I stole the title for this blog entry from Chaucer (no, I paid him). It wasn’t as easy to find the quote as I expected, in spite of Our Lord and Master, the Internet. The title is a line from Chaucer’s poem “Troilus and Criseyde” (written in the 1380s), but in trying to figure out exactly how to spell the words, I found versions that looked like the original Middle English, with the word “book” spelled booke, bok, and boke. It’s actually possible, though, that Chaucer might have used different spellings. They had fewer English teachers in those days.
And now I’ve sent my own litel boke, The Illusion of Being Here, into the world. I wrote the book in 2003, and since then I’ve worked on it from time to time, and now it is time that it go. So that it will not be as lonely as litel bokes almost always are, I’ve set up a website to keep it company, at www.davidhutto.com.
So far the book is available on Amazon, both in ebook—or eboke—format (if you have a Kindle) or in actual-real-book paperback. I’m working on having more ebook versions as well as other places to buy it, but anyway it’s out. You can fly to Brazil, take a canoe upriver, and get a copy, if you don’t mind an occasional poison arrow from the shore. I recommend the paperback version because, well…I’ve asked the locals not to shoot as many arrows at people who buy real books.
I’ve waited an awfully long time for one of my books to appear in public, and now that one has, I can tell you honestly that I feel a need to practice being tough and hard, because anytime you appear in public, no matter what you’re doing, you’re out there for people to tell you how lousy you are, or how much they hate you.
Publishing a book has been, and continues to be, very educational, in the same way that time in prison might be educational. My God, what a tsunami of tedious detail. Unless you like that sort of thing. If it ever crossed your mind to write a book, did it also cross your mind to think about how wide it would be? I had to know that. I pulled a book off my shelf and thought “I like this size” so I measured it, and that’s what I went with.
The publishing part of this isn’t done, but I won’t poison your time with the details. If you decide to read it and like it, tell one hundred people about it (or consider adding a review on Amazon). But if you read it and don’t like it, even your mama don’t want to know that.
The Illusion of Being Here takes place in Charleston, South Carolina, and in Moscow (I’ve been to both places, though more often to Moscow). One of the characters is a diplomat who meets a witch in Moscow, and later in Charleston as he and his cousin search for a letter from Catherine the Great, he starts to understand some of the things the witch told him.
Here is a small excerpt:
“But you couldn’t know I was coming over here,” he said. “I didn’t even know until a half hour ago.”
She looked harder at him, and he remembered seeing those eyes, one green and one blue. “Why do you think I couldn’t know that?” she said. “Do you want to see it?”