Five-hundred books!

I have to say, this brings me a lot of pride and joy. I’ve said before that it was a tough decision for me to self-publish. Not just because it felt like a defeat to not get accepted by a publisher, but more importantly I realized that I would have to promote the book myself.

I guess I’m doing a pretty good job!

I was thinking today about the rejection letters that I received when I submitted Tao of Thoreau for publication. Two of them were real disappointments because they expressed interest at first: I really thought the dream would come true. Due to those near successes, I held on to the idea of being published, until I finally made the decision to give it a go.

Now, I’m thinking of each of those books as an acceptance letter. And that’s a good feeling!

I think I’ve turned a mental corner about my writing. I feel more like an accomplished author every day, and the wannabee dreamer is being put behind.

Is this true of me now?

This one hit me. I certainly have achieved a lot since I wrote this. Becoming a storyteller, getting published, publishing Tao of Thoreau, all the DIY projects I have completed.

At the same time, I think this still applies to me. I have grown a lot, but there is still so much to do. Finding unique and impactful ways to market and advertise my writing is on my mind all the time, and I don’t feel like I have done enough. I believe I will do more, but I need to change belief into action soon.

The line that really strikes me is “the highest level I can reach.” I know I wasn’t even close to that 7 years ago, because I am sure I am not close to that now. Although that doesn’t sound positive, I think it is. I have gained a higher level. And that’s an accomplishment. Now it’s a matter of taking it to the next.


I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot lately. One thought is how I wish I’d paid more attention when he was doing DIY home improvement when I was young.

It wasn’t totally my fault. My older brothers showed no interest in hands on activity, and I think by the time I came around Dad assumed I would also not care. Also, he tended to get really frustrated when he was doing work, so it wasn’t the best time to be around him.

When I bought my own house, I had a lot to learn. My dad helped, but he couldn’t be there for everything. I learned a lot on my own, and eventually got pretty good. Dad would look at my work and be very complimentary, which made me very proud.

Before he passed, and I was visiting the house, I would inspect his work. It turns out that his work was kind of slapdash, similar to my first few projects. Over time my efforts looked increasingly professional. It was strange to feel superior to him about this, but I did.

As I was reflecting on this yesterday, it struck me that I have become something I never thought I’d be: a kind of perfectionist. I have to qualify that a little, because my aesthetic allows me to cut corners and make mistakes into design choices. Still, if you told me fifteen years ago that I would be capable of producing the kinds of designs that I have made, I would have been pretty impressed with myself.

Castles in the Air

One of my favorite Thoreau quotes is: “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.”   

My castle in the air has always been my writing ambitions. Although I’ve done a lot of writing, quite often I replaced working for success with dreaming of it. In my dreams I have been terrifically successful: best-sellers, TV interviews, movie adaptations. 

My reality has been much humbler: a handful of publication credits, 0 TV interviews or movie deals.  

That is until recently. Publishing Tao of Thoreau through Amazon finally attached a tower of my castle to some foundation stones. Still a humble accomplishment, but at least a tangible one. And last month, September 1, 2020 to today, October 1st, I sold 32 books. I don’t know who is buying them; I’m pretty sure all the friends and family bought theirs earlier in the year, so I can only assume that these are people hearing about my book and purchasing it. 

After hardly selling books for months, suddenly Tao of Thoreau took off.

This is after an August where I barely sold any. So maybe something is happening out there. Maybe my book is catching on. 

Strangers. Reading my work. A dream coming true. 

This website is another part of this supporting structure. Again, the numbers are not world-shattering, but I love seeing my statistics. Even one visitor eyeing my work is wonderful. And I’m having fun challenging myself to beat the previous weeks stats.  

My biggest takeaway is this: writing and publishing is making me feel joy. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but now the joy of this process is spreading to all areas of my life. I feel incredibly fortunate to be where I am in my writing journey, and I am so glad that you are reading this right now. Thank you! 


Tao of Thoreau sales

It’s wonderful to have the word ‘royalties’ to finally be part of my life. I first saw self-publishing to be a kind of defeat, a huge compromise to my dream of being accepted by a publisher.

Instead, it has become incredibly affirming. Not because money, which is nice. Because people are actually reading my words. The reality of self-publishing is infinitely better than the dream of being published.


This spring I spread mulch with painterly strokes 
Or smeared hurriedly, abstraction in brown 

My canvas: 
Rooty humps around tree bowls 
Beneath blooming bush branches 
Along Flowering paths  

My palette:  
Earth, all the shades  
From mahogany to ebony. 

My motif:  
Circles and curves 
And deep loamy earth 
The contrast of browns and greens 
That beautifies the beautiful. 


Patio Publishing

The hole is dug and filled in with gravel. As I begin to lay the pavers, I have a feeling of expertise. With that comes trepidation: no matter how skilled I become, there will be challenges, and something may still go wrong.

My confidence grows as I lay more pavers. The only challenge is that they are heavy, and it’s hot!

Finally done. Cutting pavers with a wet saw was a huge challenge, and I can’t say I showed expertise. I had it rented for a day and cut for nine hours. At one point my thumb was cramping.

But it’s done. It has performed remarkably well in rain storms, draining just as I had hoped. Over Labor Day we had people over, and they were universally complementary of my work. Some pointed out the flaws with a grin on the face, but what project doesn’t have flaws? Just like with writing, sometimes you have to stop working on it, let go, and publish.

DIY was my first publishing

I wrote yesterday about the link between Work in Progress Writing and Work in Progress Projects. I was thinking about it just now, and it hit me that completing my indoor and outdoor projects was a type of publishing. After all, publishing is bringing a creative work to the public.

There is no choice but to “publish” a project. When a bathroom is done, people are going to use it. But with my writing, I’m guilty of holding on to it, endlessly tweaking, not working hard on trying to get it out to readers.

I wonder if making a kitchen, a bathroom, a patio is somehow linked to my decision to self-publish Tao of Thoreau? That having people walk on and through these places made me want to have my words in front of people, no matter how few or many.

Just think – reading bozbozeman is a little like using my bathroom. Except you can’t flush the toilet.