My Book!

Dravet Syndrome Blues

Hello y’all!

For a long time, most of the people who read this blog were people I knew in real life. They are people I worked, went to school of church or jiu jitsu with. That being said, they’ve already seen this on facebook. If you’re one of those readers, I apologize for the double exposure.

But

I released my first book this week. It’s a poetry chapbook for Kindle called Dravet Syndrome Blues. Please consider buying it. I haven’t talked about my poetry experience a lot, but I’ve written it forever. In the mid-2000’s, I got really in to spoken word, and had to learn to write poetry meant to be read aloud-so lots of percussive consonants, alliteration, rhyme, and few turns of phrase that need to be read to comprehended.

Since then I experimented with form, and moved away from poems meant to be performed. When I lived in Utah, I started reading at PoetFlow . I enjoyed the community, and the folks at PF are one of the things I miss most about Utah, and I haven’t yet connected with a group in Albuquerque..

I’m not a salesman, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I do want my poems to be read. Thanks.

 

 

A Late July Update

So no, in regards to my last post, we haven’t found a suitable place of worship just yet. I’m still not ready to give up, but with all the violence and BS happening around the World, I can feel my heart getting hard. I don’t want to be a bitter person. I talked to my dad last week about letting go of grudges and regrets, something I’ve been able to (mostly) do through meditative practices. He relayed he has always had trouble with it. For me, I saw it as intentionally defeating my ego and eliminating wasteful, unproductive habits and beliefs. We all program our brains differently, whether with intent or by accident. I decided I didn’t want to be mad at people who were jerks to me or constantly relive experiences where I failed to rise to the occasion. It surely won’t help me live in the present or be happy, and I think I’ve learned all there was from those experiences, so I discarded that junk like a holey old pair o’ drawers.

My first chapbook, Dravet Syndrome Blues, is written. I’m letting the poems air out and settle for a few days, then I’ll scrutinize them with red pen in hand, and revise. They won’t be too reworked- I want them to be not only GOOD, but an encapsulation of my current influences, experiences, and ability as a writer. I’ve solicited a little feedback, which has been helpful, but I have to just go or I will talk myself out of it. I’m working on layout and design at the moment. Design is not my strong suit, but that’s okay. I haven’t produced a physical product in forever (16 years or so), and I’m excited.

Speaking of books, I finally got around to reading Cormac McCarthy’s “All the pretty horses.” What a fantastic story, and McCarthy is able to write stark, laconic cowboy prose interspersed with flourished, descriptive passages in a way which is totally natural, without an air of contrivance.He’s not trying too hard-he’s just really that good. He is a living master.

Albuquerque is still magical.

I start work next week. I’m looking forward to it, but also not. I have enjoyed having little stress and no routine, but I am a person who very much needs a rigid routine. It will be a good addition to my life.

In addition to routine, I discovered that I also like taking risks and having adventures.  I’m writing this from a hotel room outside Denver. We drove 6.5 hours here so Lindsay and the oldest kid could go see Sufjan Stevens. It wasn’t a bad drive, but prior to realizing that our lives were finite and we were in charge of the character of our lives, I don’t know we would have done this. I want awesome experiences. I don’t hate road trips like I once did, and don’t get tired driving for more than 45 minutes, as growing up on an island is prone to induce.

So things aren’t perfect. I still hold on to old crap sometimes, and sometimes I’m grumpy and snap at the kids. Sometimes I don’t sleep well, and have learned there’s no wisdom in saying “I’ve never gotten sunburn on the tops of my feet”. Still, I think I’m in a good place, literally and figuratively. Seizures, and the threat thereof, are constantly lurking, and I never thought I could feel so dried up by someone else’s condition, but this in my normal. We have abundant moments, and are making stuff happen. I’ll take it.

 

Entrepreneurship

Photo credit: pheezy on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/pheezy

Photo credit: pheezy on Flickr
(https://www.flickr.com/photos/pheezy

I’ve been reading and listening to podcasts and thinking about starting a business. This is one of the reasons I’ve started to take my blogging more seriously.

I don’t want to be rich, I just want to do something fun with my time that can earn me a little income. Something largely hands-off after a initial burst of effort, or in the words of Martin Eden,”money for work performed”. Some good or service that adds value and solves a problem, and at least tangentially connected to something I like.

At the same time, I didn’t want my side business to wring the fun out of something I cared about by making it be about minutiae. I also am still working on being a DOER, and not just a dreamer. I want to make rad things happen. I want to have adventures.

I had a problem. Not a PROBLEM problem, but I wanted to do something that was difficult and not at all convenient. I believe there are others in the same position as me, and thus, an existing underserved market.

There was a book Lindsay wanted about a subject she’s interested in, but has only had a handful of books written about it. The book is long out of print, with used copies costing around $200 Ebay and Amazon.

If the cost is that high, it’s likely because the sellers believe people are willing to pay as much.

I am fairly certain, outside of collectors and bibliophiles, there are a few people that wouldn’t be able to pay $200 for a leatherbound book about a little-known part of American history, but would be comfortable buying a $5.99 ebook or a $20 paperback copy.

I saw a few other books about the same subject that are also OOP, and were only printed in Spain. In Spanish.

I can’t read Spanish, at least, not to the level where I can read for pleasure learn something. However, many of my favorite books have been translated from Spanish. I read those books because an American publisher decided the cost of translating the work prior to sending it to print would be a good investment, because people like me would buy it.

I believe there are authors telling stories in other languages that would resonate, and we’d never get to read them if they don’t get the blessing of a big publishing house.

I’ve heard more than a few times a summary of a business and it’s goals shouuld be able to fit in one sentence. Here is mine: Connecting readers to emerging authors and to rare/unavailable content, often translated from languages other than English”.

It’s still in the dreaming stage, where I’m planning and researching. Other people have done similar things, focusing on genre fiction or serialized stories from old magazines. I can make this happen.

Wait what? If I start a publishing company, can I put out  my friend’s and I’s projects?

Yep.

Can a publishing company also be run like a DIY punk rock record label, while using existing means of distribution?

Also yep.

Ok then. Let’s do it.