wonder • wander
a collection of thoughts, musings, and milestones
Four hundred, sixty-five dollars and fifty-eight cents is the exact amount of money owed to me by BookBaby, the company that printed and “distributed” my memoir: STILL MOVING. Four hundred, sixty-five dollars and fifty-eight cents is the total amount of my earned commissions on book and Kindle sales from December 29, 2000--the pre-publication date--through the end of April, 2021.
Let me break it down a bit more. The “retail” price of my memoir is $17.95. The less than laudable figure of $465.58 represents this naive, overly-eager, first-time author’s dollar share of sales on: 125 paperbacks ($360.03); 22 Amazon Kindles ($73.70); 2 Bookbaby Bookshop sales ($17.95); 1 “i-book” ($3.50); and 1 Amazon Kindle-CA ($3.51). On a better side—if not a truly “the good side”, in December, I had the foresight to purchase two hundred and fifty paperbacks at the special customer price of $10.80 a copy. These I sold privately—or gave away. For the purpose of this rant, I did not factor in those sales.
Now, through simple arithmetic, I have deduced that four hundred and sixty-five dollars ($465.58) is thirty-two dollars and forty-two cents ($32.42) short of the number that my author’s cut must reach before BookBaby cuts me a check.
This is Life—not “death of a thousand cuts”!
Surely, the magic number of five hundred dollars ($500.00) looms on my near-future BookBaby Author’s accounting page.
Note to Self: do not permit your confidence and optimism to waiver or be thwarted by the reality of your current (and far less than stellar) publishing circumstances. You are “still moving” towards a resounding small “S” success. May is such a friendly and promising month.
As any first-time author, who has dreamed of good reviews and positive results and who has traveled the long and winding road of independent publishing, will attest: a self-publishing adventure is not for the faint-of-heart. Most, who have traveled this road—fraught with unintended consequences and helpful and unhelpful revelations--might pause before recommending this path to the easily discouraged.
In the beginning, (wherever that was) I actually thought writing the book would be the most formidable road-to-authorship hill to climb. In my case, getting to the acceptable PDF stage took years. And more years.
With the creative, fun, writing part of my journey had been conquered to my satisfaction, a bigger task confronted me: dealing (and fighting) with a professional editor. Oh, the editing and re-editing! Oh, the criticisms and critiques; the disagreements and misunderstandings!
One might surmise that that fourteen-month ordeal represented the most difficult part of producing a book. Pause. Breathe…
Actually, no. My fragile little memoir still had to weather the storms of confusing and frustrating DESIGN decisions. Disparate opinions were borderline abusive. Consensus was elusive on everything: the front and back covers; the typeface; the paper color and weight; the margins; the spine; the photographs; the dingbats.
What, pray tell, is a “dingbat”? Isn’t that how Archie Bunker referred to his wife?
Frustrating squabbles and intractable opinions about design and marketing concepts stalled the desired progress. The entire production year was full of difficult discussions, major and minor misunderstandings. Far too many hurtful remarks knifed through cyberspace. Senseless arguments among my hand-picked team of valued supporters and creative professionals made my head spin. Tragically, it redounded to the loss of a treasured friendship. Deeply painful. And maybe, in the end, that was the most difficult part of it all…
So, to reiterate: May is a particularly friendly and promising month. And who doesn’t love June!
Linda Durham discusses her memoir in an online author event with the Santa Fe Public Library
Linda joins Lisa D Liguori and Linda Waldo on their podcast, Living Visibly Over 50, to chat about her memoir Still Moving, and her life.
Ten years ago Linda Durham closed her internationally acclaimed art gallery in Santa Fe after 33 extraordinary years, propelling her from the highest echelon of glamorous inner circles into an ocean of bewilderment and loss of perceived identity. In this intimate chat Linda talks about how being shaken to her roots helped her find herself again. And again. What is our identity ? Do we actually need one ? Linda Durham’s fascinating memoir Still Moving answers some questions and asks more, available from local bookstores, online and from Linda herself www.lindadurham.us
“I always have this little exercise of mine: the three steps of what you want to achieve,” she says, fussing with the umbrella at an outdoor table. “You have to identify what it is you want to achieve. Then you have to declare whatever that is. Then you have to proceed.”
Linda Durham talks about how living authentically is the path to self-discovery and self-understanding with Dare to Authentic host Mari Mitchell.
About the Event
To join us on Zoom, please click here.
Webinar ID: 846 0608 8306
How to Purchase the Book in Santa Fe
You can purchase signed copies of Linda's book from Collected Works here. Or call them at (505) 988-4226.
Who do we become when we've lost the things that defined us?
When Linda Durham shuttered her internationally acclaimed art gallery after thirty-three years, she found herself navigating a sea of bewilderment. Risk-taking had long been the tour de force of her life. But had she failed, or had she succeeded? Change always comes at a price. Through delicious and dark, scintillating and salacious true tales of planned and accidental intersections with the exotic and quixotic, Durham pits her real self against her ideal self in a lifelong journey as serpentine as the Mobius strip her father made for her more than seven decades ago. Durham unabashedly pulls back the curtain on loves lost and found and on a life lived richly and openly amid fair fields and foreign wars, in places sacred and profane. Her incurable optimism gives inspiration and voice to the struggles of women worldwide, empowers those of us who feel derailed by a world out of control, and frees us to open the door to love.
Recently, a feature writer from New York Magazine called. He wanted to interview me for an article he was researching about my former employer, Forrest Fenn, art dealer and author of “The Thrill of the Chase”. Forrest’s photo-filled memoir included a poem offering intriguing clues to a treasure chest filled with gold and valuable artifacts that he claimed to have hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Several people lost their lives in pursuit of the loot. Threats and lawsuits were detailed in the news. For years, the treasure eluded the treasure hunters.
Was it a trick or the truth? After all, Forrest was a consummate showman and trickster. I can attest to that.
In the late 1970s, I served as the director of research at Fenn Gallery. One day, Forrest popped in to my office and handed me one of his personal note cards, the size of a business envelope. “From the Cluttered Mind of Forrest Fenn” was printed at the top of the card. In brown ink, Forrest had drawn a Picasso-esque image of a man’s head. Next to the head, in his distinctive hand, he had written, “Do Unto Others, Then Bug The Hell Out.” I remember putting that “work of art” in a file somewhere. I wish I could remember where…
At the fancy book launch for “The Thrill of the Chase”, I stood with Forrest and a crowd of his fans and followers. He put his arm around my shoulder and announced to the fawning and adoring group, in a winkingly boastful voice, “I taught her everything she knows.” (long pause for effect) “but not everything I know.”
Shortly before he died, Forrest announced that the treasure had been found. Very little proof was shared. Theories abound.
Forrest Fenn was a valuable mentor of mine at the beginning of my thirty-three-year career. He and his action-packed, treasure-filled gallery awakened a passion in me that had lain hidden somewhere in the depths of my undiscovered self. He kickstarted me onto my long and winding art dealer’s path; a path filled with all manner of business peaks and valleys. I’m grateful to have experienced that information-filled year as his eager learner.
Wherever you are, Forrest, I hope you’re astonishing the crowds!
Click the image below to read the article...
"Fenn took a roguish approach to life and to facts. “It doesn’t matter who you are; it only matters who they think you are,” he once said. Linda Durham, who interned with Fenn before going on to found her own contemporary-art gallery, recalls seeing an Egyptian sarcophagus displayed at Fenn Gallery with a sign that read DEACCESSIONED FROM THE BRITISH MUSEUM. She knew this to be a fiction. By sheer coincidence, the case had once belonged to her: A customer had given it to her when she was an Egyptology-interested Playboy Bunny. She’d had it X-rayed, and she knew it contained a mummified baby crocodile. After she sold it to a private collector, it eventually found its way to Fenn. When she pointed out that the British Museum story was false, he became angry. “He had no idea where that came from,” Durham says. "
Wonder & Wander
A collection of thoughts, musings, and milestones from author, wonderer, and wanderer, Linda Durham.
Copyright © Linda Durham 2021 | Site Design by Angulo Marketing & Design
Linda Durham is a human rights advocate, adventurer, author of Still Moving, The Trans-Siberian Railway Journey, An Art and Friendship Project, and a Sixties Manhattan Playboy Bunny. She is the founder and director of Santa Fe's Wonder Institute, which sponsors art exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and salons focused on discovering and implementing creative solutions to contemporary social and cultural issues. For more than three decades, Durham promoted New Mexico-based artists as the hands-on owner of contemporary art galleries in Santa Fe and New York.