Hey everyone! I hope this post finds you well despite the #coronavirus pandemic. I've been blogging a lot lately--everything from political reads and takes to tips for surviving what is being called (only half-kidding) the apocalypse.
But I'm writing to you today with good news, news from before any of this happened. News of entertainment, of satire, of deep thoughts and good times. Good news about a new and, indeed somewhat unexpected new book.
The concept of Bring Back Satire came from a social network I've been using to workshop some of my poems and essays and short stories. It's called Cent, and it's attracted the most wonderful group of cryptocurrency-aware intellectuals I've found in one place online. These people use the internet to help each other, and I'm probably always going to write for them because I love the honesty of the reactions I get there as well as the willingness to help I experience whenever I have an ask of the community. Follow me on Cent here to see what I'm creating.
With feedback from the community, I was able to sort of figure out that there were three things I had to offer people there which would tend to go over fairly well: poetry, short stories, and essays.
Thus incentivized to share my work, I was encouraged to do more and more of it. Comments like this one:
made it fairly impossible to want to hide my work from the world, and I found myself sharing more variety and more quickly after I'd write something.
Having the positivity and the audience really blew me away, and everything else just sort of fell into place.
A 21st Century Philosophy Book, Inspired By A 21st Century Social Network
Bring Back Satire is in every sense the quintessential philosophy book--it features in-depth analysis of the work of other philosophers. But it stretches the medium by combining essay with poem and story, which allows it to convey a deep sense of meaning to the reader. It was inspired by Camus and by Nietzsche, by Pirsig and Bukowski and Hempel and Palahniuk.
I even went so far as to provide a bounty to the Cent community to review the work, and they (unanimously) loved it!
@Puffin is a fellow writer whose work I enjoy, and it was wonderful to hear his thoughts along with the rest. I enjoyed them so much that I put them on the back of the paperback.
Honesty, Integrity, Philosophy
I've found that my short stories range from things like Norman Rockwell paintings on up to bizarre and strange machinations that wouldn't be out of place in a Chuck Palahniuk novel. When I was writing the short stories that would eventually be featured in Further From Home, or the essays that make up the bulk of Formal Dialectics, I did it mainly in a vacuum. Formal Dialectics in particular happened in the context of a philosophy reading group I started with some friends from grad school, and Further From Home saw a few of the stories published in journals, but I actually had to work hard to write content for Bring Back Satire that I didn't first feature on Cent.
I wanted to do this to provide some additional value to the community members who chose to pay for the work, but also because it seems somehow improper to simply put a bunch of social media posts together and call it a book. Needless to say, everything in Bring Back Satire has been vetted and workshopped extensively, but there needs to be something extra to justify the existence of the work.
This poem makes people smile. Here it is, as it appeared on Cent. It will be featured in the book.
About The Book: The Concept
Bring Back Satire is a book about happiness, first and foremost. It is focused entirely upon ways to be happy, upon the concept of happiness, and upon the philosophers who have studied this human occupation the most successfully.
That being said, it is also my book, and so features my own peculiar gloss on these subjects. I believe that service to others is one way to experience happiness in life. A good gift, given to someone else, is one of the fastest shortcuts there is.
Inspirations for the book include Nietzsche's Beyond Good And Evil and The Gay Science, as well as a wide range of others from the Aristotelian ethics books Eudemian Ethics and Nicomachean Ethics to Pirsig's masterpiece Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The reviewers found it to largely be accessible (a true feat for a philosophy book!) and informative, so needless to say I'm thrilled at the reception it has been getting already.
A book that provides the reader a visceral look at the mechanics and appearances of happiness in real life... yes. This is something I'm proud to have created.
Inside The Making Of The Best Cover Any Of My Books Have Ever Had
I got extremely lucky last fall at the East Austin Studio Tour when I found a painting by Melissa Starkweather that blew me (and everyone else who saw it) away.
It now hangs on the wall in my apartment, making me one lucky dude.
After I'd done the cropping and added the title to the image, it looked like this:
All there was left to do was plug it into the Amazon Kindle self publishing tool and slap my name on it.
Pre-orders end 4/1
I hope you're interested in Cent and philosophy and Melissa Starkweather and Bring Back Satire as well. If you'd like to pick up a copy, I can say I've already finalized everything and the book will launch without a hitch on 4/1 (April Fool's Day is the perfect time to drop a satirical philosophy book, no!?). I have no idea how many people have already pre-ordered, but it does look like copies are starting to move via my Amazon ads at least.
I'm locked in, and terrified about the economy and the virus spreading throughout the country, but having a great creative outlet and a successful project launch to look forward to makes a lot of this anxiety less omnipresent. If you've been a part of this project with your feedback and thoughts, or with your clicks, or with your purchase--or if you will--I want to say thanks from the bottom of my heart.
One last time, the book is available here. It will sell for $19.95 as a paperback or $6.99 as an eBook, via Amazon, starting 4/1. Get your discount today via the preorder if you want to. Cheers, thanks, and good luck out there.