Paperback Writer

The paperback version of my new novel Fugue in C Minor is finally available for sale! Click on this hyperlink to see it at It’s also at

Help for Self-Published Authors

Joined the Kindle Boards today so I can talk with other writers in the Writer’s Cafe’. It’s good to see who is making money, who is just starting out, and who is mentoring others.

This Weekend

Fugue in C Minor is at 98,000 words, and the first draft will be finished this Sunday. Stoked about it. Then comes editing, re-writes. I’m having a few close friends read it and answer some questions about it. Then more re-writes based on their feedback.

Tell your friends to buy more books!

But for now, finishing the first draft is very exciting.

Pure Capitalism is Antithetical to Pure Art

Maybe I’m just betraying my romantic side, but when we study art in history (at least, in my formal education), we tend to look at European art, or Asian art, or cave art. But we rarely talk about American art. That’s because there isn’t much art coming out of America. Not art for the sake of art.

We make a lot of movies, but most people (I think) agree those aren’t focused on art. We draw or design a lot of artistic things, from movie posters to advertisements for the newest iPad, but most of what we draw or design in America is for commercial purposes.

Your novel, or painting, or sculpture doesn’t get any attention unless someone can sell it, make money off of it. And I’m not saying that’s wrong. But that separates creative people into two categories; those who are marketable and those that aren’t (or those who don’t know the right people). This division has little or nothing to do with talent or creativity.

What I’m trying to do here is connect a couple of my posts. I asked why you create something, and would you do it even if you couldn’t make money at it. And I suggested there should be a Minor Leagues of Creative endeavors.

I would love to read your ideas on how creative people can get their works looked at, even if there’s no money changing hands, so that people can give input, maybe rate each other’s work, and give talent scout-types something they can grab onto. The reason most agencies don’t really want to look at new writers and such is that they are untested. Surely there’s a way to create a Craigslist or something like it for creative people to show their work, share it, get input, and then get some professional eyes on it.


Would You?

If your future self from the distant future came to you today and said that the way things turn out, you never get to be a successful writer, chef, painter, sculptor, singer, composer, philosopher, saint; would you still keep at it?

Does it matter if no one remembers you 100 years from now?

I’m just curious what drives people.

When I was a kid I was sure I could be a great professional baseball player. I could pitch, hit, run. But by 15 I realized I wasn’t good enough to get to the next level, so I stopped. But there have to be more successful professional athletes than professional novelists. Why do we persist against lottery-esque odds?

I’d like to know what motivates you to create something, even though there’s a great chance no one but your close friends will ever know what you did.

One of My Favorite Authors: Max Barry

Max is one of the few authors I read who is still alive (may he live many more decades, cos he’s still fairly young).  I thought it would be helpful to post the words of an established writer, but I don’t re-post or re-blog, so here’s the link to his own words. He wrote Jennifer Government (which is one of my favorite recent novels), Company, Syrup and Machine Man.

I like to read everything an author has written and see how they grew or got cynical (like Kurt Vonnegut). But I haven’t done that with Max. Since I read Jennifer Government, I have been looking for other modern writers I might like. I’ll post about others later. This is Max’s spotlight. And I plan to read Company soon.

It didn’t hurt that part of Jennifer Government was set in my home town of Portland, and that some scenes happened at Nike, literally a stone’s throw from where I work. Don’t worry, I didn’t hit anyone. And it was a small stone.

But what I really liked about Barry’s book was that it was a lot like mine (except that he sold lots of copies and important people in the publishing business know his name).

Why We Blog

I think most people blog for selfish reasons. Don’t take that wrong. If no one knows you exist, then how else can you tell them? Go door to door, showing off your poems, photos, recipes, indie news reports? I don’t think I want to sell my novel that way.

But I want to sell my novel: Virtual Silence. It’s about a huge corporation taking over the world, our governments, our lives. It’s only a little far-fetched. Less and less so these days, I think.

It has romance, like Harry and Callie. Simon and Morgan have a great romance. Or they could, if one of them would just say something to the other one.  A little tap on the shoulder and say, “Hey, I think I love you.”

Garrison and Janna have a great romance, once they both get fired. And they meet Obadiah and Ruby, who have a fantastic romance, thanks to all the times they were nearly shot. And don’t forget Kitty and Ronnie. He launders money to buy American slaves back from a Mexican drug lord.

You have an evil villain, Tim Dank, who uses people and runs someone over in his Mercedes, but doesn’t stop. He’d own the whole stinking company if not for that fact that he talks about his illegal business dealing in his sleep, and Miami Anderson wrote it all down.

Everyone is trying to find their way, including the taxi driver, whose brother fell off a window washing scaffold, and yelled at the people below to get out of the way so he wouldn’t hurt them when he hit the pavement.

Maybe all of us can be heroes.