Lúnasa Days

My first book is finally out

Lúnasa Days is my first professionally published book. I hope you’ll take a look:

Lúnasa Days is available now at Amazon

Now available

And here’s an excerpt:

The sun’s going. It’s July, and the corn doesn’t know it. It grows tall and green. The human heart knows. It stirs and it stirs.

There’s a dwindling late in summer, a sadness. And a loner on the roads.

He left a life that wasn’t bad. Everyone said he was good at his job, even his boss.

But when he was young he knew something. He had a fate, a reason to exist. He never quite found it, and every autumn it slipped further away.

He stopped one day for food. A gas station, like any other, but the man there was friendly. Bored. He liked the look of the young guy with his bike, and he spoke to him.

“Where you headed?”

It was a hard question.

“Well, what do you do?”

Vagabond. Can you say vagabond? Is that a career?

He looked aside.

“I cast spells,” he said.

The man had some work for him.

Please buy my book. You can grab the Kindle version here. It’s $2.99 and I promise you’ll like it. If you don’t like it, I’ll write you a new one with you as the main character, except it will be much shorter and seem an awful lot like an email criticizing your questionable taste. There’s also a paperback version forthcoming.

Once you’ve read it, I hope you’ll leave a review on the Amazon page. Reviews help Lúnasa Days gain more visibility, and they translate directly to more sales for your independent author. Okay, go buy it. Thank you!

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Adventure

Heart of Adventure: Limited Edition

I’ve been working on a secret project.

In May I wrote an entire book in 24 hours. Then I rewrote it. And rewrote it again. It’s the book many of you have been asking me to write for two years: my book about Adventure.

And I have a special preview edition ready to ship.

Heart of Adventure is a manual for those who believe we can do great things—that each of us can become greater than ourselves. It is the first ever book on the philosophy of adventure, a practice that will take you far from comfort and safety but ultimately offer you an unshakable confidence.

“Every adventure begins with Fear…”

Not everyone is meant to adventure, and some of us find our adventures at home. But a rare few feel restless, feel called to leave home and wander. Where does this call come from? Why does a stable life with a job and family sometimes feel so hollow? And what exactly happens when you decide to take the risk and go?

Adventure is difficult, but it will completely reshape you.

Heart of Adventure Preview_front cover jpg

By October I had a new draft of Heart of Adventure, one I was truly happy with. But would anyone else like it? I had to give it to real readers and find out. All Hallowe’en week I worked night and day to finish, format and publish a special preview edition.

One day before I spoke, a box of freshly printed paperbacks arrived at the Hero Round Table conference. Opening the box made me smile.

I gave the books to Round Table attendees on a free donation basis, with only one request: tell me what you think. The book includes an invitation to critique and discuss it, so you get to shape the final edition before it goes to press. It proved to be a popular item, but I did walk away with a few copies left.

Now is your chance to get one of those books. There are about 1 dozen remaining, available first come, first served.

“I awoke under two trees, squatting illegally on an abandoned farm, covered in bug bites and dried sweat, with equipment that worked poorly and no one to love me…”

Get Heart of Adventure now at your choice of price:

This edition is paperback, 50 pages, 5×8″. I can’t wait to hear what you think.

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Religion, Spotlight

Reading Project Conversion

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How could you practice twelve different religions? What effect would it have?

Andrew Bowen did exactly that. Then he chronicled the experience, and the crisis it provoked, in his new book Project Conversion. Your Rogue Priest was asked to write the introduction.

With his permission, I’m sharing that introduction here. The book was a powerful read for me and I hope all of you get a chance to read it yourselves.

The Extremist

Andrew Bowen is the only extremist I’ll ever love.

He is the perfect recipe for an extremist. From his childhood ultra-Christian identity to his military training, in another world Andrew’s message would be violence. Here he chose peace.

But extremists tend to remain extreme even when their allegiance shifts. A pendulum that swings too far will swing very far back; it does not stop in the middle. Thus, when a hardened criminal finds Jesus in prison, it’s rarely a middle-of-the-road, do-your-best kind of Christianity. The book will be thumped. Voices will rise. It is a case of all or nothing. All, or Hell.

The most repressed childhood spawns the wildest punk.

We’re fortunate that Andrew chose reconciliation over hatred, but make no mistake: his peacemaking is radical. If you were called to learn about other faiths, how would you do it? A class, a book, go with a friend to church – these weren’t enough. Andrew chose to immerse himself completely and piously in twelve different faiths, with a zeal that some lifelong members don’t match.

Humanity demands diversity. It’s our greatest strength. A homogeneous population is unable to adapt, innovate, change. So the most important project of humanity is also our most challenging: not just to accept but to admire people unlike ourselves. When the brave admire the risk-averse, when the scientist admires the artist, that is when we have complete genius. A tribe needs all its parts.

Even its extremists. Because those who insist on going the farthest will sometimes discover what no one else has seen.

Andrew Bowen has, I believe, made such a discovery. It took just one conversation with him to convince me of this.

I didn’t want to believe it. As a priest myself, when I first heard of Project Conversion I had only criticism. It’s shallow, it’s disrespectful, he may be going broad across many traditions, but he won’t get deep into any of them.

I was wrong.

The truth is I’ve seen students practice a religion for years and never go as deep as Andrew does in one month. Their love of their faith came inch by inch, but Andrew’s love for his twelve faiths was total, because he needed them to save his life. And in that total devotion, that total submission to wave after wave of faith and crisis, Andrew became enlightened.

It’s not an experiment everyone should perform. He hasn’t been careful, he’s been reckless and zealous and put his own wellbeing at risk. But his sacrifice has changed what we know about the world.

Andrew asks: Is a complete view of the divine a triangulation from separate points of view?

Many people take a little Buddhist meditation, a little Gospel, a little African drumming. It services their existing belief that all religions teach the same great truths. That’s a religion of its own. But Project Conversion enters each religion at the exclusion of others, looks fully through their eyes, and charts the divine like constellations until a complete star map is made.

Andrew Bowen offers us a new perspective on faith. One that is, perhaps, more complete than any single religion, more thorough than eclecticism.

It has placed him beyond faith and doubt.

Most readers, I suspect, will not identify with Andrew’s extremism. Most of us have not brought friends to tears condemning them to Hell, or lived homeless with an ecstasy habit. Most of us can say with pride that we don’t have the same level of prejudice that our author once had.

And that is our most dangerous moment.

It was the strength of his convictions, maybe even his flaws, that brought Andrew so far in the other direction. He crashed through his bias and saw the other side. We too have bias. We too judge others, both those who are different and those who are all too similar. We may not go as far, but we do have prejudice.

And if we think Andrew swung too far in the other direction, that might be an easy excuse not to swing that way at all.

The true lesson of Andrew’s project has nothing to do with his own gripping story of anguish, hatred, peace and transformation. It is rather the knowledge, the absolute certainty, that we too are blind to those we judge—

And that we can open both eyes, if we live like they do.

You can snag Project Conversion in paperback or for Kindle. I hope you enjoy it.

The campaign for Magic to the People is still going strong. Come join us!

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Writing

Why My First Book Will Be No More

Photo by Spencer Finnley

Imagine knowing exactly what spirituality is.

Picture a world where it doesn’t come from scripture, church, or doctrine. A world where it doesn’t come from what your parents told you, or your pastor.

Imagine a version of yourself with a calm, self-assured confidence that comes from experiencing the sacred firsthand.

You can have that experience.

These words open my first ever ever book, Walk Like a God. They were written two months before I deployed.

Rich in photos, Walk Like a God expresses a way of spirituality that doesn’t follow religion. It roots the spiritual search in the act of challenging yourself, and the simple practice of walking.

It’s a love song to the natural world, to the human spirit, and to our ability to find our own way without doctrine.

And on Sunday, Walk Like a God will no longer be available.

Why?

Authors change.

In the paper-laden past, books went out of print. If all copies sold they became hard to find. Only a huge demand could conjure more.

In the digital realm authors can ride a product forever. But I don’t want to. I’m no longer the person who wrote Walk Like a God. My journey changes me, and I want my work to change too.

Digital publishing is supposed to free writers from a corporate mentality. So instead of selling and selling till the sales run dry, I’m taking it off the shelf.

I want to be clear: I still think Walk Like a God is a great book. I’m proud of it, and when I read back through it I still feel happy with what it teaches.

So you have a little time left.

Whether you’ve been putting it off, just heard of it, or simply want to have a “complete” Rogue Priest collection:

grab Walk Like a God here

But only through 11/11/2012. At the end of Sunday, it’s gone.

Many thanks to everyone who bought, read, enjoyed, or reviewed my first book. The big question is: what do you want in my next book on spirituality?

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Spotlight

An Unexpected Review

I’ve long been a fan of Niall Doherty. Niall writes the blog Disrupting the Rabblement. He defines rabble as:

  • Watching TV regularly
  • Eating lots of processed food
  • Not reading actual books
  • Working an unfulfilling job
  • Buying lots of useless crap
  • Not exercising regularly
  • Obsessing about celebrities
  • Lack of focus
  • Not offending anybody

And he makes a damn good case for a different way of life, one he’s out living himself. I consider him one of the leading lifestyle design bloggers.

You can imagine my titillation, then, when he decided to review my book Walk Like a God.

(Actually, the titillation first began when I saw that he’d purchased it—I had no idea that he’d be reviewing it, and I never asked him to.)

Niall managed to pull out some of my favorite lines from the book. He compared it to his own religious upbringing and his current beliefs. Seeing how someone applies the ideas of adventure-as-spiritual-practice to their own life is eye opening. As an author it’s rare to see how people actually take my words.

You can see Niall’s review here, along with the rest of his blog and his great free how-to Manifesto. His goal: to piss off zombies. It’s really worth a look.

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