What indie publishing is like: “I’m a Fool”

No, I am NOT referring to the “fool” part of the title.

I’m no more a fool than anyone pursuing a vocation.

I’m a Fool is a 38-minute film made n 1976  as part of the PBS American Short Story Collection. It dramatizes a short story by Sherwood Anderson. It stars Ron Howard (yes, that Ron Howard) and Amy Irving, and was directed by Noel Black.

Traveling from town to town during the summer of 1919, young Andy (Ron Howard) has left his Ohio home in search of adventure and romance as a horse trainer on the country fair racing circuit.

A dream of summer

Because I think in metaphors—there is nothing I can do about it—I think Andy’s journey is a good metaphor for my  journey as an indie writer.  My horse (novel) and I walk from place to place, entering races (book bloggers, contests, etc). As long as this is my fantasy, here is what my novel would look like if it were a horse: a chestnut filly with a star on her forehead and three white feet. She and I are good companions.

Andy and his partner Bert travel with two harness horses, a sulky, and a cart through Ohio at a walk, which means they have a lot of time on their hands. Bert sings a gospel song over and over: “Deep River.” Andy thinks about life.

When their horses win, they are happy—never mind that all they won is a little money at a county fair. They won. It is summer. This is what they do.

In passing, I’m a Fool is a cautionary tale about pretending to be who you are not. Andy meets and loses Lucy, the girl of his dreams, because he is ashamed of his occupation and pretends to be his wealthy boss.

Andy was having the greatest summer of his life, and he could have made it perfect had he only told Lucy the truth from the beginning. This is where the title “I’m a Fool” comes into play.

So I am on the road with one good horse, walking from place to place.

My own cautionary note:

I’m a Fool is still available from Amazon. However, the quality of the DVD is awful. The original film must have deteriorated, and the colors are bleached out. It looks parched, the opposite of what must have been intended. Gorgeous deep greens and golden sunlight are right for this little summer idyll.

  • Lindsay, this is lovely. I’ll take a look at “I’m a Fool” — as I wonder who, including myself, could say they’re not.

  • Ron, Thank you so much. I agree: we all can relate to the feeling foolish part of the tale. Yet we also can relate to the journey.

  • I agree, Lindsay, it’s the journey, the adventure.