Announcing A New Project & Kickstarter Contest

As does @wilw from time to time, I got excited and made a thing.

The thing I made – a 99 cent eBook that you can download here – is the introduction to a series of fifty short novels, tentatively titled Fifty States Of Grace*, that I plan to write (over many years). Each short novel will be set in a different U.S. state. I’m also hoping to build a “crowdsourced” community around these novels that will help me:

  • Determine the order of states the main character (Austin Trenton) will visit
  • Get ideas about places items could be hidden in each state
  • Get ideas about plot twists & the “wrongs Austin should right” in each state
  • Help find typos and errors
  • Have people help shape these novels as they evolve

In order to determine the first state Austin should visit I’ve launched a Kickstarter project which this video will now explain (it also summarizes the plot):

If you think this idea could grow wings please back the Kickstarter project now. It’s very easy – you just use your Amazon account.

Other ways you could pitch in if you were so inclined:

Thanks for your help! Back your home state now!

* “Fifty States Of Grace” is a tentative title because I’ve received feedback that it’s too close to “Fifty Shades Of Grey”. Help me think of a better title!

This American’s Life

This American Life recently broadcast its 500th episode which was a remembrance of staff favorites (more here).

I really can’t overstate the importance of This American Life in this American’s (my) life. The show started in 1995, which was my first semester at OU. In 1997 I moved into 614 South Lahoma, a house I shared with a menagerie of other scholarship students who are still my good friends today. We refer to ourselves as “614”. I had a room on the 2nd floor facing the street. The house had a giant fan in the roof; when it was on it would pull air in the windows. Taking naps on my bed by the window with the breeze flowing over me is one of my favorite memories of college. It was in that room I discovered public radio. I was sliding through frequencies on my radio and all of a sudden I recognized music. My mother had listened to NPR in our kitchen – I’d never paid attention – and the tones I recognized were from All Things Considered. I started listening – partially because it reminded me of my Mom – and soon I found This American Life.

My first memory of This American Life is hearing the conventions episode, specifically at 51:96 where John Perry Barlow tells what happened on the plane. That was the moment I fell in love with this art I was hearing come out of my radio. This American Life would be with me later in that apartment on Division Street in Chicago, in that basement apartment in Seattle with the spiders, and on the road between all those places. I consider myself a collector of TAL, I think I have all the mp3s. Thier voices have been with me everywhere I’ve been. The recent episode on bung made me laugh and smile for days.

I consider Ira Glass a personal hero (as well as those less famous members of his staff, present and past). This American Life is a model of sustained brilliance and excellence that I use as a benchmark to strive for in all of my endeavors, business and personal, creative and otherwise.  Ira’s series on storytelling made me think I could try to tell stories of my own.

Congratulations to Ira and This American Life. Your lives, in a very real way, have touched the life of this American.

If You Are Going To Self Publish, Buy APE First

A few months ago I ran across Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch’s new book APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. I asked if I could get a copy to review and I’m very glad I did. In my non-publishing life I’ve done software and project management. In each of those cases I had books that I’d return to at the start of a project to remind myself how to do things right; how to start the project on the right foot.

I did that with A.P.E. on my upcoming project (not quite ready to announce – hint, hint). I revisited it throughout the startup phase of my project and I’m very glad I did. It got my head in the right place and reminded me of some things I’d forgotten since last time. It’s chock full of reference material that will remain evergreen. I’ve done the authoring phase and am about to enter the publishing and entrepreneuring phase of this project. I will keep A.P.E. at hand throughout the process.

Before you self publish, buy APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur by Kawasaki and Welch.