The Kindle version of Phil Grimm's Progress is currently #2 in the Kindle bestseller list for Religious/Inspirational Science Fiction & Fantasy.
If you don't have a copy yet, it's on free promotion this week on Amazon.
My modern myth for anxious times, Phil Grimm's Progress is now out in paperback as well as through Kindle Books.
Some (many?) of you don't have an eReader. I'm no longer discriminating against you. Give it a go, and use Amazon reviews or Goodreads to let me know what you think.
Phil Grimm's Progress, my humble attempt to re-orient the western world-view, is out.
As I mentioned in a recent post, PGP is my take at using fiction to address ideas I've only encountered in non-fiction. How well that works is for you to decide.
My guess is that societal division and polarisation move in cycles, like most everything else. But given my life hasn't been long enough to see whole cycles, today is about as divided and defensive a time as I've come across.
PGP is, in one way, essentially about how we get trapped in stories that close our minds, how we take (often unknowingly) assumptions and all that derives from them as certainties.
Of course, I have a certain take on the current world situation, and I guess that can't help but come across in the book. Some of you think similarly, others very differently. But the main point of the book, delivered in mythical form, is that we've got to put down our shields of certainty to listen to and truly consider what one another think and feel. Else we're just on auto-pilot, aping words and enraged gestures we've taken from someone else, isolating and thereby losing ourselves.
You can buy Phil Grimm's Progress at most of your favourite online book retailers. Leave a rating or review (especially if you like it!).
Phil Grimm's Progress is off for its final edit, with Phil Owens. Unless I hit unforeseen snags, I'll publish it - in ebook form - by the end of April. We'll see about print.
It started last summer, a week after returning from a camper van trip with J to Holland and Denmark. I often have wakeful periods in the middle of the night. Those periods began to fill with ideas for a story - in mythic form. I'd recently re-read Parzival and the Stone from Heaven, and I pictured a spiritual seeker with little self-knowledge, on a quest to discover himself.
I'd read lots of nonfiction about Taoism, Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta and non-dualism more generally, but I'd never come across a modern allegorical approach. In my less humble moments, I imagined penning a cross between Parzival, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Tao of Pooh and Sophie's World. My aim was a fictional work that illuminated, entertaining along the way.
The book wrote itself over the next seven weeks, although it was only just over 50k words in that first draft. Realising I had no idea how to write a book, let alone get one published, I turned to professional help from Alice Peck. Because she's such a pleasure to work with, Alice is very busy. I paused for a while for her to come free and tear into my manuscript. In the meantime, I gave it to a few patient early readers.
By Christmas, the draft was back in my hands, along with feedback from Alice and the first readers. After a few weeks' work, the second draft went out to a next round of helpful guinea pigs. The discussions with them raised three significant points:
"Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?"
So, a major re-write occupied and entertained me for another four or five weeks. Then I tucked into an involved round of self-editing - reapplying the "rules" that Alice had taught me. The book expanded to just over 80k words.
Then, when I learned that Phil helped one of my favourite new sci-fi authors, Ian Sainsbury, I contacted him for the finishing touches.
There you have it, the story of Phil Grimm's conception and impending birth. Watch this space for updates and launch announcement!