Carried by a breeze: Books take on a life of their own

It happens to paintings, music, film and books. Once the artistic creation is completed and sold in its various ways, the entity takes on a life of its own, independent of the creator's original intent or goal. In the case of novels, the book is read and digested and oftentimes interpreted and experienced in ways an author might be surprised by. In essence, the book becomes detached from the writer and can even be carried away by unseen currents to land in unexpected places.

Reactions to the book can be affected by trends in society, unexpected turns of events in the political, social and artistic worlds. Concepts the author never explicitly considered can suddenly become the lense through which the book is seen and even judged. And all of this is magnified if the author is writing a satire, which adds a layer of interpretation that is sometimes understood yet often is not perceived by the reader who traverses the work with a different frame of reference. From the writer's point of view, the off-course reader fails to see and appreciate the actual meaning the author attempted to convey. Readers, however, are bringing their own point of views, life experiences and perspectives to bear--with the potential of different reactions and interpretations.

In the case of Thinks Out Loud, I, the author, created a style, tone, and characterization clearly conveying a satirical take on the high-tech world, one that seems to be more and more accurate with each passing day. Or did I? A reader might experience the book in a different and unexpected manner. Satire? No way. It's a vitreous attack on the high-tech world! No, it's actually a tragedy of a romantic hero who tried to reach a higher level of existence. Etc. 

No matter how it's being interpreted, Thinks Out Loud is now aloft, drifting along on currents, landing in unexpected places and being experienced in unique ways. All beyond the 'control' of the author. What all this means is that the reader completes the artistic, creative cycle. And that is a valuable and essential role, for if a book falls in a forest and no one is around to hear, does it make a sound? 

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THE BOOK AND AMAZON: If you order Thinks Out Loud from Amazon Prime, you will be receiving an older version that is out of date and whose printing is lighter than the current edition.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). 

 

 

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.