Communion Of Dreams

But Wait! There’s More!

“Now, you would normally expect to pay $16.95 for a book of this size and quality! Just look at it! 420 pages full of the touching story of caring for a loved one! And those aren’t little trade paperback pages, either, but memoir-sized pages, each one charged with honest emotion and providing insight into one of the most challenging — and rewarding — experiences in life!”

“That’s right – you would expect to pay $16.95 for such a book – and it would be a fair deal. A modest price in exchange for access to the innermost thoughts and feelings of four people, each on a personal journey of love and self-discovery.”

“But you don’t have to pay $16.95. No you don’t. Why you can get the whole book — containing every single word, every single lesson learned — in Kindle format for the low, low price of JUST $8.99. That’s right — a huge savings, including no shipping or handling fees!”

“But Wait! There’s More!”

* * * * * * *

Shawn Colvin has a new book out, and has been doing the promotional circuit. I had the pleasure of hearing most of an hour-long interview with her this morning on the Diane Rehm show.

Colvin is just a couple of years older than I am. I can’t say that I have been a huge fan of hers, but I have been aware of her for a long time, and have always appreciated her talents. And Diane Rehm is one of the best in the business. As noted, I’d love to have a chance to have her interview me. The interview was engaging, and touching.

Because Colvin’s book is a memoir. No, not of care-giving. Not care-giving for someone else, anyway. Rather, it was about her own path to deal with her own demons. Depression. Substance abuse. Bad relationships. Anorexia. Toss in the usual professional stresses and failures, and it makes for a compelling story.

* * * * * * *

“That’s right, friend, there’s more: a *LOT* more.”

“Because not only can you get Her Final Year for the low, low price of just $8.99, but you can ALSO get this incredible companion volume: Communion of Dreams! That’s right — James Downey, one of the co-authors of Her Final Year, has also written a novel. And not just any novel — a work of speculative fiction which has fired the imagination of thousands, and prompted dozens of 5-star reviews on Amazon!”

“For such a work you would expect to pay at least $11.95 for the 350 page paperback! But it is available in the Kindle edition for just $4.95. That’s fight, LESS THAN one thin five-dollar bill. Such A Deal!!”

“But Wait! There’s More!”

* * * * * * *

Fascinating story this morning about efforts to stop the spread of Dengue Fever on NPR. The basic idea was to use a known effect where mosquitoes infected with a naturally-occurring bacteria are unable to transmit the virus which causes Dengue Fever. The science in the story was good, but what really caught my attention was how the effort to get this idea to work had been a *very* long and frustrating quest for the scientist behind it.

See, Scott O’Neill had been working on this project for some 20 years. The biggest problem was technical — it is phenomenally difficult to infect living mosquitoes with the bacteria. It takes thousands and thousands of attempts, working at a microscopic level, to inject the necessary bacteria into a mosquito egg, and then having said egg develop to adulthood and actually *have* the disease. Failure is a constant companion.

And so this is what caught my ear when I heard it:

Take the day in 2006, when one of Scott’s graduate students told him he thought he’d finally succeed in infecting a dengue mosquito with Wolbachia.

I figured this must have been a red-letter day for Scott, a day of sheer elation. Scott told me looking back on it, it was. But at the time it didn’t seem that way.

“Because you’re so used to failure that you don’t believe anything when you see it,” he says. “And so you can think back to when there was a Eureka moment, but at the time, you’re probably, ‘this looks good but I’ve been burnt thousands of times before. Let’s go and do it again, and the do it another time, and check and check and make sure it’s actually real.’ “

* * * * * * *

“That’s right, friend, there’s more: a *LOT* more.”

“Because while you would think that just $8.99 for Her Final Year or only $4.95 for Communion of Dreams would be a STEAL — and you would be correct to think that! — you can get *BOTH* of these books for FREE this Saturday!”

“That’s right, I said FREE, friend. As in beer! The Kindle edition of each book will be completely and totally FREE all day Saturday! All you have to do is just go and download it. Why, you do not even need to own a Kindle in order to take advantage of this phenomenal offer! That’s right, you can get a FREE Kindle app for almost every computer, tablet, or mobile device known to man!”

“But Wait! There’s More!”

* * * * * * *

I sometimes wonder whether I shouldn’t play up my own “demons” more.

Now, I haven’t been shy about talking about them. Anyone who has read my stuff for any length of time knows this. I’m honest about my background (orphaned at 13), my failures (both recent and older ones), and my own struggles with mild bipolar disorder and health problems. Talking about these aspects of my life helps to provide some context for the things I think and do — it is all part of who I am and why I see the world as I do.

But I try not to dwell on such things. I have never considered myself a tragic figure or particularly burdened. Whether or not it was Plato who actually said “be kind, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” that aphorism is still very true, and my own battle hasn’t been especially more difficult than the one many people fight. In very many ways I have been extremely fortunate, and I know that. And I’m thankful for it.

But still, there is no denying that tragedy sells.

* * * * * * *

“More? How can there be More? The Kindle edition of both books are already FREE — what more could any reasonable person ask for???”

“Well, I’ll tell you what. How about a *signed* copy of the paperback edition of each book? For FREE!”

“That’s right. FREE!”

“All you gotta do is post a comment here. Or on our Facebook page. Or send a Tweet. Do any of these things between now and Sunday morning, and your name will be entered into a drawing for a FREE signed copy of the paperback! You can enter once for each book at each venue — a possibility of 6 chances in total! What more could you possible ask for?”

“So, don’t delay — enter your name, today! And remember to download your FREE copy of the Kindle edition of Her Final Year and Communion of Dreams this coming Saturday!”

Jim Downey

(Cross posted to the Her Final Year blog.)


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