A Fistful of Dimes

My Uncle Mike once asked me a question when I was 8 years old. He said, “If I let you grab a fistful of just one kind of coin, pennies, nickels, dimes or quarters, which would you reach for?” Knowing even at that age what a pragmatic man he could be, I knew there was something more to the question. The obvious coin of choice was the quarter, I’d have a few bucks to show for it and in the 80’s that meant something huuuuge! Like I could buy a few packs of Garbage Pail Kids, about (40) Now & Laters or (8) Star Crunches… I was a chub, what? However, the obvious is generally not the most worthy choice. After a few seconds of contemplation, I answered him. “I’d choose the dimes,” I said with gusto. His face lit up and smiled at my decision. Without explaining the reason or lingering about, he simply said, “You’re a smart young man.” After which he tussled my hair and we proceeded to have an M&M eating contest. It’s one of my first memories of him and one closest to my heart when I think of him.

As an author, I truly attribute this sentiment to a lot of the choices readers make. The allure of the large shinny quarter is obvious, but the dime is small and you can find there is much more worth to grabbing a fistful of those. I suppose it speaks more to my Traditional v. Indie feud. The ability to gain more marketing foothold or more popularity/notoriety. On my low days, the days when I see my stats are low and sales are flat, I think back to myself and imagine I’m a fistful of dimes when others are still grabbing quarters.

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