Which Story Did You Read

Tell a story to a friends and each will hear something different. Eight people listening to one person’s story about an unrequited romance may hear nobility, stupidity, innocence, bad timing, glaring blind spots, social commentary, humor, or hope. And, that’s from a crowd that knows the story teller. I told a story about Scotland, and as an author I know I tell it to people who’ve never met me, aren’t aware of my other books, and who live lives with completely different perspectives. The range of stories expands and amazes. With five other books out in the world, I’ve had a lot of practice storing my expectations to better listen to what they read. The e-book has been selling for six months. The paperback has been available for three months. I’m hearing lots of stories.

I walked Scotland for one main reason. I needed a vacation. I purposely wrote Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland with two themes: innovative travel and personal transformation. Every story can be layered into an overwhelming epic, but I’ll leave such ventures to Homer and Virgil. How did they do that without a word processor? The two themes became two genres: Travel and Personal Transformation. I’m not surprised that most readers are buying it because of the Travel hook. Amazon tells me so. The reviews, however, are revealing that readers are reading the transformation thread. People are buying the book about drinking in Scotland, and talking about the thinking I did there. They came for the Guinness. They talk about the joy.

It is gratifying to see both themes recognized. Such a dualism is what I had in mind.

But, the unexpected is equally entertaining.

My style of travel is based on my independence. The less I have to carry, the simpler the means of transportation, the easier it is for me to relax. In some ways, I consider it more of an accomplishment to fly eight hours, arrive jet lagged, rent a car with the controls on the wrong side, and then drive out of the airport and into traffic. A shiver just ran across my shoulders. People talk about traveling to Paris and scurrying around here and there. My ideal Paris trip would be to find a nice cafe that would let me sip and nibble and write and read for days while watching the people. I wouldn’t see most of the sites.

Traveling without a guidebook is an adventure for many, and they say so. For me, traveling without a guidebook is traveling without preconceived notions. I miss a lot, but I also am more likely to see what is there and real, not what someone else expects me to see that may have vanished years or decades ago.

I’m not surprised to find folks who read my story as the outsider Yank trying to understand the indigenous Scottish culture. To me, that’s one of the reasons to travel. The differences define the trip. I particularly like the fact that the “stranger in a strange land” is a theme that works for each homeland and everyone else, too.

Others have focussed on the loneliness, which I admit to some of, but that is an eventual side effect of aloneness. Aloneness is just another way of allowing introspection. Alone And On The Path The trip would have been different if my friends had been along. I would’ve laughed more. Personal transformation versus laughing until my sides hurt. That’s a choice. Sounds like an excuse for another trip. Maybe another book? I admit to an inspiration from Larry Niven’s character, Louis Wu who “is best known among his friends for inventing the “Sabbatical”—going off alone in a spaceship outside the boundaries of known space until one can tolerate human company again.” I imagine doing that, though for me, it is turned around. I leave until I remember what I like about myself, and recognize what I can change.

Artists create art based on their intuition, impulses, and passions. But, after the art is born and released into the world, it grows into something defined by everyone else. Their perspectives, the artist’s subconscious voice, and the changing culture redefine the work. And that’s the way it should be. I wrote a story about walking and thinking and drinking across Scotland. Which story did you read?

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Scottish American Accents

I apologize to the people of Scotland. Evidently, I have an accent. Yes, we all speak English, and yes, we all make fun of each other’s accents, and yes, few of us think we have one; but, after watching various folks try to twist their ears into hearing what I said, I apologize.

The first day wasn’t the worst, but it was a good introduction. I’d made it to Glasgow, thanks to modern aviation. Before I left the airport I wanted to find my next step, a train to my starting point: Stranraer. Finding the tourism booth was easy. Humbling myself, as if I was speaking a foreign language, was a little tougher. They understood most of what I said, but Stranraer came out Stran-rear, Stran-rah-er, Stran-rer, and then frustration. Finally, I found a map and pointed at the spot at the southwest end of the rail line. I was so tired and the nuances were so new I didn’t catch on even when I spent the night in Stranraer. It wasn’t until two weeks later, in Montrose, that I heard about the visiting team for tomorrow’s match and finally caught on to Stran-raer, just the way it’s spelled.

Most days had no problem. Every place I was going to or coming from was less than twenty miles away, so everyone could guess at what I said, at least for place names. As a conscientious traveler I try to pronounce things the ways the locals prefer. Why not? It’s their country. Even getting dialects correct isn’t enough. A Yank and a friend who spent years in Edinburgh has a vocabulary seeded with fields of unfamiliar terms and phrases. The phrases make no sense at the start, but with a bit of context and training they become so innocuous that they are hard to remember. It’s like subconsciously looking right then left before crossing the street. Once upon a time I owned a British sports car, a Triumph TR-7, which means the User’s Manual trained me to remember bonnet versus hood, boot versus trunk, and pozidriv versus phillips screwheads, but even now, only a couple of years after my trip, those daily phrases fade until I catch them on the BBC.

Not knowing the local language has dissuaded me from traveling in some countries. Chile and Argentina appeal, but my poor understanding of German, Russian, and Japanese aren’t even good in their homelands. South America looks wonderful, but I wonder how I’d get along.

I also know that, at least for my favorite way of traveling, language only matters at the borders, at meals, and when I want a room. Those are important, but they only take a small fraction of the travel time. The majority of each day is spent outdoors with Nature’s eternal language, and indoors reading whatever bit of English is available.

Even in Scotland, where we both supposedly knew the same language, I had to resort to pantomime one morning. I wanted orange juice. He heard oysters. His face contorted as he kept from calling the hotel’s only guest daft, and he was persistent enough to listen through three attempts before we finally succeeded when I pretended to drink from a glass. “Oh, orange juice. Why didn’t you say so?” he said shaking his head as he walked into the kitchen.
Inverbervie - as I recall
Somewhere down around Dundee, a local warned me that he couldn’t understand the folks up north, especially those beyond Aberdeen. That’s not why I stopped at Aberdeen. It’s actually why I wish I’d had more time and money to explore that country, and those wonderful sounds, those other accents of Scotland.

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Learning To Find Joy

A friend had a bad day. There’s a lot of that going on.
(Want to read my story? Check out my other blog.) Flurry We call to check on each other as good friends do. His day required a list of what wasn’t going right: insurance battles, family health issues, business worries, and a pet that just had a stroke. And then he thanked me. That was a surprise. He thanked me for what I wrote about how I am learning to find joy in every moment. Most folks buy the book because of walking and Scotland (he was one of the uncommon ones who bought the paperback), and maybe because of the drinking. It is also a story of personal transformation (check out the new review on amazon. Who are you, Susan A.?) He caught that and was getting through the day using the lessons I learned and continue to learn.

Personal transformation is a lot of syllables for the changes we all go through. Call it maturation, the school of hard knocks, lessons learned, it is the metamorphosis experienced by anyone who is trying to improve themselves. Sometimes that exercise is spiritual and rigorous, sometimes it is practical and informal. I know people who embark on pilgrimages and spirit quests. Others are forced to change by daily circumstances outside of their control, except for the one thing they can control: their inner self.

My friend was besieged. Like he said, it was a tough day; and, it was getting to him. Then he remembered what I wrote about “Every moment contains every emotion. Choose.” Without disregarding or disrespecting his concerns, he also took a few moments to acknowledge what was going right. The house was fine. The business was doing better than ever. He was healthy. There was food and drink in the house. He was happily married. Sure, the house had a dent in the deck from a car accident, and the business was eating up all of their free time at low profit margins, and getting older is tough; but, there was balance. On the positive side of that balance was sanctuary and what he needed to handle the concerns.

Writing a book about personal transformation can be such a self-centered indulgence and a bore. That’s why I didn’t dwell on those events from my walk across Scotland that changed my life. But personal are precious; especially, if someone else benefits from them too. So, I made sure they were given their space between the drinking parts.

As another friend wrote in an email, “I . . . admire your stamina and courage through all this.  I’d be completely freaked out by the situation.” It is too easy to get freaked out. Even if your life is fine, news and commercials seem intent on spreading paranoia and hypochondria. As my money diminished and my anxiety rose, I disconnected my television (TV Less). My stress receded, naturally. I continue to feel and react to the news, but I check it at my convenience. Between the times I tune in, anxieties can abate, rather than being amplified by every repeated Special Report, or Breaking News, or even New and Improved (because the old and unimproved wasn’t saving your life as well as this version.)

My list of worries includes words like foreclosure, and dwelling on that list, even listing that list, can bring me down. But while walking across Scotland I learned another lesson that didn’t find a label until last month. I try not to gnaw on a rock. Life is full of things to think about. We talk about “not biting off more than you can chew”, or “chew on this for a while”; but, I came to realize that there were things I chewed on the morning and the afternoon and chewed on them the next day. They weren’t changing. All they were doing was giving me the opportunity to grind down my own emotional resolve. I was trying to chew on rocks. That’s not a good idea.

So, whether it is finding the joy in the moment, or simply setting aside concerns when they’ve been chewed on long enough, I thank Scotland and my walk across it for giving me the time and space to learn those lessons. And I am glad to learn that my words have helped others too. In a practice of self-esteem, I will acknowledge that.

Be well. Take care.

I might just take my own advice and have a drink on the deck before getting back to this evening’s work.

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Why Stranraer To Aberdeen

How rare is that? How rare is it to walk across Scotland? Not very. How rare is it to walk from Stranraer to Aberdeen? Please, tell me. I suspect few have done the same, and why would they? Adventures are now available as packaged deals. Fewer folk continue the tradition of adventurers, traveling without itinerary into uncharted spaces. In Scotland, I walked between the two: without itinerary but along mapped routes. Even that is uncommon, but there are good stories there.

My most memorable packaged adventure was not the safest thing to try. With the aid of a guide service I climbed Mt. Rainier. The true summit is 14,411ft (4392 m), though the rubble I used for a lunch spot was probably a hundred feet below that extreme on the opposite side of the crater. Plainly put, people die climbing the mountain. I dropped into a crevasse on the climb and felt my heart beat faster and harder than ever before. Despite that, my climb was under some of the most favorable conditions. It was early in the season, the first week of July, so there was plenty of snow to cover the ice. I’m glad I did it. I couldn’t have done it without the guides. And, the humbling nature of standing on the rim of a steaming stratovolcano changed my life. Many attempts fail, yet thousands of climbers succeed every year. It can be a busy place.

A few years later, I returned for a different iconic Mt. Rainier journey. The Wonderland Trail circles the mountain. It takes about 93 miles, has more cumulative elevation gain than the summit climb, and is much more benign. Fewer people perish, that’s for sure. Fewer people try, too. I was lucky again. My trip was moderately quick, 6.5 days instead of the suggested 10, but much slower than the record which I believe is just under 30 hours – and I didn’t get rained on. Any way, the yearly total of complete circumnavigations is only a few hundred – less than one-tenth the summit attempt traffic. That accomplishment was met with less fanfare, simply me walking up to my car in the parking lot and heaving a sigh as I heaved the pack into the car. (It turns out I did have a welcoming committee. While I was hiking, a family of mice claimed my car as their home. Their next stop was my house, about a hundred miles away.)

I kept the exclusivity of the unobvious in mind as I planned my bicycle trip across America. Even along the established routes, it sounded like less than a thousand people bicycled across the United States in any year. It was probably a few hundred. Along the un-established routes, there were probably fewer. My ride would be my ride, an exploration. And so it was. (I wrote a book about that one. Just Keep PedalingJust Keep Pedaling If you buy it, I suggest reading the emails first or last. You’ll probably see why.) In about 3,800 miles I only rode with two other cyclists and that was only for part of a day.

Walking across Scotland was similar, especially my route from Stranraer to Aberdeen. There were only three walkers along my route, none of whom were traveling far. Two were out for lunchtime walks. One was picking litter in a park. I suspect that walking the Highland Trails or the Upland Way would be a bit more crowded. The irony is that I had a quieter walk by walking along paved streets through the urban world.

Seeking adventure, finding something unique to add to a life, was one reason adventurers went to far lands filling in the blanks in the maps. Less of that remains for those of us who can’t travel to space or the ocean depths. But, there are plenty of journeys out there that are effectively in wilderness, or at least in the social wilderness that is solitude in today’s crowded existence. It might even be something as simple as picking two points on a map, and deciding to get from one to the other by trusting your own skills and resourcefulness. Making up your own journey may not be as dramatic as climbing a mountain (something I enjoy doing), but it may be more personally rewarding. Stranraer to Aberdeen? Why? Why not?

Not Wt. Rainier, but some probably unnamed peak that is climbed by very few in any year.

Not Mt. Rainier, but some probably unnamed peak that is climbed by very few in any year. – From Twelve Months at Barclay Lake

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English Words And Scottish Photos

Maybe unintended consequences are more common than methodically accomplished goals. I went to Scotland for a vacation. I didn’t go to write a book, though I am an author. I didn’t go to produce a photo exhibit, though I am an artist. I was on a vacation, but being an author and an artist, I did take along a notepad and pen, and a camera. Welcome to the book. Welcome to the photos. Welcome to the unexpected.

Surprise Pavement
The product of the notepad became the book, Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland, which is where a lot of my energy has been invested. You’re probably already aware of it. Reading engages imagination, and no book can describe every moment and every image.

The product of the camera was a series of about 100 photos, each with a story, but there’s usually a story sitting just outside the frame.

Writing and photography are two means of communication for me. That’s why I was glad to incorporate the photos into the book.

Reality strikes. The photos in the kindle version were formatted to a strict interpretation of the submission guidelines. They have marvelous color, but are the size of postage stamps. The photos in the paperback are a proper size, but could only be printed in black and white for that format. But the reality of the trip, the lesson I learned, and the consequence of publishing is that perfections will exist.

Authors have an easier time than photographers when dealing with imperfections. My memories, filtered through time and inattentiveness, can be written into the notebook’s gaps. The words are only limited by the English language, the writer’s creativity, and the publisher’s word count. The images I remember but didn’t photograph can’t be recovered. A photographer is limited by the equipment they carry. That’s why so many walk around like camera stores, with lenses, filters, backup cameras, tripods, flashes, and bad backs.

I carried my old digital point and shoot, a camera that probably captures fewer pixels than the cameras in most phones. It satisfied the artistic itch, and more.

It may be heresy, but simple cameras can work well, if the photographer doesn’t ask them to do too much. Fancier cameras help with low light, or extreme closeups, or incredible detail; but, if the only parts of Scotland worth looking at were incredibly detailed extreme closeups in low light then Scotland wouldn’t be a much of a place to visit. No place would. Scotland has those images, but it also has the classic landscapes, still lives, and vignettes that fit the story of memory. And in the case of my book, fit the story of the story.

There are photos with each chapter, but there are dozens more. That’s one reason to do slideshows. That’s one reason to have them available online. If you’ve read the book, see how well the photos match the chapters. You may spot the photos taken during a rare spot of sun on a day that I described s dreary. You may find photos that tell stories that didn’t end up in the book. (You’re welcome to quiz me about them.) I’ve made a small online gallery of the ones that I consider the best. I’d be honored and pleased if you bought any that resonated with you.

Autumn Fire

My point and shoot did better than I expected. And, yes, there were those days when I wished I’d carried a tripod, an extra lens, and had more time. Even with minimalist equipment: “My camera got a workout. My progress slowed as I set myself against trees and walls to steady otherwise shaky shots in the low light. I could’ve spent the entire day photographing one lane with a few gnarled trees.” Imagine how long my trip would’ve taken if I brought, and had to carry, all of that extra gear. Three weeks to cross Scotland? I’ve been known to spend spend twelve months around one bay. I’d still be there. Which, come to think of it, isn’t such a bad idea. I wonder if I can get a job there.

I also wonder if I’ll sell so many books that I can go back for a real vacation. Let’s see, will I take more or less than last time?

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Scots Power

Want to read reviews, or check on a book’s popularity? Go to amazon and rummage around. I do that daily, especially after I publish a book. When I check in amazon shows me what’s happening in the US and Canada. That’s a large market of about 350,000,000. Write a book about Scotland and sell it in North America sounds like a good business model, a consequence of my situation. Scotland’s population is closer to 5,300,000; yet, what happens there is equally important to me. I have to sneak over to amazon.co.uk to check. A sale there, and especially a good review there, comes from a larger percentage of the population and therefore carries a lot more emotional weight. Scots may not know the power they possess.

I live in Washington State, a state that has about the same population as Scotland, has portions that have very similar weather, and is arguably a similar size. Walking across Washington would be a lot tougher though. The middle is defined by mountain wilderness, then a mix of desert wilderness and farm lands. Seven million people is a lot of people. If one percent of them bought one of my books, I’d be able to pay a large chunk of my mortgage. I look forward to that happening.

While I celebrate every sale, a sale to Aberdeen, WA raises my spirits a bit while a sale to Aberdeen, UK raises my spirits a lot. And then I drop into the author’s mode of wondering what they’ll think and whether they’ll post a review. Sales can satisfy the mortgage. Reviews can satisfy the soul.

Less than 1% of the readers are reviewers. I understand that. I rarely review books unless I can compliment the author or give other readers advice on some fresh perspective. One suggestion I expect someone to post about my first book, Just Keep PedalingJust Keep Pedaling is to read the emails first or last, but not necessarily entwined with the text. The book is laid out that way, but now that I am a seasoned author (harumph, harumph) I know I’d do things different. Maybe I’ll redo it if I make a kindle version.

Books can become dialogs; especially, in the age of amazon (which includes a rarely used discussion section) and social media (where the 57 character title of Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland by Tom Trimbath plus a tinyurl leaves few characters for a twitter commentary – how about a hashtag #WTDScotland?). I prefer dialog to lecture. A Yank walking across Scotland without referring to guidebooks sees the modern Scotland, but I must have made some local want to make me see exquisite history that was only a block off my route, or seen by looking left instead of right. I’ve already heard from a previously unconnected branch of the family that saw my pictures and introduced themselves. I wonder if I could’ve stayed with Trimbaths along the entire trip. I wonder how silly I would feel if I retraced the route with a guide. (Hmm, research for a second book that would also be a book tour? Anyone interested?)

Authors look forward to having so many readers that they can’t get to know them all. Even with amazon’s sales tracking, I can only guess at where a reader lives. Within the States, that is a fraction of a state. Within the UK, it looks like I hear that there was a sale within the UK, nothing finer than that. Today’s technology has produced many avenues for those connections. I look forward to having so many reviewers than I can’t get to know them all, but here at the start it is easiest to make your voice heard. And if speaking in public or typing to the world feels a bit too exposed then you’re welcome to send me an email or give me a call. (I recommend the email. The mortgage company has done some weird phone tricks so I am less likely to pick it a call – until I pay off the mortgage of course.)

So, Aberdeen, UK, I look forward to hearing from you. Aberdeen, WA, I look forward to hearing from you too, but at least for this book, the Scots have the power.

Aberdeen Finale

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Feeling My Way Across Scotland

I expect most folks remember the Walking and the Drinking part of the title, but the Thinking went on during and around both. That wasn’t the idea, but that’s what happened.That’s the part that changed my life. A grand claim, but correct; but, the word is actually wrong. It should have been Feeling (but titling the book ‘Feeling my way across Scotland” sounded odd.)

I’ve given few talks and interviews so far. I enjoy them, and have been invited back; so, I guess they enjoyed me, too. The topics are always the obvious ones: why, how, when, where, etc. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the funny stories – like the one about the cattle following me as I sang. The life changing part is harder to talk about because it is so personal. Until Friday.

Friday, March 22nd at 7pm, I’m going to give the first talk about, “Tools For Hope And Joy“. I’ve already mentioned a couple of them in previous posts: Grin Smile Laugh, and Every Moment Every Emotion. As much as I enjoy telling travel stories, I think there’s a lot more to be said about how to find a way through struggling times. Read the book and you’ll see I was in the midst of a struggle at the start. Read my main blog and see that the struggle has continued, and even gotten worse; yet, I am surviving and even being complimented as being inspirational. I’m glad someone else is getting something out of my experience. I’m trying to get out of it too.

As an author of five other books, I know that readers find what readers want. Twelve Months at Merritt Lake Authors may put in one message, but it may be overlooked as readers find implicit themes the author was unconsciously inserting. I’m definitely in favor of that. Some of my writing writes itself for some reader I’ve never met. It happens a lot.

That’s all the more reason for authors to occasionally take out the verbal highlighter and draw attention to the more subtle message. Getting the surface, the depth and the implicit stories into a conversation is a rich mix.

So, come on by to Living Green in Langley on Whidbey Friday evening. Their kitchen may be open. They have a wonderful space massaged by yoga classes and scented with some of the healing medicinals they stock.

See you there!

Scotland Flyer
Tools for Hope and Joy
Lessons from the book Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland
One man’s search for joy – or at least his evening’s Guinness – resulted in life-changing lessons, and it wasn’t because of the Guinness.

Talk and slideshow: March 22nd, 7pm
Living Green
630A 2nd St.
Langley, WA
Donations for the space are accepted.

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Hello Paperback

You asked for it. It’s here. And I’m happy to provide it.

I will now define those pronouns.

You: Those people that wanted a paperback version of the book; either because you didn’t want to read it as an ebook, or because you liked the ebook so much that you wanted a signed copy.

It: The paperback, of course! The paperback edition of Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland is now available! Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland

Here: The paperback is available online at amazon and many other online booksellers. The paperback is available at most local bookstores, though they’ll probably have to order it through their distributors unless I hand them some for their shelves. And, the paperback is available from me, as long as supplies last.

I needed a lift yesterday afternoon, and up drove the UPS truck. I didn’t give the driver the chance to get out of the truck. It was the author’s version of Christmas. Brown paper packages tied up with string have been replaced with dull cardboard strapped down with tape, but the package was appreciated in any case.
Unwrapping A Celebration
At that point, popping a bottle of champagne would have been appropriate; but, I was in the middle of work (managing a long term consultation, announcing a self-publishing workshop, documenting the CreateSpace publishing process, editing a couple indiegogo campaigns, etc.); and if you skipped over the parentheticals you’ll understand why I was so distracted that I didn’t remember the celebration until halfway through the evening. An extra glass of wine took the place of a bottle of champagne; which really would’ve been too much for one person in a few hours alone at home.

The most convenient way to buy the book is to shop on amazon. There, at least as I type, you can witness the marketplace in action. The book is on sale, 36% off; while a used copy is going for $41.

It turns out that there’s a collectible market in self-published books. There’s always been a demand for limited and first editions, especially if they are signed. Successful self-published books can become even more valuable because their first editions may be part of a much smaller run. There are collectors who buy self-published books to hold then sell instead of read. I wonder if they buy the ebooks to know if they should buy the paperback.

However you want it, it is now available, and I’m happy to see it. And I’m happy to play with pronouns. They make sentences so much shorter.

Read on! And contact me if you want a copy or if you want me to drop by for an event – or even if you want to offer me a traditional publishing deal that proves those collectors right.

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Paperback Celebration

“I want to buy the book version . . . ” Glad to hear it. Here it is! Walking, Thinking, Drinking Across Scotland by Tom Trimbath is now available as a paperback. Thank you createspace. Two months ago I published the ebook version. Immediately, people began asking for the paperback version. The part of the quote following the “. . .” varied. Some people prefer reading without batteries. Some people want to give it as a gift. Some people want something I can sign. Two months of requests and positive reviews convinced me to take the next step. Okay, I also needed a two month break to get some other work done. I’m a busy guy. (Check out Backup Plans on my other blog.)

By the way, those of you who bought the ebook didn’t get to see the back cover that comes with the paperback. Here it is. Scotland back coverOh yeah, and the photos in the paperback are much bigger, though in black and white.

 
Now we enter the next phase. The ebook was a nice way to start. It was the basis for a talk and slideshow at the local library, and a radio interview. But it is a bit awkward to tell people to go somewhere else to buy the book when they walk up to me after an event. I’d meet people while walking around town and they’d ask me for a copy, assuming that I had a case of them in the car. Doesn’t every author drive around hoping to sell copies from the trunk of their car? It is a stereotype people expect authors to emulate. Now I can order a few dozen, sign a few, get several into the local libraries and bookstores that are friendly to local authors. I’ll sign the first to myself, my ritual celebration.

With book in hand, or in trunk, or in back room, or on the local shelves, it is easier to hold events, arrange for more interviews, and basically conduct the independent author’s version of a book tour. At the price of gas, the tours are shrinking, but if you know of a venue give me a call and we’ll work something out. Hey, Rick Steves, need another travel author on your show? How do I get in contact with The Daily Show? I don’t think I have the wardrobe for Oprah’s show, but I can find room on the strained credit card for a new shirt and pair of pants. Oh wait. I’ll go authentic and wear what I walked in. Nice dollar dodge.

To those who waited for the paperback version, I thank you for your patience. To those who dove into the ebook and posted such nice reviews or passed along their feedback privately, I deeply appreciate you. Such responses were great gifts to receive over the holidays. Your words encouraged me. How could I not be moved when I read, “I highly recommend this fascinating and uplifting book!” I’d hoped for “uplifting”, that’s why one of its genres is Personal Transformation; but, just because I wrote a book about a life-changing experience doesn’t keep others from only seeing it as a travelogue. What I like best with my books is when I get both responses, which is a sign that the book wasn’t too narrow.

I celebrated last night with a cocktail. Whisky (scotch to us Yanks) would have been appropriate, but so far, ebook sales haven’t enabled that level of celebration – but then, this is only the beginning. This is the beginning of a journey we are taking together. Thanks for encouraging me to take the next step.

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Front Row Seat

Duh. Here I’ve been blogging a bit about the book, and just remembered that I was blogging about the book before it was a book. Well, I was blogging about my trip before, during, and while on it; regardless of whether a book would happen.

Here are some links back to those original posts. They exist on my older blog for the book, Dream. Invest. Live. Dream Invest Live cover, so have a tendency to talk more about life and money than joy and Guinness. Yes, there’s considerable overlap. Read on, and welcome to a front row seat, unedited, as it happened, as I trusted that something good would come of it.

Hmm, now I’m curious. I guess I’ll pour a cup of tea and re-read them too. How easily we forget. Glad I remembered.

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