Will Printed Books Disappear?

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Each year more books are published, and each year fewer books are read. We are bombarded by information. Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, Hulu, Television and a thousand other distractions draw our attention away from reading. We wake up in the middle of the night to check email or find out if our Facebook post got any likes. When we do take time to read, it might be for work, or to read long email updates from our children’s school. Sitting on the sofa in the evening curled up with a good book just doesn’t happen as often or for as long.

But people love books, don’t they?

Older people with the habit of reading, probably still do, but what about young people? When I was in school, I would see certain nerdy kids with their faces buried in a book while they slowly walked to school, on the bus, or at the lunch table. OK, I admit it, I was one of them. Sure I see kids with their faces plastered to their phones today, but not reading books, at least not very often, and not if they can help it.

It is not likely we will see books go away entirely anytime soon. But the way future society consumes information, it is unlikely books will stay the same.

How can a book not be a book?

No matter how technologically advanced we get, we are still human, still have a deep need to hear stories. It is so deep in fact, we could call it genetic. Many of us will lament the loss of books. But books are not all that old, barely a few hundred years. Before books, we told each other stories, invented plays, maybe chose some talented person to share those stories on long winter nights.

We’ll always tell stories to each other

Movies, videos, short animations captivate us because they fill that story telling/listening need in each of us. Written stories are different however, asking more of our imagination, which is more difficult to satisfy in other ways.

The Audiobook as storyteller

The audiobook is a relatively recent technological innovation whose concept is actually quite old, far older than books. The recorded voice of a performer retells a story with the energy and enthusiasm of an actor, bringing a tale to life. It is no wonder audiobooks are growing so quickly in popularity. They fit into a busy modern life, listening while driving, riding a train or even while working (if it’s mindless enough). And the lowly book gets a reprieve, while we continue to tickle our hungry imaginations.

But What About Printed Books?

Printed books made from paper, ink and glue may very well disappear one day. Technology already exists to do that. But stories will not, cannot go away, it is part of what makes us human. We may listen to stories through implanted devices in our head, watch holographic movies projected through Virtual Reality glasses, or simply absorb entire stories instantly into our augmented brains, but stories themselves will never go away.

I don’t lament the loss of books. What are they anyway, just a temporary medium, a means to get the story from writer to reader, from creator to audience. A Kindle is not a book, but reading a story on it can and is just as satisfying. An audiobook is not a storyteller sharing a tale by firelight on a winter night, but it too can be just as satisfying. Things change, ways of telling stories change, but the need to share stories never does.


Threshold of the Mind is the futuristic story of mankind whose stories come from Virtual Reality and brain augmentations, where reality is far too stark and unpleasant without them.

In print (yes, ink and paper) from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.
Now in Audiobook on Audible.com read by award winner actor, Jeff Clarke

Government and Boiled Frogs

 

Q: How do you boil a frog?
A: By slowly raising the temperature.

We are the frog, the government is the water, and corporations are the flame. Corruption of government is nothing new, as old as government itself. What tells me that we are near the end of having any influence at all, is how bold and obvious the corruptors have become. The bribes (campaign contributions) have become focused, obvious and enormous. The manipulators are out in the open, bold, unapologetic. Because they know it doesn’t matter, nothing can or will happen to them. The officials they help elect will protect them while continuing to enrich each other.

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Since we love to blame someone, who shall we pick?

I choose us, the people. Sure, we’ve been manipulated, but it has always been our choice. We could shake the wool off of our eyes at any time, but we never do. Our obsession with money is why. We want more and more stuff: bigger houses, new cars, faster cell phones, splashier entertainment, etc. We worship those who have a lot of money, not because they are virtuous, inspiring, or even that interesting, but simply because they have more. They have beautiful homes, clothes, jets, they get on TV, are interviewed in glossy magazines, and have scandalous 15 minute relationships with other empty shells.

Our love of money (and consequently, fame) has brought us to this point – a near breakdown of democracy. Our voices no longer matter. Like us, our politicians have sold out to the highest bidder. Why bother trying to please us, the teaming millions, when they can please a few dozen and keep the power and money they so crave. We showed them the way, they simply obeyed. Those who have lots of money buy our elected officials, who in turn help them get more money. The cycle spirals upwards at the expense of the many, squeezing more and more wealth upwards.

Here are the dry facts:

The median household income in the US continues to fall, lower today than 20 years ago (US Census, Sept. 2014). In the same period, the wealthiest 1% has gone from owning 15% of the nation’s wealth to over 40%.

Then Why should the government be more afraid than its people?

Automation and technology will take us to new heights of corruption and abuse. If you are really, really rich and you want something, why bother with the government at all? Because, eventually, if you do something really terrible, you will get exposed and possibly punished. The government holds the ultimate card – force.

But for how much longer?

Our government officials blinded by their insatiable desire for money and power, continue to make choices based on one criterion – money. So they will always sell out. Morality based on money is no morality at all. Here are the steps to our ruination.

  1. Our financial system is private, even our money supply is run by a non-governmental agency – the Federal Reserve. They finance the government, not the other way around. What is to say they can’t stop funding the government?
  2. Our prison system used to be completely run by local, state and federal governments. Now it is mostly outsourced to private companies. And our prison population has skyrocketed – 5 times more people per capita are in prison today than in 1970 and most are minorities. Coincidence?
  3. The military is beginning to supply local and state police forces with military grade weapons, serious and overwhelming firepower. Why?
  4. Automation and technology are advancing briskly in the military, spy satellites, unmanned drones, extremely accurate rockets and even computer guided bullets. Next up are unmanned tanks, robotic weapons and soldiers, insect sized spy drones, etc.
  5. Much of our military operations are already being supported and supplied by private corporations (food, fuel, infrastructure, transportation, even security). Outsourcing the actual military and police departments to private corporations is not a stretch of the imagination. They’ll be cheaper and more efficient

The End Game

Your clue to the timing of the end, will be when you read about a certain experiment, where a municipal police force is outsourced to a private corporation. Cash strapped municipalities will love the idea of stretching their thin budgets.  That is the day our democracy as we know it ends completely. When the government relinquishes its only trump card, why would there be any need for corporations to bother with them any longer? Corporations will do what they want with impunity, as they’ll have private and competing police forces working for them. Government will be superfluous.

How will the Constitution protect you then?

Want to read more?

Threshold of the Mind by Jay Magidson gives us a hard view of a corporate controlled world in the year 2080. A world where everything is for sale – even your mind.

Threshold of the Mind by Jay MagidsonAvailable at Amazon.com: print and Kindle
On Barnes & Noble: print and Nook
On Smashwords: epub and ebook (iTunes)

and coming soon:
Audio Book on Audible.com
and iTunes

Threshold of the Mind in Audiobook Production

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Threshold of the Mind will be available as an audiobook this coming August.  Actor Jeff Clarke (Madmen, Zack Files, Chicago, etc) will be doing the narration.  He has a fabulous voice and a great understanding of the story.  It will be fun to listen to his interpretation.

Threshold-FrontCoverThe process has taken several months and has been relatively smooth.  The production is being facilitated by ACX a division of Amazon.  It was decided to go this route because of their broad reach in distribution: Amazon.com, iTunes, Audible.com, and more.  This growing segment of the book publishing industry is expanding dramatically, though not without its challenges.  The cost is too high for most self-published authors and the royalties have changed in the last few months.  It is no surprise that the listening audience for audiobooks is growing rapidly; long commutes, airline travel, exercise, the ease of listening on mobile devices and the improved production quality make it a great boon for new books.

There will be audio excerpts from the completed book in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned, it is a really exciting and rewarding project.  Big thanks to Jeff Clarke.

Threshold of the Mind is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble (stores and online), smashwords, iTunes and many other venues.

Writer’s Block and Root Canals

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Lately I have been somewhat stymied by writer’s block.  Not in all my writing, just with my fiction stuff.  It happens sometimes and I don’t take it too seriously.  I give it a break and work on other things.  And when I’m back, I’m usually better for the time off.

A few days ago, I had a third surgery on the same tooth in three years.  The patient refuses to get better or die quietly.  So the Oral Surgeon is using heroic measures to save it.  He is more tenacious than I would be.  All I can think of is that scene in “Castaway” where Tom Hanks uses an ice-skate for his dental work.  I should be grateful, right?  Swollen cheek and a rack of stitches in my gum is pretty minor compared to that.  But pain tends to focus the mind and good ideas are starting to come out again.  I’m ready to write.  Or more accurately, I am writing again.

Writer’s block is one of those strange events that happens to all writers, and in many forms.  For me, it is not so much not being able to write at all.  I’m always able to put words on paper, but the words that come out are trash and uninspired.  I read back over what I’ve written and cringe.  It just sucks.  I’m not really sure if it is actually that bad.  Maybe it’s just my perception of my own writing that sucks. Or I’m just being ultra-critical of my own work.  Anyway, I don’t like it, and I can’t keep writing, so I stop.  My real problem is that my objectivity is gone, my love of the work is on vacation.

I’ve learned not to push during these times, but also not to wait too long either.  A week is a break, two weeks is an extended vacation with nagging guilt about piled up work, a month is a layoff delivered from an angry boss, and anything over a month is just self-pity.  And nothing is as ugly as self-pity.  Work is always the solution to unemployment.

Ever try meditation?  It works wonders for anything involving self-fill-in-the-blank.  The ideas tend to come when they’re not forced.  Like playful kittens, run after them and you will never catch them, but dangle a string and they’ll grab on like the living Velcro strips that they are.  Meditation is dangling the string.  One’s goal is to stop thinking, to quiet the mind.  Of course the mind hates that and starts laying out all kinds of goodies at the altar.  Well, if you’re going to offer such treats, it would be rude not to taste a few.  So pretty soon I’m writing again and everything is good.

As for the tooth, I’ve almost forgotten it’s there.  Almost.

From Art to Author

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I grew up with art, was surrounded by it, breathed it.  My father is an art dealer, so our house became an annex for his San Francisco art gallery.  At ten I took a book of Bruegel etchings from his bookshelf and began the laborious task of copying the images.  If you are not familiar with Brueghel, his works are similar to Hieronymus Bosch, lots of strange little characters with animal heads and creepy figures crawling out of eggs.  It is a child’s dream (nightmare) of strange creatures and imagination.  I still love his work.

It was then that I decided to be an artist, to draw great works.  Not painting, drawing, I loved the line and shading.  So I continued copying other artists and kept it up until high school.  By this time in my life I’d probably been to more museums and art galleries than all my classmates combined.  But something inside fizzled.  I didn’t want to be an artist anymore; the fire had burned itself out.

Don’t get me wrong, I still loved art, always will.  It’s like a second blood supply for me.  But the fire to create it had gone out.  During this same period, I had been reading, reading a lot, fiction and science fiction mostly.  There wasn’t really such a thing as young adult fiction at this time.  There were just books that were a little easier for teenagers to read.  I would find a writer that I liked, then consume every book he or she wrote.  Clark, Asimov, Heinlein, H. G. Wells, Bradbury, Maugham, Golding, Salinger, and many more.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but all those words sunk in, shaped my mind and eventually, my desire to create.

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Strangely enough, I studied business in college.  Oh it was tedious and awful as you would expect for an art lover.  To make it bearable, I took lots of literature classes, Shakespeare, poetry – no business students in there.  In my junior year, just as I was ready to drop out, I received a letter inviting me into the foreign exchange program.  I grabbed it like a life-preserver to a drowning student, and spent my final year studying in Copenhagen, Denmark, then traveling around Europe.  Wonderful experience, I recommend it to all students, drowning or not.

What a crazy thing life is, somehow everything comes around to be exactly what it was supposed to be from the beginning.  After college, I followed in my father’s steps, becoming an art dealer and later a gallery owner.  During this time, I wrote lots of things, mostly business related stuff, copy for ads and PR.  Then I tried my hand at essays.  I was invited by the editor of the Aspen Daily News to write a weekly column about art.  I was given plenty of rope with which to hang myself.

I have never studied writing, had only a general idea about journalism.  But why should that stop me.  Unafraid, I just wrote about what I thought would be interesting.  The articles were stupid sometimes, one was about art that had killed people (falling sculptures and poisonous paint), but sometimes it was very deep, a two part article about the Nazi plundering of artwork in Europe.  I got plenty of good feedback, people liked my stories and I kept it up for about two years.  Then the pressures of time and the demands of my art gallery forced me to quit.

But I didn’t stop writing.  Fiction has always been my love.  Sure, I love great science fiction, but my real love is 19th (and early 20th) Century literature, Dickens, Tolstoy, Melville, Falkner, Twain, Hugo, Kafka and dozens of other.  It is difficult sometimes, paragraphs that span pages, descriptions that go into minute detail, but they are always rich with meaning and discovery.  These giants could write.  Great literature is the equivalent of seeing a great painting.  That sigh that is released from your soul when you realize you are witnessing genius.

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So here I am, putting the two things together, art and writing.  Sure, I could write about art, I still do that, but that is not really what I mean.  Art has taught me how to see, how to imagine a scene, the characters, the situation unfolding in my mind.  When I write, I literally see everything happening in the story and just describe it on paper.  Many readers have commented how visual my writing is.  I don’t see how it could be otherwise, that’s where it comes from.

Like I said earlier, life has a way of putting us on the path meant for us.  I guess I should have gotten a degree in literature, studied writing, but it didn’t happen that way.  I learned to write by reading (still do) and how to see by viewing and making art.  Regrets are for the dead.  This is how it is and I’m grateful I get to do what I love.

Even if it took a few extra decades…

The Writer and the Critic

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Too often, the critic stands on the shoulders of the artist.  Perhaps it is set up that way.  We write for years, then send our work to agents, publishers, critics, reviewers, contests, to judge our work, certain that they know if it’s good or not.  Haven’t we, in a way placed their opinions above our own, made them smarter than ourselves?  And when we read a bad review of our work, perhaps we take it hard.  Why?  What makes the critic so much smarter than the author?

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Why should the artist be troubled by the shrill clamor of criticism?  Why should those who cannot create take upon themselves to estimate the value of creative work?  What can they know about it?  If a man’s work is easy to understand, an explanation is unnecessary… And if his work is incomprehensible, an explanation is wicked.

-Oscar Wilde – The Critic as Artist

How necessary is this insatiable need to criticize anyway?

When buying a book on Amazon.com, I look to the reviews for guidance.  Will it hold my attention, is it my taste?  I’m not really looking for an in-depth critical review, I’m there to find out more about the story.  Since I don’t have the book in my hands, I need a little more than the publisher’s fluff description.  Right?  Probably like you, I find many scathing critiques of the writer’s work.  Even some of the classics get torn to shreds by so called critics.  And why?  What is the point of all these destructive reviews really?  Isn’t it about the critic trying to sink his teeth into the writer’s neck while everyone looks on.  “Yeah get him, pull him back into the mud with the rest of us.”

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The bigger they are, the harder we want them to fall.

The best example of scathing critical reviews by anyone and everyone, surrounds the works of Stephen King.  So many feel the need to bring this extremely popular writer down a notch.  But frankly, I enjoy his writing and find him quite talented.  There are some elements of his writing I don’t care for, but so what, he didn’t ask my opinion, and I don’t see what good it will do to offer them up.  Reading is often done for education, but fiction is read for pleasure.  At its best, it becomes literature and art; at its worst it is simply ignored, then forgotten.

Charles Dickens was wildly popular in his time, serializing his works and releasing them a chapter at a time in popular publications.  We just take it for granted that he was always regarded as one of the great writers.  But this was not entirely true.  There were many critics who found fault in his writings and said so quite loudly. wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Dickens  Sorry to compare King to Dickens.  I only make the point that criticism is nothing new for popular writers, that their skin must be as thick as an elephant’s hide to plow through the insults.

What of the rest of us trudging novelists?  Do we take the criticism and crumble under its weight because the critics are so brilliant, or do we shrug it off, knowing that what we write is our small leap at the moon.  The critic is only heard so long as he clings to the neck of his prey.  You certainly know who Stephen King is, but how many of his critics can you name?

Here’s another quote to firm your spine should you find yourself bending against the gale force of the critic’s foul wind:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles…the credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who at his worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

– Theodore Roosevelt, 1910 speech at the Sorbonne, Paris

* These and many more inspiring quotes from Madness of the Muses, the Art of Ingrid Dee Magidson

Madness of the Muses

Writing Your First Book

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It took me 12 years to finish my first book, 3 years for the second one, 9 months for my third, 6 months for the fourth, and 3 months for the fifth.  At this rate, I’ll be writing a new book every week, right.  Not quite, but it does get easier and certainly more pleasurable.  My first book, Threshold of the Mind (formerly In the Image of God) is my first book, even though it was published as my third.  The first version was complete in about 8 years, after 3 complete rewrites.  It weighed in at a whopping 200,000 words (approx. 700 paperback pages) and included every idea I had ever had about the future, politics, human relations, and yes, the kitchen sink.  It was dense and rambling, not altogether bad, but not what I had hoped for.

I set the book down for about two years and beat myself up for being a hack.  In the meantime I wrote newspaper and magazine articles, short stories and poetry, things I could complete in a few days.  The opposite of a book.

But in the back of my mind, my book kept whispering to me, “I’m not done, rewrite me.”  No way, not after close to a million words piled in a drawer, backed up on 42 floppy disks (remember those?).  It seemed indulgent, the book that would never be done, just writing and writing, until one day it would be 27 volumes completed the day before my death.  My children would shrug when they saw it, then stuff me and the volumes into a casket.

Finally, I woke up ready to face it.  Enough time had passed.  I promised to be objective and honest about it, throw it away if it was no good.  I would approach it as if someone else had written it and needed my help editing it.  I sat down and read it cover to cover, without a pen, thoroughly subduing the desire to cringe and make notes.  I just read it like a reader would.  Hey, it wasn’t so bad, really good in spots, but there were problems.

I spent the next 3 months outlining the book, one chapter at a time.  Who were the characters, the scenes, the action, the place, the plot developments?  I used a spreadsheet to see the book in a logical way.  It was a good exercise, one I hope never to have to do again.  It was pretty tedious work.

When this was complete, I realized many things about my book.  It had: too many characters; things I loved, but didn’t make any sense to the reader; action that was exciting and well presented, but didn’t advance the plot; and other stuff that didn’t help the story.  I kept the core and began rewriting…again.  It took about nine months this time.  I went through again and cleaned stuff up (another couple of months), but essentially it was done.  It was half the size now, 102,000 words, (310 pages).  And best of all, I loved it, not liked it, loved  it.  That was my first book.

When I finished this time and showed my wife, strutting and proud of myself.  She said, “good for you, now go write another one.”  She had just read The War of Art too.

After that it got easier, much easier.  The whole idea of a book being this enormous project that could take years and millions of words was behind me.  I did it, I finished the first marathon and my feet didn’t break off, I got stronger instead.  One step at a time, as they say.  And that’s exactly what a book is, one word at a time.  Find an idea, a story that you love and start it; don’t worry about how long it will be, or how long it will take.  Don’t worry about doing it the way the experts tell you to, or agonizing if you should have a detailed plot or outline before you start, or if you should know the ending before you begin.  None of that matters.  It only matters that you do it.

Here’s another bit of advice, don’t tell anyone anything about it until you’re done (at least the first full draft).  Maybe don’t even tell them you’re writing a book.  Just pull it out one day and say, “hey you want to read my book?”  Enjoy the jaw-drop effect.  Because if you share it too early, your friends or family, or whomever you show it to, will have all kinds of helpful advice about your plot or characters.  Or they’ll tell you it sounds like someone else they read, or the lead character reminds them of their ex-wife (whom they hate) or some other idea freezing crap.  They can’t help themselves, they mean well, but everyone is a critic.  And you’ll stutter or stop, and your great idea won’t seem so great anymore.  Undeveloped ideas are like snowflakes, very, very fragile.

Do We Over Emphasize the Value of Originality?

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Artists, writers, all creative persons struggle with the question of originality.  “Am I creating something unique, earth shattering?”  And the chances are, you’re not.  But is that really all that important?  Consider what would happen if everything we did was unique, new, never seen before.  It would likely be incomprehensible.  Concepts are built on a foundation of past ideas.

The visual arts provide the simplest example.  Primitive art eventually led to realism, which led to impressionism, which led to abstraction, which led to minimalism, which led to conceptualism.  Obviously these movements have branched in hundreds of tangential directions too.  But the point is, one needs a reference point to step to the next level.  The abstract movement would have been completely unique in the 19th Century, but would have also been discarded out of hand.  Why, because there was no foundation yet, it was too big a leap, it needed the smaller steps that got us there as a society to appreciate it.

We see this in many other forms, certainly in writing.  How many ways can writers rearrange the several hundred thousand English words and still be unique.  Though the number is large, it is not infinite.  It is math, a finite number of words combine into a finite possible mix.  Yet, experience and intuition tells us this is not true.  We will not run out of new stories, new ideas.  This is because we are continuing to pile slight variations on top of a very broad foundation – a foundation that can grow infinitely.

Not all that long ago, most believed the sun and stars rotated around the earth.  Copernicus and Galileo proved otherwise.  Now, without individual proof or experimentation, we all “know” that the earth rotates around the sun, that the earth is round, that the moon is made of rock and not cheese.  A million little factoids like that.  They are our foundation, our jumping off point of a platform that continues to broaden.

Consider technology.   We take for granted that we can carry around a portable Television studio disguised as a phone in our pocket, that we can use it to speak to almost anyone in the world just by pressing a combination of numbers.  My parents grew up before computers.  They use them, but don’t quite have the easy understanding my generation does.  My children grew up with small portable devices and apps.  They have an ease with them I can’t match.  Their foundation is larger than mine.  They add to this broader base easier, not bogged down in trying to get their heads around what is now commonplace to them, but still new to me.

File:Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Tower of Babel (Vienna) - Google Art Project - edited.jpgThese incremental additions are tiny bits of originality.  And they are very valuable both culturally and artistically.   Our whole base of knowledge is expanding, because we are a society and not just a mass of individuals, we share information, pass it not only to each other, but forward to our children.  And the larger the base, the more possibility for incremental original additions.   Think of our foundation of knowledge as a city.  Long ago, it was a tiny village, it grew into a town, then a city, now it is a teaming metropolis.  We can add a window, a building, or just paint a wall, but there are increasingly more ways to add to and change it.  And the larger the metropolis, the more possibilities for change, for originality.

Every once in a while, a brilliant man or woman adds something completely unique to the whole, people like Homer, Newton, Joan of Arc, da Vinci, Shakespeare, or Einstein.  But the geniuses stand out, because they are so rare.  Most of the originality we experience is not from these rare geniuses, but from small additions, the ones each of us contribute as microscopic bits of brilliance.

Where do Ideas Come From?

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Many people have asked me about writing, were do ideas come from, how do I find the time, etc.  I’ve been writing for decades, starting as a teenager.  I went many years without writing a thing, and many days in sequence being unbelievably prolific, writing one or more chapters at a sitting.  Lately I’ve been a lot more disciplined about it all.

Permission to be an artist

Several years ago I was introduced to a wonderful book titled, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.  If you are an artist/writer/singer/etc. please buy this little gem of a book.  In a sentence: it gave me permission to be a writer.  From that day, I set aside the early mornings for my writing, 5 or 5:30 in the morning (occasionally 4am when I just can’t sleep anymore).  It is quiet and there are no distractions.  My children are up at 6:30 for school so it gave me an hour or an hour and half to work.  Doesn’t sound like much?  Add it up.  If I wrote a single page a day, that is a book in 9 months; 2 pages a day is a book in 5.  That’s pretty good and is exactly what happened.  But better than that, my mind became trained to create.  When I sit down, I’m writing a few minutes later.  What about writer’s block?  It can be a real thing, but only if you let it.  When good ideas are not coming, I go back and edit the previous day’s work.  It’s housekeeping, it’s true, but it has to get done too.  So I’m in the work, slogging away.  And often the simple act of staying connected gives me good ideas and I’m able to move forward again.  It all counts.  Just show up.

Where do ideas come from?

Every artist and writer is asked this question.  And it is unanswerable, not because the writer wants to keep it a secret or hide some special talent, but because none of us really knows.  We read a phrase, see a television show, overhear a conversation and bang an idea for a story or an action for our lead character pops into our head.  Maybe it comes from God, aliens, angels or from a very small man who lives in our ears.  We just don’t know, but it’s magical and every writer experiences this magic.  It’s like a small Christmas present in July.  Just say thank you and write it down.  I do.

Do you have a story in you?

I think there are a lot of people who have a story or two in them and are not writing it down.  Why not?  What is really the risk?  What, that someone might not like it, criticize it, tell you it’s crap.  Oh yeah, those guys.  There are a lot of them and only one of you.  Over time, you learn to say “so what” to their criticism and praise.  None of it matters.  The only thing that matters is that you are writing and writing and writing, numbing your butt cheeks, developing a concrete ass.  Maybe something great will come out of your pen or computer, but only if you write it down, only if you release it to the world.  And if not now, when?

New Video and Book Updates

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I made this brief video promo of Threshold of the Mind.  I think you will enjoy it: Video of Threshold of the Mind.

New Name – Same Great Story

Threshold-FrontCoverOK, that brings up something very important.  I changed the name of my book from In the Image of God to Threshold of the Mind.  It is the same in every other way, just a new title.  I debated long and hard about this.  It is not a small thing to change the name of your book.  It is like changing your own name.  Unfortunately, the old name was getting associated with religious books.  Of course, it is not about religion in any way.  So I changed it to Threshold of the Mind.  But it is not just changing the title, the book had to be republished in every form: that means in print, kindle, ebooks, new ISBN number, everything.  It took a few months, but the process is complete.  So I made a video to celebrate the new title, because I think it is awesome, just right, Sci-Fi, hi-tech, genetic engineering.

So, if you have a book with the old name, hang on to it, it will be a collectors item.  But you should also buy a new one, so you can be cool and up to date.

Here’s where you can get it:

On Amazon
On Smashwords (ebook/pdf/etc)

On iTunes: do a search for “Threshold of the Mind” + “Magidson”
On Barnes & Noble