I finally got around to assembling my first collection of Retorts in book form and—wait for it—it’s available today on Amazon and, or, whatever other online bookseller you prefer.
Just like it says on the cover.
How did I come to choose this particular title, you ask?
Well, I was going back and forth, debating what to call it, wondering if the non-Zombie contingent might be turned off, thinking it was some kind of blood and gore horror story, which it isn’t...obviously...and if I wouldn’t be better served to go with something less ghoul specific.
But, in the end, the un-dead crowd has always been good to me so I stuck with my gut and ran with it...something the Zombies have been trying to do with my internal organs for years.
Besides, I’d already let slip what I’d been planning, so I didn’t want to risk any hard feelings; because Zombies can get a little unreasonable when their feelings are hurt and tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves...or somebody’s heart...or sleeve.
Of course, now, all the Zombie enthusiasts are going to be disappointed when they find out it’s really not a Zombie book at all...just a book of odd stories that happens to have some Zombies in it, from time to time.
But what doesn’t these days?
So, who knows?
Obviously not me.
I’m not sure when I first thought it would be a good idea to publish a book of past Retorts.
I guess it was that day, a few years back, when I said, “Hey, maybe it would be a good idea to publish a book of past Retorts!”
So, like in everything else I do, I put it off a few more years and then, finally, sat down and did it...mostly because it hurts my back to lean over while standing.
So why publish a book of past Retorts, you ask?
If you’ve been a regular visitor to this site, over the years, chances are you’ve probably read a lot of these stories, already...possibly more than once...or twice...or—dare I say it—maybe even three times.
There...I said it!
So, again you ask...what makes me think you’d be willing to shell out good money to read it all again?
I suppose the same thing that makes me think, for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows.
Or a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.
In a most delightful way....
Plus the new medication I’ve been “borrowing” from my neighbor makes the unicorns look much more realistic than they have in the past.
But I guess the real reason is: it’s just so much cooler to see this stuff in a book, bar code and all, especially one with my name on it.
At least for me.
Also, I figure most of you are like me and can’t remember what you had for lunch yesterday, let alone what you may or may not have read 6 years ago.
Plus, I pick up a couple of bucks, to boot, every time I sell one of these things, which means by the end of the year, I may be able to treat Z to a pizza...or at least a calzone.
And books are so much more durable than electronic media.
Books will probably outlast the cockroaches, long after all the computers have been wiped clean, by the Bieber virus.
You can put a book on a shelf and collect dust for decades.
Balance out that uneven leg on your sofa.
You’ll be able to take me to the beach, the park or even your chiropractor’s office.
You can even take me to bed, but I should warn you, I tend to sweat at night...a lot.
When I did finally sit down to put this all together, I thought it would be a pretty simple process; I’d be pretty much in and out, one book and done.
But, again, as in most things I set out to do, I badly miscalculated.
Bit off more than I could chew.
Spit the bit.
Couldn’t see the forest for the trees.
Flew too close to the sun.
And then made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Hey, a fellas gotta eat...right?
What I seemed to have forgotten was: I had written some 600 or so of these things since May of 2011. How would I decide, which ones belonged?
I suppose I could have had a vote and asked all of you to pick your favs...but that seemed way too democratic, and besides...I kind of like the authoritarian autocrat thing that’s all the rage these days, better, myself.
So I decided to just start at the beginning, with the first story I ever posted, and from there chose whatever “blasts from the past” struck my fancy—and hopefully yours—until I got tired, took a nap, lost interest in the whole thing and stopped.
Most of the “chosen” originated in 2011 and 2012...plus one from 2014, which tends to break the whole “start at the beginning” thing, but, you know... authoritarian autocracies have a mind of their own.
Which is why I sometimes eat apple pie for breakfast.
The plan is, in lieu of putting out a single thousand page book, I hope to put out a couple of shorter, individually titled “volumes” a year, grouped in a series called “The Freelance Retort – Unraveled”
Why “Unraveled” you ask...again, which to be honest is getting kind of annoying.
The short answer is...I don’t know.
And the long answer is...I really don’t know.
It was just the first thing that popped into my mind, and since that’s how I usually make all my important decisions, I went with it.
Believe me, it could have been a lot worse, especially since just before that I was—
Well, no need to share everything.
I’ll save that for the next book.
I already told you how much I sweat at night...so that’ll have to do...until next time....
Anyway, I hope you’ll decide to forgo the Subway six inch special for a day and instead pick up a copy of...you know...the title up above.
In fact, pick up two and give one to a friend...or an enemy...even someone you’re on the fence about.
Spread the word, The Freelance Retort is Unraveling in a mail box near you, preferably yours.
Who knows...if all goes well, maybe I can get Z a salad with that Calzone....
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And while you're at it