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Don’t Squeeze the Shaman

A beloved friend of mine who lives in Japan once sent me a couple of books to read, with a post-it note attached: “what do you think?” I could tell, somehow, that the note wasn’t positive in tone.

One of the books was British and purported to be “hilarious.” In particular, a reviewer had praised a section on road rage as provoking uncontrollable laughter. I read up through that section. I’ll describe my reaction by cribbing from Lloyd Bentsen, “Mr. X, I know road rage. Road rage is a friend of mine. That, sir, is not road rage.” And I said to myself, “Are you kidding me? I have got to be able to do better than that!”

So I pulled out every crumpled up piece of cocktail napkin, scrap paper, and used candy wrapper on which I had ever scrawled (and remembered to keep) my twisted thoughts. I piled them on a table. I started writing their contents out on a laptop. The timeless question had finally been invoked: “If not now, when?” About a week later, the plot arc of Shaman congealed in front of my eyes.

What’s it about? It’s about soul retrieval, clowning, inspiration, healing – all that shamanic sort of carry-on. And a lot of other stuff too – civic vigilantism, defoliation, chemicals, smily face logos, corporations, dental domination, and an otherworldly canine known as The Pooch. But, to be honest, if my own life is any indicator, it’s probably about something different entirely from what I think it’s about! Your guess is as good as mine. I hope it will put a smile on your face and a laugh in your throat, in an edifying sort of a way.

I put the tale on hold while finishing Thief. I am now back in the hunt, drawing it in to a close. Here is a scent of what has come to pass to date. Mangia!

Chapter 1 The Furies.pdf

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