Friday, October 13, 2017

Breathe

Now that Everything You've Ever Done is being sold in six different totally rad independent stores across three states, I'm breathing again. It happened while I was walking southeast down Sunset Boulevard in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. As we passed on the sidewalk, just before I got to Stories Books and Cafe, a handsome late-thirty-something once-punk, now sedately-hip dude locked eyes with me and smiled big. His eyes said, "We've been waiting for you." His smile said, "Welcome home." And I breathed.

I had just come from West Hollywood, where I met Kieran, a kind and impassioned bookseller at Book Soup, where I left five copies of Everything You've Ever Done. The first store I asked in LA was stocking my book. And here, this handsome stranger on the sidewalk, this angel-from-outerspace gave me a cosmic nod. And I remembered I was on the path. I was in the exact right place at the exact right time.

The not breathing began weeks before I went to LA, after I took a sharp inhale when I heard ringing after dialing Antigone Books, a 30+-year-old book selling institution a mile and a half from my apartment. And from then on, no breathing. I held my breath. The woman who answered was kind and open to hearing about my book. She read the synopsis online and said, "Yup, this is something we're interested in." Just like that. But I still held my breath.





For a loudmouth, only-child Aries, I sure can be shy. Especially when it comes to trying to sell my art, my heart, me. That's what I'm doing here: selling my book.

My intentions are good. In selling my book, I'm telling my truths, which I believe are important and meaningful. But, at this point, my desire to share my story is also a desire to sell the book. After 3 years of writing and 2 years of seeking an agent and/or publisher, it'd be nice to feel like I created something worthy of $17. If it weren't for selling as a measure of my art's worth, how would I gauge it's value? As I understand it, there's a balance and a flow and a universal slippery slide taking us where we're meant to go. I'm learning to balance the selling with the art. The sharing with the receiving. Figuring out the balance is figuring out how to make magic.

A few days after Antigone took my book, Andrew and I escaped the late summer heat in Tucson by heading to Bisbee. I brought a box of books with the intention of visiting Bisbee Books and Music. First, we ate the best lunch at Ana's Seasonal Kitchen while the artist Wonder graced us with her sugary voice and guitar. Then we met Ken at the Bisbee Bicycle Brothel, and he showed us his vintage bikes and when he ran out of bikes we talked about music. He played the Wil Ryder song about Amelia Earhart. "Happy landings to you, Amelia..."

We found Bisbee Books and Music. The owner, Carol, said she'd take two and Everything You've Ever Done went on the shelf. Still not breathing.





This book selling thing kept me holding my breath. I'm walking into these stores feeling like I have something good to share with them. Then, community is materializing around me. And that's how we're gonna save the world. We're going to build powerful cosmic communities and blast our light out. We're going to light-blast the shit out of the bad guys and send them to the sparkly vast bottomless truth-love-remember light!

But I'm still selling the book. And, for me, that makes it hard to breath.

But I'm connecting with The People! They want the thing I made for them. They smile and say encouraging things. They tell me they feel wowed when they read it.

In the effort to shine the light, the light's blasting back on me. Oh yeah! That's how it works. So, I'm learning to share and I'm learning to sell. I'm learning to be an instrument of the thing I created out of a cosmic love blast. That blast moves through me and into the book and out of the book and into the community and back from the community. It comes through the smile of a dude walking down Sunset Boulevard. And that makes it so I can breath.

Huge gratitude to my kick ass local book store community. Big love to Anitgone Books and Bisbee Books and Music!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

*mAgiC*

Hang on tight! The adventure is just beginning!

I thought finishing writing a book was an ending. I thought 3 years of soul searching and writing and rewriting and finally completing my memoir was getting it done. I was wrong. Writing it surely was getting something done, but certainly not getting something out there. After 2 years of searching and trying to get support to release this book, I found a publisher. And, again, I thought finding a publisher was an ending. I finished my work! Nope. Not even close.

Writing a book is good. Finding a publisher is great. Actually getting people to notice and want the book, that requires magic!

So, here goes...