6 June 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

Back from Texas. Highlight for Enzo: finding real fossils and later having them identified at the museum. Also seeing sleeping bats and touching bat poop. Highlight for me: taking my niece out for tea and the fireworks out over the river and all the kayaks lit with glow sticks in the slow dark water.


I read that the key to self-publishing success is to become a social media brand before you publish your first book. I would almost rather submit to an actual branding. In a discrete location.

Still, I should probably stop courting obscurity. Someone who I know likes my writing told me she was surprised to learn that I had a food book out. And one of my mom’s pals wrote me a real pen and ink fan letter (how classy is that?) about my food book saying how much she looks forward to anything else I may write in the future. So I’m trying to figure out some non-tacky way to tell her that I’ve already written those books and they are available for purchase. Maybe I’ll class it up myself and send her a signed copy.

I have no modesty, and surely that’s half the battle when it comes to self-promotion. But then there’s taste, which is everything in writing. It’s that bit of detachment so that you know what you sound like. And statements in the service of self-branding sound like what they are. There is no more Go litel book. You have to go along with it, cheerleading the whole time.

Speaking of applying corporate strategies to real life, I read in one of the those crap magazines for parents that a great family activity is to sit down together and come up with a Family Mission Statement. All I can think is: Farts.


I just have to add that on the airplane home Enzo fell asleep and I almost did too and it was heavenly. After we changed planes in Denver I tried to convince him to go to sleep again and he said, “Naw. I snapped out of my trance.”