Thursday, February 24, 2011

Under 3 Weeks!

Hello all

A reader who purchased the book emailed me to verify that they have received their copy of the book.  It is very exciting.  If anyone else has received their copy and has a moment I would love to know.  You can email or leave a comment.  Thanks for reading the blog!

If you haven't ordered a pre-release copy yet - what are you waiting for? ;-)

Click on the image below to order.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Into the Light

I have continued some thinking about the themes within this novel.  I have to stop where I am on this topic but I will promise readers that they will thank me later. ;-)

I am presently pondering a scene in a short story I am developing.  It is set in an airport.  I was going to introduce some tension to the plot by way of a potential bomb threat.  But I paused as this is a very real thing in our land today.  I wasn't stopped because of political-correctness but because of a sense of propriety.  But then there are many terrible events and realities in the world.  As the saying goes, "it is what it is."  I never used to like that phrase but it fits for me more and more. 

A topic could be rightly considered as offensive.  I think this is where fiction has power to bring into light many dark corners of our culture.  And help us all to view and meet our common demons as it were.  This always being a precursor to beating them.  But the telling of a matter must not be an offense in itself.  Not because of a fear of offending anyone but rather for fear of distraction...and a dimming of the light. 

The word 'maturity' comes to mind.  I'll probably use some humor to temper that little airport terminal. ;-)

To extend this thought out into our general public discourse, maybe it's not what subjects we discuss but how we go about discussing them.

What do you think?  If you get a moment, let me know.

Monday, February 14, 2011

On Writing

One cool thing about writing and publishing a novel is that you get to talk to people who also love to write. A lot of folks like me find it hard to find time to write. From this experience I can maybe encourage folks with some things I have learned so far.

If you have an idea of a project, commit to a few hours every night. Do this whether you are inspired or not. Just show up and be available. Start an outline as it comes to you and keep it flexible. Write.

When you complete a narrative, re-write it a whole lot. Start to work on a proposal and send it to many Literary Agents. You might get lucky…so make it good. In my case, I did get lucky and received a contract with a top agent.

Another avenue to the publishing process for new authors is to enter contests in literary journals. Choose magazines and journals that fit with your genre. Good agents check these out to find new talent.

Personally, I chose to go with the publisher I have because they are in Oklahoma and are very experienced in new authors. Also, I am very needy and appreciate the attention they give to me. ;-)

Please comment on anything that you have come across on this site. The short story, two chapters of land Run, or any updates to the blog. I appreciate any feedback and open discussions on topics that interest you all.


Another Theme - Soon

This blog has been up for just 10 days. But already much interest as been generated in the novel Land Run. I want to thank everyone for stopping by. Also, thanks so much for spreading the word to your friends about this book (please continue). I need to be careful not to write anything here that will spoil the story for anyone. Beyond the first two chapters offered here, there is so much more that transpires in the lives of these characters. I can say, with confidence, that there are some very exciting surprises in store for the readers in the following chapters. And in terms of innovation, the story will flow in a way that is not commonly found in literature today.

Please avail yourselves, if you have not already, to the first two chapters available in the above link. I want to encourage you to purchase the novel as well and it is my hope, of course, that you will want to tell your friends about this unique story - but not the whole story, of course. :-)

Right now I am thinking of what final theme to mention in the next Land Run blog update.  There are two in the running and I must decide about which one to write to you. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Latest News! - Land Run is now available for PRE-RELEASE PURCHASE

The book is available for pre-purchase right now at the following publisher link. They will send it as soon as it is available (publisher reports a few weeks to receive the novel). My personal author website is still under construction.  I will make the novel available on the website and this blog sometime in March for immediate shipment..

Also, a reminder to short story lovers - check out the short story link above. That was a lot of fun to write as well. It is also an example of my style of writing.  :-)

Land Run is now available for PRE-RELEASE PURCHASE.

Click on this image to purchase.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another Theme - God’s Sovereignty

A logic professor in college (years ago) once suggested to me to meet with some friends of his (old guys who knew stuff) in the foreign language department, thinking that would suit me. I rejected the idea in favor of another direction I had planned. As an aside, have you ever noticed how easy it is to reject guidance when you are young? And how certain you can be that you have no need of it. Anyhow, his response to me was, “Well, you’re the Captain of your own ship.”

That was suddenly unsettling to me because it did not ring true in the moment. In fact, by the end of the day I had compiled much evidence to show that while it was not false, it was also not fully true - beginning with the time and place of my birth ;-)

Sometimes I have wondered about plans. How we make immediate ones that turn out as expected sometimes. Then we tend to extrapolate those same expectations out into longer range plans – 5 or ten years out maybe. But then we find ourselves in a future we could never have predicted. And through it all there is always this sense that total chaos can never occur, that there is a guiding hand at work in personal events and the greater community events which can alter the landscape of our lives. And so much seemingly out of our control. However, the reality is that the individual is always a part of the shaping of their community. We are often just blind to our part in the play.

In the novel, Land Run, readers will experience the subtle but perceptible guiding hand at work in the community of Willow Springs.

Another Theme - Humor

Okay, this is not a theme.  But I am thinking about the different themes and some are serious in nature.  I thought it would be a good to mention that Land Run does have quite a bit of humor as well.  And upon reflection, this humor can be described as 'dry humor'.  I wanted to check myself on that so I started researching this form of humor and delivery.  It is much associated with folks from that region of the country.  This is very odd to me.  How is that possible?  I still don't know.  Will Rogers is the known master of this form of humor...but maybe, in a way, he was simply being...Oklahoman. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Theme - Corporate Statism - Eminent Domain

I once spent the day in a very small town in Ukraine. I had a long wait and went for a stroll along the center Boulevard that ran through town. It was kind of like a long mini-park lined with benches and shade trees. I met a man at an intersection there who said something I didn’t quite understand. The words were slurred by the vodka. So in Russian I told him that I didn’t understand. Now, for him that was very confusing…because I had just spoken in Russian to him. We ended up having some discussion anyway. He liked Putin. He was Russian but found work in this town in Ukraine. Honestly, he presented himself to be more of an ex-con than a citizen. But I learned something from our exchange. Looking back, towards the end of my stay there my Russian had gotten strangely functional and utilitarian.

     “Do you have taxes here?” I asked.
     “Yes, of course.”
     I spread my hands out pointing to the scene around me. Everything was broken at some level; roads, lights, benches, windows, chipped paint on everything, and no lawn care. My new friend smiled and with his hands he pretended to grab money from the air and then shoved both hands into his pockets.
     “Oh,” I replied.
     I then grabbed at the air with both of my hands but only placed one hand in my pocket.
     “In my country they only use one hand. We demand nice roads, power, central heat and air everywhere, nice lawn care – even our gas stations must come up to code.”
     My friend nodded that he understood. He invited me, almost insisted of me, to follow him to a bar for a drink. It was about 1:00 in the afternoon so I declined. Oh, and he might have killed me, so I declined.
     Anyhow, this just to say that there is a reality of ‘corporate-statism’ in our country today. At a certain level, while we are not controlled by the state here, we are ‘managed’ by a syndicate that includes the state and corporations. In this I am not being ‘political’, it is just where we are today. Life is more nuanced in the West. We are not told where to shop, live, work, or what to purchase. Instead we are told where and how we ‘should’ do those things…to the point of conformity of opinion. In the novel Land Run you will also find some interesting counter-cultural characters breaking ranks with conformity. Sometimes this will cause society to label them freaks. But in the case of one character, the freak eats real food.;-)

So I just want to throw out a hint that this theme is unavoidably displayed in the novel Land Run. Not to be political in any way…but life here simply plays this out before our eyes. In the small scale of the local community of Willow Springs the bank, business, and government do work together for the betterment of the community…but it always costs someone. And while we have laws, sometimes those laws are misused - eminent domain.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Setting - Oklahoma

For awhile I would like to write some posts that relate to different themes found in the novel Land Run. But to kick that series off, I think I will first search for some images to show folks Oklahoma. Oklahoma is not a theme, so-to-speak. But the description of the land, its people, its extreme weather, and some history is threaded throughout the novel. There really is a kind of mutual development between a land and the people that live in it. They share experiences that ebb through the destructive and constructive nature of life. The stories that grow from each region of the country is unique. And I hope to tell a little bit of the story that reflects a place I will always know as home.

I found some images that reflect some of the physical setting which readers will find in the Land Run novel. There are detail descriptions of extreme weather conditions, beautiful sunsets, red clay lake scenes, and heat that cracks the earth.

In these photos readers will also find some historical background of how the contemporary American Indian characters in the novel came to be in Willow Springs. In these photos below, follow the 'Five Civilized Tribes' from their path from the Southeast to Oklahoma (Indian Territory).

There are places shown here that are in the story as well. You will come across a scene near the canal in what is called 'Brick-town' in downtown Oklahoma City. As well as the capitol building which is unique in that it has oil wells on the grounds. It once was surrounded by them.

And, of course, there is the Land Run of 1889 as a strong theme in this novel in so many ways. This is not an historical novel - but the character of a people can never be disconnected from their past. I will add an old Land Run photo to this slide before moving on to the next 'theme' posting. Note: future posting will likely be related to readers more as essays and discussions of ideas found within themes.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Land Run is going to print!

I am waiting for the publisher website to become available...but it will be here soon. Until then please keep checking back to this blog and expect updates on the Facebook Page.

The book will become available for purchase on the publisher website. A release date is being determined but I should have that soon as well. (when all bookstores and Amazon have the book)

The first two chapters are available here for your reading pleasure (I hope :-).

(link below the header image above) Oh - this blog will get better organized - promise.