• John Shore

Looking for thoughts/input/advice . . .

Yesterday I sent out my newsletter to its subscribers. Its text is below. All input/ideas/thoughts welcome. Thanks!

. . . The reason I’m writing you today is because I’ve entered a singularly unique / interesting / weird phase of my life. And something about that has made me want to reach out to you, and maybe just . . . I don’t know . . .. tell you about it. And hopefully get some feedback from you.

First, I’m no longer writing my novel Make ‘Em Laugh on Kindle Vella. Though I loved the idea of the Vella platform, ultimately it just didn’t work for me, either as a writer or a reader.

As a reader, my problem with Vella is singular: I just don’t like having to buy tokens in order to keep reading episodes of a story. But that might just be me.

As a writer, my main issue is that I can’t substantively rewrite my already-published episodes of Make Em Laugh.

I realized I’d missed something huge that I needed to incorporate into Make ‘Em Laugh; I couldn’t do that incorporation on the episodes of the story I’d already published on Vella; I asked Vella to remove the novel so I could rework it; they said okay.

And that was that.

And now here I am.

I’m writing you because lately I’ve had this kind of freakish sense of peace in my life. I don’t know if it’s just getting older, or what. I think it might have mainly to do with the fact that this is the first time in 25 years that I don’t have a deadline.

I’m just . . . sans writing deadline. It’s like that eerie, imminently peaceful quietude I imagine one experiences while floating in the sky wearing a parachute. Unless one went parachuting with me. Then it’s nothing but screaming.

The point is that these days I am deeply relishing some of the creative options now before me. And I was hoping that you might give me a general feel for how any of the following such options sound to you.

1. I’m going to finish Make ‘Em Laugh. I’ve seen what I need to do to really make that novel sing—so of course I’ll do that. My question is: Are you at all interested in that novel? Did you read Everywhere She’s Not? Do you think I’m wasting my time writing another novel featuring David and Kate? Do you care one way or the other? Thank you!

2. I’m going to publish an e-book titled (something like) The Best of My Blog. The content I wrote for my blog from 2007-2014 is now scattered across the web, and I’d like to finally end that. So I’m going to collect the best of all those pieces, clean ‘em up, and publish them as a .99 cent e-book (or two). Does such a collection sound like anything you’d be interested in reading?

3. I’m going to overhaul and publish Ashes to Asheville, the serial novel I wrote a few years back for The Asheville-Citizen Times. I’ve looked at that work again, and it’s fantastic. The writing isn’t anywhere near what it could be (I’ve learned a lot about writing fiction in the years since I wrote it), but the bones of the thing—the characters and the plot—are as good as it gets. I’d be doing myself an insane disservice if I didn’t take the time to make that novel what it's just waiting to become. But, again, I’m wondering if you have any interest in that novel. Did you read Ashes back when it was first being published? Did you feel the way I do about its characters and plot? If, finished and polished, I made an e-book of Ashes, would you be at all inclined to pay a dollar or two to read it?

4. I’ve asked USA Today if they’d allow me to publish as an e-book a collection of the advice column that for some 2.5 years I wrote for The Asheville Citizen-Times (which USA-T owns). If they do give me permission, would you be interested in that .99 cent Dear Johne-book?

5. I’m leaning hard toward doing another podcast. I’ve previously done two: Ashes to Asheville was also a podcast—and once, way back in about 2013, I did a six-episode podcast that went mega-viral. Lately I find myself again just . . . wanting to talk, podcast-style. I’ve been silent for so long. But do you listen to podcasts? Do you think you might be inclined to give a listen to a podcast of me talking for a half-hour (twice a week)? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Well, that’s the gist of it. Those are the five main things I’m thinking about doing next. Except this time I thought I’d seek your input before diving right into any of them.

I know it's a weird thing to say, but I feel like we’re all kind of . . . working together. Or at least

I feel like so many of you are with me when I write. So this time I thought I’d check in with you before I started the next phase of my writing life, just to maybe get a feel for whatever thoughts or ideas you might have about any of it. Why I haven't ever before availed myself of your collective wisdom is a mystery to me.

If, however, you couldn’t care less about any of this, then I more than understand, and apologize for bothering you. But if you’ve got anything whatsoever to say or share with me about any of the above, call me Dumbo, because I’m all ears.

Happy almost autumn! Yours,


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