What could be more delightful…?

…than somebody really getting it?

Babe in the Woods is being offered on Amazon and in other places by Doyle Whiteaker, a friend from one of the Monroe Institute-oriented email groups. He requested that a friend of his read it, and he sent me her review, which follows:

“I could not put Babe in the Woods down last night, and pretty much lost the ground I made sleeping on Saturday–but it is an absolutely fascinating book.  This is a heavy step up from Muddy Tracks, and a huge leap above Messenger.  I would suggest that when you start reading it, pay particular attention to getting the names and personalities down of the group members–obviously this is the cast of characters and it gets confusing if you can’t keep them straight.  I cannot imagine a better or clearer introduction to TMI–DeMarco has the appropriate disclaimers in there, but we all know who/what/how/when is being discussed.  Never having been there, of course, I cannot say how specifically accurate the descriptions are, but with the obvious slight change from tapes to CD’s–and maybe not, given how this works, I would think these descriptions are exceedingly accurate, if for no other reason than they make so much sense.  Now of course, the “sense” they make is within the context of “TMI reason” which isn’t necessarily congruent with mainstream thought–but allowing for those boundaries, this book also makes it very clear why those boundaries do and do not work.  There is an interesting balance of character’s occupations, interests, and conflicts, the expected sort-of debunker, and the person who is so desperately eager that nothing happens for him.  It is a very well-balanced book, showing carefully just about every possible aspect of the situation/group/TMI–and, though not intentionally, probably there is a lot of carry-over to other such groups.    But TMI has a certain unique stability, and this very much comes through.  I can’t imagine you won’t really savor this book, and when you finish will want to re-read it again to put it into even better perspective–or maybe not, given that you know the place already.  I am deeply impressed by the quality of the book, and of DeMarco’s careful construction of characters and questions and explanations.  It’s incredibly well done, I believe.” 

What a great review! So, I got her name and sent her a thank you. In return she sent an even more delightful response.

“Mr, DeMarco, I wish I could have done justice to your excellent book!!!  I read Muddy Tracks many years ago, and have been appreciative of you ever since–particularly watching what you were doing with Hampton Roads–you’ve been much of a quiet hero for the many books you’ve published, and I’m sure so many lives changed as a result of your publishing and writing.  And I’m so glad you’re planning more books, and I’ll SO be looking forward to seeing those books in print.  Please hurry them along!!!!

 “As one of the earlier readers of Babe in the Woods, I hope and believe that it will need many more copies printed.  I can imagine that everyone who has any connection to TMI will want to read it, and as I tried to point out a bit in the review, I think your analysis of the way these groups come together and work goes beyond TMI, so I would hope that other people who are interested in seminars from other perspectives would also want to read your book.  

 “Maybe it’s an apocryphal story, but I know that I heard more than once that James Redfield self-published The Celestine Prophecy, then went to a mall and started giving away free copies from the trunk of his car; and I know that The Lovely Bones became a huge bestseller with just word-of-mouth advertising for a long time–all of which is just to say that I have tremendous hope for the promise that Babe in the Woods shows.  I want to be–am!–happy for you–but I think this books deserves a huge audience, and would be helpful to so many people.  Thank you for writing it, thank you for sharing it with Doyle Whiteaker, and I’ll be very eagerly looking forward to the next book you write–oh, one last thought–you mentioned Clifford Simak on page 256, and I remember reading recently that you were thinking of moving into science fiction.  The books at the end of Babe in the Woods that you say are forthcoming do not imply a science-fiction background, and if I might add a small opinion–I think your writing of TMI or Babe or Muddy Tracks is much more compelling than science fiction; maybe that is a worthwhile genre for you, but you have a well-established reputation in whatever, oh, maybe “spiritual” will do, type of writing you have done, and I so hope you will produce more of this because I think this is very much a public need/desire/hope/NEED.  Babe in the Woods covers so many facets in such a condensed space that I thought it was practically miraculous–and you were an excellent writer to be able to accomplish it!!!  Thank you again–and no need to reply to this–just something I was very grateful to have a chance to tell you, and didn’t expect at all.  Thanks for listening,  Frances Williams”

Who could resist? My response in turn:

“Very flattering email to read, and very encouraging as well! Thank you for it.

“Would you mind if I posted it to my blog? Pretty immodest thing to do, but on the other hand, what a tribute. I could post it with or without your name, whichever you preferred.

“I can’t remember saying anything about moving into science fiction. I did start a science fiction novel years ago – and I mean YEARS ago – as in about 37 years ago, if memory serves. Never finished it, and kind of wish I had, as I couldn’t write it now probably. But if I did write a sci-fi story, it would be as my friend Colin Wilson did (The Mind Parasites, for instance), so that I could set forth my ideas.

“Your story about James Redfield is partly incorrect. He did self-publish, and he did sell from the trunk of his car, but what he did was sell to independent bookstores – which used to exist once upon a time! – and when he had done that enough, and the sales got high enough, Warner Books discovered him and offered him a contract. Lynn Grabhorn, on the other hand, sent a postcard to a list of New Age independent bookstores offering them 20 free copies of her book Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting. The stores that took her up on it naturally featured the books prominently, probably in two face-up stacks of ten near the cash register (or somewhere prominent) because every book they sold was free money. Then, when they sold through, naturally they re-ordered…..”

Which generated yet another reply, which said inter alia:

“…I’d be delighted to have you use my comments in any way you choose, and certainly–use my name; I would gladly correspond or respond to anyone who is interested–regardless of whether they can or do, I would rather not be anonymous  because I strongly feel what I said, and would gladly support my views….

“… I truly feel this is a most valuable book–as I said, I have not been to The Monroe Institute, but your book feels so real that I can’t imagine the experience would be much different. I have, of course, read everything or Robert Monroe’s, Bruce Moen’s, Rosalind McKnight’s, and am about to add Skip Atwater to that list.  In other words, I have read everything I can find by or about Monroe, and I have the Gateway Experience on CD. 

“I have been to a couple of week-long seminars of Stanislav Grof’s Holotropic Breathing, as well as a couple of weekend of his, and I am struck by the similarities in the way the groups interact–by so many of the group experiences you describe–.it’s not exactly many roads leading up the same mountain, but in a way it sort of IS a matter of differing paths to the same goal–EXCEPT that participants would describe that goal in about as many ways as there are participants.  It is hard to describe, but I hope/believe that this will be intelligible to you,  And it is why I see Babe in the Woods as so much more than just an expression of the TMI experience.  I so often looked at David and Annette, and thought of the trainers in Stan’s groups….of the other participants in his groups….of the intensity of meetings and partings that occur among the individuals that could not conceive making such close friends in so little clock-time. . of Stan’s brief appearances, like Bob Monroe or as CT…and I think you did an absolutely fantastic job of choosing a range of characters so just about any reader could identify with some persuasion that was represented.  And see how the Church could be involved….David Stendhl-Rast (I may have the spelling wrong, but a Benedictine monk) was at one of Stan’s seminars when I was there….well, the similarities are endless, and I think that was a matter of genius on your part.  Okay, guidance, maybe, but then you listened carefully and transcribed well.  Translated well! 

“… Muddy Tracks captivated me when you first wrote it, and I’ve been interested in it and the author who put together Hampton Roads ever since.  I was thrilled to hear about Babe, and I’ll say again that I hope your other books come out very VERY soon.  Impatiently yours,  Frances”

Any author knows, there’s nothing like finding readers who really get what you’re trying to do and say. What a delight when it happens! 

 

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