Howdy folks. It’s been awhile so I’m back with a bit of an update.
I continue to enjoy an Intentional Massive Slowdown in my writing life when it comes to fiction, events, conventions, etc. I wouldn’t call it retirement but definitely not working at it like I did between 1997 and 2016 with no plans of ever getting back to that level of busyness. I’ve written one and a half short stories since finishing HYMN in 2016 and will take on any short fiction projects that come my way. I’ve been enjoying just having a job, being a dad, living a life, playing gigs from time to time. I’m reading mostly non-fiction unless it’s middle grade or YA (where I think I’m headed when I return to writing book-length fiction.)
And I have been working on a book, Experiencing Life: An Owner’s Manual, that has slowly come together in the three or so years I’ve been slowly putting it together. It covers the ground and path that finally brought me to peace of mind and the near remission of my PTSD and at the same time, the implications have wide application. For example, the same notions I’m exploring in my book have helped me lose 55 lbs of the 90 I’ve lost so far in my journey toward health. The most recent weight loss has been effortless and organic based on a change of mind about food and activity. The mountain of research is thousands of pages and hours deep, reading and listening to philosophers, scientists, psychologists and gurus to get their take on the elephant of life they’re trying to describe and I’ve distilled it down to six simple chapters and four facts of life that can change your life if you let them. The outline of the book has been coming together this last year and the flow has been taking shape slowly as I present and coach from the basic premise. (And if you’re a person looking for some coaching whether it’s around your creative process or your life-long struggle with PTSD, I’m doing that now over here.)
Taking a break from writing fiction hasn’t kept new and nice things from happening in the writing life. I’ve got a book coming out soon with Fairwood Press, the folks who first put me into print. The print version of “If Dragon’s Mass Eve Be Cold and Clear” is coming just ahead of the holiday season. It’s one of my favorite pieces, written for Tor.com back in 2011 for their holiday story. You can pre-order the signed, numbered limited edition or you can pre-order the standard version. I will be signing copies at the Powell’s Authorfest on November 10th at their Cedar Hills Crossing location.
In other news, next week I officially start putting more effort into the musical side of things. I had my last gig at the Village Inn Lounge recorded back in January 2018 and there appear to be enough songs for me to release an EP Ken Scholes Live at the Village Inn Lounge. I’ll use proceeds from that to fund the studio album one song at a time and I meet with my producer on Monday to lay down the first track and strategize it all. I’ve been performing for as long as I’ve been writing but the last time I really made music a priority was back in my gospel singing days so this is exciting here at nearly 52 years old. If you’re in Portland, I play every other month at the Rose City Book Pub. My next gig is Oct 12, 2019 at 7pm.
And later in October, I’ll keep my saw sharp by teaching a Clarion West workshop on harvesting stories organically. I’m planning to take my own challenge along with the students and craft a story out of the day’s work together. If you’re near Seattle, here are some details.
I think that’s about it. The girls will be up soon and Saturday morning will commence.