I’m Going on Vacation!

And I want to meet you!

Okay. I realize that most of you are complete strangers to me, but plenty of you aren’t. I mean, I kind of wish I could meet all of you and show you how random I am in person, but I can’t. So that’s why this is really going to be a trip of a lifetime! Because I am going to get to meet some of you! (I hope)

Let me tell you what’s going on. I don’t have an exact itinerary just yet. But I do at least know a handful of countries I’m hoping to visit, so if you happen to live in one of the countries then we’re about to meet! I know for sure I’ll be going to the UK, France, Australia, Germany, and then circle around back to the US and visit a few states I’ve always wanted to see. If you live in one of these states/cities you better say so! California. New York. Washington D.C. And depending on the time I spend in New York and California, I may slip into Canada for a day or so.

So that’s it! My little trip around the world.

You’re probably wondering why I’m doing this at all. Well, I think the best time for one to travel is the time immediately following college graduation. And yes, I graduated two years ago, but I’m still in that period. And as for the blog, well I’m leaving fairly soon because there’s no reason for me to wait, but I’m going to write some posts and schedule them out for the next few days. But I most likely will not be blogging during my trip, which I expect to last about two weeks. Because I’ve never had the chance to travel and I don’t want to spend that time replying to comments and checking stats.

If you happen to live in the UK, France, Germany, Australia, California, New York, Washington D.C., or Canada, AND think you might like to meet me in the near future…then you need to tell me! I think we could probably figure something out.

That’s all for today. MP Sharma, I’m stealing you and bringing you back in my suitcase!

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Why Literary Awards Matter

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Photo Credit: Ben Stansall/Getty Images

From 2014 onward, the Man Booker Prize will be awarded to any book written in English. This year was the first in which authors from the United States were included. The prize is one of the most prestigious in the world.

This year’s prize was awarded to Richard Flanagan for his novelĀ The Narrow Road to the Deep North. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never read anything he’s ever written. I haven’t. This post is about something else. It’s about literary awards.

Flanagan’s book was one of those well-received works that struggled to find an audience. In fact, his previous books have also struggled to gain traction in the ultra competitive publishing industry here in the US. It was because of the poor sales of his titles that he was considering going to work in the Australian mines. Yes. An author who I can’t seem to find a bad word about online was going to work in mines because he was broke. He wasn’t a middle of the pack author with decent sales, he was broke. Until October 14.

October 14 was the day he won one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world. The cash prize is about $80,000, which isn’t bad in itself, but there was more on the way. Last week, Flanagan earned about $220, 000. That total is more than his previous ten years of BookScan sales. You’re talking about $300,000 to a man who had next to nothing.

I know plenty of you are thinking that writing isn’t all about making money. Okay. You probably say that as you have your “real” job that pays all your bills. Writing is a hobby to you. No matter what you say, but it isn’t for Flanagan. This is his job. His career. So don’t sit there and say literary awards don’t matter, because they do. Because there’s one writer out there who almost had to give up on writing because he was no longer able to support himself. He’s no longer facing that decision.

“In essence, this means I can continue to write.” -Richard Flanagan at the awards ceremony.