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How I Got Talked Into Sailing Around the World by Addie Greene

AddieGreeneThe Plan was to get my new husband through a year and a half of undergraduate school at UCLA, four years of medical school, two years of internship, and two years of residency. That was all right. I had just turned 22, so I’d be a little over 32 when I could stop being the breadwinner and begin a family. I didn’t care where this adventure took us. As a journalist for the Los Angeles Times, I was sure I could get a job anywhere.

Then Pete applied to the California College of Medicine, which began life as the Pacific College of Osteopathy in 1896. His reasoning was that a third-tier medical school would be sure to accept him. It didn’t. I don’t remember the rejection letter, but it must have mentioned the fact that his undergraduate major was English literature and his grades in physics and physical chemistry were abysmal.

I think I was more upset than he was. After all, The Plan now seemed to be in smoking ruins. What were we going to do? What was Plan B?

With characteristic bravado, he wiped the frown from his face, smiled as he crumpled the letter and threw it on the floor, and said, “Well, that means we’ll have to sail around the world.”

“What?!” I was used to Pete’s non sequiturs, but this was more than I could follow.

“Yeah!” he exclaimed with growing excitement. “Now we’re free. We can do anything we want to do.”

I could feel the weight drop from him, as if he’d just shed 50 pounds. He had been carrying his father’s admonition, “You will become a doctor; I am a surgeon; my father was a doctor; you will become a doctor,” around his neck for more than 20 years.

In my mind I could hear him exult, “Dad, I couldn’t get in to medical school. I’ll have to do something else with my life.”

“But…” I said, still speechless.

“I’ll get a job on a newspaper, just like you,” he said. “We’ll save our money, buy a boat, and sail intoblowing winds the sunset.”

Plan B sounded more exciting than anything I could come up with, and way more exciting than slogging through nearly 10 more years of school and job prep. Despite hearing my parents’ voices in my head saying, “But wait a minute. What about buying a house? What about having children?” I answered them silently, “This is my chance for fun and excitement. This is my chance for a Great Adventure.”

And so the preparation began. Little did I realize the magical and life-threatening experiences awaiting me. Curious? I tell it all in my memoir, How the Winds Laughed, released by Fuze Publishing. (www.fuzepublishing.com)

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Posted by on January 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Fuze Publishing Book Blog Hop Extravaganza!

We are hosting our first ever Book Blog Hop!  It’s a way for you to enjoy our blog and then link your own posts to ours so we can start a community and generate more dialogue about all things literary.  There’s a lot happening in the world of publishing, and a lot happening at Fuze.  We have 10 books out now, after almost 4 years in the independent publishing business. To join our Blog Hop, click the link below.  To see our books, go to http://www.fuzepublishing.com!  We’re having a sale all through the month of January!!!

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Again, click the below link to enter your own link, and remember to like our blog, and like us on twitter and facebook!  Keep independent publishing thriving!  Thanks!

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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

The Supernatural in Memoir

I’m a scientist who always frowned upon new-age beliefs that crystals heal, that mountains house supernatural powers, humming will bring universal peace, and other hogwash. I set out to document in The Gift of El Tio that building a mine in Bolivia would alleviate poverty, and that development takes priority over protecting cultures. I discovered a huge silver deposit and if it required the move of an indigenous Qu

"The Gift of El Tio" by Larry Buchanan and Karen Gans

“The Gift of El Tio” by Larry Buchanan and Karen Gans

echua village, so be it.

Imagine how caught off-guard I was when told it was not solely I who was responsible for this discovery. For the past 400 years the Quechua have passed down word of a prophesy that in the year 2000 the people of San Cristobal would receive a gift, a gift that would make them rich in silver, given to them by their god of the underworld, El Tio. I made my discovery in 1995, close enough for the villagers to believe this gift was it.

Our memoir documents the life of a 1000-year old Quechua village soon to be destroyed and the impact that change would bring. Befriended by Senobio, a character in The Gift of El Tio, I learned ho

w very significant the supernatural is in the lives of these people. To write their story without including their beliefs would give an incomplete picture of who these people are. The Quechua of southwest Bolivia believe rocks are their direct ancestors, they are living souls that speak, feel emotions and have distinct personalities. Most are benign, never failing to offer good advice; others come alive at night to cause grievous harm. Every mountain is a mallku, a wise god; every cliff a demon or spirit; every rock an ancestor. At night the tales flow of the mischievous rocks, those Achachilas, blinding old people or making them deaf; of little blonde girls with cloven hooves luring men to their deaths; of those who commit suicide, zombie-like condemnados, roaming the earth in their wormy, bloody rags in their vain search for peace. How could we possibly ignore this important element of the Quechua culture and hope to give a full picture of their lives? They believe in spirits as we believe the sun rises in the east; they have lived with the demons, sprites, monsters, ghosts, and yes, the condemnados, their entire lives. They know they exist; they have no doubts.
In a culture that has no written history, story telling is a fine art, such as the story related to us by the village nurse, Octavio Lopez Colqui:

“Late at night you hear it. ‘Squeak, Squeak.’ It is trying to move. Oye, listen, very quiet, you hear it again. ‘Squeak, Squeak.’ Not loud. Very soft, like a campanita, a little bell. Getting louder, ‘Squeak,’ with each footstep, moving toward the village. Somebody will die this night. We hide under our blankets.” Octavio pulls his hands over his head, his bronze, weathered face staring into the flames as we nudge closer to each other.

“We call it El Ataut, perhaps it is Ataud, I don’t remember. Like a box but with four legs, no? Patitas we call them. We use it to carry the dead from the village up to the cemetery. It stays up there.”
Karen leans forward, “Have you ever seen it moving yourself?”

“No, no, never, very few people, only certain ones can see it move, but I have heard it many times, yes many times,” he says, cupping his hand to his ear to hear the distant sounds.

“It is made of wood, all of it, bound with some nails and cuero but it is old, the pieces rub together and it squeaks. I know it walks. You see the patitas. They are rounded, well rounded, worn by so many nights of walking through the rocks. Rounded, rounded, like this, and scratched. Yes.” Octavio demonstrates by curling his right hand into a tight fist and rubbing it with his left, laughing softly.
He leans forward as we huddle next to him to avoid the winds. The smell of llama and earth feels warm and comforting. “You hear it getting closer and closer. ‘Squeak, Squeak, Squeak,’ each time louder.” He leans back and laughs, “We put rocks against the door. We hide in the corners. You hear it walking down the streets, yes, up and down each street, up and down every one. And then…it stops.”

Karen and I react the same. “In front of somebody’s house?”
He nods his head. “Yes, then you wait…some time…some time. And you hear it. Again it starts to walk, away from the house. Back up the street, up the hill to the cemetery.”
“Carrying the dead?” we ask in unison.

He shakes his head. “No, no, not the dead. It steals el alma, the soul of the one about to die and carries it to the cemetery. It is Ataut’s duty. He must bury it in the shadow of the cross.”
“And, the person whose…?”

“Claro, of course, they die soon thereafter,” he says, shaking his head and spitting on the ground. Then he smiles, “That is the way it is.”
Karen and I snuggle a little closer. Three people had died in the past week. “That Ataut must be very busy,” I say.

larry and karenOctavio shrugs his shoulders, nods and smiles. “That is the way it is.”

This is just a taste of the Quechua belief systems introduced to us during our stay in San Cristobal. We invite you to read The Gift of El Tio and join us in our remarkable experiences – often unb

elievable, but true!

 

The Gift of El Tio is co-written by husband and wife team Larry Buchanan and Karen Gans.  The above blog post is written by Larry Buchanan.  To purchase the book, go to http://www.fuzepublishing.com

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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Crusade/Comedy/Funeral; or From Chaos to Story by Molly Best Tinsley

You could say my first motivation in writing my memoir Entering the Blue Stone was selfish.  The bookis an account of my parents’ final years, when my siblings and I had to move them from their home to an independent living apartment in a continuing care facility, then to the assisted living wing, and finally to the nursing home on the bottom floor.  A pretty common experience nowadays, but it feels extraordinary when it happens to you, a cross between a comedy of errors, a crusade for humane treatment, and, of course, a prolonged funeral.  In order to maintain my sanity, I transcribed events almost as they were happening, including conversations verbatim.  I was coping with the chaos by keeping notes–containing it in words.

finalcoverjpegBut I was also trying to glean something constructive from the wreckage—from these notes, I would be able to craft a cautionary tale that others might find helpful.  That line of thinking I inherited from my father—he always taught that the way to redeem yourself after a mistake was to analyze what happened and make sure you never slipped up again.  Where your parents’ end-of-life is concerned, you don’t get a second chance, but I hoped that in publicly telling their story, I might smooth the path for others.

I’m a writer, a story-teller, not a statistician, psychologist, or physician, and I believe that a boots-on-the-ground, anecdotal approach communicates information far more powerfully than some sort of abstract power point presentation.  Stories lodge in the memory; they bring human beings to life in a nuanced, three-dimensional world; they illustrate cause and effect.  Perhaps most important, in fully portraying the challenges and struggles that come with being human, they assure us that we aren’t alone.

So when my siblings and I were thrown into a vortex of incredulity, panic and pain; when the situation was plummeting from difficult to impossible; when it felt like the end of the world, I kept a record step by step of our search for a care facility and then our adaptation to one frustration after the next–the scenes, the dialogue, the unexpected sweet times, the inevitable bad.  Because the circumstances were so surreal, I wanted to create an almost documentary tone in recounting them.  No hysteria, no exclamatory outrage—just the facts.  They would speak for themselves.  And if my book begins as an account of what-not-to-do, by the end, there come insights that have enriched my life ever since.

Find out more about Entering the Blue Stone and other memoirs on the Fuze Publishing website http://www.fuzepublishing.com.  There you can sign up to receive a weekly newsletter that includes news about the publishing industry as well as my tips for strong writing—Tapping the Muze.

Air Force mollyforblogbrat Molly Best Tinsley taught on the civilian faculty at the United States Naval Academy for twenty years and is the institution’s first professor emerita.  Author of My Life with Darwin (Houghton Mifflin) and Throwing Knives (Ohio State University Press), she also co-authored Satan’s Chamber (Fuze Publishing) and the textbook, TheCreative Process (St. Martin’s).  Her fiction has earned two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sandstone Prize, and the Oregon Book Award.  Her plays have been read and produced nationwide.  She lives in Oregon, where she divides her time between Ashland and Portland.

 

 

 

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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Favorite Words of Wisdom from Fuze Staff and Authors

As our gift to you, we have collected favorite quotations from our staff and authors.  Enjoy!

Molly Tinsley, Fuze co-founder and author ofEntering the Blue Stone and Satan’s Chamber treasures the famous line in E.M. Forster’s novel,Howard‘s End:

Only connect.

Karetta HubbardFuze co-founder and co-author ofSatan’s Chamber, says, “I feel so lucky and blessed in life, so I try and live by this Sam Walter Foss poem as I gratefully give back in my volunteer work:”

Let me live in a house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat
Nor hurl the cynic’s ban-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Our Newsletter Editor, Meg Tinsley, picks words from a favorite author: 

She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.Toni Morrison, Beloved

Mark Saunders, author of Nobody Knows the Spanish I Speak, likes this quotation fromLunatics by Dave Berry and Alan Zweibel: 

There are precious few activities that grown men should do while naked. Showering. Swimming when no one else is around. S_x*, whether someone else is around or not. And anything that takes place in front of blind people. Beyond that, all unclothed activities should be filed under the heading of “Dear Lord, If He Bends Over One More Time I’m Going To Hang Myself.”

(*Believe it or not, unless we took out the “e”, spam filters would have prevented this newsletter from getting to you!)

From Mary Lee, our intern:

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.Maya Angelou

Sarah Pleydell, author of Cologne, selects a passage from Where The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendack: 

The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws but Max stepped into his private boat and waved good-bye and sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him and it was still hot.

Walter Bennett, author of Leaving Tuscaloosa, offers these soulful words:

If you can feel a character’s loneliness, you can know the character.

–Craig Nova, novelist

Natalie Wexler,  author of the literary satire, The Mother Daughter Show, selects a pithy quote:

I write in order to attain that feeling of tension relieved and function achieved which a cow enjoys on giving milk.

–H.L. Mencken

Co-authors and husband and wife pair Karen Gans and Larry Buchanan reveal the diversity within their marriage with their choice of quotes, a dynamic that plays out in their memoir, The Gift of El Tio. 

Karen’s favorite:

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.  –Maya Angelou

 And Larry’s selection, from Ambrose Bierce, in The Devil’s Dictionary (1911):
The covers of this book are too far apart
Addie Greene, author of How The Winds Laughed, takes a political slant:

In Zuccotti Park I felt a kind of lightening of a weight, a lessening of the awful isolation and powerlessness of knowing we’re being lied to and robbed on a daily basis and that everyone knows it and keeps quiet and endures it.

Francine Prose, Occupywriter’s.com

Kathleen Jabs, author of Black Wings, chooses Robert Stone:  

It’s all about letting the story take over.

A favorite from Stephanie Fretwell-Hill, in the Fuze Marketing Department:

 Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see
 it through no matter what.
–Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird
Sue Fretwell, Fuze staff, likes this inspirational quote:
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
Seneca, Roman dramatist, philosopher, and politician.
Sarah Blankenship, Operations, offers these words of wisdom:

I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.
–J.K. Rowling
Kerrie Gavgavian, in our Shipping Department, likes humorist David Sedaris:
Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it’s just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it.
From Alex Barba, in our marketing department, this classic:
The chief glory of every people arises from its authors.
–US Library of Congress

Ray Rhamey, who designmany of the Fuze book covers, selects a succinct gem from his own novelThe Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles.  This quote is from Patch, the vampire kitty-cat, agreeing with the idea that no one wants to be a vampire. 

Mrf. 

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The Harrowing Side of Addie Greene’s How The Winds Laughed

 

 

Author Addie Greene’s memoir, How the Winds Laughed, recounts her harrowing, yet  exhilarating coming-of-age circumnavigation of the globe in a 28-foot wooden (yes,wooden) boat, as a young wife with her then-husband Pete.  They encounter broken masts, cyclones, the amazing generosity of the native peoples, as well as the oppressiveness of 1970’s apartheid, witnessed first-hand. 

Here is another photo, recently redigitized, showing the towering mast of their boat,Wa,  which needed countless repairs during their voyage, often involving a daunting climb all the way up–sometimes during a wild and dangerous storm! 

 

 

Seek out the full tale by purchasing her book in print or ebook format.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Motion Pictures Make Books Obsolete?

The brilliant Thomas Edison amassed over a thousand patents for his many inventions, including the light bulb, the phonograph, and one of the first motion pictures.  Of course, not all his inventions were a success.  Neither were his predictions.

Edison’s groundbreaking development of the motion picture had him convinced that schools and learning would be forever changed by the new medium.  According to the “Ebookfriendly” blog site, Edison once said, “Books will soon be obsolete in the public schools. Scholars will be instructed through the eye. It is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture. Our school system will be completely changed inside of ten years.”

Sound familiar?  In the past few years more than a few experts have spelled doom for the print book, asserting it will never survive the digital book revolution.  It’s true that ebook sales have soared in a short period of time.  And we are all waiting and wondering how print books, brick-and-mortar bookstores, and ebooks will affect each other and adapt in the coming years.  But readers have continued to desire print books, and the main consequence of ereaders seems to be that people are reading more–in various formats–not that they’re buying fewer print books.  “Ebookfriendly” believes Edison’s failed prediction cautions against forecasting a dire endpoint to the current state of publishing.  Ebooks and print books are not rivals, but rather they “play on the same team.” 

 

What do you think?  Post your comments on the Fuze Facebook page.

 

Read the entire “Ebookfriendly” blog.

 

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Uncategorized