Fighting Monkey Press just posted an essay I modified for them called “9 Things I Learned from 40 Years of Following James Bond.” I posted a very long version of this piece here a month or so ago. Pavarti Tyler who honchoes Fighting Monkey says its her favorite guest post yet. Check it out. Also, check out Pavarti’s blog and book offerings HERE. If you like my piece, make sure to share it through your networks. As I’ve noted here recently, this is the season of sales and reach for writers. We can’t make things work without the help of readers, bloggers, and other authors.
I’ve also been informed that a review I wrote for Reality Sandwich on Dr. Ben Sessa’s The Psychedelic Renaissance will be published later this month. If you don’t know them, Reality Sandwich and their sister site Evolver.net are leading the pack connecting sustainability and ecology to issues surrounding higher states of consciousness. In his book, Sessa points to the counter-culture’s expanded consciousness as the main intellectual trigger that created the modern environmental movement.
I also posted a review of The Psychedelic Renaissance to the Neurosoup member’s area earlier this month. I strongly recommend heading over to this site and joining as a supporting member. I published an interview I did with Krystle Cole, the site’s founder, in Kotori Magazine in the fall. Krystle gets my vote as the most fascinating and charming person I’ve encountered this year. Supporting her and Neurosoup is your patriotic duty, if you’re on the bus.
I’m also hard at work on new columns for Talking Writing and Kotori. My “Talking Indies” piece for Jan/Feb at Talking Writing will be on the big-ass issue of book pricing. If you’re a reader or a writer, you really want to think about this issue. My “These Altered States” column for Kotori has taken longer than I wanted. I’d concocted an idealistic and dreamy essay on our New America that I was very happy with. But what the Republicans immediately started doing to Susan Rice and what they continue to do with respect to a more equitable tax structure doesn’t make me feel idealistic anymore. I’m pissed. I mean really pissed. I hope you are too. You’ll hear more about that at “These Altered States” as soon as I calm down a bit.
I’ve also adjusted my work habits over the past few weeks and decided that trying to work on three novels simultaneously means too many needles to thread. I know that seems obvious, but the ability to float from project to project at will and on inspiration really does have merits. However, I’ve decided that these projects I’m working on are too twisted and tragic and need fully fueled focus to do them real justice. This logic comes from reading Haruki Murakami‘s 1Q84 (best book of the year…see slide show to the right and down a bit). Fully fleshing out a story requires focus and dedication. You see that in Murakami’s work. I don’t compare myself to him, but I certainly get the need to do the best I can.
So, I carefully work daily on Ex:Urbia, my next novel. Draft manuscripts for Beautiful Morning Blues and Dawn of the Summertons sit on the shelf behind me. All three of these books carry forward my interest in the struggles of mature love and our confusions about love, sex, romance, marriage, and parenting. Ex:Urbia is somewhat kaleidoscopic in nature with a refracting plot that centers on one woman trying to make her way through life in the outer-ring suburbs of Philadelphia. It’s a sad and heartbreaking story right now. I’m trying hard to reign all this in to give the reader more of a sense of warmth and love. It’s hard. I see so much pain in the lives of all of us — pain we try to ignore or just ram through. Just yesterday we got a Christmas card from an old friend signed with her children’s names and a new husband’s. The question is how do we make peace with that pain … and each other?
Lastly, I just want to urge you to vote for my novel Beyond the Will of God at the IWriteReadRate.com site voteformyebook.com It’s up for E-Book of December there. Yeah, I know it’s a small award to win, but winning means it will get front billing at that site all January, and I will receive a mini-consult on the first 1,000 words of the story. It also means you can call Beyond the Will of God an award-winning psychedelic novel. Think about that. What a great marketing bite. So go to the site and vote now. And spread the word. And buy the book for all your friends and family as a unique Christmas present. It’s not some scary serious thriller, it’s a freaking joy ride into that world that we all put down back in 1980. The whole intent of the story was just to remind you that that world is still there. It was a beautiful thing…
I’ll write again soon, but Happy Holidays and stay connected. Thanks again to Fighting Monkey Press for posting my piece on James Bond. Check it out. It ought to raise a chuckle or two from even the most cynical reader.