Thoughts on Squashed Snakes, Self-Publishing, and the End of the World as We Know It

What with one thing and another, mostly another, I found I was without a blog post for today.

I mean, sure, I wrote things. A feeble response to an online article I read, the beginnings of a short story that went nowhere, and a silly thing about the Biblical character Job calling Heaven’s customer complaint line. Funny, but too long for a blog post and I wasn’t sure how well people knew the story of Job.

Anyway, rather than skipping this week and ruining my record of posting in a timely manner two weeks in a row, I’m going to toss out some random thoughts that were cluttering up my brain.

Here goes:

Thought One

I wore boots yesterday and it’s still August. What’s more, I’ll probably wear boots again today. Ain’t life grand?

My boots

Thought Two

There was a squashed snake on the side of the road the other day. I saw it while walking to the post office. It was a pretty one, slender and long with bright yellow stripes. No idea what kind it was, but it looked like it nearly made it across the street before it was squashed. Poor guy.

snake in the street, alas
I’m not showing the squashed part, only the pretty part. You’re welcome.

Thought Three

I need to buy a rake. It’s not for leaves, though we know they’re coming. It’s for all the acorns. Our yard is full of them. So many that when you walk in the backyard, you don’t walk so much as roll. And I think the squirrels here are lazy. They don’t seem to be working very hard at storing food for winter. (Maybe they know something?)


Thought Four

So this is how it is. You write something funny about the Book of Job and think, gosh this is great. This is worthy of publishing. And so you check the submission guidelines for humor sites and magazines. That’s when you discover there just isn’t the market for snarky humor pieces about the Book of Job like there used to be.

Thought Five

I need more boots. I only have two, both black, one short and one tall. These were the ones I thought worthy enough to pack and able to withstand Minnesota weather. I’m thinking I need multiple types. Money is no object! (Who needs food?)

Thought Six

Back to the squashed snake. Why was he crossing the street? The side he left was woodsy and green. The side he was heading toward was rocky. Had he been satisfied where he was, he might still be alive today. What possessed him to leave his happy home? Was he unfulfilled as a snake? Was the weight of his responsibilities too much to bear? (*Gasp!* Did he, like our squirrels, foresee the future and found no reason to carry on?!)

Thought Seven

Maybe what I should is bundle together my Bible stories in text, Samson’s online dating snafu, and the piece on Job — add a few more texts and alternate stories — then self-publish the whole lot of them.
Hmm. It might work. I’ll have to think about it.

Thought Eight

If the squirrels and snake are onto something, if we have but a limited time on this earth — okay, I guess we always knew our time was limited, but let’s say it’s more limited than we thought — does that change anything? Does it change how we live, how we act, or how soon we snatch up boots on sale?
Or work on the book we have percolating in our head?
Excuse me. I should get back to work.

37 thoughts on “Thoughts on Squashed Snakes, Self-Publishing, and the End of the World as We Know It

  1. Interesting piece and great to hear your thoughts. My first reaction was thank goodness the snake was dead, but you do feel bad he was to near a road. I still wouldn’t want to come upon a live one. We have a few here, but not many. You could create a squirrel feede with acorns, help those lazy squirrels out and put it in a tree? Random thought. Also great boot choices. I love the tall brown ones, if your winters are cold and snowy, tall is always better. I just think they look sleek too. I like the grey ones as well for fall.

    1. To be perfectly honest, I jumped when I saw the snake. It wasn’t until I was certain it was dead that I took a picture!
      Boots are great, aren’t they? It’s funny, when one of my friends heard I was moving here, the first thing she said was “You can wear boots all the time there!” 😀

  2. Publish! Do it! Puuuuuuuubliiiiiiiissssshhh! Please do. Or not please. Just do. The snakes and the squirrels might be right. And what then? Your dying thought will not be of boots not purchased but books not published. Although boots do call in cold climes, and a girl really can’t have to many. But publish! Do.

  3. Okay, okay, I got it. This is good, you’ll like it: Write a book about the Book of Job from from a snake’s point of view with commentary by the squirrels. I know, right?

    and buy the tall boots, if you got snakes, you want tall boots – I suggest blue to match the yellow on the snake.

    You didn’t bring that snake from Arizona did you?

    1. Oh no, this is definitely a Minnesota variety snake. I found out it’s a type of garter snake. Which surprised me because the only garter snakes I knew of were green.

      Narrated by a snake, that makes total sense. Commentary by squirrels, that’s edgy. I like it.

  4. Wry Bible humor is an untapped market. I say go for it.

    I want to self-publish too because I doubt any publishers will eagerly sign onto a book about a war that nobody knows exist. written with personified countries and plenty of homoeroticism.

    The more I think about it, the scarier it seems. But then I started hearing stories from authors who had flops before the one that finally clicked. Some people wrote many novels that faded into obscurity. Yet they still wrote it because the story ached to be told. I’m not suggesting that your book would be a flop–I’m sure it’ll be fantastic. But take that chance. Tell that story. Do it for you, if not for anyone else.

    (P.S. Fantastic taste in boots, by the way!)

    1. You’ve put a spin on it that I’ve not considered by calling it an untapped market. How do we know it won’t sell if we never put it out there for sale?
      Also, you reminded me of something I saw at Powell’s books in Portland. It was an ad for their printing services and it showed all the famous authors who started out by self-publishing. It made me realize it’s nothing new.
      I think your book would be smashing, by the way. Especially with your illustrations.

    1. Question: do you use Amazon’s services or something else? Also, have you attempted to add pictures or graphics? The reason I ask is that the texts I use come in as jpegs. Not sure how that works.

      1. I am in the Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) program, but I’ve never used any of their services, such as editing or design or physical printing. (My books are only digital, so far.) I haven’t used pictures, yet, other than uploading the cover designs, but I understand it is not that difficult at long as your follow their dimension guidelines. I formatted both books in Word, and they uploaded just fine. Their program does point out spelling issues, which was great, but it didn’t catch some of my glaring grammatical errors, which is understandable. Keep in mind that you can fiddle with it all you want before you “publish”.

  5. If time is short you must buy boots – are they not a staple requirement when about to die in the West? (I have no idea, you understand, if you ARE in the West, but you can pretend that you are and, BINGO, boots are justified in the purchasing thereof department, just so you can move on like in the movies! – Oh, and to top it all off, boots on your feet and self-published book in your hand would be the way to go – at age 103!

  6. While reading this delightful post at DEN, I laughed aloud enough that the gate agents asked (ever so politely – they were between flights) what I was reading. I wrote your blog addy on backs of my cards with “Life’s short – more boots”. One looked like it read more boobs. Hope they remember. That’s it from Denver. Yeay! My flight’s boarding now.

  7. Boots first. Always boots first. Then shout at the squirrels (notoriously hard of hearing) to do their job. Publish. It’s not quick or easy but … it’s totally worth it. Publish. I’m cheering for a Garden of Eden scene from the Snake’s POV and I will write the first review.

    1. I don’t know. I’m thinking talking snakes have never served us well, what with Eden and Harry Potter. A texting one, can you imagine?! Oh… yeah, I see what you mean. I’ll think about it.

      So, gathering information, do you use Amazon for publishing? Any editing services? (I figure you do, either that or you’re smoking good at editing your own stuff.) Any info you can give me is appreciated.

      1. I use Amazon and do all the grunt work myself (except proof reading which is non- negotiable.) It’s actually relatively easy but …. I’ve had a bit of 2nd hand info that the services Amazon offers are expensive and/or fairly generic but I don’t have any personal experience.

  8. The squirrels are all in the nut house, so you’ll need some good acorn-raking boots. On second thought, you might want to invest in some insulated hip-waders. Have you heard that it snows in Minnesota?

    1. Someone hinted that to us, yes. I thought they were joking. 😉
      Our dog now refuses to go into the backyard. Seriously. She doesn’t like walking on the acorns. It’s mutiny, I tell ya!

  9. I am a lover of boots myself. You have my blessing to get more. I’m late on this comment so I already know we are safe for now. My guess is that the animals weren’t ready to start the storing for winter work yet. Things don’t get cold til October usually and November is when snow usually happens.

    1. I added three pairs of boots since this post aired and wear them faithfully. It’s been glorious. As for the squirrels, they waited until December to start gathering them! So now I’m wondering if they taste better after they’ve been on the ground for a few months. Maybe they soften and ferment a little, keeping the squirrels a little tipsy and warm on a wintry evening. 😀

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