In Addition to the Story, There's. . .

While not encyclopedic in nature (Think Moby Dick, Ulysses, Seven Eves), Thinks Out Loud does contain some sections, not exactly asides, but somewhat self-contained moments that go beyond the 'essential' elements of the story. Still, that's not exactly what I mean. These portions, often within the novel's blog postings, run the gamut of industrial yoga, new Barbie roles, Trumpisms, updates on the royal family (or a branch of), South Seas fauna and flora, high-tech hiring techniques, high-energy particle physics.

What I am trying to say is that so-called non-plot segments only seem to be unrelated to the story at hand, but in their own way they either illustrate themes, reflect back on the person writing that blog posting, or come to have an impact in the characters' experiences later in the story. While the 'detours' might seem irrelevant or inconsequential, they are part and parcel of the book. Taking them out would reduce the novel to its bare bones, or even just a part of its bare bones. As a bonus, these flights of fancy are some of the funniest (in the author's subjective opinion) creations in the book.

More at: https://www.thinksoutloud.com/

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT THE BOOK AND AMAZON: If you order Thinks Out Loud from Amazon Prime, you will be receiving an older version that is out of date and whose printing is lighter than the current edition. If on Amazon, order from the Thinks Out Loud option which will be the newer better print version. You can also order the newer version directly from the publisher via this website, thinksoutloud.com,  or from your local bookstore, which will either have the book in stock or available via a quick special order from Ingram, the wholesaler. 

 

 

A little fun on YouTube plus an important update

Partly for fun but also for marketing purposes, I made a short video introducing Thinks Out Loud. Nothing fancy. Just me talking about the book for a minute and a half. Here's the link.

Now for the important update. Between printings, the publisher fixed some typos from the first printing. And we also found a printer that is providing an edition that features a darker, more legible text. Two improvements in one!  And given those new features, if anyone who bought a book from the first printing wants a cleaner copy from the new printing, the publisher will send it your way. All you have to do is pay for posting and handling at $5.00. 

Contact us via this website or my email, marperl@centurylink.net. 

 

 

Is Your Book For Real?

Some readers have been asking questions, such as, "Are parts of Thinks Out Loud real? Are the bloggers in the book based on actual bloggers?  Is there really a start-up like AltaSystemics where a crafty CEO is out to amass vast power and control over society? Is there really an island in the South Pacific like Tiaré (Flower) where the islanders strive to maintain their way of life against the onslaught of modernity? 

Authors tend to pull back from answering such questions. We like to say, "It's fiction. It's all imagined. If the people and places feel 'real,' then we have succeeded to some degree in our story-telling ways." In addition, I would add that all of a writer's experiences, internal and external, are fair game for import and transition/translation/transcendence into a work of fiction. 

The key to it all is imagination (plus some rewriting and editing). 

 

 

Author Reading in a True Neighborhood Bookstore

On Thursday, Sept. 7, I had the opportunity to do a reading at Ravenna Third Place Books, the epitome of a neighborhood bookstore. The operative words here include warm, welcoming and cozy. There is no guarantee of how many folks will show up to hear a writer stand in front of them and try and bring a book to life through reading aloud. But friends and the curious did walk through the door to join me in what I hoped was a fun and entertaining hour. I know that I have always enjoyed hearing authors read from their works. . .their intonation, pacing, and emphasis provide that 'live' dimension to the reading experience.

For me, the best part of the presentation is the question/answer period after the reading. "Did the characters come to you fully fleshed out or did they grow and develop?"  Me: Developed. "Since the book's information is all conveyed by the postings of the characters, are there aspects of the characters that we don't directly know about but can infer from what they don't say?" Me: Yes. Perhaps more evident on a second ready. "How much planning did you do before writing the first draft? Me: The basic, larger elements. The details (including plot shifts, new characters and some other surprises) surfaced along the way.

I again want to thank the professional and dedicated and friendly staff from Third Place Books for creating a terrific venue for book readings. And also a great place to have Thinks Out Loud (signed) right on the book shelf for anyone seeking an entertaining and slightly different kind of reading experience.

 

A Blog (Novel) Is Born, Part 2

I’d been blogging two or three times a week for about a year and a half, mostly social and political commentary. Sometimes I was pretty good, other times rather lame. I’d say I was a minor blip on the blogging screen with several  thousand hits a month, depending on how much commentary and other interaction I did in the comments sections of related articles and other blogs.

One of the main features I became aware of was the number of hats a blogger wears: idea generator, researcher, author, editor, marketer, self-critic. Then I started thinking about veering away from my blog as commentary and doing something untried, approaching blogging from a different angle. What if I created a blog about blogging, a pulling back of the curtain to reveal what really goes into a blog, kind of a reality-blog show? That sounded promising. . .until I actually thought about the content. If I were going to be truthful about how I blogged and included all the steps leading up to a posting, that would probably be a contestant for the “Worlds Mostly Boring Blogs” contest: Woke up, checked Huffington Post. Saw article about latest Obama birth certificate rumor.

Beyond boring. No, a blog about blogging, at least for me, would never be launched into the blogosphere.

I went back to commentary on contemporary issues. Until a night in August. (I wrote most of my entries in the quiet of night.) I was casting about for a topic when (and I need a leap of faith on your part here) unexpected words entered my mind and flowed through my fingers onto the keyboard. Here is the original text:

Break time:  Guest bloggers coming your way!

Blogging can be taxing! After months of facing the daily pressure to perform, I'm taking a week, maybe two, off from blogging to pursue non-electronic forms of entertainment, relaxation, and procrastination. And discovery, both inner and outer. Truth be told, I need to figure out why page views seem to have peaked and are now beginning to decline. Not to mention, most of my visitors seem to be from former Soviet republics. Have I in some way peaked in my own life? And in a larger sense, if I were to really stop blogging, what would become of me?

On a more immediate front, to keep the pages fresh, a bevy of young Guest Bloggers I found on Craig's List have signed on to keep you in the know.

Stay tuned.

Thinking Out Loud is not responsible for the views, language, or staleness of Guest Blogger remarks. All Guest Blogger entries are the sole responsibility of said blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or wishful thinking of Thinking Out Loud.

The “I” in the above posting was not me, the me sitting at my desk, in my house, in Seattle. It was a different voice, a character (who turned out to be Isaac). This other character, not me, was burned out and about to go on sabbatical and end up in Polynesia. Who these new bloggers were, I didn’t know. What they were up to, I didn’t know. From this moment on, the blog took on a life of its own. Thinking Out Loud became Thinks Out Loud, a blog at first.