Shameless Self-Promotion Redux: Changing Earth, Changing Sky

July 2nd, 2014 47 Comments

changingearthchangingsky

 

I have released another book for your reading pleasure, your literary satisfaction, your general edification, your artistic amazement, your… Oh, never mind. I have released another book.

Changing Earth, Changing Sky (the title comes from an incredibly obscure poem by an even more obscure poet—the official poet to the court of Henry VIII—that I stumbled across somewhere and have been unable to find since; but the phrase stuck in my head) is about a young lady determined to change her life, every aspect of it. But like so many of the plans we make, the changes that occur are not necessarily the ones she had in mind.

I had no intention of writing a book when I began the thing. I started it for myself primarily as an academic exercise, the kind of thing you might be assigned at one of those writer’s workshops, to see if I could write from a woman’s point of view, just a handful of pages to see if I could pull it off. But more or less by itself, without any real volition or control on my part, a handful of pages turned into a hefty chunk of pages. That’s not surprising, really—I can’t even sign my name to a check in less than several hundred words—but what did surprise me was finding I had done the Pygmalion thing and fallen in love with my creation.

I admire people with spunk. I am bored by what the Germans’ colorfully call a Waschlappen, which literally means a washcloth, but figuratively means a spineless invertebrate who can be walked over and taken advantage of. And as I wrote, that desire for spunk came out in my creation, and the more it came out, the more I found myself drawn to it and writing more to see what she might do next.

In Stephen King’s book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft he talks about where story ideas come from, how out of the blue a thought pops into one’s head that might, by itself, have no significance or inspiration, but it pops in just as one happens to see something completely unrelated, and the two things come together and sort of juxtapose themselves, and the next thing one knows, one is off writing, either about an interesting girl looking for change, or about oneself using the arch abstraction of “one.” Fortunately, I chose to write about the girl. But some of the things that happened as I wrote were that random, that unexpected juxtaposition of unrelated images and events. I don’t want to give too much away here, because I want you to spend your hard-earned dollars and read the thing, but in the course of doing some chores in the nearest big city, I saw some gang-bangers, the kind of men who radiate danger and contempt for everything and anything, and without my really intending it, they ended up muscling their way into the book. With interesting results…

A reader who stumbled across the book on Amazon took me to task—very nicely, very gently—for not doing anything to publicize the book or even announce that it was in existence. I plead extenuating circumstances. First, I had trouble with my website, which apparently decided it didn’t have to take orders from anyone as computer/internet illiterate as I, and began to misbehave disgracefully. I had to call in the big guns, in the form of my website administrator to figuratively take website out behind the woodpile and give it a good talking to. Then I had trouble getting a copy of the cover with the right number of pixels or whatever they’re called. And then work reared its ugly head in the form of various deadlines, and—in short—what with one thing and another, the book went public before I did. I apologize. You can find it under my “Books” tab, and that will take you to Amazon.

As always, if you like it, please give it a good review and a “Like” on Amazon. If you don’t, please maintain a diplomatic silence.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hello JP,

    this is my first comment without having read your post until the end…

    YEAH !!!!!! There it finally is :)

    Sorry Mr. Bronson, you’ll have to wait.

    Bye. I’m going to Amazon…

    Best wishes

    NW

  2. Anonymous says:

    PS: By the prices you take you’ll never become rich…. ;)
    NW

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just had it delivered to my Kindle Fire. I’ll for sure read it this weekend while I’m holed up for an extended stay at my wonderfully secluded hunting lodge nestled in the northern woods of beautiful Wisconsin. No hunting going on, just relaxation and maybe some trout fishing… and of course reading your latest book.

    Don’t fret the self promotion. It has to be done. You put the time and effort into it, only makes sense to get the word out. Writing is fun, but it is also nice when it can pay for a tank of gas in the SUV or even some larger bills. Right? Damn right!

    On a side note… Henry VIII… he sure made things difficult for my family back in the day, but it got better in the 17th Century. Like you, I was raised in a Catholic family. German on one side, English on the other. Both sides were Catholic families with deep roots in Germany and England. On the English side I am the umpteenth some great grandson of George Calvert and Cecil Calvert. Certainly some interesting history there…

    TD Bauer
    Wisconsin

  4. Anonymous says:

    I will check out your book. It sound interesting. I used to that person without a spine and a wet wash cloth. Sometimes I am still that person. A lot of the reason for this is I was physically, emotionally and mentally abused at the hands of my father. By the time I was teenager and even in my twenties I was a basket case. In College I had panic attacks. I was afraid of everything and everyone. It took me four time of trying to pass driver’s training. Not because of the book work, but because I was terrified to drive. Can someone change? I think sometimes the answer is yes and other times the answer is no.
    It took not years and the help of several therapist to learn how to stand up for myself and I am still learning. I still have problems with crowded places and if anyone walks up behind me and says something even hello I am liable to hit the ceiling. I do things now that I thought would never be possible like drive a car and just function like a normal person. On another note I wonder if a man can write from the perspective of a women. There are just things that men do not understand. Does a man know what is like to be afraid of going out a night or going to a bar? Do they fear being attacked or raped? Then there is the physical things like a period and PMS. Most men will actually laugh at a women’s pain and misery. They think it is a big joke. When I gave birth to my son I had my father-in-law say to me “Well, women in China give birth and go back to work in the rice fields. So much for compassion over a very difficult delivery. I had pre-emplaysia and was in the hospital for a week.

  5. Anonymous says:

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/07/02/ex-parole-officer-pillowcase-rapist-opposes-release-calls-felon-scarier-than/?cmpid=NL_fntop

    This is the kind of thing that I was talking about. Women living in fear because this rapist is going to be released.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This has been a truly terrible day, but things just got better–not only a new post from my favorite blogger, but a new book too. And to think I almost didn’t log on today. Off to Amazon I go.

    Anne from MD

  7. Anonymous says:

    http://www.upworthy.com/if-you-know-someone-who-doesnt-believe-sexism-exists-show-them-this?c=ufb2

    A similar thing happened to me in high school. I was walking home and a group of boys started shouting about how they were going to rape me. I was minding my own business. Fortunately for me at point a police car came driving down the street.. I was tempted to run to them, but I knew it would be my word against theirs. I also knew that the police probably would not believe me and would ask me what I did to encourage these boys. By the way the answer would have been nothing. You may ask what this has to do with this blog. I would say a lot. This is what young women and older women put up with on a regular basis. Both of my daughters have had similar encounters and one of daughters now carries mace with her. Both of them have had middle age men pull over to them while they were walking home and the men started to make lewd comments to them, They also tried to ask them into their cars. I have had to tell my daughter never, ever get into a car with a strange man. This kind of thing happens a lot to women. I seriously doubt that any man would have to put up with anything like this.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am another survivor.
      I have survived 12 years of sexual abuse at the hands of a family member and two sexual assaults by strangers.
      How I wish there had been a handsome cowboy to come to my rescue.
      KW

  8. Anonymous says:

    Grrrrrrrr……… j’ai l’impression d’être devant la vitrine d’un grand pâtissier, de regarder les pâtisseries et de ne pas pouvoir goûter au merveilleux gâteau au chocolat qui se trouve derrière la vitrine !!!!!!
    Bonne chance à vous pour la vente de ce livre et si un jour il est traduit en français, vous me préviendrez hein ???
    Anita

  9. Anonymous says:

    I had just downloaded the Kindle app on my IPhone so I could purchase your books (I have An Accidental Cowboy on hardback) And the day after I thought I had seen a new book, and I though that you had not done a self promotion, so thank you, now I know it was definitely your book I saw :) and no need to add shameless to the title
    looking forward to this purchase now I can

  10. Anonymous says:

    The title of your book reminded me of this quote.
    ” Women hold up half the sky.”
    Mao Zedong

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank you. Your work is way too good not to promote. I’m almost done with Chapter 7, and I’m enjoying it very much.
    Jan

  12. Anonymous says:

    I read the excerpt from your book and it was interesting. When I first started to read the chapter I thought that Kay was someone who was a lot older. I kept thinking of someone closer to my age then I saw she was 29 which means that she would have been married at 24. One thing I have difficulty understanding is why any woman who is married would want to stay deliberately ignorant of her husband’s or her own finances. When my husband I got married we both had a job. I can sort of relate to the fact that she went straight from her father’s home to her husbands with no time in between. When my husband I got married I had only lived alone for a year. The world of country clubs and high society are completely foreign to me. Maybe that is why I know what is going on in our finances. I am the one who writes the checks and I am the one who knows how much we owe to creditors. When you live pay to pay check as we do you better know what is going on. I really do want to read what happens next so I will have to try to get the book without a kindle.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I read the part where Kay complains about being close to thirty. Thirty? Call me back when you are heading toward sixty. Sometimes I wish I was thirty again, but then again not really.

    I love this one poem it is called “When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple”

    by Debra Eve | @DebraEve
    When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
    With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
    And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
    And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
    I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
    And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
    And run my stick along the public railings
    And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
    I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
    And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
    And learn to spit.

    You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
    And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
    Or only bread and pickle for a week
    And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

    But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
    And pay our rent and not swear in the street
    And set a good example for the children.
    We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

    But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
    So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
    When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

    “Warning” by Jenny Joseph

    When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple at LaterBloomer.com
    Queen Elizabeth doing purple proud
    Do you recognize this poem? A 1996 survey BBC identified it as the UK’s most popular post-war poem, beating Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night.”

    It’s called “Warning” and was written by Jenny Joseph (1932- ) at age 29.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I am going to add to my previous comment. The reason I thought that Kay was an older person is because of the way she behaved. My children are all in their twenties. What I thought about later is my daughter who is 25. She went to U of M after high school and lived in the dorms for two years. She also had her her apartment and car the last two years. She spent one summer in Spain in an internship on her own. She had a job in Vermont for a year and did not like it so she came back got a second degree and is now on her own with a very good job. She has an apartment and a car.
    So when I read the part about Kay never being on her own and not knowing what to do I thought more of myself then of a young woman in her twenties. I dont know if you have been around young people in their twenties, but even young women are not as naive as your character. Another thing they are always on their cellphone texting and tweeting. I have had to tell my daughters and my son to stop doing that when we are together. The point is that both of my daughter are no longer living with us. My daughter has dated three young men and my youngest is living with a young man. I do not think that any young woman in the year 2014 is going to that sheltered. Now if you were talking about someone like me I definitely was, but that was in the eighties and even then I was the exception and not the rule.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Here’s to the girls
    Who don’t wake up with perfect hair.
    Who don’t mind eating a Big Mac instead of a salad.
    Who don’t wear 50 pounds of make up.
    Who’d rather spend the day in sweatpants than in skinny jeans.
    Who don’t get all of the guys.
    Who aren’t “popular” but wouldn’t trade their friends for the world.
    Who choose sneakers of heels.
    Who aren’t afraid to break a nail.
    Who don’t always get everything they want.
    Who don’t need a guy to tell them they’re beautiful.
    Here’s to all the girls who are
    just like me.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think this song goes with this book just fine.

    http://youtu.be/EHbMqibWqiM
    “This ones for the girls.”

    Do you know that I drove myself crazy trying to find this song? It keep going around in my head, but I had the wrong title. I finally did find it though.

  17. Anonymous says:

    My comment is more a question. I have two of your books “An Accidental Cowboy” and “To Absent Friends” because I could find them in book form am wondering if this new book and the others you have done are going to ever be offered in book form rather than just Kindle? I am one of the people who honestly cannot afford a Kindle reader even the very cheapest I have seen and was disappointed when saw the remainder of your books are only offered so far as Kindle versions. Thanks.

    Nancy Darlene

    • Funny you should ask… I have been contemplating doing a “print-on-demand” thing (note the highly precise literary terminology of “thing” that shows I don’t really have a clue what I’m talking about) and will include it in a list of questions for my agent on how best to market my books. Because, trust me, I do want to market them. Someone once said the best inspiration for a writer was a bill-collector beating on the door; that may be, but my door is beginning to get a little worn and dented, and the struggle between the bill-collector and the wolf who has taken up residence in the vestibule is getting a little distracting.
      JP

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi Jameson

        I totally understand what you mean about the struggle between the bill collector and the wolf as grew up with that struggle and it continues on even now. I hope there are more requests for your books in book form than just mine because truly you are excellent. I have enjoyed reading the ones I have more than once, but for a while have wondered about the others being put into book form. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to this inquiry. My best to you and Darleen.

        Nancy Darlene

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t see how you can make any money on those Kindle prices unless you are counting on making up the money with a large number of sales. Unfortunately, bookstores are becoming a thing of the past. The one major bookstore that we had in Michigan named Borders went out of business. It is almost impossible to find books in any store and if you do there is usually a very limited selections. The books that are sold are by famous bestselling authors like Stephen King. You can buy hard cover books on Amazon along with paperbacks, but I really don’t know how many of these books sell to a large reading audience.

        Having creditors call you day and night can be stressful. My husband and I went through that. These people will actually threaten you with harm. I was the one who had to deal with these people and they harassed me day and night. Now fortunately we are caught up on our bills and do not have this issue any more.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hey,Anon(July 6th 1:52p. m.)–yeah, I had to deal with such creditors before, living well below poverty level at times(I’m about dead even with the poverty line now, so purty successful at last!), and as a home renter in the past(no longer, thank goodness), one tactic I used to send them on their way was to say I WASN’T myself, that that person had moved out! And I didn’t know them personally, and had no idea where they went! Usually worked quite well. Sometimes I reported I had died, which worked equally as well. And a really bad tactic is to just respond like a barely functional mentally retarded person–THAT screens people VERY WELL! Just some suggestions for anyone wanting and willing to play just as dirty with the “collectors” as they do with us po folks….L.B.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, you know, in a case like this, there is always a good chance, if they arrive at the same time, the wolf will eat that bill collector! If this happens frequently enough, that wolf will likely then specialize on bill collectors, and become a real valuable symbiotic relationship for you!…L.B.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would just like to make an argument for soft cover books…
        IPads, kindle readers and the like hurt when they fall on my face.

        You see I am usually so reluctant to put your ‘books’ down that I fall asleep reading at some wee hour of the morning!

        Already finished one….
        Kathy

      • Anonymous says:

        Print on demand is actually pretty easy to do. I did it for ‘sh*ts and giggles’ on a pulp novella I wrote. Check out CREATESPACE, it is an Amazon company and is free if you do the setup processing yourself. I muddled through it and got setup on my own, it’s not too difficult. Otherwise if you have a person who does your e-book formatting they should be able to knock it out for you easy. I’ll be happy to lend a hand as well if needed.

        TD Bauer
        Wisconsin

  18. Anonymous says:

    If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download Amazon’s Kindle app to your computer, Android or Windows device (mobile phone) for free and purchase and read digital books this way. I had to go this route because I have the Nook, which doesn’t support many of the books I want to read. It means spending a lot more time in front of your computer screen, however.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks very much for that tip Anonymous :) Will definitely check that out that way at least will be able to read the books even if they do not get put in book form. Which I still hope they will be put in book form but this is a good option to know of and will indeed take advantage of that. Thank you!
      Nancy Darlene

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re very welcome. I, myself, am technologically challenged. Luckily, I’m married to Awesome IT Guy. :)

        Anne

        • Anonymous says:

          That is very lucky for you as you said Anne there are times I wish we had an IT person in my family when I have computer issues and such and have questions about what programs really are good for using on a computer for protection and all. :) Thank you again Anne I sincerely do appreciate it more than words could ever express. :)

          Nancy Darlene

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you for that tip. I found the Amazon Kindle app on our Mac and it was free. Since I already have an Amazon account getting the Kindle book was really easy. This the first book I have ever bought on Kindle and I will read it.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Jameson and Darleen
    I know this is not the thread that this should be posted in but was wondering if you two had ever found another dog that you could rescue. I just saw this article about this dog named Sadie that was left at a facility by her owners. She is seven years old. Anyway I tried to put this link on the proper post but noticed that posting was closed for that one.
    Warm Regards,
    Nancy Darlene

    http://www.examiner.com/article/unbearable-sadness-surrendered-dog-is-too-depressed-to-lift-her-head?cid=PROD-redesign-right-next

  20. Anonymous says:

    http://youtu.be/R4Zz_UNFLmw

    Don’t Cry Out Loud-Melissa Manchester.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I started the book and I am on Chapter 5. I remember the song “Home on the Range”. The word that I made up to be in the song when I was kid should give you a pretty good idea of what our home was like. It went like this
    Give a home where the buffalo room and the beer and the cantaloupe play. Where never is heard an encouraging word and the sky are all cloudy all day. Home, Home on the range where the beer and the cantaloupe play. Where seldom is heard an encouraging word and the skies are cloudy all day.

  22. Anonymous says:

    https://imgur.com/gallery/H5cJHc4

    I know you mentioned liking the cartoon “Calvin and Hobbes” on one of your blogs. I saw this on Facebook and it left me teary eyed.

  23. Anonymous says:

    http://imgur.com/wkN2RDU

    An old photograph of a horse.

  24. Anonymous says:

    http://imgur.com/HZFX8lN

    This is an old photograph of me standing in front of some buffalo. I think this was taken out west someplace.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I forgot to add that the photograph was taken in 1977 which explains the way I am dressed.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I read the whole book and I did enjoy it. I have to admit at first I was a little irritated because Kay went with a strange man and I also thought that no of this would ever happen in real life. Then she stays at his ranch and so on. However, the more I got into the story the more I liked it. I thought the end was fitting. Actually, it got to the place that I could not stop reading the story. Then I kept thinking this is impossible nothing like this would happen.
    Then I remember the way I met my husband. We grow up in the same small suburban city and went to the same high school, but we did not know each other. When i went to University I meet a young women who became my friend. She invited me to a Church group that she went and I agreed. After I left college I started to go there regularly. I did not have a car then and mentioned I would need a ride. She then pointed out a young man who lived in the same town as I did. When she introduced us he told me that he remembered me. He said he used to see me at my locker with one of friends and wondered about me. I was surprised because I did not know him in high school. Anyway he would give me rides back and forth to church and that is how we meet.

  27. Anonymous says:

    http://www.sgi-ireland.org/biland.jpg

    A photograph of a beautiful castle in Ireland.

    I read your whole book and I think what you have is a Romance Novel. I don’t know if that was your intention or not. However, it was a very good Romance novel. I think you could make a good living writing more of these books, but that is just my opinion. I hope you don’t take offence at it.

  28. Anonymous says:

    If you read it and loved it, it’s super easy to leave a 5-star review on Amazon. Writers live and die (or at least eat and pay bills) by their book reviews. The sooner the 5-star reviews come rolling in, the more copies will sell. It makes it much easier for readers to navigate Amazon to find the quality writers as opposed to the questionable ones as well. So whether you’re a reader or a writer, it’s always a good idea to prop up your faves.

    Anne

    • Blessings on you for writing that, and for your very gracious review! Yes, we writers do have to eat and pay bills (I understand in Ireland, anyone who makes their living in the arts–arts of any kind–is exempt from income taxes, and I consider that a sign of a truly civilized society) and good reviews and “likes” help enormously. I like to think of myself as an independent and iconoclastic lone wolf loping through the literary landscape uninfluenced by anyone or anything, but it ain’t so. I have passed on books because of reviews, and I have bought books because of reviews. Reviews most definitely can make a difference.
      Jameson

  29. Anonymous says:

    http://www.badassoftheweek.com/mccool.html

    This the story of Finn McCool. It is called “Finn McCool badass of the week”. I thought the title and the story were amusing and kind of cool.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Hello JP,

    I’ve been anticipating your new novel for so long and I was so delighted when it eventually was released. I’ve finished it already last week and I don’t know what to say…
    You’ve combined several genres again and the plot became so thrilling I couldn’t put it away before I was through. For the firstt time there is a female protagonist which I really didn’t expect. But the character convinced me entirely. Superficially beholded “Changing Eath, Changing Sky” may be a romance novel but I was impressed by the psychological depth you gave the characters by revealing their thoughts and doubts about each other and moreover about their own past. Some passages in Kay’s life appeared to me like some sort of deja vu and I really wonder how you did that …. (sorry, this f…. android keyboard can’t display the accents). It’s very interesting to see how Finn is able to say a lot just by not saying anything. The love scene in the log cabin fortunately wasn’t corny at all although there was much danger of that. I very much like Kay’s way of sustaining her dignity by mobilizing all her capability of endurance which makes her so similar to Flinn’s grandfather and shows her inner strength she even didn’t know herself yet. And the end of the book is wonderful in it’s simpleness. All problems, opposites and fears for the future find their final conclusion in a simple “yes”.
    Of course you didn’t miss to criticize the problems ranchers are susceptible to and this topic perfectly belongs there!
    It’s absolutely okay and neccessary that you advertise your own book :) .
    Especially because I found in none of your links a mention of your novel although you always recommend the books of other authors. Although I’ve backed off a little bit from this I do hope my comments will contribute to rise your sales numbers…. Unfortunately I can only log in the German amazon site but I also wrote a comment on goodreads.com. I hope I’ll find time to write a comment about your other books there. And actually if I see that for example Dan Bronson’s book costs twice as much although I really doubt it’s twice as good as yours you can absolutely afford to charge a little more. I ‘ve read the Parkers generally sell low but I’d be delighted to support a struggling and hugely talented rancher and his wife ;)
    Not that I’ve won the lottery but a just couple more Euros per book won’t kill me either….
    Well, I can only roughly assume how much effort it takes to write a novel and it is read so quickly then. So it saddens me a tiny little bit that it’ll take quite a long time until the next one…..
    But I’m looking forward to it by now :)

    Best wishes

    NW

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