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

40+ Authors / One Tent: Galax June 11-12

Speakers schedule June 12 Galax Authors Tent
The Galax Leaf and String Festival June 11 and 12 features an authors tent with more than 40 of us under the tent, sponsored by Chapters Bookshop.

Hmmm. I notice I follow a cooking demo that ends at noon. Free samples, ya reckon? Look (or listen) for me Saturday.

Summer Lightning: June 6, 2002

It is late, and I am last to bed...

The date marks for me a beginning. I knew the next morning a little more about a very uncertain future: I would write every day. Eight years later, two books of such morning fragments recorded, I’m going to try to convert them (some or all) into digital format, include color pictures, add some today’s perspective commentary, and hope that this will lead some place worth going. The first two installments (including the preface from Slow Road Home and this piece) are up at Scribd. Once again, I’m not sure where I’m going. But there’s a kind of reliance on the stars we can see when we’re lost, and all who wander are not lost, Tolkien tells us.

The fireflies, by the way, were stunning last night. I woke near midnight. I sat on the steps alone.


It is late, and I am last to bed, past the usual time. I step out onto the front porch into the cool, sweet air of early June, and sit on the top step quietly as if not to disturb the wildlife, whose nocturnal day I am entering.

The pasture grasses just beyond the maples are in full flower and their pollen smells like midnight bread baking, while Goose Creek sends up wafts of spearmint, wet mud and turbulence.

My eyes soon learn to see in darkness and I am aware of soundless flashes of summer lightning, and stars overhead. My night vision comes and goes with each flash and pause and flash. Rising from the dark field on the fragrance of grasses are tens of thousands of lightning bugs. Put them in a jar, shake and see them illumined with the cold translucence of memory. They pulse and rise above the field in counterpoint to the tempo of the clouds, signaling ancient syllables that we could understand, if we were more often still, less hurried, and more at home in our own pastures.

Gravity pulls me down and I lie on my back, on cool stone horizontal, before a mock-infinity of space, wondering what is my place in this world of men and of words? Do I deserve to be so blessed among Earth’s teeming humanity? What must I do in the warmth of this gentle epiphany that is revealed to me tonight and how should I then live? Maybe I will try to find the words in the morning, after the house is quiet again and the fireflies have gone to bed and the world smells of heat and ozone and toast.