After five issues, I’ve decided to close the author-featuring magazine. Thanks to all who participated in the publication that began in March, 2016, as a weekly magazine and ended as a monthly. The main problem was that it did not receive financial support. It was free to be featured for the five editions with four to twelve authors. However, once I charged a nominal $10 fee per author starting with the planned edition for July, there were zero takers.
And I understand that. I could have continued it as a ‘freebie’ but it cost me 20 hours average for each publication just making requests for writers to participate. It cost me an additional 40 hours per edition to put the magazine out even though I had other authors who helped out with spreading the word on Twitter and Facebook.
Anyway, it’s a very tough economy and most writers are struggling and must carefully weigh each expenditure.
I am glad that I gave it a try mainly because I met some great people and I learned a lot from them.
From here on I will focus on my books – writing the last book in the “Jack” trilogy and perhaps moving on into crime fiction. Dostoevsky’s books – especially “Crime and Punishment” – were major influences in my decision to study and practice journalism and to spend ten years in Boston and Boston area courthouses examining the criminal mind. After 500 murder trials and thousands of others, I had had enough, I thought, and, until recently, had no desire to continue to write about crime or crime fiction. I guess I have changed my mind after a 20-year hiatus which included 13 years teaching English, History and Journalism in some 80 Manhattan high schools.
Anyway, my wife and I are also putting a lot of energy into our organic farm here in Thailand – lime, mango, coconut and other trees as well as lots of different vegetables. I’m the only person who speaks English in this village other than Andy – a German who is here for only 2-3 weeks per year – and of course, my wife, Uraiwan, who I’ve been teaching English to for the past eight years. It’s monsoon season now and it’s a major battle draining the water off the property but we’re on top of it. My drainage system looks like the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers in miniature.
Our time also is occupied with the recent adoption of a mother dog and her seven puppies. We took them all – we had also flown our two dogs over from the states so we have them too. We got to the point where we had to have the puppies and the mom live outside just to preserve out sanity. But they all push the limit, always testing us, trying to charm us into getting into the house. Often it’s one or two dogs testing our patience but at least once a day – they’ve already learned there is power in numbers – four or five will charge in all at the same time. We have one bedroom that is almost always air conditioned but the rest of the house is not – just fan cooled – and we need to keep the doors and windows open because the temperature ranges usually from 90 degrees F to 100 F.
The dogs however, have a nice patio and a 10′ X 10′ grass hut that we just bought. We also built a 400-meter concrete wall around the perimeter of the property primarily to protect the dogs but also to keep semi-Thai strangers from walking into the house unannounced. That happened once a few years ago when I was visiting for the summer: this older man walked in the house with his dog (Thais don’t like dogs in houses) and he sat down next to us (Uraiwan hardly knew him and of course I never saw him before). My wife and I were having a private conversation. The man began looking at the new construction – ceilings, etc. I was like, “what the …” My wife later explained that, if you leave a door open in the village, it’s like a standing invitation for anyone to come in for a visit. Problem is, you can’t shut the doors or you’ll roast. That’s another big reason we both decided to build the seven-foot wall ASAP. What a difference.
Well, we also will be back in Rawai Beach in Phuket for three months starting in September while my wife’s brother-in-law, Sum, whose daughter is really the owner of the mom and puppies, will take care of the new dogs while we take our ‘American’ dogs to Phuket. Well, time to get outside and see how the heavy rains again today drained off. Some photos of our village home and some of cosmopolitan Rawai follow.