absolutely stunned at the damage this idiot was able to inflict upon our nation. I pinned my hopes on the 2004 election, when he would surely be booted out by the Americn people, who now knew from first-hand experience what a hazard to democracy he was.
But after that election, which he touted as a 'mandate' and a fortune in 'political capital', which he intended to do with as he pleased, I was completely and utterly shaken. What Bizarro-World did I wake up in?
I couldn't get out of bed for a day. I spent a couple of days in a disoriented haze of helplessness and frustration. Then I got mad. Then I started Hooterville.
I had no further goals than expressing myself and setting down my thoughts, but I was happy to find other like-minded people and a wealth of information about what was happening in our country. As a high-school graduate who had never written so much as a term paper, I did not think of myself as a writer. My blogging was my lifeline to sanity, and through blogging I began to understand how important it was to be, not merely informed, but involved. As I read other blogs, and developed friendships with other bloggers and commenters, I discovered a hitherto-undiscovered aspect of myself - the political activist. Reading led to writing, writing led to talking, talking led to walking.
Every once in a while I would send a post to radio talk show host Mike Malloy, who would sometimes read it on the air. This post, written almost exactly two years ago, was one of them. He mentioned my blog address, and I got some very nice e-mails. One of those e-mails came from someone at a publishing company who asked if I would be interested in discussing writing a book about why Americans vote against their own best interests. At first I thought it was a hoax or a vanity-press thing ('for only $2500, you can be a published author!') but upon using the Google, I found out that the company was a real publisher. The person who contacted me said that they had been looking for someone to write this kind of book, and my writing apparently fit the bill.
I'm really, really excited about this, as you all know how I feel about this subject. I'm hoping to be able to explain this in a way that regular people (non-bloggers or non-political junkies) will understand. But what blows me away about this is that it came about strictly from blogging. It didn't happen because I 'knew' anyone or had any literary contacts whatsoever. In fact, before I became a blogger, I never wrote at all. But I figure, if literary professionals think I can write a book, who am I to doubt them? They know more about it than I do!
It is a testament to the egalitarian nature of the Internet that I wrote this book - that simply putting one's work out there - casting your bread upon the waters - can result in it finding a home and an audience. So I have to include all of you in this - all of you who have come here to comment and allowed me to get to know you; all of you whose own writing and passion for making our country better have inspired me; all of you who have shared your own selves on your blogs, and have become personal friends as well as blog friends.
This is the time to take it to the right, and lay the blame where it belongs - at the feet of the conservative ideology which believes that "wealth equals morality" and "might equals right." The 'Invisible Hand' has strangled us long enough. We need to remind Americans that the ideals that inspired our Founding Fathers to rebel against the first Mad King George and "form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty" are liberal values. We became an independent nation because of this radical idea that all Americans should benefit from our union, not only the rich.
It is my hope that this book will at least raise these questions with people who have not been exposed to any other ideas by the woefully negligent 'mass media', which has long since abandoned its First Amendment obligations.