They are still far and few in between, but I occasionally get reading opportunities. R&B used books was the latest, and it is just what you might think it is: stacks of books to the ceiling. The owner, Beth, knows where just about any books you’re looking for is, but even as I walked in a customer surprised her by finding something she didn’t even know she had.
There’s a resident cat and he’s loud mouthed and cute and has the two owners on a string — but she seems just fine, thankyou very much with only the occasional footstep and page flip emanating over the buzz of the fluorescent lights.
People meander in and out and talk at length with the bookstore owner Beth. They all know her well and have been coming to place for a while. She’s been here 16 years and that’s a feat — Borders shuttered only 8 years ago. She’s a proud and knowledgeable independent bookstore owner, and her savvy shows in that’s she’s survived this long.
I got to read a couple of chapters and talk with some of the folks that came in specifically to see me based on her social media posts. That’s such a treat—to know someone showed up just for you. I played the audiobook for them, something I don’t often get the chance to do. Despite the rain and limited foot traffic, I sold some books and audiobooks.
It might come as a surprise to know that sales aren’t really why I do this. Of course I want folks to read, listen and enjoy. Selling books and artwork also helps facilitate whatever next creative endeavor I have up may sleeve. But ultimately this is just a means to an end: I just want to do this stuff.
Looking forward to doing this again, either with my existing books, or certainly with my new book Where All the Little Things Live.
Every day she contemplates the same question: why is she here, where did she come from, and why isn’t there anyone like her? Caught up in her own thoughts, she is oblivious to a raging storm approaching, until a twist of fate changes her world.
I found the sketch from the 18th of October, 2018, shortly after Tamaishi rolled off the presses and into my hands. I had started to think about creating a story about Naio the Feather, because she seemed like she had a potential for something more interesting.
The story centers on Naio, before she meets Tama, and she’s quite a bit different than in Tamaishi. A little less self assured and a lot more nervous, she doesn’t quite know how she fits in. But a mysterious storm that overtakes the valley sweeps her up into a place where she discovers more about the sky and more about herself.
Fast forward a year later. I have a completed draft and two short stories to go along with it, already sent and edited. It’s still not quite there, but I feel really good about it, good enough to shelve the text and move on to focus on illustration. I remember when I got to that point with Tamaishi — it was liberating.
Tentatively the book is called Where All the Little Things Live, but the more I think about it, the more I might save that title for a fourth book of only short stories that I hope to complete in 2021. But for now, it’ll do.
Of course, there’s an audiobook coming!
I’m lining up talent for the audiobook. It will include Christine, of course, reprising her role at Naio. I’m planning on having Eliot be Tama this time, and of course have Marcel participate wherever he can. I’m ecstatic know that the incomparable Michael Kuzmanovski will be joining me again, having sincerely rocked the part of the digruntled butterfly in Zōsan. I had high hopes he’d be back to play Kani in Tamaishi, but alas, it was not to be. Also returning will be my friend Stefanie Goodell — I had just the part in mind for her — and one of Eliot’s childhood friends Calise. I’m looking to have Jon Reed come back to play a part as well, but he’s now in Middle school and far busier than when he was only 10 (when he played Zochi!)
Last year, I participated in the annual Christmas in Clawson event at Clawson High school. It’s a huge even that’s been going on since 1984! It’s one of the best attended and well organized events I’ve ever been a part of.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already. But it’s the best place to come get books directly from me. There is an admission cost of only $3, but it’s more than worth it.
I’ll have books and a prints on hand — including freshly printed Zōsan letterpress prints!
A few months ago, I was part of a local library fair at the Brighton District Library. Unfortunately, that day it rained, and virtually no one showed. Instead I spoke with one of the librarians at length about getting book into a library. I knew a little bit about the process. I don’t envy the job of the librarians who have to vet every book that is given to them and make decisions on what is to be part of a collection. Now my book is part of the collection! You can look it up in the collection!
It kind of feels like being in a Barnes & Noble to me. It’s waiting there for someone to discover. Audiobook included!
A few months ago, I was part of a local library fair at the Brighton District Library. Unfortunately, that day it rained, and virtually no one showed.
Instead I spoke with one of the librarians at length about getting book into a library. I knew a little bit about the process. I don’t envy the job of the librarians who have to vet every book that is given to them and make decisions on what is to be part of a collection.
I realized that a lot of my friends are these types of writers. The ones in it for life. The ones writing constantly of course, and maybe they turn some things out quickly, but they have that thing they’re working on that they’ve been nursing for a long time.
One high school friend finally published a work after many years of writing.
Let me be clear, I’m not here to judge anyone who writes or publishes prolifically. It’s that I realized I’m not one of those writers. At least, not now.
It’s taken about three years to write two books. I suspect the one I’m working on now will take at least that long.
Maybe that is fast. It doesn’t feel fast, though. It seems like I could spend more time, turn out books faster but it’s just not something I want to do at the moment.
I’m enjoying the process — something I have to keep reminding myself.