100,000 to 1 Odds. I’ll take ‘em. — Fourth Quarter Begins pg286–287

Mernie Buchanan
3 min readApr 6, 2021

Colorful companion to my memoir The Incompetent Psychic

West K Shore by Nancy Freeman & First St, Thursday Evening by Mernie Buchanan 2015
Sunset Stroll by Nancy & Bouquet Choices by Mernie 2015

I contacted another local painter whose work I admired. I asked Nancy if she would like to team up for a show at the library’s gallery?

Nancy Freeman’s background was fiber arts. The patterns and colors she wove into her acrylic landscapes were stylized, enchanting, and dovetailed with this looser new series I’d started. We put together a proposal for Let’s Go For a Walk for the jury, and were given a show in February 2016. That gave us four months of winter to go to town painting bright, summery scenes of Benicia’s historic downtown and waterfront. — From Chapter 15

I only started writing for the marketplace/other people a year and a half ago. Sure I’ve been penciling, penning, typing and keyboarding words to communicate and amuse as an amateur since 1960. Sixty years later I cannon-balled smack into the public infinity pool, hoping to make a splash with my (some say brilliant) memoir… even though I know it doesn’t work that way for just about every first-time author. Only just now I went surfing for the numbers. That infinity pool is the size of an ocean, and my splash is a single drop. There are a lot of books.

Let’s turn that metaphorical ocean into a mountain in need of climbing. I started a similar uphill trek as a painter in the 80s. (Got an art degree in ’77 then screwed around experimenting with ‘real’ jobs for a while.) In 1990 I started up my full-time art & design business. Painting signs and stage sets financed creative speculative ventures until my name and reputation became better known. Selling thousands of decent paintings earned me a place on the mountain of artists who make an okay living… but far short of the elite, tippy-top pinnacle of stardom and fortune way up in the thin air.

The writing world is the next mountain in the same range. Every aspiring author hopes to get a rare, lucky spot on the gondola to Summit Chalet. Those odds are wildly unfavorable.

Odds to get to the top: I’ll use the Washington Post bestseller list as they will…



Mernie Buchanan

Originally from CA & Las Vegas, I now paint and write in Woodstock NY. All images are my original art & photos. Links to more at mernie.com