CLOSE TO THE EDIT!

43f63c97a4aec7ec55b46596dbce994f

Mid-summer tidings to ye all!

Here (back in Minneapolis), am thrilled to announce we’re CLOSE TO THE EDIT!  Thus, with the exception of intermittent Twitter check-ins (twitter.com/inpraiseofmen), I’ll be off-line for the next 4-6 weeks wrapping our book.

And… What I haven’t yet revealed: I’ve been secretly working on its follow-up CONVERSATIONS: In Praise Of Men whilst our editor (Mary Scott) has been hard at work.  In the meantime, do celebrate with us by enjoying this genius Art of Noise video: youtube.com/watch?v=UarXly9ezEk

See you in late July!

SPRING IN SANTA BARBARA

image

Salutations from sunny Santa Barbara, C.A.  🙂

Hope this note finds you enjoying the shifting seasons somewhere outside.  I’m near the ocean, wrapping up loose ends-  dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s as they say- as we approach publishing.  It’s an exciting time!

While I don’t want to reveal *too* much, I can say:

1. We’ve re-written roughly 1/4 of the book.

2. I’m currently expanding the final chapter (see: Magnificent Men).

A tiny teaser: one of the amazing men being added to Chapter 9 is Rocky Marciano, the World’s ONLY undefeated Heavyweight Champion.  As you’ve likely guessed, Rocky was a cyclopian component of the classic Stallone character Rocky Balboa,  not to mention a committed community and family man, who retired in his prime to spend more time at home.  Below are a few of my favorite photographs of Marciano.

MarcianoMoore480
rocky11  rocky17

In the first, Rock hugs the incredible Archie Moore, whom he beat in his final bout.  Ever generous to those he fought, he publicly appreciated and applauded his opponents (watch the end of this aforementioned Marciano vs. Moore match).  Hashtag: #trueclass.

The next image (Rocky in his robe, ‘Brockton’ blazed across the back) makes me smile so much!  Growing up in this hard working, often struggling, blue collar suburb of Boston, he saw how many felt marginalized and made it a point to be loud-n-proud about his neighborhood.  On the same terrain in 1976, just blocks from his boyhood home, I took my first steps at my Gran’s house.  To this day, when life deals me blows, I think of the hard-hitting family man from down the way and know I *have* to get back up.

Finally, the picture of Rocky adoring his daughter (Mary Ann) melts my heart…  And breaks it as well.  Marciano died in a plane crash on the eve of his 46th birthday, leaving behind two beautiful children whose lives were inextricably altered by his loss.  For all of you Dads out there: whether you’re a shoe shine man, a construction worker, a struggling artist, a small business owner or Elon Musk, PLEASE don’t underestimate how VERY important you are to your children and to YOUR neighborhood.

Love,
Brooke

LET IT SNOW!

red-christmas-decorations-christmas-22228015-1920-1200**Season’s Greetings**
I sprinkled a lil snow here for you, no shovel required… 😛

Quick catch up: we’ve firmed up book release/a big push for In Praise of Men for Fall 2017!  In the meantime, I’ve done something slightly cheeky that might “jeopardize a sales segment”, but for which I can’t apologize.  In life, one must stand for what they believe in, and so it is with firmly planted feet that I type these words.

Without a bunch of fancy rhetoric, I stand with Standing Rock.  All of the cultures that commingle in my blood- especially the Mi’kmaq in me- scream: NO MORE.  WE’VE ABUSED THIS COUNTRY’S NATIVE PEOPLE AND LAND LONG ENOUGH!  And clearly, I am FAR from alone- have you seen this yet(?): Veterans At Standing Rock.

I am also deeply disturbed by the racist, unpatriotic acts that birthed BLM, and to put it plainly: Donald Trump is #notmypresident.  NO WHERE in this book will you find him mentioned.  If revealing these sentiments somehow seems inappropriate, I understand.  You’re entitled to your opinion, as well as a refund of your pre-order, which I shall courteously and promptly return should you request it.

Now, the big reveal.  On election day, after anxiously casting my vote, I rushed off to see Suzanne Vega at a local record shop.  With her was Bowie guitarist Gerry Leonard.  I thought he seemed familiar (had seen him on the Reality tour, but from nosebleed seats in a stadium, ages ago), but couldn’t place from where.  When it hit me hours later, I thought about how much had happened since I last saw Gerry; of how I no longer made music; and of course about how that other bright soul on stage (Bowie) was no longer with us.

Around midnight, final polls arriving, a group of us decided we needed a stiff drink.  We wandered into legendary M/SP dive bar The CC Club, and just after clinking our glasses hopefully, I looked up and caught “Clinton Calls Trump To Concede…” silently scrolling across CNN.  At that exact moment, Heresy by NIN randomly came on the overhead.  During the first chorus, a drunk blonde climbed on top of a table and began screaming about our reproductive rights, and all across the bar, heads shook in disbelief.  Was this our future?  Had this really happened?  We were all terrified.

By the final chorus of Heresy, I knew what I had to do.  I began silently humming the ONLY song I’d ever heard that could convey our mood, then messaged several of my former TC Electropunk compatriots and a few ex-band mates.  In less than a week, we assembled en masse to cover the Bowie/NIN collab I’m Afraid of Americans.  By week two, we’d organized a video; on week three, we shot and began editing the thing, then recruited a handful remixers from different countries (Britain, France, Africa, Russia, etc.).  Now, one month out…  Gentlemen and Ladies, meet A*O*A:

cover-art
Cover Art by Robertson, Whitlatch & Calder

Listen FREE (and if you dig it- own it FOREVER, with profits benefiting #NODAPL) here: a-o-a.bandcamp.com

Last, am pleased to announce that I just wrapped an on-air with Joe Kelley at WVOF, and while it was music-focused, we most certainly discussed the book and its’ forthcoming release.  Will post the archive here soon, and hope you approve.

With Love & Holiday Cheer,
Brooke

Fall.

14463044_10154353504980272_2230120969221417808_n

Salutations from the library of the St. James Hotel in Redwing, MN, where the banks of Mark Twain‘s Mississippi are littered with magnificent amber, ocher and rust colored leaves.  While always a bit wistful about Summer’s sayonara, I’m ever enthralled by the falling fauna, crackling fires, long walks, hot apple cider and general ambience of Fall.

Halloween is certainly a glorious, creative thing, but having a full day to reflect on what we’re grateful for- i.e. Thanksgiving- is vital.  This year, I have so much to be thankful for, so I thought I’d take this moment to say: THANK YOU.  I appreciate each and every one of you, and the wonderful folks who- whether editing, re: art direction or providing feedback as a beta reader- are helping this book become a reality.

Wherever you are this weekend, please promise me that you’ll take a moment to stroll outside and take Fall in.

Happy Hallows-To-Be,
Brooke

RULES FOR A KNIGHT

A quick AHOY from Book Editing Land!

My dear friend Erin Carere found something that you might find of interest.  Remember this chap, Ethan Hawke?

eh_jm-620x500

Many of my generation first met him as Todd Anderson in the film Dead Poets Society, in which he, Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Josh Charles and a cast of many made us laugh, smile, cry, and take classic literature a little more seriously.  From Shakespeare to Dickens, 1990’s Seattle-tinged cinema to Sci-Fi, we’ve seen Hawke shapeshift through a slew of characters, but what many of us may not have caught: he’s been moonlighting as… an author!

Hawke’s most recent release, Rules For A Knight is a fascinating and relevant read.  Here’s a small snippet from Geekdad: geekdad.com/2016/02/rules-for-a-knight-review, and an excellent interview with Jimmy Fallon:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5Fe2pHejSo

 

images

And here’s a link to preview/peruse the book:
www.amazon.com/dp/B00UEKBRUI/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

-Enjoy!

Regards,
Brooke

A VISIT WITH OUR BOYS + BOOK PREVIEW

 

ourboys
Our U.S. Navy ensign taking in the Tall Ships at Duluth.

A great, BIG end-of-Summer SALUTE!

This past weekend, I sojourned to Duluth, Minnesota to visit the Tall Ships, and had the privilege of meeting a few of our  U.S. Navy fighting brave, including ensign Blake Ramsdell and Alex Isakson (pictured above).  They had impeccable manners, were full of enthusiasm and optimism, and I couldn’t help but feel like a very proud Auntie.

This led to meditating on how We the People are a little bit like one giant, extended family, and thinking a good deal about my Grandfather, U.S. Navy veteran James ‘Jim’ Richards.

 

 
Jim- who in later years preferred to be called by his middle name, Grahame- was a World War II recruit who served as chief announcer and program director for Armed Forces Radio on Leyte.  The Battle of Leyte (part of the Pacific Campaign) is perhaps most famous for being where General MacArthur– aided by the Navy, U.S. Army and native Philippinos fighting for their lives- landed and took back the island from the Imperial Japanese Army  in 1944.

As we finish editing the Men At War chapter of In Praise of Men  this weekend, my gratitude and thoughts are with all of those who served, who currently serve, their families and with our Navy, who shall always be especially dear to my heart.

Last, if you donated (or chose a perk/perks equal to… ) $100 or more to the book publishing campaign, look for an invitation to read the Author’s Edit of the first 1/3 of In Praise of Men this Wednesday!

With Bright Blessings,
Brooke

 

PS:  If you purchased a perk or perks that were under $100, but want to qualify for this week’s preview: I’ll honor your original amount, kick in a $15 credit, and additional donations and/or perks to reach the qualifying $100 may be located @: www.indiegogo.com/projects/in-praise-of-men-book#/

RESULTS ARE IN + AN INTERVIEW WITH MARIUS GABRIEL

COVER2

Wherever you might be at this precise moment: HAPPY FRIDAY!

After six+ weeks of polling as well as re-tallying votes following a tie between #1 and #6, layout #1 has won Cover Wars.  HOWEVER, a brilliant thing happened a few weeks back:  Bradford Richardson– the ridiculously talented Art Director for various Coen Brothers endeavors- offered us an exciting concept.  Since Bradford is currently a very busy Romantic Comedy screen writer, I feel incredibly grateful that he momentarily came out of retirement to conceive something wonderful for In Praise of Men.

Bradford’s vision: everything in full color (as opposed to the current black, white and red); instead of the textured marble-meets-leather background: dirty, tattered blue denim (akin to the dungarees in the artwork we originally aimed to obtain: indiegogo.com/projects/in-praise-of-men–3); the title in a mostly handwritten cursive font (love letter-esque), and perhaps a bright red lipstick kiss somewhere (since it’s a By Women For Men Book).

After pitching Joseph and meditating on the concept for a few weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion that Bradford’s idea would speak volumes more than mine (whether as an eBook, Paperback or an Audiobook cover), but before a final decision, would like to know what YOU think.  For your perusal, here’s a few posters Bradford helped create.

 

Obviously, Joe’s in charge of artwork and would be the one executing Bradford’s vision; if we choose to pursue this, we’ll launch a smaller scale fundraiser to pay Joe for the extra hours involved (and hijack Bradford with a pleasant surprise!) here: indiegogo.com/projects/in-praise-of-men–3#/.

-It’s important to understand that if voting “Yes!” re: Bradford’s concept, you need not contribute a penny more (unless you want a SERIOUS perk upgrade) as there’s a sea of folks we haven’t reached out to yet (our Twitter and Facebook have nearly doubled over the past 8 weeks).

On the topic of upgrading: between cover art licensing as well as death-related delays (see Dearly Beloved), we’re roughly 2.5 months behind on our estimated pre-release date.  Hence, I’m going to upgrade everyone who donated $5 – 50 on the original campaign to the next level perk and anyone who donated $100 or more will be upgraded to a free preview of the Author’s Edit of Letter To The Reader and the first three chapters in the coming weeks!

Last but not least, my recent interview with African novelist Marius Gabriel (a.k.a. Romance writer Madeleine Ker) has been published on Queen Mob’s Tea House.  I hope you’ll enjoy it and your entire week… ❤

 

Nilehttp://queenmobs.com/2016/07/by-the-river-nile

 

With Love + Thanks,
Brooke