Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Friday, February 20, 2015

Give Me a Millennium or Two and I Might Be Famous

You get right down to it, in all honesty, I am what you call an unknown writer. I'm not even Minor League; just some guy scratching about in a Sandlot somewhere. But I've been scratching a long time, clear back to when I was little kid in patched up overalls and scoffed up Keds in Downingtown.

My first "professional" endeavor was the writing, editing and publication of a newspaper in partnership with my friend, Stuart Meisel. We also stood behind a table in the hallway of our grade school each week and sold copies to the other students at one cent a copy. There is Stuart and I pictured on the right in 1954. The fellow in white is obviously a disgruntled reader demanding his one cent back. I was 11 years old (as was Stuart) and that wasn't even my first success, just the first I got paid for.

It was the following summer, probably just after my twelfth birthday, that I declared the writer's life was for me. My next big encouragement came in 1957 when a song I wrote entitled "My Little White Lamb" was put out on sheet music by a New York music publisher and was soon recorded by a singer named Ben Tate. Yes, I know, you ain't never heard of the singer or the song. But they did exist.

Since then I have written over 125 books, again none of which most people ever heard of, I'm sure. These volumes include novels, essays, poetry, short fiction, plays, art, comic strips, cartoons, photography and business publications. I have also had some of my scribblings pop up in anthologies here and there.

I have reached some people with some stuff, though. I have done live readings and I have received fan letters and I have been published in some international and large circulation magazines. I was a runner up in the 1961 Writers Digest Short Fiction Contest and I have been paid for my articles and stories; although, sadly, not enough to live on.

I have had a few little awards over the decades, such as the one at the top of this spiel, "The Emerging Star Writer Award" of September 15, 2011. I had been emerging at the time of that honor for over 58 years.

But wait, don't dismiss it, for I may truly be emerging.

Wonderful gadget the Internet for it lets you in on things you might never otherwise found out;  for
instance, about some of those anthologies. The oldest one I didn't even know about until a few years ago (which tells you nobody ever bothered sending me any royalties for its use). I was just surfing the web one day and suddenly stumbled upon it, published in Spain in 1968. It was called, "Terror! La Chica de Marte y ottos relatos (The Mars Girl and Other Stories).

I also discovered another of my tales had been reprinted in a 1975 anthology published in France, 13 Histories D'Objets Malefiques. I recently purchased a copy of that book on Amazon, and of course, no royalties to the author -- me!

This is all fine and dandy, except I remain in blatant obscurity. It didn't really help to discover a story of mine included in a collection being hawked on eBay for $1,800. It was billed as the "King Rarities Collection", which is a bit of rare hypo on the seller's part. There were two Stephen King stories within. It should have been the "Meredith Rarer Collection" because I only had one story in it, which is rarer than two.

Riding on the coattails of a famous author does little to enhance my own fame.

However, suddenly, now that I concentrate more on my Blogs and less on sending pieces off to editors; now that I haven't seen print of an original piece since a poem in "Wanderings Magazine" in 2008 and a story in "Burst" about the same time, I discover my name being mentioned in other people books. It is a weird feeling, as if I have become some literary artifact or long buried fossil now on a museum shelf.

Here is what has shown up so far in this century:

A biographic listing in the Internet Speculative Fiction Database.  They only have a small sampling of my work, but what the hey, it's something.

In 2014, Mashpedia's Top Video's on 1956 in Poetry, number 27 being a video I made reading my Besotted Ballads a collection of song lyrics I wrote as a teenager.

On January 3, 2015, my Post "There Was a Crooked Man" is published in a magazine out of Germany for the Physical Therapy industry, called "The D Side". My piece is in the leisure Section.

Now we start to get really serious, my name is also popping up in other people tomes.

2004, my short story "Last Letter from Norman Underwood" gets a synoptic review on pages 180-81 in Brian J. Frost's The Essential Guide to Werewolf Literature, University of Wisconsin Press.

2010, my short story "Conjured" gets touched upon on page 292 in Mike Howlett's The Weird World of Eerie Publications.

And most recently, this year, I am given a very complimentary write-up in John E. Wordslinger's Poetry Train America, in which the author tells of a trip across America by train and the poets he discovered in the various states. He mentions two poets in Delaware, of whom I am one.

Excerpt from Poetry Train America:

               The tenth poet I found was Larry Eugene Meredith...and his poetry is melodic, peaceful and beautiful. Larry's poems, "Monday in the Park with Eugene," "Riot", "Overwhelming Forces" and "Wind" are kind to read and hear.  -- page 356

The way I see it is if this kind of thing keeps up I may just become famous enough to come into demand, oh say, around the year 3000.


Ron said...

Don't feel bad, Vincent Van Gogh wasn't really discovered until after his death and look how famous he is now. You are an excellent writer. You know that and many others do too. Who wants fame and fortune anyway during their lifetime? This way you can go out in public and the publuc won't bother you.

Jon said...

That's an extremely impressive publishing history. It's a disheartening but true fact that writers are GROSSLY underpaid. (I know from bitter experience)