Monday, 30 November 2015

The thrill remains.

There are experiences that don't grow old.  Though vanishingly rare and enjoyed by an exclusive clientele they do exist.  I make this statement with the security of personal history backing my words.

Having your work purchased by others ranks among them.

Few things confirm the validity of an occupational choice as effectively as receiving payment for the practice of it.  The undeniable link to professional status conferred by the receipt of remuneration in exchange for artistic output meanwhile is both gratifying and necessary to the vocational practitioner on many levels.  From tax status to work habits, being paid for what you create is essential to all and critical to those working independently at a solo occupation like writing.

I'm thrilled to report the first paperback sales of 'A Dog and His Boy'.

This experience definitely won't grow old!

Thanks to everyone who purchased a copy of the novel I'm shocked to report the first print run has completely sold out.  I hope each of you enjoys the book and look forward to reading your reviews.

A second printing has been ordered and I'll fulfill outstanding requests for autographed copies prior to the holidays.  Thank you again to everyone for demonstrating your interest and support, it's critical to my survival and necessary to the work.  I remain convinced that the eBook revolution will ultimately be responsible for the majority of book sales.  Call me a Luddite if you must but I'm more than pleased to know the novel has been purchased and read using the traditional medium.

I love to write.

To be paid to do it is the figurative cherry atop an occupation a man has always been unable to resist engaging in anyway.  I've always felt myself the luckiest man alive to earn my living by the output of my pen in whatever form I was able to work.  The satisfaction of adding published novelist to my personal list of professional writing accomplishments is supremely gratifying.  That it has also managed to contribute a small percentage to my annual earnings is a fact of which I am both grateful and proud.

The hard work of editing my next novel, now underway, is eased significantly by the new awareness of wider support for my literary efforts.  A life spent working privately and without this knowledge now fulfills where previously it had burdened.  This artistic business ensnares a man with romantic notions despite being quite limited in measurable returns.  Yet only the professional can truly appreciate the peanut butter sandwiches that underpin the glamour of the artists' life choice.

It is its own reward.

That I am additionally rewarded and allowed to survive - just most times - by the results of my efforts is what a fellow dreamed of as a child.  To live this life I've chosen has been a hard earned privilege for which I have and will remain ever grateful.

Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing the blog.

-          TFP
November 30, 2015

Monday, 23 November 2015

Habits new & old.

I've read it's no more difficult to develop a good habit than a bad.

A man with many of the latter I remain skeptical of the supposition.

I am trying to make a habit of regularly posting entries here.  It does not overstate the case to say it is causing some difficulty.  There are explanations for that but like masturbation though rationalizations feel good in the moment the only one getting screwed by them is their author.

Call me old-fashioned but I prefer the company of a willing participant when indulging my personal appetites.

The fiction writing habit supersedes the development of a blog entry habit as much as anything else at this point.  The daily rehearsal demands imposed by my ongoing career in live music – such as it is - further intrude upon my time.  To place the marketing and promotion of my just released first novel behind those activities reveals the actual prioritization of my professional energies.

These terms a man must regretfully and, if only to himself, admit are the facts of his professional situation.

Thus my interest in the development of new habits, good ones if possible, is revealed.

When writing fiction I work on a six-days-on, one-day-off weekly schedule until completion.  I follow a similar schedule when revising and editing my work.  As a writer of novels I tend to spend less time writing, overall, than many.  One of many good fortunes related to this fact is it allows a man to work only at writing fiction when not on the road working exclusively at performing music.  As both activities tend to require extensive planning they are easily adapted to an annualized calendar.  This makes scheduling months of a particular activity both realistic and appropriate.

For those who might wonder I gave up writing short stories many years ago due to not being any good at it.  Though scarcely better at writing longer fiction the novel format allows sufficient time for even a hack like me to make his point.

In any case, that is the claim with which I plan to stick.

As the truth of the 'all first drafts are shit' statements made ad nauseam by writers throughout time has proven absolute in my case even blog entries require a cursory edit.  That imposes the additional need of a standard twenty-four-hour 'cool down' period before wielding the editorial pencil in these parts.

I trust you can see where this leads.

For though able to look back on a twenty-eight-year career of professional music and songwriting the work habits of a performing songwriter scarcely approximate those of the working novelist.  The structure and planning essential to the latter is more often than not unavailable to the former.  This is exaggerated if the songwriter earns a disproportionate percentage of his living by touring as in my own case.

I've written a lot of songs in hotel rooms and between countless rehearsals as a result of the terms of my professional life.  Though often serving to improve the flavor of a musical composition such freestyle creativity has proved anathema to writing prose.  At least it has in my case, and I speak only of my personal experience when placing words upon any page.

Now editing the follow up to my first novel imagine the traffic jams I'm dealing with among the metaphorical bats calling the belfry of my mind home!  New habits are in the forming and the old dog may ultimately prove less than adequate for the teaching.  While unfortunate to lack intelligence it turns out the stubbornness of a fool may again deliver my salvation.

It would appear I remain too stupid to quit.

Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing the blog.

-          TFP
November 23, 2015

Monday, 16 November 2015

'A Dog and His Boy' is published.

The long awaited day has arrived.

My novel 'A Dog and His Boy' is now available in Paperback or eBook from Amazon!

Click your choice of link below to get your copy now.

To order a paperback click here:

To order a kindle eBook click here:

I lived my life loosely modeled after a pattern created by the great novelist Joseph Conrad.

Perhaps this is due to my grasp of English best approximating that of a man approaching it as a second language.

It was Conrad's early adventuring at sea followed by a later life of writing that provided the map for exploring the world of my own time.

Though unlikely it turns out there remain worlds to discover for each of us to this day.

For me without the object lesson provided by the great man's work it's entirely probable that I would not have found my way.  The fact I have, however unlikely, is a large part of what fuels my commitment to document those obscure worlds my various travels have exposed.  The behavior of my fellows through the assorted challenges presented by their uniquely individual life experiences is what I would illuminate by this rumination.  The entertainment of you, the reader, with enlightening stories crafted from those well considered experiences is the long sought after goal.

I most often suppose it is my way of repaying a debt.

The host of alternatives are certainly less impressive.

The extended wait to return to the life of fiction writing in my case was rooted in causes of my own often reckless design.  That it was a return highlights another experience shared by myself and the former mariner.  For it had also been my first adventure to attempt learning to write fiction while still a young and impressionable fellow.  Sadly talent is where our similarities would most apparently diverge.

The disasters that were my early efforts drove me to put down the pen.

At the least it stopped the public display of my early attempts at prose.

My contention is that for this we are all grateful.

The work performed between then and now was primarily utilitarian and soulless in composition if rewarding and simple in creation.  High school training in the rudimentary skills of written communication opened the door to means and kept a roof over my head.  Though not a life of fulfillment a man's creditors appreciate his willingness to remain in the harness.

It's when the plough horse refuses the bit before jumping the fence that things get interesting.

Let me be clear in saying I'm not recommending this as a practice.

The world needs less than it has of people such as this.

I should also mention that I'm in need of no further competition.

Like the best of the old masters the raw material of experience was used as the basis for the stories I've created.  It would be foolish to consider them to be anything other than fiction though the facts of human behavior populate their pages.  The finished product is best not confused with the experience underlying them.  This is another similarity shared with the progenitors of my craft.

Fiction is life as the author best understands it, neither as it was nor as it may have been intended.

While history is most often created by its' winners fiction is usually written by those less concerned with results.

The world needs more of that than it has.

So it is that I contribute 'A Dog and His Boy' in the tradition of those who I would gratefully follow.  That my words may light the dark surrounding unknown cousins in search of the means by which to persevere is my purpose.  For no less than this did I receive from the wisdom discovered in the many styles of fictional prose I have been so fortunate to discover.

It was a gift a man is grateful to have received and honored to try repay.  The passing of a similar torch in the guise of a novel to those who might choose to follow is the means by which I would accomplish the task.

I hope you enjoy 'A Dog and His Boy'.

It took so long to finish I feared most days it would not see the page.  I should also say that many of the things I know worth sharing are written there.  That and we can learn much from our history beyond not wishing it to repeat.

Though a first novel it will certainly not be my last as even now I near completion of what will be the second.  Keep an eye on this blog for availability information.  Having considered these stories a long while I'm pleased to share them and prepared, finally, to devote the time needed to do so.

'A Dog and His Boy' is a good place to begin.

I hope you enjoy it and look forward to reading your reviews online at Goodreads and Amazon or anywhere else you should choose to share your appreciation of the novel.

Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing the news!

-          TFP
November 15, 2015

Monday, 9 November 2015

November 16, 2015, publication date for 'A Dog and His Boy'.

I'm trying to develop a new habit.

It isn't coming together as quickly as I hoped it might.  The perseverance I'm reputed to possess ought shortly to overcome the difficulty I'm having getting the new thing going.

So far the results have been inconsistent.

Time will certainly reveal the success or failure of the enterprise.

At least that doesn't change and for it I'm grateful.

The publication date for 'A Dog and His Boy' has almost arrived and my apprehension continues, surprisingly, to grow.  Though it's far from a first go-round for the writer the change in venue and audience has added a level of tension that familiarity has long removed from previous artistic rodeos.  I will admit to experiencing a level of anxiety beyond that which I had presumed I might though it's far from unpleasant.

I read somewhere that courage can be defined as the capability of taking action in spite of the presence of fear.  Though I'm sure publishing a novel doesn't meet the definition it would be hard to tell by the moaning and gnashing of teeth accompanying the process in these parts. 

How tender is the mercy of these embarrassments being revealed only to their maker?  I fear I can never repay the universal generosity that spares my pale and hidden frailty from public evaluation.  For no thin-skinned shrinking violet wears the sensitivity of the artist with less grace than that summoned by this writer in his isolated lair.

A man is most grateful for his solitary ways when new works emerge.

An embarrassing appreciation for fawning and the boring fear of rejection combine to render the recluse tag not only accurate but sincerely appreciated at these times.

We all have our crosses to bear.

My novel 'A Dog and His Boy' will be for sale in paperback and eBook formats on Amazon beginning Monday, November 16, 2015.

If you're interested in literary fiction I've still got electronic Advance Reader Copies available in exchange for your review.  Email me here for details and thanks very much for your interest.

Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing the blog and the news.

-          TFP
November 9, 2015