December 21st, 2011

The release date for Trial of Tears is not set in stone as yet, but it looks to be mid February. What better Valentine could you get than this? Stay tuned for an on-line video interview with the Lit Chick Show. If you have any questions not covered in my FAQ that would not cause me to violate my parole conditions, please let me know.

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Letting Go

What’s the difference between letting go and giving up? They’re more or less the same thing, but the approach leading up and what you take away from it make all the difference. Letting go comes from the realization that whatever you are releasing is probably better off that way. Giving up derives from frustration. You throw your hands up in the air. One can lead to the other. I’ve had relationships end with people in which exasperation got the better of me and only realized later on, sometimes much later on, the inevitability that our paths would part and that only my stubbornness in refusing to face the facts stood in the way. I’m often of the mind that through sheer will, anything can be repaired or made to work, the curse of the optimist.

This letting go thing has frequently been on my radar the last couple of years. I’ve witnessed my wife deal with her father’s slow succumbing to leukemia. Since her parents live a long distance away, she not only had to face the inevitable loss, but guilt for not being there in person to support her family, though she traveled frequently to visit them. Still, this was little consolation for her as she wasn’t there on a daily basis. Though he did receive treatment and basically survived his last year on blood transfusions, there was frustration in that is was possible that all viable avenues hadn’t been pursued from the very beginning and hope had been abandoned too early in the process. Then again, maybe they only wanted to hasten the unavoidable.

But what do I know?

On another front, I’m faced daily with watching my dog slowly give in to the ravages of age. Though my wife and I have housed cats for most of the time we’ve been married, this is my first real experience with the bond that can be forged with the canine species, and it just kills me to watch this. With the cats, it was fairly obvious when it was time to schedule the final trip to the vet. Obviously, the subject of putting the dog down has arisen many times and I know that day isn’t too far off in the future, but he still has a good appetite and is always happy to greet either of us when we come through the door. The poor guy has the doggie version of multiple sclerosis and can barely walk, along with incontinence issues arising from the neurological problem. His once magnificent coat (he’s an American Eskimo) is a fading memory of what it used to be, though he’s still a handsome fellow and remains a major chick magnet when I carry him across the street for the few halting steps that now constitute taking him for a walk. So, is euthanasia letting go or giving up? If he was an aged relative, you simply deal with it the best you can. Can I offer this member of my family any less respect?

I’m quite prepared, or so I tell myself, for his eventual death. I don’t expect him to live forever. If your pet isn’t a Tongan tortoise, you have to be realistic about life spans. Ideally, I wake up one morning and find him in the living room. He’s gone peacefully in his sleep, the way most of us want to go out.

I hope this was easier to read than it was to write. I promise to pick something more cheerful, maybe water boarding or Lady Gaga or something, for the next blog,

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October 27th, 2011

I’m very happy to have taken on Julie Schoerke of JKS Communications as my publicist. She assures me that global domination is just around the corner. Next stop is the distributor.

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September 30th, 2011

Got permission from Neil Peart of Rush to quote a line from Hemispheres in the book. Very cool! Also, the publicist interviews have come down to 2 candidates. After the bathing suit competition, I will be announcing the winner. Stay tuned.

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September 7th, 2011

Like a parent putting their child on the school bus for the first time, I experienced the same trepidations sending the manuscript off to the printer this week. Would it be O.K.? Would it get beaten up by the bigger books? Would it forget its lunch box? Sometimes you just have to let go and hope for the best.

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July 29th, 2011

I’m adding pieces to this site, quite a learning process, as is the figuring out of Adobe InDesign, which creates the typography. I long for the simpler days when all I had to do was use a burnt stick to create drawings on the walls of my cave. Then again, I no longer have to call the exterminator to get rid of my raptor infestation problem.

The target for the publishing and release of Trial of Tears is still this fall. It will be available in both paperback and as an ebook.

The cover is done! I’ve added a page for it. Robin Ludwig Designs did a great job in putting this together for me with the significant help of Julian Brinas (you have no idea how many components there are in building one lousy tear) , who also has been of huge help in creating this web presence.

As Trial of Tears is being readied, the novella ‘Time Flies’ is the next project coming down the pike. While Trial will be available in both print and ebook format, the novella will be only available so far in ebook format.

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Good morning, campers!

A blank canvas stretched across an easel; a pristine page; a solid, uncarved chunk of marble sitting on a pedestal; the hiss of blank tape running through a recorder. OK, I’m dating myself with the tape reference. Everyone records digitally nowadays, so there is no more hiss, just the faint echo of megabytes hopping around on a hard disk. All these elements give the person about to start working on them pause. You can go absolutely anywhere from there. So what do you do with a first blog? What topic is heavy enough to merit this beginning entry? I could take on any subject from how to change the strings on my electric bass, to the existence of God, to how much I enjoy going through the DVDs of the TV show ‘The Wire’, to how you know when you’ve met the right person, to gardening tips, to how to avoid writing run-on sentences, to even finding some obtuse way to combine all of these elements into one. Well, I’m going to cop out and just make this about the search itself. Besides, I don’t think anyone is going to care about any gardening tips I might provide, aside from watering your plants regularly, unless they don’t need regular watering. That pretty much covers gardening for me. So, in fact, I have now covered my entire knowledge of gardening, though that was not my original intention. I promise you that no future blogs will refer to this honorable field of study.

OK, back to the search. I know one of the first things I wanted to cover was ‘letting things go’, but that’s a big, sprawling topic and I’ve already gone down the road aways with this one. I risk confusing readers. If you’re at all familiar with my writing, you’ll know I have a tendency to run with a tangent, er, tangentially. Haikus become sonnets, short stories become novellas, backyard gardens become Versailles via proper mulching techniques, etc. Before anyone complains, I promised no FURTHER blogs would deal with gardening tips. I can still put as many tips into this one particular entry as I desire.

OK, back to the search. Writing is easy. Well, obviously that last statement is totally wrong, or everyone would be able to do it. What I mean is, once I get the idea, the characters, and the angle of perspective, momentum guides me through a great deal of the process, whether it be lyrics or fiction. The editing part is a nuisance, albeit a very necessary one. The idea itself is much more of a challenge, at least in my case. I’ve blathered through over a half page here without much of an idea at all, and hopefully you have been entertained enough not to notice until I just mentioned it. The entire foundation of the TV show ‘Seinfeld’ is that it’s about nothing, so it is both possible and profitable. Maybe profitable for the Seinfeld people, anyway. I haven’t made a penny on the whole nothing premise, and it’s not likely to happen in the near future. I will eventually need something to write about, or soon I’ll be digging ditches, or pulling weeds. It’s weird how vegetation keeps creeping into this discussion, like a vine. From what I understand, the Virginia Creeper is a particularly insidious vine that is very difficult to eradicate. If you don’t completely eliminate the roots, it will always grow back. Honestly, I’ve spent my entire life in Manhattan and horticulture has played a totally insignificant role so far. That’s not to say it couldn’t at some point. I’ve always found the formation and maintenance of bonsai trees to be sort of cool, but I digress.

OK, back to the search. Hey, this has kind of covered the subject without actually covering it. Anyway, who the hell ever reads anyone’s first blog in the first place? The blog is supposed to make you want to read the book, not vice versa. Now I feel bad about anyone who has read ‘Trail of Tears’ or any other of my more sanguine stories, was hoping for an orgy of violence, sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll and has come across this entry, rife with gardening tips. It’ll get better, I promise. In the meantime, make sure your plants get plenty of sunlight, unless they don’t actually need sunlight.


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