Hi Folks – firstly, I’d like to wish everyone a funky solstice.  Seems like a perfect time for a solstice book sale (special pricing for the chill months of Winter).  If you’re curious about the books, and what sort of themes I write about, please do check out the video below, in which I explain that clearly, and then read a little section from each of the books.

And while I’m mentioning the video – I’d love to know how many of my friends are into podcasts and audiobooks. I can produce higher quality pure-audio material, faster and more easily than video – plus, reactivating those dormant chops will also bring me closer to radio-worthiness, a skill-set (and high honour) that I’m trying to actively cultivate.

I love my wonderfully wide range of readers and listeners, and I don’t want to start leaving anyone out, who might or does enjoy what I have to offer.  If you find you listen to these readings and political standup vids while puttering, that would also be great to know – I can easily post FB and Youtube versions of audio programs to maintain full reach in all formats, use a simple image to front the audio “show” – but still save the bother (and bandwidth) of live video.

Honestly, I just keep thinking of the much-missed Mike Schnieder – the heart moving power of his smiling face and very personal readings.  I guess I feel a lingering duty of gratitude, to try to put some honest warmth into the big mix for others, as he did – if I can figure out how to mesh my own particular skills and insights with a correctly-calibrated megaphone (and/or kazoo).  ;o)

If you just want the facts of the sale – each of the individual books is discounted by five or six bucks Canadian – “Night Song for Cigar-Box Banjo” is on sale for 9.99 instead of 14.99, “Structural Happiness” is on sale for 11.99 instead of 16.99, “The Kind of Friend You Need” is on sale for 12.99 instead of 18.99 – and the set of all three books is discounted especially much – 29.99 – as compared to 50.97 at regular individual price, and even a full ten bucks discount, compared to the previous all-three books, special ‘bundle’ price.

Now I know my stand-ups tend to be political, my songs zany, and many of my posts and essays take a philosophical perspective of one sort or another – but my books all have one cluster of related themes at their root. There really should be one single word which covers every part of this big and important subject, but if there is, I don’t know it.

The parts are: compassion, love, gratitude, friendship, respect, curiosity, sincerity, sacrifice, humility and principle – doing well and caring. Finding strong principled reasons to grow our strength of heart – and keep up the life-long struggle to maximize our humane capacity. Standing still on this stuff is losing ground – surrendering to the cold grey lonely.

This essentially spiritual approach is also political, in a way – because we’ll need strong hearts and big compassion to face the huge ecological and economic challenges ahead. But aside from learning more kindness as we go, standing up for underdogs, wanting us humans to make it, and remembering that humility is as useful as willpower (the necessary balance, in fact) I am essentially agenda-free. These volumes can be read and enjoyed as stories of funny historical and creative eccentrics, for clues to individual happiness, or even for lessons about effective service to others, inspiration and art, and the costs of reckless vanity.

I’d have a much easier time explaining my books if I had a spiritual or cultural faction – but not only am I from a lost civilization, I am also determined to open communication wider as I go – which means helping people who don’t often see common understanding and priorities with others, realize that they’ve actually shared many values and feelings, all along.

There are definitely some hard-knocks lessons in the books – demanded by my own foolishness, almost always – much wisdom from a range of teachers official and otherwise – but most of all I’ve tried to capture an interesting selection of those difficult to define situations, from which we emerge forever changed.
Whether subtle, sublime or pithy in form, there’s still no better word for this life-quality than grace.

Cheers and a truly funky solstice to all my friends, old and new – and thanks so much for stopping by.

Hope you find light and delight in these Large Ess volumes (and the many more, yet to come).

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