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Mark David Gerson
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We've Moved!

This blog platform and I have had a great run together (it's been a decade!), but it's time to move on. For my convenience and yours, I've relocated my blog to my website. You'll find at www.markdavidgerson.com/blog...where there are already three posts waiting for you (with a fourth scheduled to publish at the end of this week).

If you are subscribed to this blog's feed through a news reader, please update your subscription. And if you just check in here occasionally, please stop by our new home!

Regardless, I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments.

Once again, it's www.markdavidgerson.com/blog. See you there!


A New Year's Leap of Faith

If you follow me on Facebook, you will know that I am in the midst of preparing to leave the Southwest (where I have spent most of my time in the US) to move to the Pacific Northwest. As I have done so many times in the past (and have documented in my Acts of Surrender memoir), I am leaving with very little as I once again launch a new life for myself in a new place.

I don’t know what awaits me in Portland. All I know is that the call to move from the stark, monastic beauty of the high desert to the lush luxuriance of river and forest is one that I cannot ignore...even as it requires me to take what feels to be the greatest leap of faith I have ever taken. And I have taken many!

From the first big one, more than three decades ago when I left my hometown, until the one that returned me to Albuquerque from Southern California seven years ago, each major leap has required more courage than the one before.

Courage, of course, is not the absence of fear. It is the ability to move forward in spite of fear. When in my first novel, The MoonQuest, Toshar is called to feel his fear, then pass through it to the other side where his destiny awaits, his fear-to-destiny journey was mine. 


With each of my leaps into the unknown, the "destiny" that has awaited me has been nothing that I could have (consciously) imagined. A new life in a new country? I never (consciously) wanted to live in the United States. A wife and daughter? I was a gay man with no (conscious) interest in parenthood. A teacher, speaker and coach? Not (consciously) interested. Fifteen books (and counting)? Hell, back in my teens, writing was the last pursuit I would have (consciously) chosen!

This next leap, my move to Portland, will be no different. As my stories do in the writing of them, my new life there will reveal itself to me in the living of it. As with my books and stories, I have no outline or game plan for Portland. I have a place to land – for a month, at any rate – and the rest will make itself known in the same magical, miraculous, synchronistic way that my life and stories have always unfolded.

Yet even as I surrender into the unknowingness and unknowable of what lies ahead, I still enter 2018 with certain hopes, desires and intentions (in as detached a way as I can manage!). On a professional front, these mostly revolve around both my own storytelling and my work helping others with theirs...helping you with yours – as a teacher, facilitator, coach, mentor and catalyst.

These are my passions, and I look to 2018 and my presence in Portland to fire them up, express them and get them out into the world – to you – in new and exciting ways.

By the way, "stories" can take many forms. If the written form is the most literal, it's not the only one. A story can express itself on an artist's canvas, on a potter's wheel, on a composer's notation paper, through a photographer's viewfinder or on a filmmaker's reel. It can express itself on a stage, on a screen or in a studio. It can also express itself in a kitchen or garden, or in a workshop or machine shop. More than that, even, it expresses itself every day as the story of your life.

How it will express itself in my life as I take my leap of faith into this next phase of my journey remains to be seen, even as I have little doubt that continuing to tell my stories and to work with you to help you tell and/or live yours will remain an integral part of it. However it plays out, I hope that you will remain an integral part of my story and that I will also remain an integral part of yours!


The year just ended was a challenging one for many. May this new one usher in an end to fear, dread and struggle. May it be a year of renewed hope, rekindled optimism and an abundance of joy, laughter and the fullest expression of your heart’s desire! Happy 2018!!!




A Super-Saver Pre-Holiday Special!

You never know what you'll find when you open your storage unit.

What I found when I rummaged through mine recently was a small stack of unexpected cartons of the first editions of my first two books: The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write and The MoonQuest (The Q'ntana Trilogy, Book I).

Unexpected, because apart from a handful of "souvenir" copies of these early editions, I didn't know I still had any left. Both first editions were superseded by newer versions a few years back.

With the holidays coming up, I decided that it was the perfect time to take this "storage surprise," throw in some of the few remaining copies of my 2-CD album, The Voice of the Muse Companion: Guided Meditations for Writers, and create a Holiday Supersaver package for you at an unprecedented discount: The Voice of the Muse book and CD at a combined price lower than either sells for separately – $16.77. On top of that, I'm throwing in a bonus copy of The MoonQuest, absolutely free!

GET YOUR COPIES NOW!


Factoring in the free MoonQuest, that's more than 70% off the regular retail price of the two books and CD set!

Even without the killer discount, The Voice of the Muse and MoonQuest books, along with The Voice of the Muse recording on CD, would make ideal gifts for both the writers and fantasy lovers on your holiday list...starting with you! 

But for $16.77, it's an absolute no-brainer!


The Voice of the Muse contains all the practical, inspirational and motivational content that turned it into an instant classic and got it named Best Writing Book of the Year not once but twice. As for The MoonQuest, the critically acclaimed story is an even more relevant allegory today than it was when it was first published more than a decade ago.


These two books were my first award-winners and are still my best-sellers. And The MoonQuest is on its way to the big screen as the first film in an epic fantasy trilogy!

So you won't want to miss this deal!! 

A few "fine print" details...
• This promotion will continue through Oct. 31...or until these last copies of the two books are gone. Because I have a limited number left, I urge you to act now! (I'm also running low on the CD version of The Voice of the Muse Companion; so its days of availability are also numbered.)
• I cannot sign copies of these super-sale editions. If you prefer signed copies, please order the new editions from www.markdavidgerson.com/books.
• To make the process more efficient, all books will be shipped within 7 days of the end of the promotion.


Photo of Storage Unit: Original Flickr image by MyBiggestFan; licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0); https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode. This version additionally processed in Luminar.

Sex in the '90s

That's 90s as in age, not as in the 1990s, and the nonagenarian in this first-person excerpt from my novel The Emmeline Papers is the feisty, eccentrically iconoclastic Emmeline Mandeville, who is as unashamedly sexual at 92 as she was at 19, back in the final years of Queen Victoria's reign. 

Emmeline was a minor character in my novel After Sara's Year, but she turned out to be pushy enough that she wasn't shy about demanding a book of her own! The Emmeline Papers is the result. I hope she approves...even if The Emmeline Papers is not all about her. 

Rather, Emmeline's frank and funny musings on life and aging frame the compelling story of the friends and lovers who find themselves living in her London townhouse 14 years after her death (the London town house on the book cover.)

Even if no author (like no parent) should ever name a favorite offspring, I have to confess that Emmeline is one of mine!


I have always enjoyed sex. That may not be a shocking admission in 1974. Even in this age, however, many would find it startling to hear it from a woman of my years. Yet, for a woman born when Victoria reigned to say how much she relishes sex, and to speak it out loud with neither blushes nor shame? That is shocking. Or it would be were any of my more strait-laced relatives or contemporaries still alive to be shocked.

Women of my generation were expected to squeeze our eyes shut, do our duty to Queen and country and produce an heir and a spare. We were expected to tolerate sex as necessary to the perpetuation of our lineage and to the survival of the Empire. We were not expected to savor it. We were absolutely not expected to seek it out — within a marriage or, worse, outside of it.

Sexual mores loosened up after the First War, of course, but I had not waited. I was nearing my forties by then and was already in possession of a past that no amount of smelling salts could have successfully revived Grandmama had she learned about it. I had a body, albeit an unshapely one, and I saw no reason why I should not extract from it as much pleasure as it could offer me. Nor did I see any reason to limit myself to men of my own class…or to men at all, come to think of it. ...

And orgasms? If a woman of my era admitted to having had one, if she were shameless enough to utter the word, that woman was viewed as little better than the most common of prostitutes. How ironic that Victoria should today be seen as the primmest, most prudish and most humorless of monarchs...of women. I do not believe it. Not for an instant.

I have manifestly enjoyed mine through seventy years and a good score or more of able partners. Had Jeremy been unable to match if not surpass the prowess of his predecessors, I could not have married him, regardless of his other attributes, however admirable.

For a man with so little experience of women before me, Jeremy is surprisingly adept and pleasingly passionate. Frankly, if I didn’t fear that it would give him a heart attack, I would choose to die in bed with him, in mid-orgasm. I cannot imagine a more satisfying end. Can you?

Excerpted from The Emmeline Papers © 2017 Mark David Gerson

• • • For more excerpts from all my books, visit my author page on Bublish • • •


Get your copy of The Emmeline Papers today! In paperback or ebook from major online booksellers, or signed by me to you from www.thesarastories.com


When Storytelling is "a Matter of Death...and Life!"


"My characters are as real to me as any flesh-and-blood personage, and I am grateful to them for continuing to live out such fascinating lives and for continuing to compel me to tell their stories." 

When the first words of what would become my first novel surged out of me 23 years ago in a Toronto writing workshop that I was facilitating, I couldn't know how much my life was about to change.

Within seven months, I would sell everything I owned, buy my first car and move a thousand miles east to rural Nova Scotia. A few years after that, I would sell up again and find myself living in a new country, embarked on a journey that I could never have dreamed up in my wildest imaginings.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises would be the one that continues to astound me: I became an award-winning author and optioned screenwriter.

The child I was would never have wanted to be a writer. The child I was didn't believe he was creative and wasn't interested in being proven wrong. The child I was didn't trust his imagination, wasn't even sure he had one.

Yet, as I chronicle in Acts of Surrender: A Writer's Memoir, my Muse had other ideas, fiendishly applying its tricksterish ways to bamboozle me onto the writerly path I have been following since the morning after that Toronto workshop, when I picked up those rough jottings, curious to see where they might lead. They led to The MoonQuest, which like all those Biblical "begats" have carried me forward to what is now my 15th book and sixth novel.

I shared a bit about the peculiar genesis of that novel, The Emmeline Papers, in my most recent newsletter. In short, it was neither a book I expected to write nor the book I thought it was going to be once I started writing it. Not for the first time, my characters had their own idea of the story they wanted from me.

6 Characters in Search of An Author poster It's a situation that reminds me of Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, a stage play where six strangers interrupt a theatrical rehearsal and introduce themselves as unfinished characters who are seeking an author to finish their story. Like Pirandello's, my characters are as real to me any flesh-and-blood personage and have no hesitation in hijacking my writing enterprise to demand that their story be told – their way.

I'm not complaining. Their way has consistently proven itself to be more entertaining, inspiring and captivating than mine could ever be. From a writer's perspective, their way has also been consistently more challenging.

The Emmeline Papers was no exception. Both in terms of craft and content, the story never stopped challenging me – pressing me not only to sharpen my storytelling skills but to dig deeper and deeper within myself for the not-always-comfortable emotional truths that it required and demanded. I should have expected no less from a story that, early on, gave itself the tagline "it's a matter of death...and life!"

Until now, my novels have revealed little of themselves to me in advance. I don't outline, and I generally discover the story I'm writing much the same way that you discover it as its reader: page by page and chapter by chapter. After Sara's Year, my fifth novel, was the first to divulge its ending to me early in the process.

With The Emmeline Papers, the story was considerably more forthcoming – once it had shanghaied my initial concept, that is, and replaced it with its own!

My original idea was to weave two interrelated threads: the story of the eccentric, singleminded Emmeline Mandeville and the story of how copies of her memoir happen to fall, independently, into various related characters' hands.

In The Emmeline Papers as it wrote itself through me, Emmeline spends the final months of her 93rd year reflecting on her iconoclastic past, never imagining  how profoundly her reminiscences will weave through the lives of the men and women who find themselves living in her house a decade and a half later.

If you have read my earlier Sara stories, you will recognize those men and women as Sara, Mac, Bernie, Erik and Sadie. However, you needn't have read Sara's Year or After Sara's Year to laugh and cry your way through the The Emmeline Papers. Nothing about Emmeline requires any prior knowledge of its characters or their previous exploits.

About those characters: I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am to them for continuing to live out such fascinating lives and for continuing to compel me to tell their stories – their way.

I foresee one final installment in these Sara Stories. In fact, if you promise not to tell anyone, I'll share a secret with you: I have already written the opening paragraphs of an opening chapter to this next novel. This time, I have neither title nor concept. This time, all I have is a character and a time frame. Who knows whether either will prove to be accurate!

But that's a story for another day. Today's is The Emmeline Papers, and I'm excited to be able to share it with you – especially as early reviewers have uniformly praised it as "brilliant"!

Although the book launches officially on July 9, the 20th anniversary of my arrival in the US, I am asking you to preorder your copy today. Why?
• All ebook preorders are counted as opening day sales, and it's those numbers that can propel a book to bestseller status on Amazon and other sites
• I have a limited number of paperback copies available for preorder, and I'd hate for you to miss out!

Here's what to do:
• Preorder The Emmeline Papers in ebook today from any Kindle, iBooks, Google Play or Kobo store, and get your copy delivered on July 9
• Preorder your paperback copy of The Emmeline Papers from my website and there's a good chance that you will be reading your signed copy before it's available for general release!

One final note: Just as I am fussy about my first name (it’s "Mark David," not "Mark" or "David"), Emmeline is particular about hers. Emmeline pronounces it so that it rhymes with mine not with mean.


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Something About Me and My Book:
Mark David Gerson is a screenwriter, award-winning author and creator of The Q'ntana Trilogy of fantasy novels and films. The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy, the first book in the trilogy, has won multiple national and regional awards, as has his book on writing and creativity, The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write. Both books, and his The Voice of the Muse Companion: Guided Meditations for Writers CD, are available here and on Amazon.

The MoonQuest, the first feature film in The Q'ntana Trilogy, produced by Anvil Springs Entertainment of Los Angeles and Albuquerque, will be in theaters in 2012.

Mark David is also a script analyst, editorial consultant, artist, photographer, broadcaster and popular speaker on topics related to creativity and spirituality. Although his Muse & You radio show is on hiatus, he is still a regular featured guest on Unity.fm's Spiritual Coaching radio program.

As a creativity coach and writing-workshop facilitator for nearly 20 years in the U.S. and Canada, Mark David has guided writers and non-writers alike to connect with their innate wisdom, open to their creative power and express themselves with ease. 

Mark David is currently working on a memoir and on The StarQuest and The SunQuest, the book and screenplay sequels to The MoonQuest.


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"The Voice of the Muse" Wins 2009 New Mexico Book Award

Mark David Gerson’s Medal-Winning Writing Book Honored in Statewide Competition



Mark David Gerson’s The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to… Continue

Posted on November 21, 2009 at 8:49am

Mark David Gerson Wins 2008 New Mexico Book Award for The MoonQuest

Mark David Gerson’s win, for The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy, was announced on November 21 at an Albuquerque awards banquet designed to honor authors in more than 30 categories from New Mexico and beyond.



His award, in the statewide contest, was in the Fantasy/Science Fiction category.



The MoonQuest, Gerson’s first novel,… Continue

Posted on November 22, 2008 at 8:41pm — 1 Comment

The MoonQuest Wins its 4th Award

Los Angeles, CA -- The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy by Mark David Gerson was named a Gold Medal IPPY winner today in the international Independent Book Publisher Awards



"The quality of this year's entries is totally amazing," says the IPPY press release, "and judging was difficult, as we saw better designed books, read higher quality writing and were exposed to a more sophisticated concepts."



The MoonQuest won in the Visionary Fiction… Continue

Posted on May 21, 2008 at 4:56pm

Last Laugh Goes to Self-Published Humorist

The self-published winner of Canada's most prestigious literary humor award now has a publisher. (See "Self-Published Author Wins Prestigious National Award," May 1.)



Douglas Gibson Books, an imprint of McClelland & Stewart, beat out the two other Canadian publishers who had expressed interest in… Continue

Posted on May 12, 2008 at 6:30am

Self-Published Canadian Author Wins Prestigious National Award



According to this morning's Globe and Mail newspaper out of Toronto, a debut novel self-published by its author after he couldn't attract an agent or publisher, has won Canada's most prestigious award for literary humor: the CAN$10,000 Stephen Leacock… Continue

Posted on May 1, 2008 at 1:01pm

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At 8:10am on December 9, 2011, Fernando Sobenes said…

Hello Mark. My name is Fernando Sobenes and I want to invite you to read the prologue and the first two chapters of my novel: "The Evil Visitor" in my blog The Evil Visitor

Also you can watch the book trailer.

Best regards,

Fernando

At 10:09pm on October 25, 2009, Peggy Spencer said…
I try to make all the meetings. See you then!
At 10:08pm on October 25, 2009, Matthew Vossler said…
Thanks, nice to meet a fellow fantasy writer. --Matt
At 7:45am on July 16, 2009, Freya R said…
Hi Mark

Do stop by when you have a moment to check out our free book marketing tool - BookBuzzr. (www.bookbuzzr.com)

BookBuzzr is a page-flipping application that is more suited for marketing books online. BookBuzzr comes with the built-in ability to share your book-extract on over 60 social networking and bookmarking sites such as Facebook, Orkut, MySpace, Digg, Delicious etc.

We'd love it if you'd take a look at our tool and share your thoughts.

Cheers
Freya [at] bookbuzzr [dot] com

PS - Sorry for this message if you already use BookBuzzr, but please help us tell others and spread the benefit!
At 11:57am on June 19, 2009, Matthew Vossler said…
Mark, also belated, I just saw your reply. Your work sounds very interesting and also important! Creative spark is definitely needed and not just for writers :) --Matt
At 7:33pm on May 28, 2009, J. D. Holiday said…
Hi Mark David!
Great seeing you here. As you know, I spend much of my time at FB. I am thinking that our talk could
be a writer's block. Maybe you, me and another author can discuss how to break through blocks! Something I know you know a lot about!
Jan
At 2:35am on March 16, 2009, Bert Martinez said…
Hello, I'm Bert Martinez, I'm looking to network with success minded authors. If you would like my free report 30 Strategies for Selling More Books just fill out the form below. I look forward to networking with you and if there is anything that I can help you with please do not hesitate to contact me.

You Were Created to Succeed!

Bert Martinez
www.bertmartinez.com




For Email Marketing you can trust
At 12:27pm on November 27, 2008, Morningmoon said…

Hello Mark!
Thank you for accepting my invite... and you cant resist the moon? Well I have "moon" all over the place! lol Yes, she is beautiful isnt She :)

If I must say you have a warm friendly smile, its lovely :)

I look forward to being friends and getting to each other better, till then, enjoy your day and indeed life...
At 7:12pm on October 30, 2008, Wendy Whittingham said…
I'm just a litle bit in awe of you too. :-) You've been very successful .... congrats and keep up the great work!
At 7:08pm on October 30, 2008, Wendy Whittingham said…
I know .... I saw that and thought you'd make a great friend since we shared a common bond.
Montreal is one of my favourite cities btw.
Bonne nuit monsieur! (I hope I got that right)
 
 
 

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