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Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Writer's Life 12/16 - Syndromes

I found a list of 15 syndromes named after literary characters at Here are the first five: The Dictionary of Modern Medicine explains that Huckleberry Finn Syndrome begins as youthful rebellion but evolves into "frequent job changes and absenteeism as an adult." It’s thought to be a response to parental rejection or deep-set feelings of inferiority and depression... Othello Syndrome refers to "a dangerous form of psychosis … [whose] central theme consists in a delusional belief in infidelity of the spouse." Some studies suggest it is most common among older men with a neurological disorder rather than a psychiatric one... Pollyanna Syndrome refers to an unrealistic, even dangerous optimism, not what author Eleanor H. Porter had in mind... Dorian Gray Syndrome is an "obsessive preoccupation with physical attractiveness." Those afflicted do not handle aging well and frequently turn to plastic surgery, anti-impotence drugs, or hair plugs... Cinderella Complex is described as a uniquely feminine condition in which women subconsciously fear independence. It is manifested in inappropriate or ineffectual behavior on the job, anxiety about success, and the fear that independence will lead to loss of femininity.

The Fed will raise interest rates. A blurb in today's NY Post states that the increase will not affect the savings rates of bank accounts, which remain rock bottom, forcing many into stock investment, one of the few ways to get a decent return on one's money. I dub this Bubble Syndrome.

An interesting article in the Post reveals secrets of success. Billionaire Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape, believes new companies should raise rather than lower the prices of their products to attract customers. I thought about it for a moment, but my gut tells me to keep offering the Kindles of the books in my control for a buck. My aim at present is to increase readership, not cash flow. The Kindle of A Hitch in Twilight, controlled by the publisher, lists for $5.99, and I doubt more than five have sold since it hit the market in 7/'09, while some, not all, of mine that list for a dollar have sold far more. The publisher of Exchanges lists it at two, and more than 20 have sold since 4/13... Meanwhile, I've hit a third snafu with my latest publishing effort. I was thrilled that the novel looks great in Create Space's online reviewer, and hit the "approve" tab thinking I would be asked to purchase a proof copy. Instead, it set the finalization wheels in motion. I sent CS an email asking them to delay until I've proofed a print copy, which is on the way. If they don't, I just won't publicize it until I'm satisfied that it's up to par. I just hope they don't send notices of its availability to those who have purchased my works in the past. This is known as Literary Derangement Syndrome.

Here are the top four worldwide subjects in Google searches for 2016: Pokemon Go, Prince, IPHONE 7, Donald Trump. This is Popular Culture Syndrome.

The floating book shop is on hiatus until the two days of deep freeze followed by two days of heavy rain pass through. This is Climbing the Walls Syndrome.
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