Get Waiting for Westmoreland, Tenth Anniversary Edition, ON SALE ’til December 31

Book cover, Waiting for WestmorelanTime is running out to get the print edition in time for holiday gift giving. Act soon!

But good news–more eBook sellers now have it. Order it right up until Christmas and still get it to your friends or family!

See the sale details below the following summary.

 

It’s been ten years since Waiting for Westmoreland came out. Why the title? See Chapter 8, but here’s a cluethere’s no more point waiting for a general than for Godot. You have to find your own way. As in the path from Vietnam to enlightenment.

The book is really about how my experience in Vietnam put me on a quest to reform myself and make the world a better place. I have continued on that path to enlightenment over the past four decades. We have published a tenth anniversary edition commemorating when I first shared that experience with the world.

This special edition has a colorful new cover, an expanded epilogue and a foreword by 40+ year friend and retired diplomat Bob Tansey.

If you haven’t read it yet, now is your chance to get the book at a holiday discount. If you have read it, now is the opportunity to buy one as a gift for a friend or family member who needs it. See the excerpt from the foreword about why you should.

 

Here’s the details on the sale:

Get an Amazon Kindle version for just $1.99 through December, 2017 [In the US; may be higher elsewhere].

Or get another digital format for your tablet or other e-reader at $1.99 through 12/31/17 at these sites:

  • Nook
  • iBooks 
  • Kobo (still pending but will be available soon)
  • Other sites–check your favorite, they may have it!

Rather have it in print? Nicer for a gift. The trade paper version is on sale at $10.16 plus shipping through December (a 40% discount from the cover price). Order soon if you want to send it as a gift–it’s 3-5 days to print plus shipping time (you can pay for expedited shipping, of course).

 

So why give it away as a holiday gift? Take a peek at this excerpt from the foreword: 

John Maberry and I met over forty years ago. I’m pleased that we’ve kept close contact all these years. I went overseas with the foreign service and later as an environmentalist, spending most of the past thirty years living and working all over the world. John and his wife Juanita spent most of those years in Northern Virginia before retiring to a remote corner of New Mexico while my wife and I returned to the Washington, DC area a few years later.

John and I met because we were both attracted to the teachings and practice of Buddhism and are both members of the SGI-USA Buddhist community (see sgi.usa.org). I like to share the values and practice of Buddhism with others, and one might say it’s simply convenient for me to share this book, a story of my old friend and fellow Buddhist practitioner.

On deeper reflection, though, this book means a lot more to me – and may hold a lot for you! There are important universal truths in here, told through the story of my old friend. That’s why I buy this book and give it away to people—I believe that they can benefit from it possibly even in profound ways.

Download The Fountain–FREE for the 2017 Holidays

Cover of The Fountain, Kindle book

Download The Fountain for FREEtomorrow and any of the next four days: December 14 through the 18th. 

It goes back to the regular price on the 19th. Don’t miss out!

See snippets from just three of the reviews that we have received. Read the rest of these and other reviews on the Amazon page.

The Twilight Zone Meets Philip K. Dick” says Nicholas Rossis, author of several sci-fi and nonfiction books.

“I wonder if The Fountain’s stories should be labeled speculative or science fiction, as they remind me more of Twilight Zone and less of Philip K. Dick. Maybe that’s the best definition of them; the common ground between these works. Whichever it is, I enjoyed them and their twists. Maberry writes in a clear way that immerses the reader into the story. He has a gift for creating easily identifiable characters who feel familiar after just a few lines. All in all, a fine collection for those who enjoy their short stories with a twist.”

“Stories with Surprises,” says June Randolph, author of a sci-fi series about an interplanetary diplomat.

“If you love stories with a surprise at the end, you will love these. Some are ironic, some cautionary, and some funny. A delight for the gray matter. Perhaps my favorite was Alfred’s Strange Blood Disorder. I laughed the hardest at that one.”

“A great read!” Says D.G. Kaye, author of several nonfiction books.

“If you enjoy short stories in fantasy/sci-fi genres, and stories that make you think then look no further than Maberry’s tales which will engross you with stories about karma, greed, time travel, aliens and muses. . . Maberry is a prolific writer who knows how to keep a reader captivated till the end and finishes his stories with an unexpected twist.”

Waiting for Westmoreland Tenth Anniversary Edition available NOW!

Book cover, Waiting for WestmorelanIt’s been ten years since Waiting for Westmoreland came out. Yes, the title refers to that general from Vietnam. But the book is really about how my experience in Vietnam put me on a quest to reform myself and make the world a better place. I have continued on that path to enlightenment over the past four decades.

We have published a tenth anniversary edition commemorating my first sharing that experience with the world in 2007.

This special edition has a colorful new cover, an expanded epilogue and a foreword by 40+ year friend and retired diplomat Bob Tansey.

If you haven’t read it yet, now is your chance to get the book at a holiday discount. If you have read it, now is the opportunity to buy one as a gift for a friend or family member who needs it. See the excerpt from the foreword below about why you should.

Here’s the details:

Get an Amazon Kindle version,  for just $1.99 through December, 2017 [In the US; may be higher elsewhere].

Or get an EPUB version for your tablet or other e-reader at that same price. Note: Nook, iBooks, Kobo and others are still pending but will be available soon.

Rather have it in print? The trade paper version is on sale at $10.16 plus shipping through December (a 40% discount from the cover price). Order soon if you want to send it as a gift–it’s 3-5 days to print plus shipping time (you can pay for expedited shipping, of course).

 

So why buy it and perhaps give it away as a holiday gift? Take a peek at the foreword

John Maberry and I met over forty years ago. I’m pleased that we’ve kept close contact all these years. I went overseas with the foreign service and later as an environmentalist, spending most of the past thirty years living and working all over the world. John and his wife Juanita spent most of those years in Northern Virginia before retiring to a remote corner of New Mexico while my wife and I returned to the Washington, DC area a few years later.

John and I met because we were both attracted to the teachings and practice of Buddhism and are both members of the SGI-USA Buddhist community (see sgi.usa.org). I like to share the values and practice of Buddhism with others, and one might say it’s simply convenient for me to share this book, a story of my old friend and fellow Buddhist practitioner.

On deeper reflection, though, this book means a lot more to me – and may hold a lot for you! There are important universal truths in here, told through the story of my old friend. That’s why I buy this book and give it away to people—I believe that they can benefit from it possibly even in profound ways.

. . . .

As John’s story unfolds in this book, we get to share in the lessons he learned of life and how he put those lessons into practice through great personal effort. He takes the past and rectifies it – turns “Poison into Medicine” rather than allowing circumstance to define him and how he will live.

 

Still not convinced? Here’s an excerpt from one recent review:

“Here we have a book that is much more than memoir, and more life journey told (and written) exceedingly well and with great courage. If the writer’s mandate is to ‘open a vein’, Maberry has opened that vein and allowed whatever flowed to fill this work.” [continue reading]

Building Toward a Future–Turning Abandoned Homes to Good Use

From a Southern Poverty Law Center message came this interesting story. A woman incarcerated in an Indianapolis prison heard a mayoral candidate describe the problem of 10,000 abandoned homes and lots in the city. She had a “eureka” moment as the SPLC described it. People like herself, imprisoned for years not only had trouble getting jobs, they had difficulty finding a place to live. Not surprising, given their records. That, in turn, led to more recidivism. So why not put recently freed convicts to work renovating those properties? In exchange for their efforts, they could move into the homes.

Vanessa Thompson had already been incarcerated for 17 years when she proposed her idea to a public policy education program that the prison offered. The plan it gathered support among fellow inmates at staff. They set up a Go Fund Me page to generate funds to accomplish the project. Through the prison, the class members presented videotaped testimony to the Indiana legislature. In that very conservative assembly, her plan received unanimous support. Read more at these links: Building Toward a Future and the GoFundMe site.

group of women participants in prison project

This month’s co-hosts of the We Are the World Blogfest are:  Shilpa Garg, Inderpreet Uppal, Sylvia Stein, Susan Scott, Andrea Michaels and Damyanti Biswas Please visit their blogs too!

One more note, if any of you are in the vicinity of Silver City, New Mexico on today, Black Friday–stop by at the Tranquil Buzz between seven am and five pm for a local author book sale and talks by some of them between 1 and 3 pm. The coffee shop is located in the Arts District at 112 West Yankie Street. Of course it’s open other days too for coffee, tea and on some occasions for readings or music.

Two Great New Reviews of Waiting for Westmoreland

Waiting for Westmoreland book cover

Waiting for Westmoreland is a memoir I first published only in paper (no Kindle in 2007!). A special tenth anniversary edition is coming for the holidays. In the meantime, two reviews of the Kindle edition recently appeared on Amazon. Here are some excerpts:

From SkyWriter’s 5-star review comes this,

Here we have a book that is much more than memoir, and more life journey told (and written) exceedingly well and with great courage. If the writer’s mandate is to ‘open a vein’, Maberry has opened that vein and allowed whatever flowed to fill this work. . . . Change scenes to Vietnam in 1967-68, and Maberry begins again to sort out the fictions of America’s involvement in South Asia Vs the realities of war: No clear purpose for being there; chauvinistic treatment of Vietnamese people, especially the abuse of women; and a lifer sergeant who embodied everything wrong with the American military. Maberry returns from Vietnam disillusioned, cynical and without real purpose. Indeed, it’s a mistake to refer to Waiting for Westmoreland as simply a war memoir. It’s much more one man’s journey from chaos and the vicissitudes of life, to finding inner peace through Buddhism, something that surprised even the author, until he saw how the practice worked in his own life. . . . By way of disclosure, this reader too is a Vietnam Vet, . . . Five stars, and I don’t do that often. Byron Edgington, author of A Vietnam Anthem: What The War Gave Me.

 

From Brent Hightower, another writer, comes this 5-star review:

Waiting for Westmoreland is a novel that brings a turbulent era to life. It’s one man’s story, and at the same time a microcosm of the spiritual and intellectual struggles of a generation. So many of the problems in America today have their roots in the 1960s that this book should be interesting, not just to those who lived through those times, but to anyone interested in modern American history. A great read!

 

Five Presidents Transcend Politics for Hurricane Relief

Yes, it’s that time again–offering a positive note on today’s news. This month’s co-sponsors of the We Are the World Blogfest are: Shilpa Garg, Sylvia McGrath, Mary Giese, Belinda Witzenhausen and Guilie Castillo.

Now and then, presidents rise above politics. There are five living former American Presidents. They all attended a the One America Appeal concert to benefit hurricane victims. As of the date of this story (October 22), $31 million had been raised.

“We could not be prouder of the response of Americans — when they see their neighbors, when they see their friends, when they see strangers in need, Americans step up,” Obama told the audience. “And as heartbreaking as the tragedies that took place here in Texas and in Florida and in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have been, what we’ve also seen is the spirit of America at its best.”

Obama went on to highlight the charitable efforts of George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, calling the senior Bush an “outstanding American who has always shown grace and character and courage and served America nobly throughout the years.”

NOTE: I’ll be traveling and may not get back to your comments quickly.

Where Nightmares Come From

A break from Waiting for Westmoreland this week, for this tidbit from the writing group this week. It stemmed from the word “nightmare” in a “Nauseous Nocturne,” by Calvin and Hobbes cartoonist Bill Watterson. I remarked on my first exposure to it that it reads like a combination of Edgar Allan Poe and Arlo Guthrie and wrote this:

“Do nightmares have anything to do with horses,” the boy asked.”Why yes,” his father said, with just a hint of a smile and a twinkle in his eye. “When a mare rejects the advances of a stallion, the breeder may send her out in the farthest pasture in the darkest night. There she will tremble in fear–unable to pass through the locked gate back to her safe and secure stall in the barn.”

“Then what happens, Daddy?”

“Still bewildered at the aggressive and painful behavior of the stallion, she whimpers in the dark. Whenever she relives this experience in her mind, her powerful emotions enter the dreams of human children. That’s where your bad dream comes from–and why we call it a nightmare.”

You might look up the etymology of nightmare for its true origin–which, of course, has nothing to do with horses. 🙂

 

 

Hello Dali–Life in a Vietnam Basecamp

Here’s another installment of Waiting for Westmoreland excerpts. This time in Vietnam. Next time back in the US. Maybe the opening hook–or maybe later for that. 🙂

 Only a Salvador Dali painting could do justice to life at Bearcat. It was that surreal. Eating, sleeping, showering were all so different even from the austerities of military bases in America. Jungle foliage surrounded the hard-packed mud/dirt of the base camp, kept at bay only by tractor blades and defoliant. Much more peculiar was the human environment. These were people whose language and culture I did not understand—not the Vietnamese as much as my fellow soldiers. We were in a hostile, very foreign place, most of us for the first time in our young lives. Partially freed from the constraints of military discipline applicable on American soil and with drugs and alcohol readily available to assist, suppressed quirks and previously hidden subcultures came out in the open. Vietnam was a crucible, heating and compressing psyches. Necks got redder. Drawls got longer/slower. Moonshine making/drinking possum hunter/eaters were a puzzle to Down East lobstermen or Windy City slickers, and vice versa. Open discussions were mumbled in my midst about Toms, Jemimas and Oreos. My friend Jackson’s name never came up among the accused, despite his transformation.

Since I had seen him at Ft. Meade, barely a month before, Jackson had shed the guise of Huey Newton. Now he played the role of Rochester, Jack Benny’s man. Instead of the “Yass, boss,” that Rochester always said to Benny, it was “Yass, sergeant” from Jackson. It was accompanied with a happy hop-to-it attitude, instead of the sneer common to earlier times. What the hell had happened to Jackson? Later on, I would see the wisdom of his change in behavior. This was a cloak of compliance, shielding him from harm in a place where opportunities abounded to deal with “uppity n****s.” Clearly, some other brothers had quickly clued him in. Why risk a “friendly fire” accident for the sake of ego or pride while here in Nam? The score against whitey could always be settled later on “back in the world.”

I watched all the episodes of the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick PBS series about the Vietnam War. An amazing work. Brought back memories and I learned things I didn’t know. Look for a guy in a fatigue jacket, sunglasses and a beard standing along a war in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during John Kerry’s testimony. Oh, it’s in episode nine, about 34-35 minutes in (may vary with your DVR or computer; right after Kerry says, “biggest nothing.” If you didn’t watch the series you should–pending any issues with PTSD, of course. It confirms my opinions and much of what’s in my book, Waiting for Westmoreland, about America and the war.

Victory Memorial Drive–Where I Grew Up

Last Thursday, September 21st, I posted an item commemorating the 50th anniversary of my arrival in Vietnam on Views from Eagle Peak. It’s no coincidence that the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick series about the Vietnam War began and continues on PBS overlapping that anniversary. If you haven’t yet seen it, go to the PBS site to see more information about the war and the series. It contains interviews with more than 100 individuals involved with the war–on all sides. I wasn’t among them, but this September also marks the tenth anniversary of my publishing a memoir which prominently features my experiences in Vietnam. The series and my book are complementary.

In the Buddhism I practice, there is no such thing as coincidence. There is causality–cause and effect. A long-time leader I know within our lay organization prefers the term anagogical (no doubt stemming from his former Catholic background) to describe what fellow Buddhists often describe as mystical phenomena. His term is more precise, reflecting the unseen connections between events. Such is the case not just with the timing of the PBS series but with events in my life from childhood through Vietnam. My experiences in Vietnam destroyed innocence and shattered illusions but ultimately led to my practice of Buddhism ten years later–in 1977. Waiting for Westmoreland reveals how Vietnam led me to Buddhism. It also explains how my childhood led to behavior in Vietnam that formed causes that produced life-threatening effects.

Commemorative sign for Victory Memorial Drive, MinneapolisWatch for a feature on these two anniversaries in the October edition of Eagle Peak Quarterly. In the meantime, as promised in that Thursday post on Views from Eagle Peak, here’s another excerpt from WFW.

I spent my first 11 years living in a small stucco house in Minneapolis, the second one in from Humboldt Avenue, where the first block of Victory Memorial Drive began. The mile-long boulevard commemorated America’s successful end to the First World War. How odd it seems to me now, growing up on a street by that name. My war, Vietnam, had a somewhat different conclusion. It would leave me not a sense of victory but one of loss, both for my country and for myself. My parents bought the house new, in 1929, 18 years before I was born.

No longer new by my time, the blackened walls of the former coal bin were now just a reminder of an old furnace that once warmed the dwelling. The detached garage at the end of our small back yard had a current-leaking rotary light switch that would give a mild shock on rainy days. A dirt alley next to the garage separated us from an out lot next to the Soo Line tracks. Further back was a switchyard, with engines shuttling boxcars back and forth most days of the week. Through trains rumbled by during the night, with steel wheels clicking and clacking on the rails and whistles sounding in advance of the grade crossing at Humboldt Avenue. I slept through the sound, growing accustomed to it much as I later would the sounds of distant artillery and helicopter gunship fire during Vietnam nights, waking only when the battle grew too near.

Scenes from Other Lives

This looks promising, to me, for at least a short story. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

“I’m seeing strange things, people on a beach. They’re talking in languages I don’t understand,” Ned said.

“It’s been happening to me too—right now in fact,” Jeff turned and looked down the sidewalk to a beach that should be an intersection with another street.

“But they don’t seem to see us, do they?”

“No, it’s like a movie playing in my mind—like they’re not really here. Is that what you’re experiencing, Jeff?”

“Yes, exactly.”

§ § §

“There’s a problem in the alpha set,” the monitor said. “People and events are bleeding through from another set—maybe the delta or gamma set.”

“I’ll get right on it,” the technician said. “Is anyone getting alarmed by it?”

“Wondering or disturbed a little is how I’d describe it. We have to get this fixed ASAP. Thinking about tanning, volleyball or beachcombing is fine but we can’t have the alpha’s seeing episodes from people on a beach.”

“That’s what’s coming through‽”

“Yes, totally out-of-place for them. They’ll lose focus on their daily lives—on the trauma they’re facing. We can’t have that! The experiment must be controlled. We could lose funding from the galactic university that’s sponsoring us.”