Philip Scott Wikel – “Selling Books” Author Interview, Ticket To Ride

Philip Scott Wikel – Author Interview

Where are you from?I’m originally from Goshen, NY, a small town upstate in Orange County. It’s an idyllic little village that’s been around since before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I’ve also lived in several states including Northern and Southern California, North Carolina, and Hawaii and have traveled extensively in Mexico, Europe and Northern Africa. My dad had wanderlust and I guess I have it to. After my son turns 18, I’ll be on the road again.

When and why did you begin writing?

The first thing I remember writing was a re-working of the Easter Bunny story back in 2nd or 3rd grade. My mother was good with helping me to write poems early on as well. Throughout my life I just wanted to write longer and longer pieces. Clicking on the “word count” button gives me a strange thrill when I realize I’ve stacked up a lot of words. And not just any words, the thrill comes from knowing I’ve arranged them differently than they’ve ever been arranged before. Why did I start writing? It was just something that was in me to do, some kind of ailment that I can’t get rid of. It was and is my way of relating to the world. I don’t mean to be so vague, but there’s no other way to say it. Maybe I’m just delusional.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I suppose it must have been in high school. I wrote love poems for girlfriends and awful surfing stories which I sent to Surfer Magazine. None of them got published, however, my friends enjoyed them and I was known among them as “the writer.” It was better than having to buy a bunch of clothes to look “Goth” or “Mod” or whatever. A much less expensive image. A couple of pens and a notebook and I was instantly cool, no matter whether anyone read my stuff or not. I always wished I needed glasses so I would look smarter.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book began as a short story entitled Tradewinds. My intentions were to create a piece that defined the rite-of-passage from adolescence into early adulthood. My feeling is that nowadays young men and women have very little to guide them in their coming-of-age. I picked it up and put it down for years and it eventually became a novella which, combined with a second novella, became Ticket To Ride. I’m embarrassed to say how long it took to write.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to think that my writing style is wholly my own but I will say that I emulated Kerouac, Hemingway and Dylan Thomas. I believe that by doing this long enough my own style eventually emerged. Like Bono from U2 said, “every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief.”

How did you come up with the title?

I have a literary manager in New York who came up with the most recent title, Ticket to Ride. However, as I mentioned earlier, my first novella was called The Tradewinds, named for the winds that blow daily in Hawaii. I like the idea that one could follow the winds around the world, experience unfettered freedom, and get lost in the breeze (more evidence of my congenital wanderlust).

The second novella Just Another Day was written as a companion piece to The Tradewinds. In The Tradewinds I had introduced a female protagonist but hadn’t developed her story. Just Another Day is, for the most part, about her. It’s based on a Paul McCartney and Wings song entitled “Another Day” which tells the story of a lonely working girl. Livy Tinsley, my female protagonist, is a devoted fan of the Beatles and Paul McCartney and, since my two main characters meet on a train in Portugal, my literary manager felt Ticket to Ride (also the name of a Beatles song) was fitting as the title of the two novellas combined. Confused yet?

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Read something else, anything else. Honestly, I guess I wanted people to be able to walk away from this book and feel that there were no obstacles they couldn’t overcome. All things can be gotten through. It’s a coming-of-age novel and I wanted to, at least attempt to, re-define our rites of passage and try to clarify the transition from adolescence to young adulthood. Both characters deal with their father’s alcoholism, poor parenting, extreme peer pressure, and self doubt, among other things. I also wanted it to be sort of a fun yet thoughtful romp through a crazy period of time. I believe it can be read either way. It might best not to read it at all. it could scar you for life.

How much of the book is realistic?

I’m a firm believer in writing what you know. I read a lot of historical fiction and I can see right through an author who hasn’t done his homework. My characters are both ten years older than me but since I’ve always been an “old soul” or just old, it wasn’t much of a leap to add a few years to my own person. What I didn’t experience myself I either garnered through the stories of friends, or pushed myself deep into my imagination to arrive at something entirely believable. I guess I’d have to say that it’s 75% me, 15% other people, and 10% imagination. Honestly, it’s all plagiarized.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I think I answered this one in the last question. But I will add the following as examples: Most of the European portion is all me, however, I didn’t travel alone. I went to Europe with my best friend. And I never actually slept with a prostitute in Lisbon but I did stay in a pensione there. A large portion of Livy’s experiences are my own, however, I made my best effort to feminize them. I believe I’ve had enough girlfriends, and a sister and a mother, to help me to write from a feminine point-of-view. If I’ve failed in any way in this book it might be in grasping the fullness of the feminine experience. Do you think that last line might get me some dates?

What books have most influenced your life?

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, The Red and the Black by Stendhal, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, The Bone People by Keri Hulme, and On The Road by Jack Kerouac. Maybe even Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne. His sense of humor is phenomenal.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

The guy who writes Hallmark cards. Actually, Dylan Thomas literally set me on fire. Quite Early One Morning showed me that words could have a life all their own.

What book are you reading now?

I’m re-reading Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and am finding it quite different from when I first read it 20 years ago. I’m actually quite disappointed with it in that it’s almost entirely devoid of feeling. I think I read a lot into it when I was 19. I think I also assumed that since it was Hemingway it had to be good. Who do I think I am, right? He’s one of the great “masters.”

If you had to choose one book to read the rest of your life, and nothing else, what book would it be and why?

It’s a toss up between Catcher in the Rye and The Fountainhead. Catcher in the Rye because I never tire of Holden Caulfield’s cynicism and no nonsense approach to life, and The Fountainhead for it’s definition of the true artist and being true to your convictions. I wish I was more like Howard Roark. He’s so damned cool.

Do you have something you are working on at the moment that you’d like to share with us?

How much abuse can people take? But seriously, I’m mostly writing bits for my blog but I’m also working on a sequel to Ticket to Ride. The sequel will chronicle the life of Dylan Blake, the son of my two main characters from Ticket to Ride. I’m only half-way through it. I have a million little notes I’ve written on scraps of paper that sometime soon I hope to add into that book. I’m finding it much harder to make sense of the decades of the 90s and this most recent one than I did with the 70s. I’m considering a collection of my blog posts as well. I’ve had some good feedback there. I also recently bought my first guitar and am hoping to spend some time with it soon. Then I can annoy people with songs instead of stories.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Whatever it takes to make it a bestseller. Really though, there’s a typo in Chapter 15 wherein there’s a poem I wrote for a real-life woman and I included a line about having a son. I meant to change the line to “the sun” instead of “my son.” Everyone who proofread it missed that. I also might have made it more sort of PG rated so it would be more appropriate for the YA crowd. My thirteen-year-old son wants to read it but, as street-wise as he is, I’d rather he wait a few years.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I think it was always there waiting for me to discover it. I don’t remember not being interested in writers and writing. I suppose it might have been a disease I was born with and I don’t believe anyone has found a cure.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Writing, or, at least feeling like I’m writing something that has never been written in quite the same way. I’m terrified of being redundant. There’s a famous quote that says something like writers have only one story to tell and they tell it over and over again. I suppose some readers enjoy this because they know what to expect of their favorite writers. I like to be surprised with something new.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I named my son after Dylan Thomas for the reasons I mentioned above. He literally set me on fire.

Who designed the covers?

I designed them myself. I’m a graphic designer by trade. For better or for worse, I don’t think I could have had anyone else design them. I guess I’m a bit of a control freak that way.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Returning to the place I left off. Getting back into character time and again to maintain consistency. I can be a bit of a chameleon. Being a chameleon keeps me from getting bored with myself and keeps me from being stuck in any kind of mindset or even caricature. I think a lot of people become caricatures of themselves by being always the same about everything day in and day out. I like to surprise myself with some new way of looking at things. It can be challenging to turn it off and be a consistent me when I need to for writing. Maybe some lithium would help.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I should probably stick to graphic design. Honestly though, writing only “what you know” can be a hinderance. Sometimes you have to settle for less than 100% on that one. Imagination can be a wonderful thing. I might better put in a call to the Wizard of Oz.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Become an accountant or something where everything always adds up. Honestly? Read, read, read. Read what you love, read often and don’t expect to find your way as a writer until you’ve read a small library of books. Reading establishes patterns of thought that will translate later to words on paper.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Mom, go easy on me. Seriously though, to future readers: Be patient with me. I may not hand you the story in boldface print but if you spend some time with me you might find something you can use. To current readers: Thanks for taking the risk. Choosing to read a new novelist is a gamble that many don’t feel they can afford. Books aren’t cheap these days unless of course you’ve managed to get a hold of some form of e-reader.

If you could mirror the career of any other author, who would it be and why?

I’m torn between living like J.D. Salinger and Bono from U2. Of course I’d have to be as famous as either one of them before I’d actually be faced with that dilemma. What a fine dilemma that would be.

If you had to choose something besides writing, what career would you choose and why?

I’d like to be Adam Sandler. He seems to be having a great time all the time.

I find great joy in creating. If not in writing then in graphic design. So far, graphic design pays a lot better. Perhaps if I spent more time writing I’d find more opportunities to make it my livelihood. Although I’m afraid of any kind of writing career other than being a novelist. I believe novelists have the best opportunities for creativity. Deadlines can quickly snuff out inspiration. In newspapers, this morning’s headline is this evening’s trash. I admire those who write for newspapers because there’s a great need for them but I like things with lasting significance. I actually did some news writing in the past. Woodward and Bernstein are 2 of my heroes but I don’t foresee anyone breaking stories like theirs ever again. With government and all that, it’s kind of been done, people are desensitized or immune to that sort of thing now. I know I’m going to step on some toes here but I think the big news stories have all been written. But what do I know, right?

Do you have a muse? 

Muses come from anywhere and everywhere. I wish I had one that would never fail me but I find that eventually I have to move on to new sources of inspiration. Just like I hate to write the same thing twice, I don’t think I can tap the same fountain more than once. I never know where it’s going to come from, I just hope that it does. Today I went to the store and a beautiful Latina woman asked me what I was doing for fun on my day off and that question sent me to my laptop where I wrote my blog post for the day. It’s all very random. Knowing I might have something to share is one of my motivations. Writing for yourself is one thing and writing for the sake of writing is another. I’ve heard it said that we write to know that we’re not alone. I suppose it’s good to feel you have an audience and that you’re not “screaming into the void.” Did I say something or was that an echo?

What is the interview question you always dread being asked? Can you give us the answer?

I fear no question. It may be my vanity but I love this process.

What is your favorite interview question, and what is the answer?

It would have to be what I am trying to accomplish through my writing because I like to feel that I have something to say. Sometimes I wish I was like Stephen King or James Michener with respect to their ability to crank out one giant book after another. But I don’t write that way. I’d like to be like an exclusive vintner, creating limited edition wines as opposed to going the Gallo route. At this point, I might even settle for fermented cider, as long as people can hold it down. What’s the old saying, “what doesn’t kill you, will only make you stronger.” Drink Ticket to Ride at your own risk.

If you were to assign an MPAA rating (PG, PG-13, etc.) to your book, what rating would you give it and why?

Rated R for a sex scene, some drug use and some inappropriate language.

Get Ticket To Ride 50% Off: https://www.createspace.com/5332911

Ticket To Ride, Book 2, Chapter 33: Morgan’s Intro to the Premier Issue of SEA magazine

Peche du Cachalot by Ambroise Louis Garneray and Frederic Martens, 1835
Peche du Cachalot by Ambroise Louis Garneray and Frederic Martens, 1835

My search for cover art for this, the premier and winter issue of SEA took me to the East Coast, and more specifically the Old Dartmouth Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where I hoped to secure permission to reproduce “Peche du Cachalot.” I felt it would be perfect for the cover. It has a cold, wintry, blustery feeling indicative of the season and it conveys that same sense of the power and drama of the ocean which we hope to convey within the pages of SEA.

Of course I didn’t need to travel all the way to Massachusetts to obtain the photo-transparency but, having read Moby Dick when I was in college, and, having grown up in New England, I had a strong desire to return to my old stomping grounds and those of Herman Melville.

After stopping by the museum and taking care of the business of the cover art, I decided to head down to the waterfront to have a look around before making my way back to Boston and home.

The sun had set and there was very little light by the time I reached the shore. Wanting to get another look at the transparency (cover art), I quickly opened the envelope, perhaps to put myself in closer touch with the feeling of this place in Melville’s time. I reached in, and at the same time, a grayish cloud streamed out and curled down toward the ground. The cloud then took the shape of a person, a person from another time, a seaman from the nineteenth century. In front of me stood a young Herman Melville as clearly as Christ over the altar and as strange as it was, I wasn’t afraid. I could feel the presence of a warm soul.

Questions shot through my mind. Knowing that it’s the nature of ghosts to come and go as quickly as they please, I had to speak soon. Noticing that I looked slightly stunned, Herman introduced himself in his stately and dignified manner. Still not knowing where to begin, he began for me:

“I know that you’re one of my greatest fans and, being that you have set out to aid in creating the finest in ocean-related publications, I thought perhaps I might be of assistance in your endeavor. By the way, I managed to get a peek at the first issue. Not a bad start. We’re all very impressed up there… Dylan and Pablo send their best… You must have questions for me, fire away lad!”

“Thank you sir and… well… yes Mr. Melville, Herman… what drew you to the sea?”

“That, my son, is quite simple, and please,

‘Call me Ishmael… some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me,” * he paused, then said, I hope I haven’t been too long-winded.”

“No sir, that was perfect, thank you.”

“You’re welcome young man… is there anything else?”

“Actually yes… describe, as you see it, a perfect day at sea.”

“Hmm… as the editor of this fine publication you hold the responsibility of aiding your readers in grasping the overwhelming beauty of the sea so as to ensure a wider understanding of this part of the natural world and hence, to ensure its preservation. As surely as I now stand before you, I will oblige your request. Though apparition or phantom I may now be, I was once, physically, and am now, in the spirit world, a wanderer of the great seas. And though I now wander the seas of heaven, I can assure you that the seas I’ve ventured upon in this afterlife are no more or less fantastic than those I sailed on in my youth. My only wish is that I could be granted just one more earthly life so that I might appreciate better that which I once took for granted. But enough of my digression, you are a busy man, earthly time is short, and the tempers of men even shorter when forced to endure the digression of an old man, especially a dead one.”

“A perfect day at sea… ‘a clear, steel-blue day. The firmaments of air and sea are hardly separable in that all-pervading azure; only the pensive air is transparently pure and soft, with a woman’s look, and the robust and man-like sea heaves with long, strong, lingering swells, as Samson’s chest in his sleep.

Hither, and thither, on high, glide the snow-white wings of small, unspeckled birds; these are the gentle thoughts of the feminine air; but to and fro in the deeps, far down in the bottomless blue, rush mighty leviathans, sword-fish, and sharks; and these are the strong, troubled, murderous thinkings of the masculine sea.

But though thus contrasting within, the contrast is only in shades and shadows without; these two seemed one; it was only the sex, as it were, that distinguished them,’”* he paused, Good enough?’”

“Yes,” I said looking quickly at my watch. Time to go, I thought. And when I looked up to thank him, he had disappeared.

* passages from Moby Dick by Herman Melville reprinted courtesy of Penguin Books

Ticket To Ride, Chapter 7: Ambiguity is the essence of poetry…

worldReligions1Seven

Psalm continued to sit in a state of solemnity and reservation but Morgan had a feeling that it was all leading up to something. His solemnity had an air of imminence. Psalm would soon speak. The next moment it came.

“What do you believe in Morgan?”

“Ummm… ambiguity is the essence of poetry?” Morgan laughed.

“No really, what’s your belief, your philosophy?”

Morgan was taken aback by Psalm’s question. It seemed to him and it was made apparent to all with whom Psalm came into contact that Psalm was a christian, a Congregationalist, devoted, and not much interested in other beliefs.

“Why ask me my philosophy. I have no ties to any organized religion.”

Curiosity?

Psalm?

Psalm.

“Morgan?”

“I’m sorry Psalm, I was just thinking… I guess some sort of watered down form of Taoism is as close as I get to a personal philosophy.”

“Can you be more specific,” Psalm persisted, engaged?

“You know anything about the uncarved block?”

“No, but go on.”

“I just try not to let myself get all carved up… subjective… I… well… I try and face each moment and each experience with the same or at least a similar openness, like when you’re a kid, as objectively as possible… without all kinds of garbage in the way.”

“But who drives you?”

“Well I know who’s driving you, and this truck for that matter,” Morgan said smiling.

Psalm didn’t get it, or didn’t want to, so Morgan returned to the question, in all of its apparent seriousness.

“I listen to something inside of myself, feelings, desires, that sort of thing. I don’t look outside… to find myself or some divine purpose, just to see things. I just do what feels right. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some kind of nymphomaniac (laughing), my feelings are in my heart not in my…”

“But what about God, and Jesus Christ?” Psalm interrupted.

Inquisition?

“I believe in the spirit of both, but of the holy trinity I identify most closely with the holy ghost… that sounded sort of poetic…” Morgan smiled.

Stern Psalm.

“… I have no tangible evidence of a higher power, no one does, I have only what I feel… and I feel full of life, energy, spirit, whatever you want to call it. It’s just there.”

“But it’s God and Jesus Christ who give you that feeling,” Psalm retorted.

“I don’t fully deny either,” pulling a silver crucifix out from under his shirt, “You’re entitled to your opinion, Psalm. I respect what you think and feel…”

The wind was beginning to rise.

“But…” Psalm interrupted but this time Morgan, raising his voice, interrupted back.

“Maybe we should talk about something else.”

“Go on, what do you think, what do you really think about my church?”

“Look Psalm,” Morgan said, regaining his composure, “I think we’re taking this a little too seriously so I’m only going to say one more thing to answer your question and then let’s drop it, okay?… I think your religion is a bit fatalistic… original sin and a fiery hell… come on man… I think we’re born pure and should try to stay that way… belief… words… let’s not argue. We’re friends right?”

The rising wind slowed for a moment. The clouds drifted skyward, and away from the “needle” in the valley.

“Will you go to church with me tonight Morgan?”

“What time?”

“Seven.”

“It depends on when we finish unloading…maybe, there’s a good swell and I’d like to catch a couple waves…maybe.”

Ticket To Ride, Chapter 4: This statement seemed to strike a chord…

www.eddieflotte.com
http://www.eddieflotte.com

Four

Morgan reemerged from the store holding an opened bottle of papaya-pineapple juice which he raised slowly to his lips, taking a long, refreshing draught, as his medium-length, blonde hair fell around his ears. He turned to Psalm, still seated restlessly on the bench, and said,

“We’re off.”

This decisive statement broke Psalm from yet another of his reveries and he, not quickly, rose and followed the young driver to the orange, rusted, flatbed truck, parked just a few yards up the street.

Once inside the truck Psalm hastily attempted to dust off the dashboard, using an old rag he’d found on the floor, while Morgan slowly depressed the accelerator and turned the key. Morgan knew that Psalm was about to complain and his ability to predict the other’s comical and frantic actions brought a smile to Morgan’s face.

“This damned red dust,” Psalm exclaimed, while his face reddened and the dust he had cleared from the dash found its way to his trousers. He brushed it feverishly, but in vain. “Bloodredduststoned,” he thinks.

“Stop,” he said to himself quietly.

Morgan pressed the gas, let go of the wheel, tucked his hair behind his ears, then grabbed the wheel again.

“You can’t fight it Psalm,” Morgan advised, “as long as the tradewinds blow the dust will find its way to the dash and eventually to your pants… besides, if there are any constants in our lives, the winds are definitely one of them.”

“Well…you can’t just let it pile up,” Psalm retorted in a forced, fatherly tone, unappreciative of Morgan’s comments.

He had, in his mind, talked down to him as if he were the elder of the two. He thinks “GoddamnbroughtthemdeathMorganthere’smorehere.”

“Stop,” he said to himself quietly.

“I suppose, but it’ll be there again next Friday and the Friday after that.” Morgan said matter-of-factly.

This statement seemed to strike a chord in Psalm and for the moment, he was silenced.

The engine was warm now and Morgan pulled the truck slowly from the curb and down to where the main street dead-ended into the old two-lane highway, which was no wider than the main street itself. They stopped, Morgan glanced at the sea between two small buildings in front of them, then turned left. In mid-turn Psalm caught sight of the Congregational Church in the rear-view mirror. He saw a sign in front, there would be a special sermon that evening. Morgan turned right now and pulled the truck into the two-pump gas station. While filling the tank he talked to the attendant, his friend Miko, a young Hawaiian about Morgan’s age.

“How’s the surf out front bruddah?” Morgan asked.

“Getting bigga since dis mornin’ brah.”

“See ya out there.”

“yeah… laters brah.”

Morgan jumped back in and they set off down the highway, which was fringed on either side by rich, green fields of tall, slowly waving sugar cane. Psalm looked at Morgan as if he’d just sinned and thinks, “Darkheathenpagandevil.”

“Stop,” he said to himself quietly.

“He’s a nice kid Psalm, relax.”

Schematic of all Things – All Things Being Equal?

Worth a second time around…

activistThis poem came to me a few days after 9/11. It was originally part of a short story called “Love Among the Anthrax.” It’s now part of Ticket to Ride. It’s about coming together to achieve common goals. Which goals are up to you.

schematic of all things

by philip scott wikel

I think myself not superior,
but apart,
or better,
and at the same time,
a part.
I think of the things I do as not greater,
but lesser,
at least,
of less apparent impact.
I will not shine in your eyes erudition
on the subject
but instead give you a dim view.
And it’s the you of this that must be figured,
you figure,
and I’ll do the same and am doing the same.
because the definitions are that grey;
the sea joins the sky on a day heavy with fog,
that we must do so together.

Inspirational Youtube Videos

The sun in myself on you and the apparent them,

What first they are not,
what you are not,
and then what I most certainly am;
the I being you as you become the eye in this and not superior,
but apart,
or better,
and at the same time
a part.
And then as a part of the greater,
or the higher,
reaching down to perform the lesser,
or less apparent,
the minute,
the trivial task that strikes like flint,
the power fed feeds.
I,
or now you,
won’t speak in specifics.
I,
or you,
and finally we,
will not give logistics or diagramatic signs of the specific.
Specificity dims the impact of the metaphor,
(the intellectuospiritual machine)
in which to plug the act,
the response,
the thought,
or the feeling,
and then push “play.”

An Artist's Journey

activist This poem came to me a few days after 9/11. It was originally part of a short story called “Love Among the Anthrax.” It’s now part of Ticket to Ride. It’s about coming together to achieve common goals. Which goals are up to you.

schematic of all things

by philip scott wikel

I think myself not superior,
but apart,
or better,
and at the same time,
a part.
I think of the things I do as not greater,
but lesser,
at least,
of less apparent impact.
I will not shine in your eyes erudition
on the subject
but instead give you a dim view.
And it’s the you of this that must be figured,
you figure,
and I’ll do the same and am doing the same.
because the definitions are that grey;
the sea joins the sky on a day heavy with fog,
that we must do so together.

View original post 135 more words

Ticket to Ride: 5 Star Review

“Adulthood wasn’t easy when everyone around you wanted you to destroy what adulthood was. “Ticket to Ride” by Philip Scott Wikel is a novel telling the story of Morgan and Livy coming to adulthood during a time where revolutions of all types were coming ahead and so many messages were going around, no one knew who to follow or believe. “Ticket to Ride” is an exciting read with its own take on the 1960s and 1970s, very highly recommended.”

– James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

The Julian Day on Occupy Radio

“Your music is the absolute perfect catalyst to inspire new thinking within the Occupy [Movement] and the perfect fuel to keep it going. You may have found your exponentially-expanding ‘niche’ 🙂 Congratulations and much success gents!”
– Greg Charles, A Nice Vibe (San Francisco)

http://tinyurl.com/thejuliandaymusic

Occupy Radio – Music, News and Call-in for Occupiers

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Enjoy the show,

The BlogTalkRadio Team

Morgan Takes on Capitalism

by philip scott wikel

My roommate keeps telling me to avoid getting political on my blog. It seems he feels that I should try to maintain a sort of sterile position when it comes to writing and that I should keep my focus on the “writing process.” The first problem is: I don’t have much in the way of a traditional writing process. I’m something of a channeler and get struck by the lightning of inspiration randomly and wake to find I’ve completed a couple of chapters. There’s nothing much interesting in that, is there? The second problem is: Ticket to Ride is a very political book, especially when you look at George Orwell’s definition of political as it pertains to writing:

“Using the word ‘political’ in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.”

And yes, I realize Orwell wrote this quite a while ago and perhaps I should be looking to more contemporary writers for my inspiration (my roommate also feels I’m a bit behind the times). However, I see myself as decidedly old-fashioned and enjoy being such. I like the “old masters,” if you will, and find little in this post, post-modern (maybe it’s three “posts” now) world that suits me. Whatever age or era we’re in right now I like to find my grounding in the solid conviction of our past “masters.” For me they’re like happy grandfathers; full of good, time-tested advice, and even better stories.

My own grandfather, Philip Moser, was quite a mover back in the early days of the Union Movement and believed very strongly in the nobility of the working man. It is with him in mind that I wrote the following passage.

Continue reading “Morgan Takes on Capitalism”

When the Amazing Happens, Signing Books for Readers

Today (April 13, 2010) I was given the opportunity to sign my first copy of Ticket to Ride!

It was a fairly ordinary day. The weather in my little part of Southern California was greyish and windy, but fresh from a recent storm. The clouds of which were threatening to shower us again. It was from within this gloom that I received an unexpected visitor.

She had said that she had ordered a copy of my book last week and today, Rebecca, came up waving her copy of the book asking me to sign it.

“I’d been looking for an opportunity to have you sign my copy,” she said.

She seemed to be glowing, or maybe it was me. I’ll take the fifth on that one.

What a great feeling that someone appreciated my work so much that she sought me out for a signature. It’s amazing. You spend a few years of your life pouring your heart and soul into something you love and then finally you make a connection with a kindred spirit, someone who understands why you made the effort, and appreciates your having done so. It absolutely made my day.

Thanks Rebecca, you don’t know how much that meant to me.

Anyone have a similar story? A time when someone made your day. I’d love to hear about it.