I have been working on a children’s novel for a few years now. I re-hauled it with some significant changes and hopefully better writing this fall. I get excited about it until I think about doing something with it. Then, I want to give up. I am a cheerer, not a seller, I want to scream.
The only thing I ever sold happily was French Fries, and I was young. It was a few weekends at a carnival type event. I cooked, and sold, cleaned up, oversaw my help, and hawked in the customers left, right and center to rave reviews from the organizers. I called in the customers at ten o’clock in the morning, a little impressed with myself about the skill it took to convince people to buy fresh cut fries before they see the sights or play the games. Now, I roll my eyes. Skills? Not likely. More like luring the already health challenged minions of junk food addicts to the first fix of the day. (I remind myself of this when we have a frugal month around here and I catch myself wondering where I could sell French fries. Yes, dear, I say to myself. You really are a very good French Fry cooker and seller, but do you want to feel like a drug dealer?)
We sell meat around here sometimes, but we sell it as a loss. Not on purpose. It helps us eat like kings and maintain the lifestyle we love, but we aren’t set up to be profitable. A friend says if you run the numbers, it takes at least 100 ewes to be profitable. We’ve got three pregnant ewes at the moment and no equipment for doing our own hay. The price is right for grass in the summer, winter feeding is a bit more pricey.
Publishing, everyone will tell you, is all about who you know. Super! Because I run into so many people out here in the woods you would not believe. My slightly reclusive, somewhat private, home is a happy hermitage approach to living is going to do very well in this model.
It would all be doom and gloom, but we just picked up the mail. A newsletter came from EastGen, a company we dealt with for about six minutes last summer. For the real farmers, the ad on the back might not stand out, but we don’t pretend to be real farmers. Updates from breeding companies are new to us.
“Ice Breaker Special,” it said. “For every fifty shots of semen, you can have 5 free from your choice of the following sires . . . ”
Is it redundant to explain why after I finished laughing, I thought I’d tack the ad to the wall of the laundry room?
Somebody out there sells bovine reproduction for a living. Selling a book? Well, it could be worse.