Fragments Side-Car: SubStack Now Live!

I’m trying to reduce the friction for peripheral writing while attempting to focus on the main train–the completion of additions and editing for Book #3, now in active revision towards publication–in a year, maybe. So if you subscribe to Fragments via email, you might find the substack consumption as or more rewarding in the next 12 months. Read on, blog-friend, and come along for the ride!

Why subscribe?

Because it’s lonely at 3 in the morning when I get up. Because I find or think or wonder all sorts of things, and sometimes my light comes on, and I really need to share. Because having a conversation is impossible if it’s only me. Because you are as curious as I am, but don’t dig for treasure in the same holes that I do, and I think you’ll take what we exchange here and then do your own digging. That’s why.

What You’re Likely to Read At Fred’s SubStack

  • I have been writing about sense of place for twenty years in my blog, Fragments from Floyd—from the same place: Goose Creek, a remote and rugged part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Floyd County Virginia. And in June ‘20 we moved. Where? Why? and how is that settling in at 72, being detached from the familiar, the comfortable? I will share the thrill of victory, and the agony of not being able to find my winter hat–probably until April.
  • I’m determined to publish a third book, and have a signed contract and an editor. I have never written alone, and don’t intend to start now. I need people reading over my shoulder. I will post excerpts—maybe some full chapters if I go with the paid model at some point. My subscribers will be first in line to get their copies of One Place Understood ~ A Field Guide from Home
  • I am living in one of the most interesting places in the mountain south at one of the most perplexing, chaotic and rapidly morphing periods in human history. We live close to the land and to each other here in Floyd County, VA, and some chapters of the play book for the “localization” model for the New Economy will be written here. Stay tuned in the near term for the Blue Ridge EcoFair, offered to the world community by SustainFloyd. You can get a front row seat before the doors open if you subscribe.
  • And to add to this very incomplete list, I am a year into use of the most remarkable tool (Roam Research for a “knowledge worker” I’ve come across in almost three decades of computer geekery. It will assist me in providing you with fresh fodder for thought, conversation and action. And I will enjoy both the journey and the destination.


Join the crew

You won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every new edition of the newsletter from naturalist, teacher, writer and biology-watcher-commenter Fred First goes directly to your inbox. Be part of a community of people who share your interests.

Subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and website. Never miss an update.

A Pocket Full of Seeds…

The link at the end of this post is to a newly-published story is about water

…is not a garden.

And maybe 75 stories, essays and sylvan ramblings does not make a book. That is the judgment, I think, in the minds and profit-making needs of perhaps most publishers of books.

They are used to (and see their readers as being willing to pay for) books where Part A leads to Part B leads to…and there is a kind of start to finish nature to the book. That is not so for my existing books nor for the one I kind of hope to be published.

Several publishers I’ve gotten initially excited about “publish titles related to the practicalities, politics and processes of sustainability.” My book is neither fish nor fowl in this menu.

But the non-sequential reader format has actually been kind of a strong point for Slow Road and What We Hold, and many readers have told me that they like the fact that the book can be picked up and opened to any page to read that one short piece (they will be a bit longer in book #3).

On the other hand, you would not be completely able to read the future book backwards, since there is some memoirist material that starts with Finding Floyd, and then has several installments interspersed throughout.

The other possible deal killer is that the book does not fall into a clear subgenre of narrative non-fiction. Slow Road Home was shelved as a “travel book” because it was “about place.” And so finding “‘comparable titles” in a book proposal is made more difficult.

I won’t bore you with other grumblings as question the time and effort of find a “real” publisher and reconsider self-publication one final time. Much has changed in that field since 2009 when What We Hold In Our Hands was delivered off the truck from Edwards Brothers.

Meanwhile, some seeds are being disbursed at least. I did have one bit of the new book reach reader-eyes, including yours, if you wish, in a lit-mag called The Write Launch.

Finding Water | Creative Nonfiction by Fred First | The Write Launch

Cover back and front, Slow Road Home version 1 launch on April 26, 2006
Cover back and front, Slow Road Home version 1 launch on April 26, 2006

I offer the following as exhibit A in testimony to support the claim I make that, for months, I have been in a distracted, unproductive, disconnected funk:

I missed the ten year anniversary of the publication of Slow Road Home  (read: the drop-shipment of 1000 books to my back porch) on April 26, 2006.

Failing to notice such a major life milestone is not like the me I used to be before I lived full time, 24/7  in a two adult household. My life, including my internal rhythms, calendar, and agenda is now a shared experience and it is throwing me quite off my game.

But more about that another time. Meanwhile, I’ll send interested (or other) readers back to the one year anniversary and the tale of the first year of flying by the seat of my pants. Writing the book is just the beginning. Having it between covers is certainly not the end of it, but the start. And it goes on.

And heads up! I will soon be announcing a BOOK SPECIAL for the entire month of JUNE. You won’t want to miss this. (Or you might.) For those who have told me that you never got your loaned copy of SRH or WWH back from your sister or mother or neighbor, June will be the time to get your replacement.

And if you have been curious about my books, you’ll never get a better deal than I’m going to make available in about two weeks. So check back shortly for details.

BOOKS: Remember Them?

Click the image for a printable Order Form. Do it NOW!

Okay. The “while supplies last” is a joke. Both books are printed and shipped as need arises now, so there’s ample to meet demand. The form is up, front blog page, waiting. For demand. Or just ask nicely.

Any orders I receive (either by use of the printed version of this form or via the Fragments Commerce Page link to PayPal) will go in the mail the day or day after they are received.

YOU could own the complete works of Fred First (except for ten years of blog posts, 12 total newspaper-column-years of grampa tales and eco-ruminations and 300 gallons-worth of conversation with friends over coffee.)

But you need to place your orders soon-ish, if December 25 has any significance for you.

NOTE: This post will stay up top for a few days, so scroll down for new entries. — FF

Smashwords Brings the Slow Road to Your e-Reader

I am pleased to say that my first book, Slow Road Home, can now be downloaded to a variety of eBook formats.

While the paragraph by paragraph reformatting and reviewing was a bit tedious last week, in all, once the file was completed, it took just a few hours to have the first version accepted at Smashwords; an hour for the second revision to be accepted; and two days to be admitted to the Premium Catalog for the widest distribution.

However, being distributed widely is no guarantee of being purchased widely or at all. But I wanted to make the effort, because the book has not had exposure to an audience that this electronic version can reach, and I need help spreading the word. So if you download the free samples (or $6.99 full book) and can contribute comments, reviews and remarks (or if you’ve read the paperback print version) that would help hugely to spread the message.

Slow Road Home is a hopeful, very personal narrative told in a hundred passages that describe the unfolding year of finding a sense of purpose and belonging, even as the world seems to be falling apart. It is a story of one man’s discovery, at 54, that he had not yet fully lived the intentional life of the heart, the senses and the bond to place that he was capable of, and that he seemingly had been destined to discover just beyond his door.

It is a book that can be–and should be–read in small bites. It is a book you CAN put down. Many keep it beside their bed. Not a few tell me they have read it more than once.

Help me share with a wider audience this story of celebration of landscape, Appalachian belonging and nature. Will you kindly pass this link along to five friends, co-workers, and family? This pointer to the eBook version will have a permanent berth in the right sidebar at Fragments: Thanks! ~ Fred

PS: If you buy the book now, you can look for a clickable Table of Contents for your book soon; this should help go straight to a favorite in the 100+ named passages in the “book of days.” And I may begin work to get What We Hold In Our Hands: a Slow Road Reader into eBook format with Smashwords too. However, the images in that book will present a challenge, and maybe I’ll provide clickable links to gallery images instead? I’ll also be looking at Feedbooks as an option, read the link below for more comparisons between Feedbooks and Smashwords for e-Reader readers.

Enhanced by Zemanta