Thursday, November 29, 2012

Another Step Forward

Yesterday, I put my money where my mouth is and committed to self-publishing my book.  That’s how 50 Shades and Hunger Games started before they got picked up by traditional publishers.  Print on demand felt like trying to swim, but only getting your toes wet.  To believe in myself and my abilities, I had to dive off the high board and order pre-printed copies.  Professional editing and cover design are critical to a book’s success and those are the steps I am taking right now.  I am anxious to get feedback.  In two months, I could have a paperback ready to share with the Universe.

Apparently it is mail fraud to take pre-orders if you can’t supply product within eight weeks, so I am unable to ask you for that support quite yet.  But, as soon as it’s sent to the printer, I will.  I am hoping you’ll send a little love my way when the time comes. 

Kingsley Amis said "If you can't annoy somebody, there is little point in writing."  My book won’t be everyone’s mug of Earl Grey, but I refuse to believe the dozen or so who have read it are the only ones in the world who will enjoy it.  

In the meantime, I’d like to share the first painting that my book inspired.  Australian artist, Uta Mooney, titled it Intimacy.  Click on her name to learn more about her and her craft.  She is doing a solo gallery exhibit completely based on images drawn from my story.  I should acknowledge that she painted the header I am using on this site. It is only a portion of a much larger painting that will be unveiled at her show in February.  How cool is that? 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Comments About Cabin 108

This...well, THIS! If the reader is not hanging by their nails at the end of this chapter, something is very, very WRONG with them! I had to highlight the whole thing because this--at the middle of the story--has returned to the initial passion of chapter 1, but with an added twist. The writing has flowed from hot and passionate to more relaxed, to real-life-daily~~the whole gamut of emotions have been visited, and I was wondering if you would raise the pace back up or just give peeks and hints, but this DEFINITELY raised the pace! DAMN!
And now I am left wondering, how on earth is the ending going to top this mid-section interlude? (which I know it will, but still, I'm wondering...thinking....)

This chapter really grabbed me and took me on the roller coaster ride.  Here's to the rest of the story~~~CHEERS!

Wow....this sure provided a thrill ride. Good work, good writing. I am delighted to see it progressing and in such a way that I cannot gauge what is around the next paragraph.

I love the visual quality of him scanning the land by moonlight. This is delightful poetry for the mind to soak in and bring forth our own personal landscapes softly glowing under the moon. Beautiful......really beautiful.

I know writing is a hard game but if he stops writing he's a dick head. Here is someone who can write and he needs to keep doing it.

This is something I want to continue reading. I want to know what happens. Does he see everything in images before he writes it? How good to be able to produce this out of your own imagination. The visualization you get from his writing is brilliant.

Intrigue is everywhere with relationships. Developments all over the place. Great reading - good work.

Follow Gordon through this part of his life. Meet his array of friends and enjoy his experiences, varied as they are. There is a piece of all of us in this book, one you must read. Find yourself wanting to travel through life with these characters chapter by chapter. You won't put it down.

I hate romantic books and yet you have captured my interest with this story.

I just gasped and read on with my mouth open. My mind started to scramble to try and find a way the story line could continue.

You sure know how to shock a girl!!! And I don't shock easily. Far out Glenn!!!

I started out totally shocked and outraged, thought it was unbelievable but I ended up understanding something deeper.

You are getting so damn good!!!  I did not want it to end. I was totally engrossed in this chapter. Forgot about everyone and everything while I read it. Totally zoned out. Roared with laughter again.

Your phrasing just cracks me up. I love that about your writing.

You are now delving into emotions of the characters which makes them even more real.

I love reading this book Glenn. I get so much pleasure from it. No wonder you are enjoying writing it so much. To be able to make up characters and make them so real that I can't imagine the world without them is amazing. I can see them. You make me see them. That's really quite astounding isn't it???

ITS BLOODY BRILLIANT!!! I held my breath, the suspense was killing me ... is killing me. Damn that's good.

In true Glenn style we have - They are wise beyond their feathers and leather. Do you realize I look for these treasures now??? I love this quirky little way you have those lines. That sure is your trade mark I reckon. Enjoyed it. 

Another strong chapter with the story gaining depth and the characters worming their way deeper into my heart.

Another turn of events that means you have to read on to find out how it turns out.
Bugger, now you have sucked me in and I can't wait to find out what happens.

Those clever poetic lines are more enjoyable than ice cream!!!

Seductive. impassioned and amusing, Cabin 108 is a tale that will capture you from the very beginning. The characters come alive and are thoroughly entertaining. Their presence grab you and stay with you forever.

You mongrel dog! What an ending (or is it?) I certainly did not have that ending on my list. A great final chapter, one that takes your book to a new level ... well done. As soon as I get time I will read the whole book again and put it all together. It will be interesting.

I read it again all in one go. Oh Glenn its fantastic. The ending is perfect.  I want to read the whole book again from beginning to end.

Your imagination knows no bounds!

It's the story of a man who suddenly finds himself free from a loveless celibate marriage and how he goes about finding his spirit with help from many provocative women.  

Love the sweet and tender and hot, hot, hot all combined!!!  No wonder I love's like my dream come true!!

Meet Gordon, a man as charming and irresistible as the story he inhabits. Follow along on his quest to stop being what everyone wants him to be and starts finding out who he really is. The changes happening in his life have him on a real roller coaster ride of ups, downs and wicked thrills. Cabin 108 embodies a little bit of everyone’s hopes, dreams and fantasies and will grab you from the very first page.

Cabin 108 introduces you to a lost soul named Gordon, and invites you to tag along for the ride as he tries to figure out this thing called life. Full of irresistible characters and astonishing situations, this page turner will keep you guessing 'What's next for Gordon?' right up to the end.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The C Words

 I wrote a complete novel and that is so freaking awesome, the conductor should let the flugelhorns blow.  For the past six weeks I have been contemplating what to do with my manuscript.  Didn’t really write it for coin, but I could use some about now.  Currently, I don’t have much cash and it takes a considerable amount to self-publish.  My friends have offered to start up a collection to contribute to the cause because they know I poured a whole lot of soul into this effort over an entire calendar.  The characters in my book are comedic, confused and conflicted like me.  I tried for years to find another traditional career and couldn't.  My personal financial cliff is closing in as my checkbook suctions cups my meager assets in a choke hold.  The coolest thing about Facebook is discovering uplifting comments.  Today I saw this post from a friend.

It is exactly the correct thing for me to consider.  Thank you, Universe, for letting this catch my eye.  A few days ago, I called out to my friends that I had decided to make a decision.  I couldn’t promise when.  I have done my calculations, considered my options and am committing myself to take the next baby step toward creating a paperback.  I am choosing to take a colossal chance.  I hope you’ll purchase a copy when they are available and keep me out of your trash cans looking for food.  This is my year of change.     

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Melding Art Forms

The working title for my book is Cabin 108.  As I wrote it, Uta Mooney painted my imagination with hers.  I describe my story this way.

As the life he has known disintegrates around him, Cabin 108 chronicles one man’s journey seeking to rediscover himself.  Passion guides him in a new direction.  Grateful for a fresh start, he trusts the path will lead to answers, but it is as crooked as llama teeth.  With a new found freedom, his once famished physical desires feast.  Searching to nourish his spirit with truth and tranquility, his adventures change him, his morals and his boundaries.

Uta describes it visually below.  These are small details of much larger paintings offered as a sneak preview for her solo exhibition early next year to be held at Gallery M in Adelaide, South Australia beginning February 8th.  Be there!  It'll be worth the trip.   

Chapter 1 - Unleashed

Chapter 3 - Goodbye

Chapter 6 - This Sucks

Chapter 9 - Trust

Chapter 15 - Direction

Chapter 16 Exposed

Chapter 21 - Up and Down

The Writer

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Due Date

               I have a new found appreciation for authors.  Words do not magically appear on the page, although they seem to when one gets lost in the zone.  It’s not easy braiding thousands of words together coherently.  It requires a passion and persistent drive to persevere.  The time, effort and brain space demand a significant commitment.  I did it and am now trying to learn how to share it with the world.  The most quoted person of all-time, Anonymous, said, “Any fool can write a book, it takes a genius to sell one.”  I never thought about selling my book as I wrote it and hope I am not the next fool who finished one.  It does appear Anonymous was right that selling it requires a bit of genius.
               Traditional publishing companies won’t give a novice writer the time of day unless you are famous for some reason.  Self-publishing has become a respectable alternative for the rest of us.  That’s how 50 Shades of Grey began.  There is hope for the little guys.  But, it requires just as much, if not more, time, effort and money to make it happen.  This is what I am learning now.  Like any other, it is a crowded dream and a challenge to be successful.  How do you stand out, promote, publicize and market your product without yelling from the rooftops like everyone else? 
               I said my sad goodbyes to my amazing tribal members from Chicago when I returned them to the train station a week after their arrival.  As planned, Uta Mooney, from Adelaide, Australia, stayed with me for two more months.  She is a rising star in her community as a painter.  Before she ever came to America, she had begun doing paintings inspired by the images in my unfinished book.  Uta even applied to do a solo exhibition of her work, based on my book, in an Adelaide art gallery prior to leaving and was accepted.  The concept is novel and our collaboration was in full force.  While she was here, I wrote and she painted.  We talked about our art forms till the wee hours of the morning.  Maybe I don’t have to shout, maybe we can team up and promote each other as we try to further our artistic endeavors by melding the two art forms.  I’m back to that freak of nature.  Please read about Uta's journey.  A month after she left, my healthy 83,454 novel was born October 4th, 2012.   

Monday, November 5, 2012

Second Trimester

A year ago, I would have laughed had you predicted I’d write a book.  I had no aspiration nor intention for such a lofty project.  There was no outline, no underlying message, no plot.  What I had was lots of time, an imagination bigger than I knew, a few blank notebooks and lots of pens.  I write longhand and then edit at the keyboard with two index fingers. 
Through it all, the tribe studied the book that brought us together.  Although it focused on artistic endeavors, it applied to life in general.  Isn't life itself an art form?  Some of the group dropped out for personal reasons, but six of us bonded, three in or around Chicago, two of us the northwest corner of the U.S.  and one in South Australia.  It was an unlikely combination and I don’t think any of us dreamed how close we would become.  We all shared our art and our lives. 
I sent each chapter to them as it was completed.  Sometimes we’d get together and chat online.  It fascinated me when they discussed the characters like they were real people.  They were mad at her for this and concerned about someone else’s feelings.  My words evoked emotions in my mini-audience.  The tribe speculated what might happen next.  Occasionally, I would tease them with a line or two of the next chapter I was working on.  I liked coming up with a shocking development and then leave it hanging.  I threw in some humor, sometimes not knowing where it came from.  A piece of my soul is this book.  That is the definition, the pure and simple essence of art.
It took a year to write my story.  I had multiple lives occurring simultaneously, the real one, the one I was writing in my head, the one that made it to paper and the version I typed on my computer screen.  My real life consisted of my oldest daughter moving two hundred miles away for a good job, my youngest getting married and my wife getting sick.  I coped by escaping into my world of imagination.  It was far better therapy than a shrink or medication.  With three-quarters of the book written, I was transforming into a full-fledged writer with hermit characteristics, long hair and beard, short pants and no shoes.  Artists are not programmed to be conformists.
The tribal bond was strong and plans were put in place to congregate.  None of us had red flag fears of meeting online friends.  We had grown together as a group for ten months.  The original plan was to gather in Chicago where most lived or could turn into a day trip.  Uta, our Aussie contingent, booked a flight.  But, life got in the way for me and I couldn’t attend.  Four of the six made it.  Then, three of them took the train to my house in Seattle.  The four of us drove to Oregon to meet the other non-attendee in Chicago.  While we were there, I sacrificed my hair and beard during a video conference with our one missing squaw.  It all had to come off anyway to please my daughter for her wedding day.  What does this have to do with me writing a book?  Everything!  These five women were my pre-natal vitamin, my believing mirrors who are responsible for motivating me to keep writing.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Book Birthing

Like everything I have ever done, my first novel is a freak of nature.  Sitting at home, depressed that no employer seemed to see value in me, I decided to figure out how I got to this place in time.  Hoping it would generate answers and clear the path to my future, I began writing about my life, beginning at birth and pulling out old memories I had completely mothballed.  I wrote like a madman, creating a document 70,000 words long and quit before I entered the rough spot I was in.  Little did I know that writing it was a tune-up, but I still saw no clear path out of my predicament. 

Music heals the soul and I am a huge Greg Brown fan as you will see when you read my book.  I’ve been part of an online fan group for years and befriended many over the years and met lots in person at concerts.   Greg has no idea how vast and varied the community he has created from his art.  I met my dear friend, Jan, there through our common interest in Greg’s music and we became online buddies.  One day, she told me she had been invited to study a book written by Julia Cameron called The Artist’s Way and wasn’t sure she should do it.  I had bought this very book a year before at the recommendation of another pure soul I had met through my association of Mr. Brown’s music.  I had read the first chapter and set it down when I got a temporary job working for the Census Bureau.  I told Jan how jealous I was that she was invited to study the book and that she just had to do it.  She took that advice.  What she didn’t listen to was my request not to weasel me into the group.  The ten women members took an informal vote and by the smallest of margins, I was invited to join.  Okay, I don’t really know how the vote went, but I’m certain there were trepidations about letting a guy in the group.

I had never met any of them and I had concerns too.  The leader of the group knew I existed because I had commented a few times on her blog.  Other than that, I had no idea who these women were.  Having never been in an online study group, let alone being the sole male, I followed their lead and introduced myself.  All accomplished artists, I realized right away I was out of my league.  They were in various stages of their artistic endeavors  and careers.  I had dabbled with water color and calligraphy, but knew my art was best served stringing words together, mostly in rhyme.  We began to study the book which encouraged us to let our inner artistic child play.  The tribe, as we call ourselves, began to share their visual art efforts, so I got brave and comfortable enough to expose a short story I wrote.  It got mixed reviews, but all constructive.  Their encouragement led me to share another story I had written a year and a half earlier.  The gates opened.  Curious to know more about the characters, the tribe insisted I write more.  My inner child frolicked and my second chapter was written.  Synchronicity, fate, a freak of nature, The Universe aligned.  I was on my way to birthing a book.