Watching the bounce

Ever since I appeared on Coast to Coast AM on June 1, I have been looking in at Amazon to see the size and duration of any boost in sales attributable to the show. I’m interested not only in The Cosmic Internet, but my earlier books, as well: The Sphere and the Hologram, Muddy Tracks, Babe in the Woods, and Messenger. (A sixth book, Chasing Smallwood, isn’t listed with Amazon.)

As you no doubt know, the lower the number, the better a book is selling. As I learned years ago when I was with Hampton Roads, though, the fact that a book falls even hundreds of thousands in the rankings doesn’t mean you sold more than a couple of books! Anyway, it’s sort of fascinating to watch. One thing, clearly, that one appearance gave a strong boost to my other books.



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Fifteen years ago last July, Rich Spees and I met at a program at The Monroe Institute and discovered that we were friends. Despite my having explicitly described his first encounter with Guidance in my non-fiction book Muddy Tracks, and despite my having turned him into a major character in my novel Babe in the Woods, we remain good friends today.

Out of the goodness of his heart, Rich, a demon web designer (, maintains both my blogs, this one and one devoted mainly to political and public affairs (  As he finds time, he keeps making little improvements, most of them invisible to the user, but some of which show.

I am not exactly Mr. Technology, so he had to explain to me that the “Share This” button at the bottom of the column allows you, the reader, to automatically send someone a link to a page you like. I figure I can’t be the only person in the world not to know this, so I thought I’d explain it, hence this little note.

Conversations August 3, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

3 AM. I was dreaming of dad. A very pleasant dream, centering on his cheerfulness. He had so much stuff to be gone through. He was gone and I dreaded to start going through it, drawers full of stuff packed tight, to be emptied out into shopping bags and assorted. But that’s all I remember except realizing how cheerful and helpful he’d been, and how unappreciated.

— I lie in bed and keep thinking of the murder of John F. Kennedy; Dealey Plaza; the crossfire, all that. Why? Does somebody want to talk about that? And if so, what? (And why?)

Nobody? Then why keep me awake?

Continue reading Conversations August 3, 2010

Conversations July 23, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nearly 5 AM. Funny, these guys. Subtle, too. I’m lying there asleep — at least I assume I was asleep — and I hear the doorbell, “ding dong” — only low, muted, and anyway this house’s doorbell doesn’t sound like that. And so with an internal smile I realize that it is my slave-drivers suggesting that it’s time. Out of hand, these guys. And of course they remind me of my friend Rich’s conceptualization of his Guidance. When he wants an answer, he visualizes a doorbell and pushes it. Calls them The Doorbells, which ranks up there with Frank And The Guys Upstairs as a good name for a singing group.

All right, Ernest, I see the point now of a list of queued-up questions. I was just fishing around, wondering how to begin, when I remembered that I have a couple of questions left.

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A sample from my novel Babe in the Woods

The narrator, Angelo Chiari, is a news reporter in his fifties, comes to a Monroe-like program as a skeptic. In the course of the week, a lot of things open up for him – or perhaps we should say, he opens up to things, as various experiences present opportunities. As for instance on Tuesday night, when Angelo is confronted with the onset of an asthma attack, without his accustomed way to hold it at bay. This is from Chapter Four.

Continue reading A sample from my novel Babe in the Woods

Richard Bach on Babe in the Woods

Richard Bach, the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions, etc., who became a friend of mine a few years ago, sent me a series of emails as he was reading Babe in the Woods, and he is very generously allowing me to quote them here. Some excerpts:

“I’ve begun reading at last, and have to tell you again what a pleasure is your writing! You catch me on paragraph one, have me fascinated and at the same time at ease with that homey comfortable style of yours….”

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Neglecting this blog

It is always a delicate balance, like breathing. You can’t always be breathing out, you can’t always be breathing in. If the two halves of the rhythm don’t alternate smoothly, you’ve got problems. Similarly, you’ve got to keep a balance between absorbing new material (whether by reading or other experience) and expressing what you know. At least, that’s my experience.

When I began this blog in another format in March 2007, the result of a kind and perceptive suggestion from a friend who pointed out that I was already blogging, in essence, in the amount of material I was sending out to my friends via e-mail, at first the material poured out. Already I have hundreds of pieces blogged, and potential hundreds more, because I read a lot, think a lot, talk to myself pretty continuously, and keep a journal as I have done since I was 20. That makes for a lot of material.

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