I first gazed up at the summit thirteen years ago. It looked close. I was writing a memoir about my father and the 1960’s. Memoirs…Continue
When I began blogging I vowed to only write about politics on the rare occasions that I had something personal to contribute. This is one of those times.
ACT I: Plum Pit Throat
I just finished a new draft of book one of my series and sent it to my new agent. Just as I embarked on my re-write I…Continue
Note: The good news recounted below would not have happened without the support and encouragement of my many friends from Open Salon and here at Our Salon. Thanks, guys!
Late fall I recounted my quest for a new literary agent. I likened it to storming the dark castle of the publishing business, armed with only a query letter. What I sought was an “Offer of Representation” – a writer’s ticket…Continue
“See the man with stagefright, just standing up there to give it all his might.” –Robbie Robertson
I wrote in my last post about being an introverted artist who must periodically emerge from under my rock to peddle my wares. Am I’m doing it. Not only querying literary agents , but going on TV! The Kennedy…Continue
Faint noises filter in from outside, the roar of a crowd pierced by cries of glee. They’re out there under the sun, watching their sportsball game. Marching with linked arms. Or partying down, dancing, singing out of tune. The extroverts.
The noises are faint because I’m under my rock, in my cave. It’s neither dank nor buggy, and I sit in a very comfortable chair. Best of all, I’m alone.…Continue
In the eleven years I’ve been writing I’ve completed a memoir and two novels, and am working on a third. I could self-publish any of them in a matter of a few days, but I’m still holding out for a traditional publisher. You can’t get one without a literary agent. I’ve parted ways with mine, so I’ve been looking for a new one. It’s been an ordeal.
This one is for our buddy, Scanner.
Love and Mercy, the new movie about Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, is a deeply moving, often brilliant film. It makes up for all the crummy rock music biopics that have come before. Those films follow the predictable three act “Behind the Music” story arc: band gets big, gets drugged, then gets redeemed, through Jesus, Rehab, or a reunion tour.
Love and Mercy is also a tale of decline and salvation,…Continue
B.B. King died last week. This is a strange tribute, I know, but nonetheless a tribute. At a turning point in my life, the great bluesman pulled me from the abyss.
PSYCHEDELIC HORROR ALERT
February, 1969, Freshman Year, Wesleyan University
It was Saturday night around ten thirty. I bought a hit of acid from a guy down the hall. Later –too late – I would hear that there was something wrong with that batch. Too strong, or maybe…Continue
“Don’t it always seem to go. You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.” –Joni Mitchell.
I started blogging at Open Salon almost five years ago, with a post (a love letter, really) to Joni Mitchell. As of the 9th of March, OS is officially dead.
Open Salon was a bloggers dream: a platform with a built in audience. I made friends there. A few I met in person, others on the…Continue
I keep getting tangled up in strange loops of time. I’ve…
Added by John Manchester on September 10, 2014 at 4:00pm — No Comments
My mother was a confirmed atheist. She believed in no higher power,…
Added by John Manchester on August 27, 2014 at 4:00pm — No Comments
"Go West, young man, go West. There is health in the country, and room away from…
Added by John Manchester on August 19, 2014 at 4:00pm — No Comments
Until a few years ago if you wanted your book published you had two options: find an agent to take it to publishers, or hire a vanity publisher. The first option was uncertain, and took a long time. The second was expensive, and (after your mom and best friends dutifully bought) saddled you with a basement of moldering books. And perhaps worse, the scorn of published authors, who considered vanity publishing the last resort of a failed writer, somewhere between shoplifting and child…Continue
Sometime in the early sixties my father took me to see Pete Seeger at the local High School. It was my first concert, and the first time I’d seen a banjo. What I remember most of that night is my father’s loud baritone as he sang along with Pete, “Oh you can’t scare me, I’m sticking with the…Continue
Most Fridays in the fall of 1963 my father was working at American Education Publications, publishers of “My Weekly Reader.” I was in my eighth grade class.
But that Friday, November 22nd, my father picked me up early from school in his green Austin-Healey Sprite. My father loved that car. He’d grin and say, “Let’s go for a spin,” crank the top down and we’d go flying out over the hills of Middletown, Connecticut. The Sprite gave him license to become a different…Continue
(Part of an occasional series on writing)
The process of learning to write comes in distinct stages, like peeling the layers of an onion. Each new layer first appears smooth and shiny. But over time the…Continue
Added by John Manchester on November 6, 2013 at 8:01am — No Comments
My father William Manchester’s account of JFK’s assassination, The Death of a President, is finally back in print after many years. Jill Abramson of the Times wrote an interesting overview of all the books on the subject, concluding with this about my father’s: “The good news, maybe the best, of the 50th anniversary is that Little, Brown has now reissued…Continue
This post is an experiment. I normally never listen to music when I write.…
Added by John Manchester on April 18, 2013 at 4:00pm — No Comments
(Dylan at Ginsberg's typewriter)
A few days ago I got an email confirming that something I suggested to someone a few months ago had resulted in a cool thing. Nothing scandalous, but it made a fun story.
Something. Someone. Thing. Nothing. No, this is not an exercise in bad (i.e., purposely vague) writing. Please read…Continue
Added by John Manchester on June 27, 2012 at 4:00pm — No Comments