Posts Tagged ‘Kickstarter’

The Writer’s Discipline in the Digital Wilderness

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

The wilderness of self-publishing is where my excuses went to die

Foret Allemagne by Michael LangeAll digital photography by Michael Lange

 

The digital revolution has forced traditional publishers to look a lot like Dick Cheney. It did the same thing to the music industry, too, before the record labels went out like the inflexible, teeth-gnashing dinosaurs they were. I do respect old-school publishing’s heritage of absolutism, but in the same way I’d defer to the Cigarette Smoking Man from “The X-Files” if he tapped me on the shoulder.

What I no longer fear is the stigma of bringing my book to market on my own. I’m way past the point of no return financially and self-assuredly. No, I had no idea how difficult this was going to be, nor did I know how to avoid making it harder. But then my starting point was, “Hi, I’m an ex-felon and here’s my 480-page manuscript about my prison sentence. Will you read a chapter and…”

Yeesh. I wouldn’t wish that opener on my worst enemy!

But seriously, if my journey could begin at a maximum security facility where I traded soap with murderers with open sores for pencils and paper, you, friends, have no excuse not to put your stories out there, satisfy your creative obsessions, and realize your dreams and goals. (more…)

Where Excuses Go to Die is now on Kickstarter

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Your minor contribution is a thank you to prison educators.

    And the “first responders of rehabilitation” are why this book needs an audience.

California_Where Excuses Go to DieI exchanged letters with each of the instructors and prison educators I encountered during my incarceration. As I was transferred from facility to facility, their words of encouragement were invaluable. They made me feel like I mattered, which is funny coming from a spoiled young adult.

The fact that they didn’t let go of the rope or forget what they saw in me has a lot to do with why I never re-offended; instead, I applied myself. Each teacher encouraged me differently, but they all said, “Never say no to a writing class.”

Investing in myself wasn’t something I grasped too well back then, so I took a variety of courses for no reason other than I thought I owed it to those instructors. They’d helped me discover a voice, which I used to make others laugh. But since my audience was mostly an inmate one (i.e. both captive and desperate for humor), I was steered toward disciplining my gift instead, which was freeing. Before then, I’d only ever viewed the concept of discipline in terms of religious and scholastic compliance. Suddenly it was no longer something you got subjected to, but a sharpening tool you could wield. (more…)