A Book I Wrote that You’ll Never Read

Well. This is a serious bummer.

I just learned that Adams Media, which has published five Everything Guides under my byline, has decided not to publish the sixth Everything Guide that the company commissioned me to write more than a year ago. It’s the second edition of the company’s Everything Travel Guide to Las Vegas. It’s written, it’s proofread, and they paid me in full for what my editor called a job well done. They just completely shut down the travel-book division of the Everything Guide series in the wake of the recession, before my book hit the printing press, figuring that the whole world has simply stopped traveling for leisure to places like Las Vegas.

Since the publisher owns all rights to the content, I can’t do anything with my work, even if they choose to shelve it forever. My only hope of daylight is apparently an eBook, should they become profitable for the company in the future.

What an odd feeling. I’m experiencing a mix of sadness and amazement. It just never occurred to me that a publisher would hire me to write a book, compliment me on the final draft, send me a check for full payment, and then not bother to print the words. I’m a bit stunned.

And here I thought I was about to hit the jackpot with another successful title. I guess this goes to show that the publishing business these days is a lot more like Las Vegas than I realized. There’s nothing at all like a sure bet.


Last Day of Training for a Last Chance to Win

Today is the last day of training before my final triathlon of the year, the Dottie’s House End-of-Season at Island Beach State Park, New Jersey.

The race this Sunday will also be my last chance of the year to place ahead of my younger sister, who thus far has bested me in all five triathlons we’ve done since September 2009. She beat me by less than 10 minutes in this particular triathlon last year, and my speed on the bicycle has improved by about 3 mph since then, so I have a real shot at bragging rights in time for Thanksgiving.

My husband is also competing on Sunday, as part of a relay team with two of my nephews. They’re calling themselves “Triple Threat.” My 40-year-old husband is running the last leg, a 5K, after our 23-year-old nephew (a lifeguard) handles the quarter-mile ocean swim and our 27-year-old nephew (a long-distance bicycler) makes short order of the 10-mile bike course.

Hopefully, we old folks won’t let the kiddies down. And no matter who wins, I hope nobody will want to take keepsake family photos of us standing next to the youngsters in Spandex!

Meet Me in Fort Lauderdale

I’m flying to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, twice this month: first as a presenter during the October 12 meeting of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association, and from October 27-29 to attend the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

My FYBA seminar will be about this article that I wrote for Yachting magazine about a golfing charter aboard the 161-foot motoryacht Destination Fox Harb’r Too in Nova Scotia. My presentation will help to educate yacht charter brokers about the region and its cruising opportunities.

I’ll be at the boat show to promote my websites, CharterWave and BoaterMouth, as well as to attend the meeting of Boating Writers International, where I sit on the Board of Directors as immediate past president.

Hope to see you in sunny South Florida for one or both events.

“The Lost Dogs” is a Treasure Found

Last month, I told you I couldn’t wait to read “The Lost Dogs” by my friend Jim Gorant. My copy arrived on Tuesday, and I turned the last page just before midnight last night. I could not put this book down, except for the few times I felt the need to hug my dogs and promise that they would never, ever face a moment of what these loving creatures endured. I gave my rescued pit bull mix an extra pat on the head, just for being the breed she is.

Ironically, as I was reading about some of the most horrific things that NFL star Michael Vick did to innocent dogs, his name was flashing repeatedly across my Facebook screen. It seems the Philadelphia Eagles have just named him starting quarterback for this weekend’s game. Fans are cheering, at least in cyberspace.

I wonder how they will feel after reading the scorching detail about Vick’s dogfighting operation that this book exposes. Gorant’s reporting is exceptional, his writing is terrific, and his book is on par with those of the best narrative nonfiction writers working in America today. “The Lost Dogs” is at once disturbing, uplifting, and illuminating. Go buy a copy right now.

Kudos, Jim Gorant, on a job well done—with a story well worth telling. I hope “The Lost Dogs” stays on the bestseller list for many, many months to come.