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 I’ve changed the name of my blog to jesse s. hanson Words.

jesse

growin old for krsna


 The Link seems to have remained the same.

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The following is my review of  a new book, Being and Homelessness: Notes from an Underground Artist, by Chicago artist, John H. Sibley.  It is a work that covers a lot of ground, touches on many social issues—issues that concern both artists and the homeless. These two concerns have formed a type of personal collage in John’s world.

Although my roots (in this particular physical manifestation) are small town Upper Midwest America and John’s are inner city, Chicago, interestingly enough, I can relate. I have little in common with John’s upbringing, but my artistic longings and aspirations drew me to the city also—in my case it was Seattle, where I spent a period of my life as a street musician, immersed in the “culture” of the Pike Place Market and other local haunts, in the company of other musicians, artists, poets, crafts persons, vendors, entrepreneurs of  questionable pursuits, alcoholics, drug addicts, homeless persons, and derelicts of great variety. I can relate, and I can confirm: the subjects of artists and homelessness are easily intertwined. John has, in fact, done this successfully and has become a type of spokesman for the underground artist, in doing so.

As always, I hope you’ll enjoy my review and that you’ll leave a comment if so inclined. Thanks for coming by,  Jesse S. Hanson

 

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A Multi-faceted Look at the Life of an Underground Artist

John H. Sibley’s new literary work, Being and Homelessness: Notes from an Underground Artist, is an important and welcome contribution, arriving as it does, at a time when the scene of the art world is mostly cordoned off to all but the privileged elect. From my nosebleed seat in the bloody colosseum of the arts—being an underground artist myself—I often found myself cheering along as John attacked the giants, demons and all fierce bastions of that world with eloquence and candor.

 “I was relegated to selling my art on the street level not because I lacked talent but because I was shunned, ostracized and treated like a pariah by both Chicago’s white and black art establishments.”

Taken out of context, as I have done here, I realize it sounds like sour grapes, like the complaint of an artist who has likely not put in the required effort, not stayed the course, or does, in fact, lack the talent to succeed. Not so: Not only has John been practicing and honing his unique artistic crafts since he was a young boy, but he is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. His knowledge of the academics and history of art is formidable and that is only enhanced by the practical knowledge of a man of the streets.

However, there is much more to Being and Homelessness than a diatribe against the art establishment. I particularly enjoyed Chapter 8, The Lost Culture of Maxwell Street. This chapter deals with the multicultural open-air market atmosphere, highlighted by the legendary Chicago Blues culture that manifested for a period of some forty plus years. I had previously read this chapter, when it was posted on goodreads.com, and found it fascinating. The following is taken from the comment that I wrote, regarding the post, at that time: “This is very gritty and intense. It seems to be written just like someone is talking; telling about, reveling in their experience of life—stream of consciousness. There’s just so much in there, almost more than the senses can deal with. Life experienced as a perpetual street fairexhausting and thrilling at once.”

Another aspect of John’s book that I appreciated was his exploration of Black history in America. Here again, Sibley pulls no punches in presenting his facts and opinions:

–example of facts:

“The first slaves arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 to establish 244 years of slavery.

Contemporary African Americans have only been free 139 years, using 1863 as a benchmark, which means that blacks were slaves 105 years longer than we have been free.”

 –example of opinion:

“The salient fact is that black Americans are still reeling from the dehumanizing effects of the former slave trading nations of England, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the US.”

I certainly am not a fan of John H. Sibley’s every opinion. I don’t personally agree with his outspoken political criticism of Barack Obama, and especially with his endorsement of Herman Cain —I at first thought it was a huge literary blunder for him to include such opinions in his book. But after ruminating on it for a while, I think I can see a reason for the inclusion. His main point seems to be that Obama, although a black man, is not an “African American”. “Obama’s world is not the one of American slaves like my ancestors.” Sibley is exploring the experience of the American descendants of the slaves. Fact is—and I can’t deny it—Obama is not one of them—Cain is. It’s a pure issue of identification.

For those of you who may have read Sibley’s novel, Bodyslick, this work is, in my opinion, much more palatable. It is, in fact, as has been mentioned in another review, a fast and easy read. For the most part it takes me back to my earlier reading of Chapter 8, The Lost Culture of Maxwell Street. The editing is questionable—I hope you won’t let that bother you. If you have an interest, even a curiosity about the life of art, outside of the mainstream, spoon-fed versions, this book will be of interest to you. If you have an interest in the causes and experience of the homeless, this book will interest you also, though it is not its main theme, despite the title. Recommended: by a fellow underground artist.

Dear readers, I’m currently in the process of compiling a selection of my songs and poems, with the intention of creating a volume that will include both. However, the songs to choose from vastly outnumber the poems—I’ve been involved with the songwriting much longer. Consequently, I’m in the process of writing poetry, to help the balance. Happily, I’m in a poetry writing mood.

So I wanted to share my newest poem here, for the words, which is about my spiritual practice and is in memory of my great Friend and spiritual Master, Ajaib Singh.

Thanks, as always, for coming by to read my blog. I welcome your comments.
                                     Namaste,   jesse s. hanson

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the author's spiritual Master, Sant Ajaib Sing (Sant Ji)

 

 

for the words
         
–jesse s. hanson

How can I go forward
how can I be quiet
with a mind that will not
I close my eyes but the words fall from my ears
and will not stay inside
I’m so afraid of my imminent destruction
the awful risk of spiritual failure
I’m afraid of being driven from Your love
onto the featureless plain, alone
where no conversation with a friend of God remains
where no one sings and all songs are in vain
A most insistent, utterly silent voice is calling out in mourning
in anxious petition
In such uncertainty I scrabble about
unable to focus
on trembling hands and knees
grasping
for the words
that could catch Your ear
bring Your attention to me here 

I can’t speak for fear of losing something
I can’t be still for the hope of seeing someone
I’ve lost all fascinations
but too late
too late, too late, too late…
Don’t let it be too late
Ajaib,  strangely wonderful, mystical lion
I’ve no recourse but Your good graces
I’ve haunted this place behind a million faces
and still, no one recognizes me
though I’ve appeared again and again with my relentless longing
although I’ve married their sons and daughters
fought beside them in their wars and died with them
filled their skies with my crazy raucous laughter
and then filled their bellies with my fetus
looked into their eyes, playing the infant
I’ve learned their ways, holding their faith
lost my way on their bitter streets
fell beneath their heavy feet
to return without their sympathy
I’ve lost all fascinations
but now my back is old and weak
and will not stand for dedication
to Your purpose
to Your perfect words of love

so… You repeat them in me
until I’m stronger
Having said it
having asked it
I lie down in exasperation
and dream a dream of realization

Across the glamorous sky in perfect silence
the moon in pallid dream reveals the course
the stars in all their brilliance cannot match her subtle bloom
flower of the night
keeper of the secrets
long held by the lovers and those inspired
to seek the distant truth within
O gentle light, so wan and thin
under which to weep for boys and men
whose character is never spent in vain
by whose delicate form my heart is soothed again
Ignite a pale spark of my resolve
a reminder, after all
What else is there to do
out on this trail of incarnations
I’m going to leave, for now, ambitions
concerns and dangerous missions
release them to the earth below
forget the things that I remember
and remember that I’ve come here searching
for words that tell no story
words that speak the truth
in the stillness of silence
in the music of unborn conscious spirit
no clinging now
no owning
no question how
no thinking
collecting words in mental silence

 

 

 

I’ve just finished two wonderful and remarkable books: My Father’s Blood by Amy Krout-Horn (the new) and Ali and Nino by Kurban Said (the old) . In all sincerity, I think both would be appreciated by a great many readers. Excellent material to kick off a new year of reading. I would have to say that both are examples of Spiritual Fiction, as they explore the realities of beliefs and practices as they relate to the practice of a spiritual life in the face of so-called “real life”. Below are my reviews, as posted on goodreads.com.

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog. Please comment if so inclined–even if only mildly inclined–no problem.      jesse s. hanson

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3550640

jesse hanson‘s review

Jan 04, 12  · 
 
5 of 5 stars
Recommended for: anyone
Read in January, 2012

Relations
A review of Amy Krout-Horn’s autobiographical novel, My Father’s Blood

It’s difficult to sufficiently express the connection I felt reading Amy Krout-Horn’s autobiographical novel. As her self-portrait style character of both European and Native American descent comes to identify more strongly with her Lakota ancestry, I am reminded of the phrase—the prayer—All My Relations. I am aware that those words have a particular significance in this story. Finding her way is, in fact, a gradual process, since her father’s Lakota blood is not the primary heritage she learns about as a young girl. Rather, she is raised in mainstream, small-town, upper Midwest America, with the religion, history, and values that come with that territory. To that, I can most certainly relate, just like Amy, but ultimately, cannot truly identify with it.

The young girl’s American dream is challenged at a young age. Her trials are deeply emotional as are the trials of all young girls. Yet the comparison with most other young girls stops there. Forced to make her own way in a world that relentlessly removes her from security, she recovers again and again from the dark nature of despair. Krout-Horn allows the reader to experience both the brutality and the poetry of life right along with her. And, I think, therein lies the depth of this early memoir. She writes with a flourish that is not flowery, with a poignancy that is not contrived. I did find the omniscience of the narrator slightly disconcerting, in the case of a memoir, yet the book is presented as a novel, so of course, it’s obviously a matter of style.

Yes, I feel more deeply connected, having read My Father’s Blood, even as I feel more deeply the great chasms of separateness, culture to culture—as I mourn the separation of individuals from one another, created by our all-consuming culture of consumerism. This is one of those fine books that speak to us in a profound way about our relations. To those of us who have, to whatever extent, left behind our small towns or our old neighborhoods, we often feel a need to recognize our relationship with all as brothers and sisters. Yet there is also great relevance in the preservation of a people, in the reverence for and devotion to a way of life. “Are we Indians, Grandpa?” the little girl asks. “I suppose some places we would be,” he said…

There are so many levels of interest in this little novel; we are intimately exposed to and educated about the familiy’s debilitating and life-threatening illness and we become witness to the intuitive strengths that are sometimes granted to the handicapped. Another one of the very interesting aspects to me was the author’s personal question: who is an Indian? I certainly appreciated the expressed vulnerability in a brief but openhearted examination of this subject. From Chapter Six, Spring of Bleeding Hearts: “My grandfather’s eyes met mine and I saw the tiniest pinpoint of light flickering in the shiny black pupils, like the gleam of a star, its brilliance diminished only by the unfathomable space and time that exists between itself and Earth.”

I recommend My Fathers Blood. It is a remarkably tasteful and yet artistic work for so young a writer. I suspect she is young, only in years, as we know them.

 
 
 
3550640

jesse hanson‘s review

Jan 04, 12  · 
 
5 of 5 stars
Read from November 20 to December 23, 2011
 
A Great, and I Think, Little Known Classic
A review of Kurban Said’s novel, Ali and Nino 

I’d never even heard of this story, but my circles don’t run that wide. I stumbled across it: a love story, extraordinare–a love story in more ways than one. Where Asia meets Russia meets Europe. An Islamic boy and a Georgian girl. A Russian revolution and a World War. All of this lovingly and elegantly captured in classic novel format by an unknown author with the ghost name, Kurban Said.

Just click on the edition here (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46284…) and read the great synopsis by Alix Wilbur. If you’d rather just read it cold without the synopsis, then just read it. It may be even more relevant today than in the time of its inception. It is such a lovingly rendered view of fundamental Islamic culture that the non-Islamist reader is irresistably drawn in. Simultaneously sincere and lighthearted.

Please read it… You won’t forget it.

 
 
 

What a wonderful surprise when I was contacted by Laura De Silva of Open Road Integrated Media and presented with the opportunity to share this information: sixty-three Howard Fast titles to be published in EBook format, this month, December, 2011.

There’s so much I could say about this hero of the real America, this spokesman for the common person everywhere. If you haven’t heard of Howard Fast, there’s a good reason for it. His work was banned and effectively buried during what Fast, in his memoir, Being Red, called the “mini-terror”—the McCarthy era. And although the ban was eventually lifted, it seems that the mini-terror lives on through our propaganda driven fears—the shadow places of our collective minds— as we struggle, seemingly in vain, to rise to the consciousness of a free people.

Those of us who love and appreciate Fast’s work could go on and on, but I would ask you to let Fast tell you the story  his way. If you read just one —perhaps The American (classic struggle of the American worker), or Freedom Road (the terrible reality of post-slavery “reconstruction”), or the poignantly heartbreaking revolutionary war novel, April Morning, I think you may want to, as I have begun to do, seek out the surviving copies of his books, tattered and battered though you may find them. However, Open Road Media has done much of the work for us at this time. Lover of technology or no, the work of this incredibly prolific writer is being preserved. For that we should be very grateful.

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog. Please leave a comment if so inclined. If I decide it’s not spam, I’ll approve it.   (:<)>     Namaste, jesse s. hanson

NOTE: The video above and all of the content below is reprinted from The Open Road Blog

 

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NEWS FROM OPEN ROAD: December 13, 2011

 
Sixty-three Titles by New York Times Bestselling Author Howard Fast

Launching as Ebooks from Open Road Media

The only thing that infuriates me, is that I have more unwritten stories in me

than I can conceivably write in a lifetime.” —Howard Fast
 

Sixty-three titles by Howard Fast (1914­­–2003), one of the most prolific American writers of the twentieth century, will be released as ebooks by Open Road Integrated Media in December. Open Road will publish both fiction and nonfiction during a three-stage rollout.
 

Howard Fast, the bestsellingauthor of more than eighty works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenplays, grew up in New York City and published his first novel upon finishing high school in 1933. In 1950, his refusal to provide the United States Congress with a list of possible Communist associates earned him a three-month prison sentence, along with a place on the blacklist of severalmajor publishers. During his incarceration, Fast wrote one of his best-known novels, Spartacus (1951), and went on to found his own press, Blue Heron, in order to release the work. Throughout his long career, Fast matched his commitment to championing social justice in his writing with a deft, lively storytelling style. His collection of bestselling novels such as Conceived in Liberty, Citizen Tom Paine, April Morning, and The Legacy illustrate themes of freedom and human rights in a time of turbulence and global war.

On December 13, 2011, nineteen titles—including April Morning—will be released. In April Morning, on the eve of the American Revolution, the Battle of Lexington and Concord changes a boy’s life—and a nation’s history—forever. Sweeping in scope and masterful in execution, this novel is a classic of American fiction and an unforgettable story of one community’s fateful struggle for freedom. The Incredible Tito, Fast’s fascinating biography of Joseph Broz, known to the world as Tito, including his rise to power and his remarkable stand against fascism, will be offered to readers as a free download.
 

On December 20, nineteenmysteries by Howard Fast writing as E. V. Cunningham will be released as ebooks. These include the Masao Masuto mysteries, beginning with The Case of the Angry Actress, starring detective Masuto, a second-generation Japanese-American, Buddhist homicide detective. Other titles include such female-centered works as Phyllis, Sally, and others.

On December 27, twenty-five titles will complete Open Road Media’s Howard Fast ebook collection. Three of these are from Fast’s much-loved Immigrants series, an immensely popular saga that spanned six novels and over a century of the Lavette family’s story. Of this series, Open Road will release The Legacy, The Immigrant’s Daughter, and An Independent Woman. Two of the nonfiction titles—The Art of Zen Meditation, in which Fast offers readers a simple, straightforward introduction to Zen meditation, which had a profound influence on his writing and personal philosophy; and Spain and Peace, a 1951 pamphlet that contains a powerful denunciation of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco—will be offered as free downloads.

Extra content includes:
 

•  Behind-the-scenes author commentary and videos at www.openroadmedia.com/authors/howard-fast.aspx
•  An illustrated biography in each ebook, including previously unseen photographs and documents from Fast’s personal life and distinguished career
 

               
 

Amazon.com, Apple iBookstore, Barnesandnoble.com, Google eBookstore/IndieBound, Kobo Books, OverDrive, and Sony Reader Store

Availability begins on December 13, 2011:

 
The American

April Morning

The Children

Citizen Tom Paine

Clarkton

Conceived in Liberty

Departure

The Edge of Tomorrow

The Incredible Tito*

The Last Supper

Moses

The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti

Patrick Henry and the Frigate’s Keel

Place in the City

The Proud and the Free

Silas Timberman

The Story of Lola Gregg

Thirty Pieces of Silver

The Winston Affair
 

On December, 20, 2011

mysteries by Howard Fast writing as E. V. Cunningham will go on sale:

 
Alice

Cynthia

Helen

Lydia

Margie

Millie

Penelope

Phyllis

Sally

Shirley

The Assassin Who Gave Up His Gun

The Case of the Angry Actress

The Case of the Kidnapped Angel

The Case of the Murdered Mackenzie

The Case of the One-Penny Orange

The Case of the Poisoned Eclairs

The Case of the Russian Diplomat

The Case of the Sliding Pool

The Wabash Factor
 

On December 27, 2011

more titles will be added to the Howard Fast ebook collection:

 
Agrippa’s Daughter

The Art of Zen Meditation*

The Confession of Joe Cullen

The Crossing

Dinner Party

The General Zapped an Angel

Greenwich

Hunter and the Trap

The Immigrant’s Daughter

An Independent Woman

The Jews

The Legacy

Literature and Reality

Max

The Naked God

The Outsider

Peekskill USA

The Pledge

Power

Redemption

Spain and Peace*

Strange Yesterday

Time and the Riddle

Torquemada

A Touch of Infinity

Featured this week in our showcase of All Things That Matter Press authors is the remarkable Amy Krout-Horn. I’m really happy about today’s post because I’m currently reading Amy’s new book, My Father’s Blood. So far my impressions are: so well written-intimate portrayal of a unique and loving family-revealing, personally, regarding the author’s relationship with her inherited illness.

A fine choice for a Christmas gift–no question!

As always; thanks for stopping by my blog and please feel welcome to leave a comment, should you so desire.       Namaste, jesse s. hanson

 

 

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Amy Krout-Horn(Oieihake Win, Last Word Woman) has resided in two worlds; the world of the sighted and the world of the blind. She has been a writer in both of them. She spent time in Washington DC acting as a political lobbyist for the disabled, worked as the first blind teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota’s American Indian Studies program, and holds degrees in American Indian studies and psychology. She is a regular contributor to Slate and Style magazine and, in 2008, was awarded their top fiction prize for War Pony.

Amy, with her life-partner, Gabriel Horn, co-authored the novella, Transcendence (All Things That Matter Press, 2009). Her creative non-fiction was featured in the spring 2010 issue of Breath and Shadow, and Talking Stick Native Arts Quarterly published her essay, Bleeding Black, in their fall 2010 issue. Her latest book is an autobiographical novel, My Father’s Blood (All Things That Matter Press, 2011). Currently, she is at work on her third novel, Dancing in Concrete Moccasins.

A staunch advocate for social and environmental justice, she writes and lectures on native history and culture, diabetes and disability, and humanity’s connection and commitment to the natural world. For more information, to purchase books, or to contact Amy, please visit her official website

I’ve had computer problems lately that have strained the hay rope (: of my already fragile patience to a thread. I’d tell you about it but you don’t really want to hear it and I don’t really want to talk about it. Suffice it to say, it’s pretty much, every man–or woman–for him–or her–self out there in the lawless land of cyberspace. God help us!!

Glad to be back, finally (or temporarily, who knows) and able to present another fine author, breaking from the gate and representing the thoroughbred stable of small presses, All Things That Matter Press: South Africa’s own Maggie Tideswell.

I hope you’ll enjoy learning a bit about Maggie and that you’ll continue to give a thought to small presses like ATTMP in your search for interesting reads. Thanks for stopping by my blog and please leave a comment if you’re so inclined.      jesse s. hanson

 

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Maggie walks in two worlds. The one is reality, the here and now: in the other there is no concept of time and space. But in both worlds love is what holds it all together. The love of the Superior Beings, the love between a parent and a child, the love between siblings, friends, for a project, or object, or aminal. The world as we know it cannot exsist without love relationships.

The ultimate love relationship is that between a man and a woman, and this is what Maggie explores in her writing. But as nobody exists in a vacuum, the world intrudes on every relationship.
In Dark Moon, Maggie took and extraordinary meeting between two strangers, added the world and wrote a book that will have the reader turning the pages until the thrilling end.
Book Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvFqnD20-IE


Available in paperback & e-book format at:

 

Continuing with the series, featuring my fellow authors at All Things That Matter Press, I’m happy to feature Abe March, whose writing is imbued with realism that comes from Abe’s real world of experience on an international scale. That being said, I detect a sense of genuine  humility and maturity in this author, which is appealing in a writer. After you read his little self-portrait here, I hope you’ll be inspired to take a real look at some of his work.

As always, thanks for coming by and please leave a comment if you feel so inclined. Namaste,  jesse

 

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Who Is Abe March?

 The full name is Abraham Firestone March.  My mother, a very religious person and prayer warrior, took the name Abraham from the Bible. She gave me her maiden name Firestone as my middle name.
My name Abraham has been a blessing and a curse, depending on where I happened to be. When I worked in New York, it was a blessing. In some areas, it was not a plus and I began using only the nickname Abe, as in Abe Lincoln.
My feet have trodden the earth in more than 30 countries. I have seen the sun rise over the Persian Gulf and the sun set in the Canadian Rockies. I sunbathed by the Mediterranean, roasted in Riyadh and dined in Damascus. I was beggar-beseeched in Baghdad, short-changed in Saudi Arabia and saw blood shed in Beirut.
I have been called Mister, Monsieur, Herr, Sayyidi, Kirios, Signor, Sir and other names.
I have eaten with Bedouins and dined with Royalty. I have also been rich and I have been poor. I like to think that I have a world view on many subjects and that I have a certain amount of wisdom. My experiences are reflected in my writing. 
 
At ATTMP, my book, They Plotted Revenge Against America was inspired by America’s invasion of Iraq.  My book, Journey Into The Past was inspired by my love of hiking and exploring ancient castles in Germany.
 
They Plotted Revenge Against

Welcome to the third post, featuring some of my fellow authors from All Things That Matter Press. Today we have Salvatore Buttaci, a master of the short story. Sal’s a very friendly and gregarious fellow with lots of energy and creativity, so he’s always coming up with new material.

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog and please do leave a comment if you feel so inclined.                              Namaste, jesse

 

 

 

 

 

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Just who is Salvatore Buttaci anyway?

 
A retired teacher since 2007, I spend much of my leisure time writing and submitting my poems and stories for publication. It’s not something new to me. I’ve been writing and promoting my work since my first publication in 1957 at age 16. It was an essay entitled “Presidential Timber” which was published in the Sunday New York News.
Writing has always been my favorite pastime. I enjoy the excitement of writing down the first draft. I even like the work required, delivering that first draft to a final one after revising and editing. With every completed poem or story, article or novel, I feel a grand satisfaction. Ironically, though I love words, I cannot adequately express the joy that writing brings me. That unexpressed joy seems to be the driving force that keeps me writing. A strong believer in a God Who gives us all certain talents to use and develop, I thank Him for His gift by writing everyday.
I had spent a good number of happy years teaching writing skills to middle-school and college students. To become writers, I explained to them, they needed to learn the skills of language, make use of the imagination, practice writing daily, build their own self-confidence, and submit their work for publication. Many of those students are still writing today. I meet them on Facebook all the time.
Of course, I follow my own good advice. I know that the writing craft, like any craft, requires knowledge, practice, and action. I keep myself involved in writing projects so that I am always learning, practicing, and promoting my work to those I feel confident would enjoy reading my poems or stories in journals and on the Internet, as well as those book buyers who are looking for their brand of reading pleasure.
In addition to writing, I am an avid reader of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I believe reading and writing go hand in hand. After all, I never met an author who seriously claimed he or she never spends any time reading a book. As for readers, I have heard many speak of the book inside them they hope one day to write.
Some of my other interests include studying languages and history, doing volunteer work at church, and spending as much time as I can with my wife Sharon, my life’s greatest inspiration. Since my retirement, the two of us live in “Almost-heaven” West Virginia and are loving it.
What do I most love to write? Inspired by the comic books of my 1950s youth, I have been writing flash fiction for more than half a century. Short-short stories under 1,000 words appeal to me, just as they appeal to so many readers out there who search the Net or Amazon.com for flash collections and anthologies. Flash fiction reflects our modern times in the sense that society moves at a faster pace and readers looking for a complete story can find it in as little as three pages of a book. It is the quick read, the fast tale, one of many desserts in a literary buffet. And because the stories are short-short, a reader can return to them and re-read them again and again.
In 2010, All Things That Matter Press published my first collection of short-short stories Flashing My Shorts. The book, as well as Kindle edition, contains 164 flash-fiction stories that run the gamut from A to Z,  adventure stories to zany stories and all other genres in between.
In 2011, ATTMP also published my second flash collection 200 Shorts.
I know there are many flash collections out there. I also know how difficult it is for book buyers to decide which of those collections to purchase. As the author, I suppose it would be politically incorrect for me to climb up on a soapbox and try to persuade you to buy my two books. However, judging from customer comments and reviews at Amazon.com and elsewhere, I would say you would not be disappointed. The stories will stay with you long after you have read them. I wrote them all with that intention in mind.
200 Shorts
Amazon.com Kindle Edition:   http://tinyurl.com/3dttqnz  
Amazon.com Print Edition:      http://tinyurl.com/3o5w84e
Barnes and Noble Nook Book: http://tinyurl.com/4xhdbze  
Flashing My Shorts
Amazon. com Print Edition: http://tinyurl.com/6772fps     
Amazon.com Kindle Editionhttp://tinyurl.com/5vkhd9r   

This is the 2nd in a series featuring my fellow All Things That Matter authors. Today’s author is Tom Averna who seems to have had, at least up to this point, a rather extraordinary life.

I hope you’ll enjoy learning about Tom and, as always, please feel to leave a comment, share the posts, should you feel moved to do so. Namaste, jesse

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Tom Averna, author of The Once and Future Wizard: The Awakening from All Things That Matter Press, is used to the weird and unusual in his life. At seven, he was saved from death by a Jacob’s Ladder type dream. By nine, he was being sought out by his mother’s friends for life advice. At 11, he had chosen to sleep outside in a nearby woods in a sleeping bag and woke up the next morning with a family of skunks resting comfortably near him. At 12, he was approached by one person who claimed to be a psychic and told that he was not from this planet. Shortly after that, another psychic told him he had been a great king in Ancient Greece discovering many secrets and also that he came back in this life for a special purpose. At 17 he was attacked by a possessed friend wielding a sword and saved himself and delivered his friend by semi-consciously speaking in a language unknown to him. Three times he was on the verge of drowning until he followed inner guidance to find his way to the surface and then safely to shore.

 

Averna’s life has also been filled with reading biographies, histories, classics but most of all sci fi and fantasies. Early on, he cut his reading teeth on Greek and Roman mythologies and then the entire Edgar Rice Burroughs series of Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, Pellucidar and the rest of the Martian sagas. He moved from these to sci fi devouring the classics from H.G. Wells and Jules Verne to the modern Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein and Herbert. Two books and one series of books, though, truly changed his life in high school. Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein and Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda both awakened in Tom a desire to explore new ideas and spiritual philosophies. He became a seeker and a student of life. These avocations have remained a part of his life still four decades later. The series of books were written by J.R.R. Tolkein. This awakened in Tom a love of wizards, dragons, elves and anything Middle Earthish.  His spiritual quest would involve books about the weird and unusual like Van Daniken, Sitchin, Ralph Ellis and others.

 

But there was a third component to Averna’s life that dates back to the powerful dream he had at age 7. His life was filled with vivid and amazing dreams. Some prophetic, but most action and adventure dreams that almost felt like a double life for him. Some he wrote down as stories that would later be woven together as part of his first novel. Others were just a fascination. One in particular was an invention that might have made him rich had he chosen to follow through with it. Shortly after his 30th birthday in 1982 he had a particularly vivid dream set in the future, but it was an old west kind of town. In a saloon, some people were playing a card game and as an observer Tom realized that this was a way used in these times to settle differences. The winner of the game won the judgment of whatever was being contested. Upon a closer look at the cards on the table, it became apparent that this was no ordinary card deck. These cards contained images of fantasy characters and the players would role play with them using dice to allow an element of chance. Upon awakening Tom immediately began writing about the game and set up the rules and thought he should try to market the game. But instead, as many other dream opportunities presented to him, he kept them filed away. About eleven years later, he began to hear stories of a new role playing card game called Magic: The Gathering and it was very similar to what he had envisioned. He still has those scribbled sheets of the game as a reminder to believe in his dreams and be willing to take a chance.

 

The writing of The Once and Future Wizard series began, as  mentioned, as a group of dreams, but really took form after reading Oedipus at Colonnus by Sophocles. In this account, Oedipus meets King Theseus in a cave just before death and there is some mystery surrounding it. This combined with dreams that Theseus and Merlin were one started him wondering if Oedipus had been the link to that transition. From there over several years, he began to craft the story. The veil between fiction and reality became blurred for Averna in the writing of it as at times it felt like recording a dream and at times it felt like taking dictation. So this novel became an accurate reflection of his life containing the three main parts of it. It is weird and unusual, it includes his dreams and it combines elements of his favorite books.

 

The Once and Future Wizard: The Awakening is the first of three books to come and it feels a bit like a roller coaster. The first book sets the stage and is like the climb up the tracks knowing the fall is coming. The second book will be like the first drop and the third will be a combination of the two. Join Tom on this journey and discover for yourself the truth and magic of who you are and the powerful being you were meant to be. Along the way you’ll also discover the truth about the ancient gods, the creation of the universe, what happened to the elves and the truth behind many other  mythologies.

 

The Once and Future Wizard: The Awakening from All Things That Matter Press is available in print at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Once-Future-Wizard-Awakening/dp/098465173X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315330044&sr=8-1

Or as an e-reader download for the Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/Once-Future-Wizard-Awakening-ebook/dp/B005LDJFVQ/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

Or on the Nook at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Tom-Averna?keyword=Tom+Averna&store=ebook

OR at ATTMP at https://www.createspace.com/3677316

 

Jesse S. Hanson’s spiritual fiction novel

Jesse S. Hanson's spiritual fiction novel

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