Do you have an Opinion on… Crowdfunding?

28 03 2014

The reaction I’ve received on my Kickstarter project has been interesting if not crowd-pleasing. Words like, “tacky,” and “lacking in confidence” have been used to describe how some friends and donors feel about it. Hundreds of years ago the aristocracy subsidized the artists of their choice to help them get their work before the public’s eyes and into their ears. Now with social media it’s the hoi polloi who can fund the starving or not-so-starving artists of this generation.
The question that comes to mind after the negative reactions I’ve gotten is this. If a person donates and receives an award like a copy of my book how is that “tacky”? That is a quid pro quo transaction, you give you get – like bartering. Right now the question and answer are probably moot since my project isn’t doing very well – that’s the not-so-crowd-pleasing part.
When it comes to a lack of confidence self-confidence is not a problem for me. Besides my own opinion, I’ve been told by people who know books that it’s a damn good book. So whether Kickstarter works or it doesn’t I will keep plugging away as a writer. I’m not sure I’ll keep plugging away trying to self-publish my stuff. That’s why there were agents and publishing houses in the first place.
My frustration is that I spend a good part of my waking day and sleeping night trying to dream up ways to gain exposure for my project.
Most of my donors are people I know so maybe I would have been better off sending out an email to my contacts instead of making a video and all the other stuff I’ve done.

What do YOU think?


And the Word Became Flesh?

20 03 2014

Happy World Poetry Day!

A few of you might be upset with my use of this quote from John 1. Bible study teaches that it refers to Jesus the Son of God becoming man. I use it here to refer to the act of creation of a novel or a poem. Songs of Icarus is a “deferred dream” in the tradition of Langston Hughes’ “Montage of a Dream Deferred.” The words have been written and re-written…what we writers call “drafts.”

Songs of Icarus will appeal to readers with an interest in “back in the day,’ a passion for the arts (music,painting, literature), the universal mind and music of Bill Evans, the coming-of-age challenge, overcoming racism, the racial aspect of the Cuban Revolution, and father-son conflicts. When Jim Collins, the Icarus of my novel, runs away from home in 1959 he thinks he’s killed his father. By the time his journey is over his life is more than the basketball games he played in Philly’s city streets and the University of Pennsylvania Palestra.

You can support this work of art here…

  • Here is how the book begins…

    Part 1


    Half-court…00:05 no time…drive…PLONK…can’t… stayin’ zone…00:03…pretty far…PLONK…gotta take it…slow down…everybody yellin’…don’t listen…shut everything out…rim…PLONK…rim…square…plant…rim…forehead…rim


    blinded me can’t see…wanted more time…felt right…nice spin

    …Johnny B. Goode!

    The shooter’s yellow-flecked feline blue eyes widened as the ball slithered through the net and the scoreboard read:

    VISITOR 55 HOME 56
    TIME 0:00

    The referee stood at center-court waving his hands over his head to signal the game was over. The subs sprang from the bench joining the players on the court.

    “Great shot.”
    “Way to go.”
    “I dig it, I dig it.”

    The royal blue-and-white clad basketball team ran from the court champions of the Philadelphia High School Holiday Basketball Festival. ‘Cool’ was the emotion they showed running off the court patting their hero on the back. ‘Cool’ was king in 1959. In the locker room the team gathered in a tribal circle as Coach Chandler beckoned him to the center-circle spot next to him. Rubbing his player’s close-cropped black hair, the coach shouted, “One helluva clutch shot, Jim. Big time play!”
    The team clapped their way into an open shower room where the hero suffered through the soapy blur of a hot shower as they doused him with cold water. Afterwards supine on the locker room bench, he remembered practicing game-winning shots in darkening playgrounds, unlit gyms, or under the streetlight outside his house. Nights and days putting it up and in for the feeling of making the numbers change with no time left. Minus her peignoir, complacency wrapped him in her Sunday morning reverie. Luxuriated with peacefulness he went to his locker and changed into khakis, a navy blue turtleneck, and a red Rebel Without a Cause jacket. He exited the locker room into the evening’s coldness with Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode drifting from a car radio.
    A cream-and-sky-blue bullet-nosed Ford waited at the curb. The air in the car was warm and heavy, laden with the smell of burnt tobacco. His father, a big broad-shouldered man, hunched over the wheel and flicked a cigarette butt out the window.
    “I’m glad ya made that last one. When ya missed those fouls earlier I was sure ya were goin’ to be the goat. Ya had that number 7 in your hip pocket. Ya coulda done all night what ya did at the end.”
    Gerry Collins didn’t look at his son adopting a matter-of-fact tone that brooked no disagreement. He had played semi-pro basketball in church halls in the 30’s where the game was played in a cage to stop fans from fighting with players. At five years old Jim was dribbling and shooting at a peach basket his father had hung on the side of the cellar stairs. Gerry had no doubts his son would be the player he never was.
    “Yeah, I know. I should’na had to make that shot. We shoulda been way ahead by then.” Jim wanted a cigarette badly to soothe the nervousness that came on him whenever he talked to his father about what happened in the games he played.
    “Well, I’m glad you did make it. Won’t hurt for the Big 5 coaches to see it in the paper tomorrow.”
    “Hadn’t thought about that.” The son didn’t hear the pride that resonated in the father’s voice. He slid further down in his seat pleased that Diane could read about the game tomorrow.
    “Yer gonna save me a lotta money when ya get that scholarship. I never had the chance yer gonna have. They’ll be offerin’ more than tuition too. Maybe somethin’ like Chamberlain got for goin’ to Kansas. Everybody figured he was goin’ to Temple. But ya can never tell what a nigger’s gonna do. He just took the money and ran like all the other bellhops workin’ at Kutsher’s.”
    “Nobody’s in his class. Never seen anybody like him. He just goes over everybody.” ‘Nigger’ felt like sandpaper rubbing an open wound. Jim turned to the empty street and wished his father hadn’t come.

    Icarus and Saint Patrick

    17 03 2014

    Today we are all Irish and it’s a great day to be Irish. Congrats to Ireland Rugby for winning the 6 Nations in Paris…and so long it’s been good to know ya to the greatest rugby player ever to come out of Ireland – Brian O’Driscoll. What a perfect way to retire.


    I’ve just recently started a project to help fund the publication of Songs of Icarus. My first novel about an Irish American kid who becomes a modern day Icarus.

    The project for my novel is on This link tells you what Kickstarter is and how it works…

  • Most importantly here is the link to my project and the video that goes with it…

  • May the road rise up to meet you and me, the wind be at our backs and may we be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows we’ve died.

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