Are you a square peg in a round hole, or a round one in a square hole?
With apologies to Kermit the Frog, “it’s not easy being square . . . or round” or whatever other strange shape we may be.
It takes years to understand who we are or, for that matter, what your book is really about.
“What’s the book about?” folks ask, and I stammer away, fumbling to answer in a word or two. How do you summarize a collection of 48 essays on multiple themes and topics other than to answer, “Well . . . it’s a collection of 48 essays on multiple themes and topics. It’s about blah, blah, blah”?
Readers find what they’re looking for by selecting an aisle or category in a book store or on an online menu that fits their taste.
But what if a book doesn’t fit the square and round hole categories into which publishers and the book-sellers squeeze a book?
More perplexing, what if an author himself doesn’t know whether he’s square or round? Doesn’t know why he writes, and can’t explain what the book’s about, or why, in this world of verbal assaults, anyone should pick his blah-blah-blah off a book-seller’s shelf? What if the author wakes up in the morning looking in the world’s square/round-peg-square/round hole mirror and sees only a confused face looking back?
Then, suddenly, after 75 years of wondering, six months after his book has hit the shelves, he looks into the brand new mirror created by readers and reviews, and sees something altogether new and different.
Be Still! and I are an octopus! A searching digesting center with tentacles reaching out in all directions gathering food for thought, spitting out the toxins, and growing more or less mature in the sea of societal madness.
But wait! Wait! Maybe not! Maybe they’re Kermit on a lily pad.
“Have you ever stopped to wonder how a frog, obviously heavier than a lily pad, can manage to stay above water and not sink a lily pad?” – Frog on a Lily Pad
- Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, August 25, 2017.