Dear Mary, Thank you for your lovely thoughts. I assure you that the talent and charm you attribute to me simply proves that you possess great imagination and compassion. So just go ahead and start writing

Amazing things in publishing!

 Following is a note to a friend. I think the information might interest anyone writing for a living or just for fun.

Dear Mary,

Thank you for your lovely thoughts.

I assure you that the talent and charm you attribute to me simply proves that you possess great imagination and compassion.

So just go ahead and start writing (or finish writing) some of the books you have percolating. Please get the first draft completed.

Blaze through that first draft.

Banish the tiny (sometimes it screams) voice in the recesses of your mind that tells you you’re not good enough or you can’t do it.


Show up for work. Period.

Of course your first pass is usually not good enough — that’s why most writers rewrite.

But you may surprise yourself. What you write might be perfect on the first try. Magic happens.

You’ll want some feedback and help with marketing. Enter Scribd. Think about putting some of your work on Scribd. (Stop listening to that vicious voice that urges you to go shopping or re-roof the house.)

As I have always said, “Procrastination is the thief of destiny.” (Well, not always, I just made it up.)

End of lecture.

You ask about the kind of program I use to write.

For novels and so forth, I use MS Word or Google Docs. For screenplays, I use Movie Magic.

The editor-in-chief of WIRED, Chris Anderson, wrote a seminal book called FREE using Google Docs.

You probably know many of the things he talks about. For example Gillette giving away a razor then you have to buy the blades. Jello was at first given away.


But things are not always quite free. I’ve known this ever since I went to my first wedding and someone “gave away” the bride. She cost my uncle millions but he said it was worth it. Except the time she laid him out with a frying pan.

Speaking of the book FREE. Well, you can read it for free here at Scribd:

Anderson writes eloquently on a $250 net book about a new paradigm in marketing. He makes a solid case that many things will end up in cyberspace.

How right he is. And how things have changed since I gave up pounding a typewriter decades ago.

However, I suspect I can still give a few of theStarbuckSwilling− ApsAddicted− PriusPowered- MultiMessaging− TripleTaskers− TattooedTitted Twits a battle for their bytes.


Do I sound bitter with the younger generation? Nope. I feel sorry for them. We have saddled them with impossible debts. No wonder they run safety pins through their eyelids.

Besides, I had my fun.

I was the first person in the history of the world to use the internet to market a novel. You can read about it That was in 1986.

I also invented the fridge magnet and I think I came up with the name for Kiwi Fruit.

I’m still waiting for my reward.

I may launch a global lawsuit against everyone who owns a fridge. I will stick them for damages for what they stick to their fridges and what they stick in them − especially if it’s Kiwi fruit.

See, I’m crazy. Kate agrees. But this is part of being a writer.

After you have read Anderson’s FREE piece, glance at this. It’s a children’s book I wrote a few years ago. It was a breeze to post on Scribd and it was free.

I found a publisher for Betty’s Greatest Adventure but he wanted all the movie rights. And that is where I make most of my pennies.

You can earn your own pennies writing in your beautiful home in Nevada. Sure, sometimes it’s a tough state to write in and a bit treacherous for the mind. Ask Hunter Thompson.

But you can succeed there. Writers can succeed anywhere if they just show up for work. And in most cases they are already at work. All you have to do is switch on the computer or pick up a pencil.

My cousin lives in Las Vegas in Sun City or some kind of colony like that. We might buy a condo or townhouse there.


Then we could live in Edmonton in the summer. Vegas in the winter. And find caves for spring and fall someplace.

I wonder if I could write in a cave? I might need extra batteries.

New Zealand is great in fall and spring. Dicey in winter.



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Jaron Summers wrote dozens of primetime television and radio programs, including those for HBO, CBS, ACCESS TV and CBC. He conceived the TV and Film Institute of Canada. Funded by the University of Alberta and ITV, Jaron ran the Institute for 12 years, donating his services for a decade.

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