Literary Updates

BLOG ENTRY (JANUARY 28, 2013-Revised on 2-3-13)

Wintertime, not so bad—It’s whizzing by.  Lots of troubles here with fingers, wrists.  Trying out Dragon..or use typist after I do audio work.  I can type very little in one sitting, or else.  But, I keep trying.  Where there is a will, there’s a way, so cliche, right?…If the body slows down, gotta keep the mind still moving right, even more so, I’d say.

(Literary Updates): New Jack Rabbit City—Starring the Chicago Hares is up and running for a free perusal at: http://www.newjackrabbitcity.com. I’m still contacting agents and publishers. Only members of AAR, (Association of Author’s Representatives), by the way. Remember, there are a lot of scams out there! We’ll see what happens. Michael (Co-Author) has bought what he needs and wanted to print up some books by himself. The book is still headed for Amazon as an E-book, too. Response from family and friends has been great.
I liked what Write-On Hoosier member, George Miga, wrote as an introduction to the 2012 issue of Hoosier Horizon Magazine, so I asked him to write a little review for NJRC and he did. (Thanks George.)

BOOK REVIEW: New Jack Rabbit City—Starring the Chicago Hares

Gail Galvan and Michael Evanouski have created a graphic novel that is a masterpiece of creativity. As an author, I envy how New Jack Rabbit City—Starring the Chicago Hares defies the often mundane confines of plot and characterization. Families and gangster Chicago rabbits decide to leave the grime and crime in Chicago and travel to a mystical and magical community of rabbits in Idaho. The journey is fraught with danger, challenges and opportunities. Great artwork is strategically positioned to enhance the plot and characters.

As the story builds, I began to see the rabbits becoming people I’ve known or characters about whom I’ve read. Then, often, there is a subtle mention of “8-inch ears” or “silver fur,” reminding me who the real characters are. Yet, they are people. It is among my favorite innovative and interesting stories.

Best regards to the authors and readers,
George P. Miga (1-15-2013)
I found an interesting site: kinstantformatter.com. I’m going to try it and see what happens. Hope it solves the formatting issues for submitting E-books on Amazon.com. I’ve got another book to experiment on first, Sneezing Seasons: The Inside Story about Allergies and Immunology. I’ll try the formatting on it, since I have a new cover, the coolest, cutest cat. You’ve got to see the adorable pose! Do you know how many kids cannot have cats and/or dogs because of allergies and asthma?!
(One warning, from my reading, sounds like the kinstant formatter may work for text- only type books, not so well if many illustrations are included.) In other words, for New Jack Rabbit City, with the illustrations which add so much to the story, we’ll still be formatically-challenged authors trying to find our way. But where there is a will, there is a way, right? I just hope to find the least costly and/or timely way!

Contests? I wrote an essay titled: Undercover Disclosure. It’s about the very interesting show Undercover Boss and what takes place when a boss dresses down, acts like one of the average working-class employees, and works right along side of his or her company’s very own employees. I explain why the program always brings me to tears. It really does, no fooling! I’m going to enter that and a couple of poems in http://www.winningwriters.com contests. Again, see what happens.
I keep thinking I need to get back to my Kewanna-Be K-9 sweethearts, Sissy and Holly. I just want to complete a short story of some sort. (The beginning of the story is on our site, NJRC.) The ideas are coming in. I’ll get there soon, and finish it. Can’t leave Sissy and Holly hanging.

I miss my writers’ group, but it’s way over in Schererville and I’ve radically changed my life by giving up the automobile and health-wise, i just can’t get around like I used to.

P.S. I think I’ll post my Undercover Disclosure essay here. Just in case anyone wants to read it.

UNDERCOVER DISCLOSURE

It all starts with a disguise. Eyebrows might be tinted, bald heads covered up with funny toupees on the men, trendy, cool wigs for the ladies. Usually a pair of glasses and a dress down, non-appropriate kind of wardrobe, maybe even tattoos and piercings add to the temporary costume which sports a new identity.
Company Mission Statement: (Something like this) “Let’s go undercover, in the field, and see what’s working, and what needs to change—to make our business more successful and worthy.” Yes “worthy.” The bosses seem to really care about quality assurance, and a healthy, fair working environment.
So the CEO, president, or top executive of a company plays dress up, or down, and walks right into the reality of one of their business establishments and goes to work, as a common everyday worker beside the other actual working class employees. It’s hands on training, and the undercover boss heads right into the heart of a workplace which he or she created.
Restaurants, franchises, caterers, campgrounds, a company that sells blinds or signs—you name it, there seems to be a business out there in our mist just like the ones we see on the show, and we, as consumers and workers can sure identify. Don’t we all wish we had the kind of boss that would come to our worksite, see what’s wrong, make it better, then offer us thousands of dollars because of some disclosure we made that hit our boss right smack dab in the heart?
That’s exactly what happens on the show. Amazing! First the workers disclose their everyday workplace values, ethics, skills, and habits, bad or good. All of this takes place with the workers not knowing that the head honcho, the top gun, the main man or woman of the entire business is standing right next to them. How could they know? The disguises work! Not only that, but often it’s been so long since the boss had to get in there and really “work the line” that it doesn’t come easy. Anxiety, learning something new, and fumbling around as if the “trainee” doesn’t have a clue—makes the experience all seem so real and believable.
I shed tears every time I watch the show. Why? Employees share, ultimately disclose some very personal, sometimes incredibly inspiring, often heart-wrenching stories to the one they are training for a day. The bosses take it all in, too. I mean they are feeling it! The guy who used to live in his car, now has custody, and totes his happy little girl to work with him when he can’t find a sitter. Another gentleman who lost his brother to a murder, yet does an impeccable job and seems so happy. A single mom, with a delightful smile and the cheeriest disposition who makes standing in line at a fast food joint feel like the friendliest, happiest moments in a day. The customers love her. I had to wonder, do they come back for the food or just to see her? Probably both, I guess, which is fine with the boss. I’m sure of it.
Like true reality though, it’s not all fine and good. Just picture the look on his face when a shift supervisor learned that he had been “behaving badly,” not only alongside all of his co-workers, but right to the face of the CEO of the business as he trained him. Yet, that boss, he believed in second chances, so that cocky shift supervisor was treated to a training seminar, rather than given a swift kick in the you know what, which surely could have happened. Only nineteen years old, I’m sure the experience changed his life, all for the better.
Time and time again, the most heartwarming of all was the pride I felt as I watched the heart of America, the working class, do their thing well, and with grace and humor. To match that, I was overwhelmed, and of course in tears again, when over and over again, the generosity of the bosses was absolutely astounding. Talk about rewards for hard work! When a boss met someone who put his or her heart and soul into their job and did it well, it became clear, that recognition and rewards were in order.
Paid vacations for those who hadn’t seen their kids in years because they couldn’t afford to take the time off work. College funds so the employee could finally get that degree. More monetary gifts to set up college funds for the children. Gift cards to add onto a house if they needed it, or pay for a wedding or honeymoon that never happened.
The most extraordinary episode I watched, though, pointed out a twist to the show’s intended purpose. Just like in life, most of us learn this: We might give, teach, and offer love and support throughout a lifetime, and all that feels great. The thing is, all the while, we are also given to, taught to, and receiving the love and support right back! It took a seasoned, wise alcoholic, a devoted AA attendee, to heal one CEO’s broken heart from so long ago, due to his dad’s bad habits. There he was disclosing it all and thanking the young man who was employed by him. Only it wasn’t boss/employee as they sat there with tears in their eyes thanking each other for sharing. No, a teacher/student of life meeting of minds and hearts, that’s what happened. And the boss was the student of life on the receiving end!
Talk about making a difference. I guess if we leave our hearts and minds unlocked, open and willing, we can all keep making a difference, as long as we never stop trying. Undercover Boss could be viewed as a sociological experiment, a good one, I think. Don’t you?

© 2013 Gail Galvan

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