Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My 28 minutes of fame

The editing is nearly complete. My editor, Susan Walker, combines a sympathetic attitude with a persnickety eye for detail. We have the same goal: we want every word in 99 Jobs to be absolutely right.

I was interviewed by a radio show called Porch Talk about 99 Jobs and other topics including a few of my songs.  It's a 28 minute show:

Meanwhile I've been working on the cover design. Any opinions?  Let me know.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Terry and Joe Show

I'll be the featured reader, along with Terry Adams, at the Not Yet Dead Poets this Wednesday, Sept 11 at 7 pm.  It'll be all poetry all the time. 

The Not Yet Dead Poets are an open meeting at an art gallery in Redwood City: The Main Gallery, 1018 Main Street in Redwood City, near the NW corner of Middlefield and Main Streets.  There's parking in the back.

Terry and I are planning to trade poems, each responding to the other, back and forth, like tennis except we'll be lobbing poems.  Should be lively.

Terry Adams

Joe Cottonwood

Friday, September 6, 2013

Kickstarter: the Grand Finale

Wow. Kickstarter is more than funds. It's a community.

From the messages I've received, and the pledges that have followed, I feel a community gathering around this book — from all over the planet. It's a community that cares about physical work in all its human aspects, from touching a life to nailing your thumb: what's funny, what's hard, what's uplifting, what's sad.

A warm and hearty thank you to everybody who pledged. Beyond giving me the funds, you've given me the spirit to create 99 Jobs. Now I must dive into the final bookmaking process: the assembly, the last edits, the design, the printing and distribution.

My bookmark-making partner, James Adams, just got married on September 4 and will be away for a few days of well-deserved play. When he returns, we will create several hundred bookmarks to give out as rewards. We just might create a few extra bookmarks, if anybody missed the deadline.

It looks like the special edition of More Jobs will be limited to 21 copies unless another order mysteriously appears in my inbox — sometimes my email takes a slow and circuitous route.

As for 99 Jobs, I hope to print hundreds of copies for the first run.  And if the gods keep smiling, I'll print more.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Kickstarter, Week Four: Labor Day

Happy Labor Day, folks. My Kickstarter fundraiser has reached its minimum goal of $3999 and is still climbing, with four more days to run.  I wanted the project to wrap around Labor Day for obvious reasons. 99 Jobs is about labor.

You all are wonderful. You've given me the backing — and the confidence — to launch 99 Jobs. I'm gratified that many of you remember my previous books and are eager for a new one. I'm delighted that some of you are discovering me for the first time. I'm thrilled at your world-wide distribution. You have pledged from Romania, China, Italy, England, Netherlands, Canada, Maine, New Jersey, Georgia, Montana, Kansas, Arizona, Hawaii, and of course from La Honda, the center of my world.

I'll continue to take pre-orders for 99 Jobs via Kickstarter through September 5. Each pre-ordered book will be personally signed by me — and inscribed any way that you wish. Your name (or a name of your choice — spouse, grandparent, lover) will be included on the Construction Crew List at the end of the book, if you have chosen that reward level. And each pre-ordered book will include one or more bookmarks made of vintage lumber, if you have chosen that reward level.

So far (morning, Sept 2), twenty people have reached the More Jobs reward level (besides the seventeen shown on the web page, three more have pledged at that level but couldn't make the reward button work — some kind of Kickstarter glitch). In the next five days, perhaps a few more will arrive. It will be a very limited, very special edition. An edition I'll be proud of.

But there's a problem. I was planning the More Jobs reward to be a small supplement of about a dozen stories. Now I find that there are simply too many I'd like to include — like, about a hundred. In addition to the ones I've already mentioned in the previous update, I could choose:
  • The drug dealer in condo #2.
  • A boy who was never born, now almost eighteen years old.
  • Hillbillies in a mansion.
  • An angel of death.
  • Delivering babies … and a stove.
  • A psychologist who tries to psyche me out of a payment.
  • A decorator who has radioactive sex.
  • More, more, more.
I don't know how many will make the final cut. With the help you've provided I can hire my crackerjack editor, who won't allow any substandard material, to help winnow the list to maybe twenty of the highest quality. The rest will have to wait for a sequel.

As for the 99 Jobs, they are already the very best. I'm buffing and polishing, nearly ready to launch. It's a product of labor. And love.

Thanks, everybody, for your warm and enthusiastic support.

Note: about the photo.  Why does it look like I'll be hammering screws?  Well, it happens sometimes.  It's in the book...