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Intro to Not Holy Faith

Here’s another from my childhood. It’s about letting go and growing up; growing up in the best sense of the phrase (not the growing up that makes you hard and cold), but the growing up that embraces change and looks forward to the freedom found therein.

As always, your comments are welcome.

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Intro to That Sonoma Autumn:

This is a true story from my youth. My family and I had just moved to Northern California from New York in 1976. We lived for a few months on a horse ranch in Sonoma County, 18 miles from Cazadero, and more than an hour from the nearest hospital. Uncle Rex, the local sheriff, had just lost his best friend in a bank robbery/gun shootout and was hitting the sauce pretty hard.

I re-wrote this piece for Ticket to Ride and it is now part of Morgan Blake’s childhood. He relates this story to his therapist in the latter part of the book.

As always, your comments are welcome.

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Intro to The Jungle:

My best explanation for this piece is that Ventura, CA has it’s own version of Steinbeck’s Cannery Row just to the north of town. Few know the reality of it, and even fewer want to. In this piece I was looking to acquaint readers with the sad reality of being one of the jungle’s denizens. The environment and politics of the place are of equal importance.

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by philip scott wikel

After church on Sunday I decided to surprise my son with a trip to some tidepools up around Carpinteria. I was a little wary of telling him where we were going because I had agreed with him the day before that we would go to Target to get a new game for his Playstation. I was worried that once he got his new game there would be nothing else in the world to him and that a trip to the beach to look at crabs and starfish would pale, profoundly, by comparison.

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From Pillow of Grass by Natsume Soseki

Going up a mountain track I fell to thinking. Approach everything rationally, and you become harsh. Pole along in the stream of emotions, and you will be swept away by the current. Give free rein to your desires, and you become uncomfortable confined.

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Discussion of Fame vs. Successful Novelist

Philip Scott Wikel:
I’m sorry if I gave anyone the impression that I would be giving away free copies of Ticket to Ride to the members of the “Ticket” Facebook group. http://tiny.cc/ticket_facebook

As much as I would like to, it’s just not feasible.

In a recent post, Carrie Williams said:
“By the way, congratulations! You’re famous!”

In response to that I have to say, honestly, thank you but I’m not interested in fame. Fame and $1.50 will get me a cup of coffee (In other words, fame is useless unless it brings readers).

My dream is to make a living as a novelist. It would be fantastic to be able to spend my day creating stories for your entertainment. For that to happen, I need readers, not fans; kindred spirits, not adoration.

Thank you to all of the readers who have thus far purchased Ticket to Ride. I hope you’ve enjoyed my book.

Patti Persons:
Yeah Yeah, we adore you because WE watched you grow up from a pip-squeak to a successful gentleman! WE are proud of you!

Philip Scott Wikel:
Thanks again. But you used one of those uncomfortable words again, “successful.” If only 10% of the members of the Ticket to Ride Facebook fan club actually purchase the book, is it a success? So far I have only succeeded in getting a book published. Granted, that’s something, however, sales are what make it a success. In my mind a writer becomes successful when he can quit his day job and do what he truly loves.

The really funny part about this is that my fans on facebook don’t even know what their proud of because they haven’t read my book. For all they know it could be a piece of ____.

Another thing they don’t know is that right now I’m only making $9.40 per hour as a cashier. And another thing: I eat mostly peanut butter sandwiches so my son can eat like a normal person. And finally, I was laid off from a very good job a year-and-a-half ago and the economy is getting worse.

So please excuse me if I don’t understand or see the significance of words like “success” and “famous.” I’m living the life of the starving artist and it’s not as glamorous as they told me it would be. And I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m just asking for people to take a look at what they see as “success” cuz it seems like people around me are just starstruck, and for no good reason.

the julian day

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