From My Closet to the Goddess Kali With A Book About Brothers & Sisters In There Somewhere

I wake up every morning, shower and dress.  Well, begin to dress.  But when it comes to the day’s choice of a t-shirt, blouse or sweater, I often find myself rummaging through my closet, foolishly hoping that an item of clothing that wasn’t there yesterday, the day before, or the day before that will miraculously have found its way to a hanger.

Of course, nothing new turns up.  Dispirited, I’m forced to recognize that I’m faced with the same old choices.

I find it curious that, while I know the outcome, I continue to hope for some kind of clothing miracle.  Maybe it’s my lame attempt at changing the course of events in my life and/or in the life of many others.

That may be a stretch.  But at this time of year, there is a robust list of upcoming events, personal habits and relationships that I’d like to either change or reverse.

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  • To drop my addiction to politics during this Presidential season.  (When will it end?)  Like all addicts, I do everything in my power to avoid the culprits:  TV news (if you can call it that), newspaper, mostly online, radio shows like National Public Radio, progressive stations, even MSBC.  No matter how hard I try to kick the habit, I need my daily fix.  Monday and Tuesday of this week were exceptions: “The Voice” came back on the air after its summer hiatus, and I was giddy with the distraction.  I didn’t cheat once.  But then there’s the first debate a few days from now.  As much as I know it will send me up the wall, I must watch, even though I know I may have to resort to a couple of shots of tequila.

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  • To stop the steady march toward the dark days, freezing temperatures, and snow of winter.  (If we weren’t spending a chunk of time in Mexico, I’d have already slipped into the beginnings of depression.)  As it is, I watch the sun drop a few minutes earlier each day and, as a midwesterner, know what’s coming.  (No wonder I want to move to warmer, sunnier climes.)

 

 

 

  • To reconnect with my estranged brother who lives in France.  We haven’t spoken in six years and counting.  (I’ll be detailing the split in a personal essay coming soon to a magazine or blog near you.)  In the meantime—particularly as the author of The Sibling Connection—I sometimes feel like a fraud and a failure who had no business writing a book about brothers and sisterThe Sibling Connection
  • To find the transformative power of the goddesses within me and women around the world.  I know . . . It all sounds rather 1960s, doesn’t it?  And maybe it is.  But I’m going to give it a shot.  Maybe I can resolve the push and pull between the mother figure and the fearsome warrior and accept both as normal, highly regarded parts of the goddess Kali and me.
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Ah, the ways of the subconscious.  From non existent clothes in my closet to the goddess Kali.  The mind works in wondrous ways.

A Book for ADULT Brothers & Sisters

As my mom used to say (along with just about every other parents), “Live and learn.”

After nine months out into the world, I have lived and learned that the subtitle of my ebook, The Sibling Connection: Siblings Shape Our Lives, should have been something like:  A Book For Adults About Brothers & Sisters.

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Why?  Because when Amazon, Google or any other online site (not to mention lists of “Best Sibling Books”) focus on sibling books, the majority are books for parents to read to a child when a baby sibling is on the way or books for younger siblings to read as they try to figure out the whole sibling thing.  Books for grownups are hard to find.

This means that when a potential reader googles books about siblings, mine is often nowhere to be found.

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Now the founder of Bublish who is distributing my book and I worked long and hard to identify the “key” words (or SEO) that would help put my book somewhere on the first three pages of, say, a search engine like Google.  Studies show that that’s about as far as most people search before they click on a link in the hopes of finding whatever it is they’re looking for.

We figured that the word siblings and books about siblings would do the trick.  Wrong!

The key word we missed was adult.

So, what now?  To change the title would mean changing the book cover, the registration with the Library of Congress, all of the online book sites, my web site, my portfolios on every site from Twitter to Facebook to Linkedin.  And I’m sure this list is incomplete.

So, I’m stuck.  Suggestions?

I did bite the bullet and paid for a second press release through FreePublicityGroup.com. (A misnomer.)  Last time around, the press release garnered something like 28 hits (maybe more) but, as far as the stats show, didn’t impact book sales or many links to this blog.  I guess I decided to give it one more shot, this time titling the piece, “5 Myths About Adult Brothers and Sisters Debunked.”  (Note the addition of the word Adult.  We’ll see what effect, if any, this new release has.)

The days of just writing a book and sending it on its way are long gone.  Authors are now required to promote, to dig down to find the search categories that are not too crowded, to blog and capture as many email addresses as possible, to tweet, to post (even though social media accounts for less than 1% of book sales because most folks on these sites aren’t readers). What does count is the “organic” search when readers looking for a book on a particular subject can find yours.

Think of it this way:  An author wants a reader to first look in the right drawer. (Remember the card catalogues at your local library?)  Once she’s in the right drawer, the goal is to move “your” card to the front.  If it’s way back there, ain’t nobody going to find it.

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Damn.  I wish I’d included the word adult in my title.

You live and learn.

 

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A Birthday and Death

In my dream, my father answered the door of my childhood home.  He was wrapped in a large towel that he’d knotted at the waist, his hair dripping wet.  I must have arrived too early, or he was running late.  Still, it was wonderful to see him, even if he’d just stepped out of the shower.

I walked in the front door and stared at what had been the living room.  It stretched well beyond what I’d remembered.  Maybe there’d been a wall removed or maybe I’d been watching too much HGTV.

I’d come to see my parents, of course.  And I’d come to climb the stairs to the second floor and my bedroom.  It wasn’t there.  I walked the entire floor and couldn’t find a room that resembled where I’d slept, dreamed, did my homework, threw pajama parties with friends.

Confused, I walked in circles like Costaneda trying to find his “spot.”  I was certain I’d just missed the door to my bedroom and, if I kept looking, I’d find it.

No such luck.

My mother wasn’t there, either.  Funny, because she was always home.  There were four children to tend, dinners to cook, a house to clean.

When I awoke, I lay in bed and tried to understand what the dream had meant and what part of my subconscious had been tapped.

Then I remembered: my mother’s death eight years ago was two days away.  My father’s death followed by three weeks.  He died a day after my birthday.  I like to think that, even though he was in a coma, he heard me when I asked him to wait.  A gift even in the face of death.

July is a month of celebration and a month of memories, sadness and life review. According to Jewish tradition, happiness trumps sadness.  I plan on honoring my parents and having one hell of a birthday.