Join Kristi Lynn Davis and Me at This Year’s Kerrytown BookFest

Don’t miss Ann Arbor’s upcoming Kerrytown BookFest, which will be held this year on Sunday September 11 from 10:30 to 5 at the Farmers Market in Ann Arbor. I don’t remember how many I’ve attended as an exhibitor—I missed last year’s to attend a family wedding—but it’s part of my regular fall adventure schedule. Authors and publishers from throughout Michigan exhibit along with entrepreneurs from other sectors of the book publishing community, including book coaches, booksellers, artists, printers, and others. Speakers throughout the day talk about timely and historical topics, read from new books, and demonstrate related skills.

My Azenphony Press table will be #92. It’s easy to find on the site map. Or ask any of the helpful volunteers who set up, tear down, and do everything in between to make your time there pleasurable. I hope you’ll come by and say hello.

This year the organizers asked me to describe what I do as a writer, publisher, and book coach. This is what I wrote:

The books that I publish cover an eclectic range of interests but they all are about people who have found strength through the power of writing. As an author and an editor, my gift is my ability to help them to clarify and expand their stories.

While being interviewed by me, Bernard Mednicki (Never Be Afraid: A Belgian Jew in the French Resistance) broke through layers of forgotten World War II memories to reveal a trauma that he had suppressed for over forty years.

Writing Your Partner Has Breast Cancer helped me to keep sane while acting as my wife’s support person.

Transforming Lives: A Socially Responsible Guide to the Magic of Writing and Researching shows people how to write their own stories through the I-Search paper.

At this time in my career I’ve begun helping others as a book coach. Long Legs and Tall Tales: A Showgirl’s Wacky, Sexy Journey to the Playboy Mansion and the Radio City is Kristi Lynn Davis’s hilarious adventures as a former dancer with the Rockettes and Playboy’s Girls of Rock & Roll. Look for Kristi to be at the booth from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

All of these books and others will be available for sale. If you’re anywhere near Ann Arbor, I hope you’ll stop by, say hello, buy a few signed books, learn how I can coach you through the often-intimidating process of writing a book, and take a selfie with me by my table, which will feature my new Azenphony Press table covering, thanks to the artistic work by my friends at Signarama in Ann Arbor. (Thank you, Megan Yu.)

And don’t miss the opportunity to meet the funny, inspirational, incredible Kristi Lynn Davis from noon to 1 p.m. at table #92.


The Reward System Works

The reward system is part of the process of writing, and it works.

RewardSystemWorks_TVAs a book coach and writer, my message to you is that we need to set modest goals along the way to our finished products. When you achieve any goal, give yourself a reward: a half hour of TV without guilt or a phone call to a friend after writing three pages.

I’m reminded of a lesson I learned around the reward system when my son David was seven-years old. The year before, we had bought him his first two-wheeler for his sixth birthday. It was a bright red bike that said “Team Murray” on the side and he loved it. He showed it off to all the neighbors. The only trouble was, he never rode it, at least not after his first few falls. He just refused to try. He even attempted to convince me—and, hence, himself—that he didn’t want to ride his bike.

I was reminded of how I used to suck my thumb when I was around his age. My dad couldn’t get me to stop and he didn’t know what to do. Finally one night as he was tucking me into bed he said he would buy me a baseball glove if I could go a week without sucking my thumb. I never sucked my thumb again.

Of course, to this day I bite my nails.

Anyhow, David was into Nintendo by this time so I promised him I would buy him any Nintendo game he wanted as soon as he learned how to ride his bike. He was riding it in one day.

The reward system works.

[This piece was adapted from a sidebar in Transforming Lives: A Socially Responsible Guide to the Magic of Writing and Researching.]