Friday, May 28, 2010

This is American Zen


It used to be a given in the industry that if an agent or editor found out you were posting your property online, they shied away from you. Exposure and a built-in audience equaled fewer potential sales.

All that's changed. Now, with literary agents getting stupider and stupider and acquisitions editors shrinking their strike zone down to the size of a Republican's heart, about the only prayer you have of getting noticed outside of a literary agency is to post your material online.

Meet Mike Flannigan, my alter ego and the guy who's been publishing the best articles on Pottersville this past one plus year. I've just posted American Zen in its entirety on Scribd, which is most popularly known as the Youtube of documents.

American Zen, to those of you not in the know, is Mike's "memoir" of what was perhaps the most important and emotionally-charged week in his life. As a 19 year-old boy, Mike was the erstwhile lead guitarist for a promising Massachusetts-based rock and roll band called the Immortals in 1978. When their front man Dave suddenly got signed to a solo deal during their very last gig, the band broke up and the members went their separate ways.

Thirty years later, Mike, now a liberal political investigative journalist/blogger, gets a mysterious email from his childhood friend and former bandmate, the keyboardist Jo Jo Vandermeer. The email is as cryptic as it is brief:

"Let's get the guys together."

Suddenly, Mike is the only political journalist not writing about the incoming Obama administration. Because what happens between that Saturday morning and the heart-rending climax on Thanksgiving is the defining moment in not just Mike's life but in the lives of all the surviving bandmates during their improbable reunion. Through the brawls, shocking decades-old secrets laid bare, Fox News-fueled scandal and ultimately tragedy, Mike and company realize that while friendship is amazingly durable it is also amazingly fragile. That salvation, while necessary to all of us, also sometimes comes at the ultimate price.

It's American rock and roll. It's American life and death. It's American Zen.

See the show.

If you have a Facebook account, it's very easy to open a Scribd account and everything you post on the latter will be publicized on the former.

If it wasn't for reader Stan "The Man" Banos at Reciprocity Failure passing along a newspaper article referencing this and other alternative publishing venues, I wouldn't have even known about this. So, Stan m' man, this upload is dedicated to you.

Update: For some reason, Scribd is stumbling right out of the gate. I've already uploaded this manuscript twice and both times it's turned into a 426 page blank document. If anyone else is having these issues, please email me and I'll see what I can get from Scribd in the way of answers.

2nd note: Apparently, Scribd doesn't have the hard drive space to store documents longer than 100 pages. At least, I haven't found anything even remotely as long as American Zen's 426 page size. So you'll have to content yourself with the first 7 chapters.

3rd Update: After a bit of detective work, I've discovered that, for some maddeningly inane reason, you can only view the .pdf file on IE but not Mozilla Firefox. I don't use Internet Explorer for reasons that are as numerous as the sheer number of viruses it lets slip into your hard drive. If any Firefox users are having trouble seeing the document, please email me or leave a comment. For the time being, I'm just going to leave the first 7 chapters up because I'm already sick of this uploading bullshit.

1 Comments:

At May 30, 2010 at 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the rest of "American Zone" to be uploaded!
I'm sure it will be a big sucess, and maybe garner movie offers.
I'm just confused about one thing: Why didn't you call it "The American Zone"? Or is that all explained later in the story?

 

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