Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Monday, November 2, 2015

I Have Just Given Birth – To A Sammich

Newsflash: I am now officially an author

The strange thing is I never intended to write a book, it sort of happened by accident.  I had often considered writing a humor blog, but I was working two jobs and writing my economic blog, so I had absolutely no time for anything else.

Then I saw Justin Bieber on television for the first time.  He was singing and the teenyboppers were screaming. “No wonder they like him”, I thought.  “He looks just like them! Wouldn’t it be funny if someone mistook him for a girl?”  The alarms went off in my brain: Ding, ding, double ding!

On May 20, 2011, I typed these words: “I just heard about the latest teen pop sensation, Justine Bieber”. And thus, Ake’s Pains blog was born.  Two weeks later I posted again, and then again and now you are reading post #141.  More and more people started reading the blog.  They really liked it and soon I had a worldwide audience.

But at no time did I ever think I was writing a book.  Then in October 2013, the thought occurred to me that I had written enough posts that I could compile
and organize them into a book.  Great idea! Except I had no idea how to publish a book and it took me a while to figure this whole thing out.

Publishing a book is very similar to creating a baby.  Well, except there is no hot, baby-making, sex involved.  But you start with a conception and then you go through a long process to carry it forth into birth.

One of the best things about being a blogger is that you can write anything you want and nobody can stop you. It’s like running through the streets naked and unencumbered.  You have total freedom.  However, when you write a book, you need some boundaries, you need some polish.  Not only do you need some underwear, you even need a pants and shirt.

So I had to hire an editor.  I hate editors. I hate editors almost as much as I hate accountants.  Editors are horrible people who somehow find flaws in your perfect writing. Being edited is an awful process.  So I end up paying this woman to inflict pain on me.  I’m sure a dominatrix is a lot more fun.  

The most challenging moment of the editing process was when she said the post on the New England Patriots using under-inflated footballs could not be in the book because it contained too many “disgusting ball jokes”.  I tilted my head to the side like a confused German Shephard. I couldn’t understand how you could possibly ever have too many disgusting ball jokes, but apparently you can. So I rewrote that one. It’s now much less ballsy. 

Finally, all the posts were edited and organized and there was a manuscript, which is the equivalent of seeing an ultrasound photo.  I started walking around with a goofy smile showing the manuscript to people and even posted a picture of it on Facebook.  But just like an ultrasound photo, people smile and politely nod, but they don’t really care.

So you edit, you edit, you revise, and then edit some more. At some point the sadist editor puts down her whip and you submit the final manuscript.

Picking the baby up at the hospital
And then finally the big day arrives and the book is actually printed.  Of course this is just like giving birth, except for the extreme pain, screaming and pushing, and what not. But it is my baby. I hold it my hands with reverence and yes, I have even cradled it.

My first realization that I am an author happened when my friend Michael recently introduced me to our waitress at lunch as “Author Don Ake”. I instinctively started to correct him and then realized he was correct. Then I turned to the waitress and noticed the look of great admiration I was getting from this beautiful young woman. “Well yes my dear, I am an author, and you should read my book.”

And now the challenge is to make the book successful, just as a father desires success for his child. I am now responsible for promoting and marketing this book. Doing this, is unfortunately not as fun as actually writing it.

I’ve changed much since being thrown out of my comfort zone in 2009. I wouldn’t have had the courage to try this before.  But now I’m not afraid about crashing and burning.  During my “comeback” I’ve crashed more times than Windows 10. Okay, nothing’s crashed more than Windows 10.  But even though I’ve lost count of the number of crashes, I do know it’s exactly equal to the number of times I’ve gotten up and moved on. And I’ve spent the past six years growing an impressive set of fire-proof skin, so light me up, Fall Out Boy, I’m ready.  I’ve just strapped myself into a high-powered vehicle that has no rear-view mirror and no “reverse” gear.  I’m not looking back and I’m sure as hell not going back. There’s only one direction to go and nobody can drag me down.

So my book is officially launched. And I am an author, but you can still call me “Don” unless there is a cute chick nearby, then “The Author” will suffice. This new status hasn’t changed me, although I do have a message into Taylor Swift to see if she wants to get back together, no answer yet.

I cannot express enough gratitude to my readers for your support. I am at this
place only because of you.
My friend Owen buys the first copy!

The next step in my journey begins today. I write humor for the purpose of making people happy and I guarantee Just Make Me A Sammich will make you laugh.  I humbly ask for your support of my baby. Thanks for reading.

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