Quit / Strive / Human

It’s true that no one loves a quitter. It’s also true that no one loves someone who keeps trying but continuously fails. A quitter, though, is merely disappointing and quite forgettable, while a chronic loser is remembered for their flop-sweat desperation and irredeemable hopes: for the living lesson of what not to do and who not to be. Today, I hail both those who have quit and those who never manage to get more than a toe on the rung, no matter how hard they try. Other people may accuse you, the quitter, of taking the easy way out, or you, the chronic loser, of being incompetent or trying too hard to insinuate yourself in places you are clearly not wanted, but I know. I really do know. Being human is hard. Being a human at the bottom of anything is much harder. The decision to quit or to keep trying is personal, and very much tied to the state of both reality and spirit. They are not mutually exclusive, and while we can prime and tweak our spirits on our own, so much of reality is a matter of, well, reality.

We live in a world that gasps in shock when it learns that a homely woman (or a disabled person, or an orphan, or a dirt poor person) can sing. Yet even this strange epiphany is only fodder for conversation. It doesn’t lead to more Susan Boyles or more than one socially conscious “surprise” per open talent season. Most Susans won’t ever make it past the gate. There are only so many shocking reminders of “don’t judge a book by its cover” to be had.

The Boyle phenomena is only one, tiny slice of reality in a world that’s eye-deep in adoration of charisma, celebrity, beauty and wealth . . . Where the millionaire gurus of spirituality line their pockets with seeds of faith from the poor, promising them great fortunes of hope in exchange for their money, and where hope itself — even if wingless and unlikely — has become the American dream.

So quit or keep valiantly struggling. I won’t be one of those who judge you. You are the most human of human beings to me, and I find that more rare, beautiful and real than anything that’s being marketed today.

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A New Novel & An IndieGoGo Campaign

As a counselor, Gregory Gaines knew that there were three things that could help prevent a suicide: Something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for.

Gaines had only one of those things.

But when a suicide epidemic strikes a small Midwestern town and then quickly spreads across the United States, it’s Gaines who’s called to action.

Will he be able to cut through the destructive path laid down by snake oil charlatans, millionaire gurus, and corrupt politicians? Will he be able to save even one life, or is it already too late?

BONES OF CONTENTION is a novel about life, reason, and humanity in the 21st century. It’s a book I’ve wanted to write for a long time, but the only way it’s going to be possible is with the support of readers. If BRIGHT LINES, the novel I published last month starts selling, that would be great, but the tools that worked in 2011 for Elephant Girl simply don’t work anymore. Amazon’s exclusive Kindle promotions have been glutted and are ineffective for new books. Even paid posts on Facebook don’t get much interaction, and Twitter has become a numbing stream of links, most of which are ignored.

I have a Kirkus review in the works and hope that June ads on BookBub and EReader News Today will help, but they’ve got to be accepted first and there are no guarantees. In the meantime, I’m virtually selling books one person and one shared post at a time. It’s encouraging that those who’ve read BRIGHT LINES have found it a worthy read (and 36 of them to date have written reviews), but without a major push of some sort, the book is going to sink into obscurity.

So maybe it’s folly or my one, thin streak of perpetual optimism, but I already have another novel outlined. This one is very different from my memoir and my first novel, but it’s a story I’ve wanted to write for many years.

I’m not going to be able to do it without support, which is why I started an Indiegogo campaign. Today, it is 20% funded with 32 days left. I don’t know if it will reach 100%, but I hope so. BONES OF CONTENTION will take me about a year to write and I think it’s a story that hasn’t yet been told.

I hope you’ll check out my campaign and consider supporting my next book.


Thank you!

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