Self-publish in 2014

My grandmother Amalia.

My grandmother Amalia.

We are nearing the end of January where promises, resolutions, and grand wishes tend to wash away with the melting snow. If you haven’t already pursued your resolutions with vigor in the first three weeks, starting something new now may be an uphill battle. Research reveals that it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit but it could take longer if that habit has any degree of complexity.

That resolution could also be a goal that requires several steps such as self-publishing a book. I moderated a panel last month for Jersey City Writers and learned that it’s not as easy as it seems. Self-publishing involves research, writing, editing, networking, graphic design, marketing, and loads of cookies and cream ice cream. After much consideration, however, despite all of its complexities, I have on my list of goals for 2014 to self-publish my grandmother Amalia’s stories and poems.

A self-taught poet and captivating storyteller, Amalia has limitless tales—fueled by a sharp memory and a vivid imagination—that are worthy of being preserved in print. For my grandmother, who was pulled out of elementary school in the third grade to cut sugar cane, self-publishing is a way to ensure that her stories are passed on to future generations.

After many years of recording video and audio in my attempts to bottle Amalia’s lightning, this is the year to release the magic.


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