It’s strange: I write something every day here and I find it easy. Yet when I decided last week I would give myself a break and take 5 days to just mention each of my 5 books it turned out to be… difficult. I feel uneasy going back to all that self-promotion. ‘Hi, wanna buy a book?’ ‘Hiiii! Here’s a funny book!’ It was such hard work and people are busy. Why should they stop and listen to me with my ambush book signing?
They even call those kinds of signings ‘ambush signings’ and I hated them. It finally got so if a bookstore said Come do a signing I would say Let me come give a talk instead. That
I could do. People would hear the laughing and come and sit down and there we’d all be, together, for the next 30 or 40 minutes: Instant community. Some of the people dearest to me now are people I met on the road this way. I’d get in my car and drive 8 hours and do the talk and think nothing of it. I was just happy for the chance to say how great it’s been for me all these years to be able to say out loud how the world looks to me each week.
So that’s what this fourth book is about: gaining the confidence to write your own stuff.
And just for fun I decided to record this book so it’s actually a book and two CDs. In both I just I tell a few of my own stories before offering the prompts designed to get listeners scribbling away themselves.
For example in the chapter titled “What Do You Like?” I describe six things I just plain love, then invite folks to do the same. In “Rules to Live By” I tell what my ‘ten commandments’ are, then ask them to set down theirs. ”The Wicked Elsewhere” gets people remembering back to the time they first heard where babies come from. Then, between every chapter, a fresh musical interlude helps people begin traveling down their own long-forgotten paths into the realm of memory, where everything we have ever experienced awaits us still. I picture the memories all resting at the bottom of a deep pool like so many bright leaves, waiting only for the waters to grow still enough to let us peer down and see them. This book simply provides tools both for seeingthose leaves and fetching them up into the light.
That person on the front cover is my big sister Nan who made my childhood so much fun. And that’s the old oak table that was my family’s back in the 1920s. There’s my grandmother’s blue and white ‘caddy’ for her pens and nibs and quills when she was a schoolgirl in the 1890s. That’s the old magnolia tree outside the window of the room I’ve spent my days in since we first moved here back when old Jimmy Carter was filling the airways with that strange Deep South accent.
He was a good man though and this is a good book and funny in parts because I used to teach and you know how teachers are, always trying to make you glad you came to class.
Here are some of the chapters:
- Have Fun Decomposing
- What Do YOU Like?
- Rules to Live By
- Who Is Around You
- Fun with the Language
- The Wicked Elsewhere (that’s the facts of life one)
- The Little Cat
- Kiss Me Goodbye
- The Summer I Was Ten
- If I Could’ve SEEN Myself!
The whole thing is just me telling a few stories and then giving you the ‘mic’ and offering to listen as you tell yours. Really it’s just the same thing all people do when they meet, at the supermarket say, or on Facebook. We can all tell our stories, and, I believe, we can all write.
Anyway here’s what it looks like, the back cover first and then the front with the actual graphics in place. Click on them to enlarge them, same as always. .
And if you’d like to learn more about it go here, then send a check for $19.95 to Ravenscroft Press at PO Box 270 Winchester MA 01890 and we’ll cover shipping. ( Sorry it’s more money than this one and this one and this one: it was the larger production costs, with the two media.)