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less is more (formerly The Scoop)
is a  more or less monthly newsletter from author Ken Kuhlken
.
Mental Health

If someone asks me today what I want for my birthday, which isn't likely since it's months away, I will answer, "A reliable wi-fi provider and an umbrella."

My home wi-fi was down for two weeks, and I'm perturbed at how much the disruption troubled me. It's not healthy for a person to get so dependent on anything or anyone, is it? 

 

A Reminder


Every Hickey’s book purchased gives a dollar to help Perelandra College students become smart, honest, and skillful writers. 

The Puzzle

As some readers may notice, I have changed the title of this series and also deleted the subtitle. In part, I did so because I'm a compulsive reviser. Another reason is, I began the series determined to uncover clues about how Perelandra College students (many of whom are Christian) could successfully publish books while maintaining artistic integrity. 
 
But in the process, I have remembered that the puzzle -- how can we thrive and be true to ourselves when the rules of the publishing game require us to discover and fit cleanly into a niche -- is by no means exclusive to Christians 
 
So, beware: this may be a long or perhaps endless series.
 
To read from the beginning, go here.
 
Part Seven: 
 
Apologies for the long delay. As usual, I got little done over Christmastime. Then, beginning with the new year,  almost everything I own broke, meaning I apparently own too much stuff.
 
Amidst my stuff, I discovered the novelist Joseph Girzone.
 
Mister Girzone’s books -- so far I have read Shepherd and Joshua and the Children  -- are quite unique, not only extremely Christian but also harshly critical of both contemporary churches and the history of the Christian church. To him, the whole Christian business, plagued by attitudes of exclusion and rivalry, is essentially a latter-day gang of Scribes and Pharisees.
 
His basic story, repeated in one Joshua book after another, features Christ returning to earth in the attempt to show how his message of love and forgiveness is supposed to work. Mister Girzone spells the message out in dialogue, monologue, and narrative written at a level accessible to even young readers. 
 
Though he is no poet or master stylist, I find him refreshing and will continue to read his books. In fact, today I ordered Joshua in the Holy Land. 
 
The story of his life as a writer I find compelling and worthy of study. A Catholic priest until health issues required that he retire from active ministry, he then turned to full time writing and speaking. After failing to find a publisher for his first novels, he published them on his own and began selling them at speaking engagements. His books gradually gained a following, and a Catholic imprint of Doubleday took them on. With national marketing, his Joshua novels sold in the millions, enabling him to provide for people in need much like his character Joshua does.  However, (from Wikipedia) “After that long period of success, (in 2007) due to changes in the publishing industry" Doubleday dropped him.
 
Early in this century, the publishing industry changed radically because of buyouts of midsized publishers by the multinational corporations, now known as the big five. Along with that change came a major attitudinal shift. No longer could an editor acquire and publish a book simply because he or she loved it. Instead, marketing and sales departments became the de-facto acquisition editors.
 
Eventually, the takeover of publishing by the multinationals may result in a wealth of new, smaller but vital publishers. Some of that has already happened.
 
Keep an eye out. Any you find or already know about, please let me know. I can help pass the word.
Patience

Tae Kwon Do Master Jeong used to say, "Number one is patience. Number two is patience. Number three is patience."

Lately I have been reading (and struggling with) T.S. Eliot's poem "The Waste Land", largely because a strange character in my latest novel (almost ready to send into the world) suspects it may lead him to solve the mystery of the Holy Grail. 

In the Norton Critical Edition of The Waste Land, I encountered this quote from Eliot's Thoughts After Lambeth (1931)“The World is trying the experiment of attempting to form a non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient awaiting its collapse, so that the Faith may be preserved, to renew and rebuild civilization, and save the World from suicide.” 
For Writers

Here is a call for submissions from Nasiona, a nonfiction magazine and publisher.

And here's another, from Belmont Story Review.
Should you appreciate less is more, please inform your friends they can subscribe here
Wishing y'all whatever you need,

Ken
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