What 10 Cities Would You Choose?

A week ago I spoke in front of a small gathering about my 10 Cities project at the Secret Kingdoms, a recently opened English-language bookstore here in Madrid. It was a surprisingly brisk hour (for me, at least) in which I shared a few favorite stories from that decade of my life and read some of my writing, including an excerpt from Yahweh’s Children.

At the end of my talk, there was a Q&A where the audience asked a number of interesting questions about my travels and the motivations for my choices. Even though I’ve answered questions about 10 Cities for well over a decade now, there were still some fresh inquiries, which were a fun challenge to tackle on the spot.

One of the most common questions I get is, of course, “How did you choose your 10 cities?” With the half dozen interviews and articles I’ve done, and the hundreds of conversations I’ve had with friends and strangers over the years, I’ve answered that question countless times (short answer: mostly, circumstances decided for me). But, I realized the other day, never once have I turned the question on the inquisitor to ask, “What 10 cities would you choose?”

So, I’m doing it now. Whether you’re a new reader or you’ve been on this journey with me since the early days, I want to know, what 10 cities would you have picked if you were doing this project? You can stick to the same limitations I was under and select ones from your home country, or you can just pick any 10 cities throughout the world. You do you. The only firm rule is, in this hypothetical, you will live in each city for 1 year exactly, and none of them can be your hometown (sorry New Yorkers).

Feel free to answer in the comments, or on Facebook, or Twitter, or simply write it on a piece of paper, bury it, and have your grandkids digs it up in 100 years.

I’m fascinated to know what you come up with.

Seattle, Washington (in panorama)

Newsweek: My Turn

Hello new visitors. It’s quite possible you’ve found this site because of the Newsweek article. If you haven’t already read it, I recently wrote about 10 Cities/10 Years for Newsweek’s “My Turn” feature, which is a space for people to share their unique life experiences. In the article, I discuss the details of the project, what I learned about myself through doing it, and what I learned about America in general.

It was an honor to write for the feature and I’m quite pleased how the article came out. You can read it here:

‘I Lived In 10 U.S. Cities in 10 Years—Here’s What I Learned About America’

An excerpt:

City living is a great way to be reminded that America is uniquely complex, that there are millions of Republicans in “blue” America and millions of Democrats in “red” America. One of the silliest notions I’ve ever heard is that there is a “Real America.” According to many politicians, because I grew up in a town of less than 80,000 people, I’m from “Real America.” This concept, that “Real America” exists in the heartlands of the country, outside of our main metropolises, led me to wonder: What does that make the over 15 million Americans I lived among, in big cities, from 2005 to 2015?

After Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016, I heard frequently about the “liberal bubble,” but that never fit with the country I experienced. In the cities I lived in—many considered liberal strongholds—I met all kinds of people whose views fit more neatly in the “conservative” box. There was the transgender woman in New York who adamantly defended the U.S. government’s use of torture on terrorism suspects after 9/11. There was the co-worker in Nashville who assumed, because I am an atheist, that I “sacrificed” children—her interpretation of abortion. For that matter, there were all the residents of so-called liberal cities who went to church every Sunday. I encountered all types of political and religious views over my 10 years; rarely did they fit in an easy category.

If you’d like more background on what exactly the 10 Cities project was (and continues to be), there’s always the About section. If you want to read some stories from the road, you can check out “The Book” section (scroll down and start with the Prologue). You can also check out other Press coverage. Or just take a look around the site; you may stumble across something I’ve totally forgotten I wrote.

Whether you’re a regular reader of this site, someone who used to be a regular reader and is just checking in, or someone who came across 10 Cities/10 Years because of the Newsweek article, I’d love to hear your thoughts: on the article, on the project, on life, on the 1962 Chicago Cubs, whatever. Leave a comment, show some love.

Cheers from Madrid,


P.S. Anyone who is interested in keeping up with my ongoing adventures, including my life in Spain and future publications, can add your email address over on the righthand side.

P.P.S. If you live in Madrid or are going to be in the city in mid-October, I’ll be doing a talk about the project and my writing at The Secret Kingdoms, a recently opened English-language bookstore in Barrios de las Letras. Get tickets here.

Writing Shit

Flying scud (play) – See a man about a dog – Flying Squid?

Any idea what that means? I sure as hell don’t have a clue, and I wrote it. Some time in 2010; I was living in Chicago, but that doesn’t help. My best guess is it’s something that flittered through my mind in one of those half-waking moments at 3 in the morning. Or maybe I was drunk. Or, worse, sober.

More than a decade on, I think it’s safe to say that nothing will ever come of that tossed off attempt at (anti-)clever wordplay; just word salad. Some six cities and even more apartments later; at least a dozen different jobs and a few dozen different writing gigs since; roughly three completed novels and 500 blog posts on, it’s safe to say I’m never going to figure out what the fuck Flying Squid was supposed to mean.

Folders of Nothing

That one not-quite-a-sentence is the only thing in a Word file I found in a folder titled “One Week” (a subfolder in my “My Writing” folder); in that folder there’s a “One Week” file that contains 2,000 words about a guy named Scott working at a bookstore. Maybe it was going to be a short story, more likely it was the sputtering start of a novel that never went anywhere. More than a few of my discarded stories and novels involved guys working at a bookstore, something I’m intimately familiar with. They say, “Write what you know;” but, god, that shit’s boring. I like writing what I don’t know.

Which is why this “My Writing” folder houses a platoon of half-considered attempts at novels and short stories that died before they even had the chance to become ponderous nonsense.

There’s “Bosworth,” from 2011 and 2012 (my time in Seattle), which, at 4,500 words (and an outline) was one of my more drawn out abortions. It was my attempt at some sort of Bukowski pastiche, a novel about an acerbic drunk who befriends a total square and is a non-stop fount of biting one-liners. Turns out, I was not a non-stop fount.

There’s something from 2007 (I was in Costa Mesa) entitled “Ellis Island and the Gay Messiah,” which isn’t even 500 words, but I love the title (admittedly, it’s stolen from a Rufus Wainwright song).

There’s something called “Sanctum,” which is probably the most fully realized of my long-dead novel attempts, including six different character descriptions. That was also in Seattle, though the idea began years before that; I made an attempt at starting it up again the next year while I was living in New Orleans, to no avail. Maybe I’ll get back to that one day.

There’s even my half-assed attempt at a TV show pilot, simply called Sojourner, about an atheist woman who gets in a relationship with a Christian man. That one, which has its own soundtrack, started while I was in Brooklyn, but I quickly realized TV writing isn’t for me.

Those are a just a few of the writing projects I’ve begun and abandoned, and that doesn’t even include the short stories and character sketches that didn’t make it past a few paragraphs (the less said about the poems the better).

Even with that graveyard of novel ideas, I still have two new ideas I’m developing and two novels I’ve completed writing since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdowns. One of those, I recently realized while looking through old files, I initially thought up back in 2010, but didn’t start writing as a novel until 2014 when I was freshly arrived in Brooklyn. And then, of course, there’s Yahweh’s Children, the one novel I’ve finished and self-published (oh, excuse me, I’m supposed to call it “indie published” now).

Around the time I got sick of editing, re-editing, and re-re-editing Yahweh’s Children, and finally just threw it up online, I told myself I would never write another novel again. But, goddamn it, the words keep coming and if I don’t write them down, they keep me up at night. A girl named Effie stole many a night’s sleep from me until I wrote her story.

Will either of the two novels I’ve finished writing in the last two years ever see the light of day? I don’t know. If not, they’d join the first three novels I wrote between the ages of 18 and 23 that will all but certainly never be read. But I hated those novels and I mostly like these ones; I’d sure like to see them find an audience one day. They’re good, if I do say so myself, and, frankly, if I do say so myself, that’s saying something because I loathe most everything I write.

And then there are those two other novel ideas – one a relatively new, Vonnegut-inspired satire, the other an old story inspired by my youth in the church that comes back to me every few years – that I suppose I’ll eventually feel obligated to start writing. I have long given up on the fantasy of being a world-renowned novelist (I know too much about the industry to believe that), but I still find a weird pleasure in the process. Masochistic, of course.

In the meantime, I’ll keep churning out nonsense here and elsewhere, because as aware as I am that this is just screaming into the void, I can’t stop. I’d never get any sleep again if I did.

10 Cities

Why You Should Be Supporting a Universal Living Wage

I currently work as a freelance editor and writer, making almost all my income from these efforts. It’s the remote worker dream, one that I would be reluctant to give up, even for higher pay. I like setting my own schedule so that I can, for instance, write a random blog post when an idea hits me. This morning, at around 6:45 a.m., an idea hit me.

One of my most recent gigs is as a translator of textbooks, translating Spanish to English. Now, to be clear, despite the fact that I have lived in Madrid for nearly 4.5 years, my Spanish is quite mediocre. As in, my reading level might, might, be B1, and my speaking level is even worse. I survive in Spain in large part due to having a partner whose Spanish is much better than mine and the fact that most of my day-to-day interactions can be done in English or remedial Spanish.

I write all of that to say there is no one more surprised than me that I am a Spanish-to-English translator. What qualifications do I have? Well, for my clients, the main one is that I am a native English speaker/writer with an above-average writing and editing ability (I type this fully aware that there will probably be three typos in this thing after I post it). And that, it turns out, is just as valuable for this particular gig as someone with fluency in both languages.

I am able to do my job because of the existence of DeepL and, to a lesser degree, Google Translate. Years ago, it was common to joke about how these translation services mangled language. There was a common ritual that involved the translation of an English phrase through multiple languages and then back to English to see what kind of word salad you ended up with. These days, such a meme is a relic of a bygone era.

That’s not to say these translators are now perfect (far from it, which is why I have a job), but they certainly are vastly better than they used to be even just a few years ago. As an experiment, I tried translating the English phrase “I love you to death” with DeepL, running it through Spanish, then Dutch, and then Japanese. When I translated it back to English, it returned “I love you to death.” That’s just an anecdote, but the point is, these translation tools have gotten far more sophisticated in a short span of time.

That’s largely due to AI. Artificial Intelligence is being used in basically every business and science field imaginable, mostly in ways far less sexy or menacing than decades of science fiction have led us to believe it would be. AI is the future, but also, it’s the present. While the kind of AI we’re used to seeing in films like I, Robot is quite possibly a century or more out, its use on a smaller, more workmanlike scale is already universal.

Now, as you can tell by the title of this post, I’m not here to write about AI (the little I do discuss AI owes a great deal to the excellent book by Hannah Fry, Hello World; pick it up). I only bring it up because it’s intricately linked to the work I do now. Without its existence and its improvement to translating technology, I would be ineligible for my current gig. Someone who was actually bilingual and a good writer/editor would be required for the job, and they would be able to ask for a far higher wage for their efforts. Aye, there’s the rub.

For the last year or so, I have been asking people, “Could your job be done by a machine?” Some people reply, unequivocally, yes, while others say probably. And still others state that parts of their job can be done by a machine, but it would lack the “human” element. Few if any people have ever said absolutely not.

As a writer, I like to think that I bring something to the table that AI (or Robby the Robot) couldn’t. Creativity, life experience, emotion, faulty logic – the “human” element. But the reality is that AI is already being used to write books and if that technology improves at even a fraction of the rate translation has improved, we’re going to see a completely AI-written novel top the New York Times Bestseller list within the decade.

(If you’re dubious, read about David Hofstadter’s experiment in AI-generated classical music, which took place all the way back in 1997.)

I, too, would like to think my “humanness” (my specific talent and imagination) brings something to my work that is valuable. Also, I like to get paid for my work. But I know the inevitable reality is that, at some point down the line, my value – and your value – as a worker will be next to nil. That process has already begun.

I have value as a writer and editor because I am pretty good at both skill sets and, frankly, way better than the average person. And for now, that means that I can make a living doing this thing that I love doing. But I have no delusion that I couldn’t be replaced by an algorithm at some point down the line. I can’t help but think about my nephews and nieces and wonder what types of job opportunities will exist for them in the future. (When I accidentally transposed the ‘i’ and ‘e’ in nieces just now, my Word processor automatically corrected it. Thanks technology!)

There’s currently much discussion of self-driving cars and how those will put truck drivers out of work. I think that fear is a little premature because fully self-driving cars are probably a lot further off in the future than people like Elon Musk would lead you to believe (a topic covered thoroughly in Hello World). In my novel, Yahweh’s Children, I make a throwaway joke about a character 40 years in the future still waiting for flying cars. The point being that sometimes the promises of “visionaries” don’t pan out when matched with the pragmatic roadblocks of reality. But I digress.

The truth is that self-driving cars will be a nightmare for truck drivers, but not because it will eliminate all truck driving jobs. What it’s going to eliminate is the need for skilled truck drivers, the type of people who have highly specialized training and can thus demand a higher wage (usually with the help of a union, but, again, I digress). A self-driving truck will still need a human driver (for the foreseeable future), but not one who needs to operate the truck with anything more than the most rudimentary knowledge. So, what happens then? It’s basic economics: far more people will be able to do that job, which means their labor will be worth less, which means they’ll be paid less. But somebody will still take that job; a job’s a job, as they say.

Truck driving is perhaps the most high-profile example of a job potentially being overtaken by technology, but it’s hardly the only profession that is at risk (just read up on how restaurants are looking at tech to replace workers). It’s also not just AI that is making jobs obsolete. The former US President won over some voters by promising to bring back coal mining jobs. It was one of his most transparent lies (as time proved), but also maybe one of the most telling. Coal mining is dying, and though advances in technology are playing a part in accelerating the decline in jobs, the reality is that an industry built on digging up a finite resource was always going to have an expiration date. But a chunk of the world wants to deny reality by putting their heads in the ground, and they will happily support someone who sells them a shovel.

Whatever your job is, whatever amount of humanity you bring to it, just know that at some point – in a few years, in a generation, in four generations – AI and related technology will take much of the skill and individuality out of it. Your position, as it exists now, will be replaced by a machine, possibly with a human to keep things running, but a human who is far less trained and experienced than you. A human who will get paid less than you get paid now, which is already probably lower (in real world dollars) than what someone a generation ago got paid to do your job.

Let me be clear: I’m not an anti-tech prophet of doom. I think technology is great, and even if I didn’t, I’d still know its progress is inevitable. The question isn’t if, it’s when, and all that.

What’s not inevitable (at least, yet) is how society adapts to technology. Anyone who tells you this current economic model of hourly wages and salaries is sustainable either has their head in a hole or is selling shovels. In not too many generations, we will either have a society that provides for its population (its entire population), or we’ll have one where wealth inequality is so astronomical, the concept of a “first-world country” will be meaningless. In both scenarios, let me assure you, the rich will be absolutely fine.

In many ways, the fight over increasing the minimum wage in the US (which I wholeheartedly support) is a sideshow, because at some point it won’t be about finding jobs that pay well, it’ll be about finding any jobs at all. If we acknowledge that technology can do some jobs completely and other jobs partially, we have to accept the math that there will be less jobs available (certainly less jobs that require skill). Considering that the global population is going to still be growing for the next four decades, at least, the decline in jobs that pay a true living wage is a problem that is only going to worsen.

And that’s why you should support a universal living wage*. You, the teacher; you, the doctor; you, the truck driver; you, the computer programmer; you, the writer. It’s not about Communism or Socialism (or any other poorly understood ‘-ism’). If anything, it’s probably the most capitalist idea possible: if you ensure the entire population has enough money to buy food and shelter and clothes and iPhones and Netflix subscriptions, business will thrive. Billionaires will still be billionaires and the Jeffrey Bezos and Elon Musks can continue to shoot their penises rockets into the moon.

Even if you adamantly believe that your job could never be fully replaced by a machine because of that intangible human factor, you have to at least acknowledge that parts of your job could be automated. Which means that at some point, the Capitalist Overlords or Job Creators (whichever term you prefer) will realize they can pay less money. And anybody who thinks that increasing the minimum wage is enough to staunch the wound is as much a victim of head-in-the-ground thinking as those coal miners.


Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter. Now I have to get back to my day job. I’ve only got a few more years before Wall-E replaces me.

* I’m using the term “living wage”, but I understand it might be better termed a universal basic income. But the UBI that has recently been proposed in the US by people like Andrew Yang has always fallen short of what I’m talking about. I mean a true living wage, i.e., not just a bare minimum, but something that allows for people to do whatever they like (say, for instance, a decade-long travel project). Your “wage” is what you “earn” simply by being alive and producing whatever you produce.

Yahweh’s Children: Available Now

Happy New Year!

Alright, with that out of the way, on to business.

The day is finally here. More than a decade after typing the first words on a long deceased computer, my novel, Yahweh’s Children, is available to purchase. Right now. RIGHT HERE.

Yahweh's Children

“The subway pulsed with the message,” was how the novel began in its original form. That opening sentence remains, albeit altered, but so much of what follows is completely changed from the first draft. The first chapter used to be twice as long before I cut out all the unnecessary exposition. You’re welcome.

This is a novel with many themes: family and love; pursuing passions and losing faith; the evolution of life and language; the elusiveness of truth. Also, aliens.

This book is a part of me, an avatar for me; which means it will probably be off-putting to some and out stay its welcome with others. But, hopefully, there will be those who find its weird conceits, obsessive minutia, and caustic humor to be oddly charming.

Now, I’m going to ask something of you, dear reader, that in the long history of this project and this website I have never explicitly done: Give me money. Buy my book.

It’s only $4.99 (available on Amazon right now) and unlike that hypothetical book of poetry, the money will actually go to me. Heck, you don’t even have to read it. But, I mean, please do?

I know some of you out there made a resolution to read more books this year. Here’s the perfect opportunity to follow through and support an independent writer at the same time.

I can already hear some people saying, “Can’t you publish a physical version? I hate reading on a Kindle.” And I get it, I still buy physical books and have never actually read an entire e-book. Believe me, there is no greater dream in my heart than seeing my book on the shelf of an actual bookstore.

For now, though, the plan is to keep Yahweh’s Children digital only. That could change in the future, but only if there is enough demand to warrant it. In the meantime, maybe give the Kindle (or Kindle App) a try.

Thank you so much ahead of time to anyone who does buy and read my novel. I can’t promise it’ll be your favorite book of all time, but I can promise it was written with the intent that it would be. That’s all any writer can endeavor towards.

Buy Yahweh’s Children now.




My Novel

This is a bit of an unusual post. No pictures of Spain, no travel stories or advice. Instead, I wanted to tell you about my novel. Well, novels.


I wrote my first novel as a freshman in college. It’s called Bankrupt, and it’s terrible. No one has read it. Actually, my college professor read some of it during a semester Private Study I had with him. In the process, he fell so far behind that we never actually finished editing the book. It’s that bad.

Bankrupt is about the titular rock band – a Christian band – that gains massive success to become one of the biggest acts in the world. At the time (early 2000s) there had been a number of bands like Lifehouse and Evanescence who had Christian-origin stories but were downplaying that in the wake of their Top-40 success. That was the spark for my novel. 

Inspired by a reading of The Sound and the Fury, the book was broken into four parts told by each member of the band, starting with the most devout Christian and ending with the guy of no faith. In structuring it this way, I was essentially tracing my own personal de-conversion from the faith.

As a concept and as a structure, there’s a really great book to be made of Bankrupt. I didn’t write that book. What I wrote is putrid garbage, and I don’t say that out of modesty. Beyond the fact that I was still writing like a freshman college student, I had no idea what I was writing about, knowing nothing about the music industry or what it was like to tour the country. I still lived in my hometown for god’s sake.

Bankrupt will never see the light of day. My version, at least. Maybe someone can steal the idea and make a decent book of it. Just do me a solid and give me credit in the thank yous.

The Fortunate Ones

The second novel I ever wrote came about in my final semester of college while I was taking four different literature courses and too bored to pay attention. I was never a note taker, but trying to stave off sleep, I started writing out a dream I had one morning and over the next four months, it grew into a novel.

That book is called The Fortunate Ones. That’s probably it’s third or fourth name. Originally, it was called Tabula Rasa, mostly just because I liked the term, not because it bore any meaning for the book. 

The Fortunate Ones was my attempt to take the infamous “Bechdel Test” to its logical extreme: I wrote an entire novel where the only characters who spoke were women, and there was no fluffy romance subplots. The book followed four main characters, including the narrator, as they dealt with life’s ups and downs. It was a noble if ham-fisted attempt at feminist literature, I suppose. It also wasn’t very good.

Back when Livejournal was a thing, I created a new site to post chapters from the book. I had one random online stranger who read the whole thing. She gushed about it enthusiastically, and I always appreciated that, but I have no idea who she was and we didn’t keep in touch.

A couple years back, I was in the midst of a writer’s funk and decided to revisit some of my old writing. I started rereading Tabula Rasa and reworking it, eventually leading to an almost complete rewrite of the second half of the book. When I was done, I changed its name to The Fortunate Ones (a bit less pretentious title) and threw it up anonymously on Amazon. I’m pretty sure no one has ever downloaded it, and that’s probably for the best.


I started writing Invasion during Year 1 in Charlotte. It’s probably the most personal of my four novels, and honestly I don’t remember it very well. Like Bankrupt, I think the concept is sound, but also like Bankrupt, I know that I wasn’t a capable enough writer to do the topic justice. I’ve never re-read it.

Invasion tells the story of a gay college student in Kansas who is attacked and left in a coma. That’s chapter one. The rest of the novel explores his relationship with his mother who is devoutly religious and unable to accept her son’s “lifestyle.”

Their relationship is explored from many different angles, with the cornerstone being their mutual love of the music of the Beatles. I used a lot of Beatles lyrics in the book, something that I realized would probably make getting the book published an expensive proposition (especially for a first-time novelist), but those lyrics were the heart of the story.

The novel plays around with shifting perspectives, an erratic timeline, and, what has become a hallmark of my writing, mixing global and local perspective. I tell very personal, human stories against the backdrop of a larger narrative, some bigger event going on in the world that puts things in perspective. I was just starting to develop this style with Invasion.

My next novel honed it.

Yahweh’s Children

Originally just titled Yahweh, my fourth and final completed novel has been around for roughly a decade at this point. I started writing the book at the end of Year 2, Philadelphia, after reading a book called Joseph’s Bones: Understanding the Struggle Between God and Mankind in the Bible, by Jerome Segal. Segal’s book sparked my novel’s initial raison d’etre, though in its final form, the connection is tenuous.

The first draft took a year to complete. I edited it, and edited it, and edited it. I would submit it to agents and publishers and here nothing, then go back and edit some more. I’d start working on a new novel, get bored with those fresh efforts, and go back to Yahweh.

About two years ago, having sat on this complete tome for many years, I sent it out to a journal that offered editing services for $250. They said they would read the book over a month and then get back to me with their thoughts and suggestions and edits in the margin. After two months, they still hadn’t sent back the edits. Finally, I was contacted by the guy who was reading my book and he said he’d have it for me in a week.

When I finally received his reply, there were no edits in the book itself, or really even any concrete suggestions for improvements. Instead, he sent three pages explaining why the book simply didn’t work. He didn’t care much for the characters or the stories, and thought one of my subplots was homophobic, interestingly enough. There was no mention of the humor in the book and seemingly no understanding that the book was meant as a work of satire.

I was angry about the review, as any writer would be who just had years of work trashed in a hastily completed “edit.” At the same time, this stranger was the only person who had actually read the book (presumably he finished it), and he had clearly hated it. That led to a dark moment of the writer’s soul. It took months before I could even look at my novel again.

(The most aggravating part of the letter was him ending it with the condescending, “At least you finished writing the novel. That’s something to be proud of.” I don’t need your pity, random half-assed editor.)

When I did return to Yahweh, I committed to killing my babies. I scrapped a large chunk of the opening chapter that I had always loved but now realized was superfluous. I took entire chapters and rewrote them from a different character’s perspective. I expanded the roles of the women characters and tightened up the ending.

The name changed to Yahweh’s Children (which, if I’m being honest with myself, should have always been the book’s title).

I submitted this new version to a host of agents. And the roaring sounds of “Meh” came crashing in. To be fair, I did receive a couple of responses saying, “Sounds interesting but I don’t think I could represent it.” I’ve spent nearly as much time crafting different cover letters and synopses for the book as I did writing the thing.

The truth is, I don’t know how to sell this book, but I believe in it. It’s the only one of my four completed novels that I would call “good.” There are genuinely passages in it that, when I re-read them, make me laugh out loud, which sounds ridiculously egotistical, but if you’ve made it this far, you have to know I’m not exactly a toot my own horn guy.

Yahweh’s Children is a bit unwieldy, incredibly difficult to explain, and deeply yet subtly satirical in a way that, apparently, doesn’t register with some readers. It simply doesn’t fit into easy genre terms. It’s science fiction to a large extent, minus any interest in most of the tropes of that genre, but it’s also just a story about fathers and sons. And aliens. And God. Or god. Like I said, unwieldy.

Now that I’m in Madrid, I have so many new priorities and concerns, searching for an agent/publisher just doesn’t register in my top 10. Plus, with how rapidly world events are transpiring, the book might be hopelessly dated by the time I ever did manage to find representation for it (the book was written during a time when a Trump presidency seemed less likely than the discovery of aliens).

And so, for that reason, I’ve decided to go a route that, frankly, I’ve never had much interest in pursuing. I will self-publish Yahweh’s Children on Amazon and let the chips fall where they may. It’s quite possible no one will ever buy it, and that’s fine. No one is ever going to buy it if it just remains on my hard drive, either.

I have a new novel idea that I’ve been picking at for a couple of years, but as long as Yahweh’s Children remains in front of me, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully commit to it.

Yahweh’s Children may hold no interest for any of you readers, but I figured I’d let you know anyway. My aim is to have it online and available first thing in the new year. You know, right when everyone stops buying things because they’re broke after Christmas. I’m good at business.

I’ll post when Yahweh’s Children officially goes live, but in the meantime, here’s a book jacket synopsis so you can gauge your interest:

In the early decades of the 21st century, SETI researchers receive the first confirmed transmissions from an alien species. These messages, transmitting from far beyond our galaxy, arrive as indecipherable gibberish, except for one word written in an ancient human language. It’s a name: Yahweh.

Yahweh’s Children follows three generations of the Priestly family through interweaving timelines. The Priestly men are a stubborn and gently misanthropic tribe, driven equally by their passions and their disdain for their fathers. Wyatt, the patriarch, is a frustrated writer-turned-professor and Luddite, living through one of the most revolutionary moments in human history, and frankly, he doesn’t care for it.

Wyatt and his wife, Mia, have twins: Gwen is charismatic, brash, confident, and outspoken; and then there’s Parker. Parker lives in the shadow of his beloved sister, a bitter also-ran in the race for their father’s admiration. He grows into a man of reckless affection, flitting from marriage to marriage, seeking an ever elusive contentment, with his children always in the dust.

Nearly 50 years after the reception of the first “Yahweh Messages,” Parker’s eldest son, Alex, lives in a world haphazardly transformed by alien technology. As a journalist, Alex stumbles upon a mysterious government project involving the alien messages that may hold the key to the next stage of human evolution. Or it may herald the death of Yahweh’s Children.

That’s about the best broad synopsis I can give for a novel that deals with wide-ranging subjects including Climate Change, gender identity, slang evolution, and, of course, alcoholism.  

If that sounds interesting to you, I hope you’ll support my art and travels by purchasing the book when it’s available in January. Thank you to everyone who reads these posts week to week, next week 10×10 will return to its regularly scheduled programming.