4 October 2010

Portrait. Lulu

In their own way, beautiful

I can't say donkeys are beautiful, not in any classic sense, but I find their eyes haunting, wise, and they are profoundly spiritual creatures. Today I went up in the pasture with a lawn chair and sat down and both of them came and leaned into me, which is what they do when they want attention. I pulled out some carrots and we all had a sweet chew together.

Helping out

Rose helping Darryl

Rose helping Darryl Kuehne load up the sheep on Saturday. Darryl says it's a lot easier with a dog.

Fall, the Dairy Barn. The Guerrilla Book Signing

Fall, the Dairy Barn

Stopped off at Barnes & Noble in Saratoga tonight to warn them that Rose and Maria and I are coming by at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, the official publication date of "Rose In A Storm." They had some books just being put out and I signed a few and we drew a small crowd right away, just a few people. I am having fun putting together an off-the-grid book signing and possibly a talk without any involvement from publicists, publishers or bookstore executives. I always come by that store on pub date, and they always have a pile of books waiting for me to sign.

I told the staff tonight that I was coming in with Rose and expected a small number of people, perhaps five to ten, to come in around 5. The event was not announced or publicized anywhere but on my Facebook page and this blog and a lot of people are at work. If there is a crowd, we can sneak over to the cafe and I'll do a short reading and talk. Rose will be there, and we'll see how long she lasts. She's unpredictable. I took her to one reading once, and she was not happy. But she does settle down, and we'll see.

I think the creative challenge of writers – artists too, perhaps – is to make their own news and fight for their works. The "Rose" tour is very interactive, somewhat experimental. We want to see how the mix of media, photography, computing, social media, bookstores all interact to promote a book. This book has a lot of talking points – Rose, the farm, the real mind of a dog, our emotional connections to them. My publisher has long argued that I put too much information on the blog – people will have no reason to buy my books. I don't agree.  I also see that tools like Facebook are invaluable to writers like me, trying to break through in an election year news avalanche. So this will be interesting.

Tomorrow is an unofficial event. It never happened. I didn't go, Rose wasn't with me, I didn't sign books, and I didn't give a talk. Sounds like fun to me. First, I'm going to Albany to appear on WAMC around 2:30 during their fund-raising drive. Make your own news.

Four Dogs in the Garden

Frieda likes the photoshoot idea now, rushing towards the camera, all four dogs taking up position, as if they are about to enter an agility ring. I keep telling them, media work is their work. They are getting it.

Eating the new lens

Nosing my lens

Lulu and Fanny were intrigued by my new Carl Zeiss landscape lens, nosing me in the head and knocking me over while I knelt down. They were in an affectionate mood, maybe a bit lonely without the sheep. Rose was scanning behind them.