“Awake O Sleeper” – Annotated transcript now available

Now available: An annotated transcript of Neville Goddard’s lecture “Awake O Sleeper,” with notes on his sources and other explanatory material.

Cover

ABOUT THIS BOOK:

For someone who didn’t consider himself an erudite, educated person, Neville Goddard was, to say the least, both well-read and widely-read.

Moreover, he so deftly wove paraphrases and references from favorite books and authors into his lectures that those references sounded like original thoughts. But they were often simply unattributed quotes or paraphrases.

An example is the line “The vision has its own appointed hour; it ripens, it will flower. If it seems long, wait, for it is sure and will not be late.” This is a passage from scripture: Habakkuk 2:3. Neville frequently wove such scriptural passages into his lectures, and he often cited them verbally (“That’s the second chapter of the book of Habakkuk”).

But it was Neville’s uncited quotes and paraphrases that I sometimes had difficulty tracking down. Neville made them all sound like scripture, but very often they weren’t. Just doing the most cursory online keyword searches, I discovered that the unattributed references in his lectures were not only from the Bible, but from the works of writers as diverse as William Blake, W.B. Yeats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Shakespeare, Douglas Fawcett, Henry David Thoreau, Richard Feynman, and other lesser-known writers and thinkers.

I encountered this often enough in lectures that I started to feel that a “Neville Concordance,” providing sources for these disparate references and paraphrases, would be valuable to a reader.

Easier to use, though, would be annotated transcripts of his lectures, with the references cited in footnotes, so that a reader didn’t have to flip back and forth between multiple works onscreen or on the page.

Since I’d already transcribed “Awake O Sleeper,” I decided to annotate it with citations to those outside works.

That’s what this chapbook is: it’s the complete transcript of “Awake O Sleeper,” drawn from a source audio recording with two smaller sections from a second-party transcript (sections that were omitted from the beginning and end of my recording), with explanatory notes and sources, so that the reader and student of Neville’s teachings can see the sources from which he drew. Also included is the chapter “God’s Name,” from Neville’s book Freedom For All, which explains the significance of the Hebraic name Jod He Vau He (which he references during the lecture).

This is a 42 page PDF e-book, both readable on any device without loss of formatting AND printable if you want a hard copy!

Click here for more information and to order!

 

 

On the 104th anniversary of Orson Welles’ birth…

Orson 1

2018 was a good year for Orson Welles, even if he wasn’t around to enjoy it. His final, unfinished film The Other Side Of The Wind was finally completed by a coterie of friends and admirers and colleagues, fulfilling Peter Bogdanovich’s promise to Welles in the 1970s: “If anything happens to me, I want you to finish this film.”

Here on the anniversary of Welles’ birth, to celebrate perhaps his best posthumous year yet, I present fifteen quotes from and about Welles, from various books, articles, and interviews in print, audio and video.

*  *  *

Orson 2
“I want to give the audience a hint of a scene. No more than that. Give them too much and they won’t contribute anything themselves. Give them just a suggestion and you get them working with you.” ~ Orson Welles

*  *  *

“The content should be more important than the ingenuity of the director.” ~ Orson Welles

*  *  *

“Somebody said that Touch of Evil seemed ‘very unreal, but real,’ and I corrected that statement, and said that what I was trying to do was to make something that was unreal but true, and I think that’s the definition of the highest kind of theatricality, the best kind… and that’s the kind of theatricality that can exist in films, too.” ~ Orson Welles

*  *  *

Orson 3From the book Orson Welles’ Last Movie: The Making of “The Other Side of the Wind” by Josh Karp:

“‘For any given scene, the actor and director each have a responsibility to get it correct,’ (Welles) told the cast one day. ‘Takes one through three are on me. Takes five and after are on the actor.’ “When someone asked, ‘But what about take four?’ Orson replied, ‘Exactly.'”

*  *  *

“…You can get as dirty as you want but not also excite people, because exciting people during the course of a story –exciting them sexually– is changing the subject so completely that you have no more narrative form.” – Orson Welles, on the Dick Cavett Show, 1970

*  *  *

From the book My Lunches With Orson by Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles:

Welles ~ I believe that there is no law, and should be no law under the heavens that tells an artist what he ought to be. But my point of view, my idea of art –which I do not propose to be universal– is that it must be affirmative.
Jaglom ~ Really?
Welles ~ Life-affirming. I reject everything that is negative. You know, I just don’t like Dostoevsky. Tolstoy is my writer…
Jaglom ~ But, wait a minute, Orson, what are you talking about? This is a stupid conversation. Touch of Evil is not affirmative.
Welles ~ Listen, none of my reactions about art have anything to do with what I do. I’m the exception!
Jaglom ~ Oh my God.
Welles ~ It doesn’t bother me, because it comes out of me. I’m dark as hell. My films are as black as the black hole. (The Magnificent) Ambersons. Oh, boy, was that dark. I break all my rules.

*  *  *

“If the film is ever financed and finished, the title isn’t going to be Don Quixote; the title will be When Are You Going To Finish ‘Don Quixote’?” ~ Orson Welles

*  *  *

From Orson Welles at Work by Jean-Pierre Berthomé and François Thomas:

“In his later period Welles made the editing stage the crucial phase of his creative process. His liking for fragmented cutting and rejection of the literal synchronization of dialogue and sound make it impossible to imagine how he might have linked pieces of film between which no link is apparent, inserted dialogue that he would have rewritten during post-synchronization, or mixed atmosphere, sound effects and music that had never been recorded. No finished version, however scrupulously made, can ever offer more than a distant approximation of a vision that we can only know in fragments. F For Fake and Filming ‘Othello’ eloquently prove the efficacy of Welles’ late working methods, in situations where he was able to complete the last details. In other cases he did all he could to ensure that no one could finish his projects without him, preferring the risk of incompletion to that of completion by someone else.”

*  *  *

“Every man who is any kind of artist has a great deal of female in him. I act and give of myself as a man, but I register and receive with the soul of a woman. The only really good artists are feminine. I can’t admit the existence of an artist whose dominant personality is masculine.” ~ Welles to Jaglom in My Lunches with Orson

*  *  *

“I don’t read books on film at all, or theater. I’m not very interested in movies. I keep telling people that, and they don’t believe me. I genuinely am not very interested! For me, it’s only interesting to do… I just like to make movies, you know? And that’s the truth! … There is something in me that turns off once I start to do it myself. It’s some weakness. In other words, I read everything about the theater before I became a theater director. After that, I never went to plays or read anything. Same thing with movies. I believe that I was threatened, personally threatened, by every other movie, and by every criticism– that it would affect the purity of my vision. And I think the younger generation of filmmakers has seen too many movies.” ~ Welles to Jaglom, from My Lunches with Orson 

*  *  *

Orson 4From the book This Is Orson Welles, by Welles and Peter Bogdanovich, which is transcripts of extensive interviews Welles did with Bogdanovich to “finally set the record straight” regarding his career:

PB – This is from an interview with you in France in 1958. (reading) “J’admire beaucoup…”
OW – Move those papers around nearer to the microphone. I want your readers to appreciate the full inquisitorial pressure…
PB – The tape won’t do our readers any good.
OW – That’s a little technical problem you ought to work out, Peter.
PB – (reading again) “J’admire beaucoup…”
OW – Just the French accent alone…
PB – (continuing) “…Mizoguchi.”
OWWhat?!
PB – Mizoguchi.
OW – What language are you speaking now?
PB – You know perfectly well who Mizoguchi is. I’m quoting you.
OW – I doubt it. What’s that name again?
PB – Mizoguchi. (OW roars with laughter) Come on, Orson– he’s a great director.
OW – I don’t know what I told ’em. They put down what they wanted to hear. I know just how it went: “Qu’est-ce que vous pensez de Meezagooochee?” “Ah!” I’d reply. “Ah!” The big, approving “Ah,” you understand, because I’d be getting too tired by then to compose anything more complicated by way of a sentence in cinematic French. “Mizzagoochi… Ah!” (more laughter)
PB – And the truth is, I suppose, you’re never even seen one of his pictures!
OW – You don’t realize what these interviews do to a man. You experts with tape recorders– just give you enough time, and there’s nobody you can’t break… I guess maybe I’d been belting into (one of Welles’ least favorite directors) Antonioni at the time, and thought I’d better say something good about somebody. In fact, all I did say was “Ah!”…
You have some comment to make? Please feel free to do so.
PB – Well, you’re shameless, but I think basically your taste is pretty–
OW – — low! The truth is, Peter, I really am one of those I-don’t-know-anything-about-art-but-I-know-what-I-like people. If there’s no pleasure for me in it, I feel no obligation to a work of art. I cherish certain paintings, books, and films for the pleasure of their company. When I get no pleasure from an author, I feel no duty to consult him. My interests and enthusiasms are pretty wide, and I do keep trying to stretch them wider. But no strain. No. I am, indeed, quite shameless, as you say, about not straining to encompass what truly doesn’t speak to me.
PB – Well, there’s nothing shameless about that…
OW – You say that without much conviction.
PB – You’re just making out a case for the straightforward, philistine simplicity of your tastes. But here in the files–
OW – Oh, God, Mr. Hoover…! Please don’t quote me anymore. I didn’t mean a word of it.
PB – That’s just what I’m afraid of… You change your mind according to your mood, is that it?
OW – I change my answers according to who’s asking me the questions. Anyway, what do these opinions really matter? Why should I upset a strong Fellini man by telling him I think Satyricon was frightened at birth by Vogue magazine?
PB – Just a few minutes ago you told me–
OW – –that I love Fellini? Well, I do. My point is that, in an interview, if I like the guy, I like to keep him happy. But if he’s very irritating…
PB – What’s my category?
OW – Unendurable– but only for your tenacity. No, I agreed to this so we could get the record straight, so I’m playing it straight… No, you really want to break me, don’t you? You want me to admit I’ve given out some pretty large opinions on films which I have never seen. I got hooked on the habit at those film festivals. All those endless interviews with dim aesthetes from Albania. “What do you think,” they ask you, “of our Albanian motion pictures?” You tell them, of course, that you’re mad for them. But then you’re stuck. “Ah,” they say, “which one do you like best?” So what do you do? You can’t just say, “The one with the blonde in it.”…

*  *  *

Chaplin 1From My Lunches With Orson, in conversation with Henry Jaglom:

“What Chaplin did is– there are two basic types of clowns. In the classic circus, there’s the clown who is whitefaced, with a white cap, short trousers, and silk stockings. He has beautiful legs, and is very elegant. Every move he makes is perfect. The other clown, who works with him, is called an ‘auguste,’ and he has baggy pants and big feet. What Chaplin did was to marry them, these two classic clowns, and create a new clown. That was his secret — that’s my theory… (His films) don’t date because they were dated then. They were period pieces when they were made. The silent pictures always look as though they happened in a world earlier than they did when they were shot. They all derive from the nineteenth century…
“(Chaplin was) totally female as a performer. There was no masculine element there. And he was like that as a man, too, terribly female as a man. It’s that smile, that little female smile. He was so beautiful when he was young. And he didn’t want any of us not to notice it. He beaded his eyebrows. You know how long that takes? He made himself up to be the most beautiful fellow in the world, and then put that little mustache on. Vanity is very much part of that character. He didn’t think he made himself look prissy. He thought he looked beautiful, and delicate and sensitive, and so did all the world. They took it on his terms. I never thought he was funny. I thought he was wonderful– wonderful– but not funny. I thought he was sinister. That’s why I thought of him for Monsieur Verdoux.”

*  *  *

Keaton 1

 

“I think The General is almost the greatest movie ever made. The most poetic movie I’ve ever seen.” ~ Orson Welles

 

 

*  *  *

Henry Jaglom: “I got a call from (Orson) at 2, 3, 4 in the morning. He said ‘I want you to write this down… I know what I want to be on my gravestone.’ I said, ‘Orson, don’t be morbid; what are you doing? It’s three in the morning.’ He said, ‘Write this down: HE NEVER DID ‘LOVE BOAT!’ 

Neville Goddard’s books

The question, asked in a Neville Goddard discussion group on Facebook, was:

…where can I get the Neville’s complete book list, I mean, not the online or free books, but the list of names, so then I can go and buy them. I’m a little bit confused, for exmple; the other day I discovered “relax more, try less” book, but I’m not sure if that’s really a Neville’s book. I want the real list, because I want to read them all. Thank you, very much.

This raises a couple good questions. The first one is: of the books out there “by Neville Goddard” — books where he’s credited as author– which are the ones that he actually wrote and published as books? And second, what about the other stuff: titles like Relax More, Try Less, which shows Neville as “co-author,” or, yes, my two Neville quote collections, Neville From My Notebook and More Neville From My Notebook, which are edited collections but not books “by Neville” in the true sense that he conceived them as books, wrote them, supervised the editing, and approved them for publication?

First: I don’t have a copy of Relax More, Try Less, but, unlike my two collections above, which gather verbatim quotes, it appears that the writer incorporated quotes and blurbs from Neville into his own work and then put Neville’s name on the book as a “co-author” to draw attention to it.

In other words: in spite of Neville being credited as co-author, Relax More, Try Less is NOT a book “by Neville Goddard.”

But the point of this blog post is not to list what ISN’T “by Neville Goddard.” So…

BOOKS WRITTEN AND PUBLISHED BY NEVILLE GODDARD

The twelve titles listed below are, as far as I can tell, the books that Neville Goddard wrote, vetted, and published during his lifetime.

At Your Command
Awakened Imagination
* Feeling is the Secret
* Freedom For All
* Out of This World
* Prayer: The Art of Believing
* Resurrection
* Seedtime and Harvest
* The Law and The Promise
The Power of Awareness
The Search
Your Faith is Your Fortune

Nearly all of these titles are available in both print and e-book, most of them published by DeVorss, which was Neville’s publisher during his lifetime. That’s important to me because when I read a DeVorss printing of a Neville title, I can tell that I’m reading either an original printing or a reprint made from plates (or repros of plates) that are the same as the galleys that Neville proofed and vetted when he first published them. To me, that’s as “authoritative” as you can get.

There’s an almost-omnibus collection called Neville Goddard: The Complete Reader that contains all of those titles except Resurrection.

There’s also a book called The Neville Reader that contains only the seven titles with an asterisk  * next to them above. The Neville Reader, I should note, is published by DeVorss.

Neville also occasionally mentioned, in his lectures, titles of pamphlets that he published, but I don’t know if those were excerpts from longer works or standalone short pieces. I think that The Search was a pamphlet originally; it was incorporated later into one of the books. Same, possibly, with Resurrection.

As far as I know, these are the only books that Neville published during his lifetime.

Lecture Transcripts

The internet is swimming with transcripts of Neville’s lectures. Many of these are available as free downloadable PDFs, and some of these transcripts are scans of original typewritten documents which may or may not date back to the time that the lectures were delivered.

I suspect that some of the transcripts that circulate online were not created verbatim from recordings or live lectures, but were created from someone’s notes taken during the lectures.

Still, these 200+ lecture transcripts are a valuable and free resource and complement Neville’s books as a reliable “primary source” for those who study his teachings.

Many of these lectures are available in print or e-book collections. I will only speak to those which I own and have read.

One of Neville’s “basic works” is the five 1948 “Core lectures,” along with accompanying question and answer session. These lectures were presented as a week-long class in 1948,  and they’ve been published in print and e-book form under numerous titles. (I have a copy entitled Five Lessons.)

The 1948 lectures are, I feel, as essential as any of those 11 books listed above.

Further, five years worth of Neville lecture transcripts (1964-68) were transcribed by Natalie Bernet and recently published in Kindle editions (and there are corresponding print editions which cost a bit more) and are available on Amazon. I love these collections because they reflect something I didn’t realize until I read the lectures in sequence: Neville lectured “in a season series” (January through April, May through August, September through December, etc), and since these lectures were presented in the same venues to mostly the same audiences, they were more like a class. A Thursday lecture would build on last Monday’s lecture and anticipate NEXT Monday’s. Thus, reading the lectures in sequence is like attending the whole series, instead of ducking in and out randomly.

Recorded (audio) lectures 

The recorded lectures are my favorite resource, since they’re recordings of Neville lecturing in his own voice. There were probably about 300 different Neville lectures available on audio cassette during the 1970s, recorded by audience members and sold via mail order. Each lecture runs between 40-50 minutes, and many of those lectures have additional question-and-answer segments at the end. 

As of this writing (spring 2019), there are around 130 different lecture recordings that have been digitized and are available, usually free, online from Youtube or other online video sites. Most of these recordings (and many of the PDF lectures) are from 1969-72, the last years of Neville’s life.

Since these digitized recordings aren’t professional productions, the quality can range from acceptable to maddening. There’s seldom any information (like date of lecture, venue, etc.) beyond the title, and sometimes even the titles are wrong! Further, the sound quality can vary widely, and this isn’t always a function of the source material (although some of the recordings are of poor quality). Some of the recordings were apparently digitized with an uncalibrated tape deck, so some of the recordings run too slow (Drunk Slurring Neville) or too fast (Neville on Helium). 

There are also a few audios that were digitized by someone who clearly didn’t know how to record sound on their computer: the listener can clearly hear ambient sounds from the room where the recording was digitized (meaning that whomever did the transfer didn’t know how to disable their computer’s built-in mic), or the sound of a mouse clicking as the digitizer multitasked, and other user-error glitches that have nothing to do with the quality of the source recording.

All these minor issues aside, the audio lectures are important because they’re the multimedia equivalents of the books: primary source materials. It’s hard to wonder whether Neville actually said something when you can hear a recording of him saying it in his own voice. That having been said…

The warning

The internet has been hugely important in introducing Neville’s teachings to a wider audience.

However, as I’ve hinted above, and as is demonstrated by the title mentioned in the initial post, someone delving into Neville’s works really needs to be wary of some of the material out there which purports to be “by Neville Goddard.”

Neville’s books and lectures are in the public domain– twenty years before Mystery Science Theater, he was encouraging people to make tapes and circulate them– and so those books and lectures (recordings and transcripts) are widely available free online.

However, be aware that some of these free versions may not be entirely reliable. As stated above, I suspect that many of the “transcripts” are not verbatim, but summaries taken from notes. They’re close, but are they close enough? Usually, yes. Occasionally, clearly not.

Then there are the books. Amazingly, some of the free online “editions” of  Neville’s books are “abridged.” 

Now granted: I’ve assembled two e-book collections of quotes pulled out of context from Neville’s books and lectures, but those collections were assembled from the perspective of someone who copied these passages into my journal, and I make that clear. The quotes may not be presented in their original context, but they’re presented verbatim. 

Abridgements present another problem. Didn’t Neville say, time after time, do not change what I am saying“? He didn’t want people to change, or add to or subtract from his words “to fit what they think I ought to have said.” 

With an abridged work, what was cut, and what were the criteria used in the editing process, and who did the “abridging”? 

Just be warned that while some of the books are available “free” online, as with anything “free” online, sometimes you get something less than what you might have paid for.

If you need to go the free route, try the Internet Archive or J-Stor or Google Books, which have free scans of Neville’s works available for download or even for online “loan” like a library. These books are often scans of authorized print editions held by public libraries.

Then there’s the audio and multimedia lectures. As stated above, there are over 130 digitized authentic Neville lectures, but there are also many, many videos and recordings on Youtube and presumably other platforms that present Neville’s books and lectures read by other readers!!! Sometimes this “other reader” is just a narrator with a nice voice; sometimes it’s someone who sounds like they don’t have a clue what they’re reading; and in a few regrettable cases, they’re robo readers (some online recording of a voice-to-text rendition). 

If you want to hear Neville read by Stephen Hawking, go for it. But what I’d advise is that you listen to as many “pure Neville” recordings as you can– his lectures delivered in his voice— and after a bit, you will find that you can’t read his written work without “hearing his voice” read it in your mind’s ear. Even the most well-meaning reader “gets it wrong.”

FInally, while you’d think that Neville’s original audio lectures would be nearly impossible to pervert or misrepresent… well, think again. 

The extreme example, which I will not link to here, was a ten minute YouTube video where the person took a nine second recording of Neville quoting, in his voice, Robert Milliken’s wealth affirmation– “I have a lavish, steady, dependable income, consistent with integrity and mutual benefit”– and looped it on repeat for over ten minutes, so that a person could play it and reap the subconscious benefits. If you can’t tell how absolutely and utterly opposed this is to everything that Neville taught, I can’t help you. But that’s just one example of how the waters get muddied by doubtlessly well-meaning people who really don’t grasp the essence of these teachings.

Maybe Neville would have said “Let them go on. Perfectly all right.” 

Probably not.

Note: With the exception of the video I linked, I have deliberately NOT posted any links to books, publishers or websites. I leave you with my recommendations to discover these teachings on your own.

Where to get my books….

All seven books - bestIf you want to support my writing in the way I like best– by buying and reading my work– here’s where you start.

What you’re supporting I’m a writer with (as I type this it’s too early in the morning to count) at least a dozen different fiction and nonfiction titles that are available in both print and e-book editions, so if you want to read my work, it’s AVAILABLE!!! You can start by reading excerpts of both my published works and works in progress here

…and here’s where you can buy it!!! (All links open in a new browser window.)

Selz – I sell my books direct-to-the-reader on Selz.com. The ebooks here are PDF editions; I opted for that format because whatever the limitations might be compared to other ebook formats, a PDF will look the same on any device. It’s also printable. I also sell signed copies of the print editions of my books on Selz. 

Amazon – If you have a Kindle reader, all of my titles are available for Kindle reader on Amazon, the home of Kindle. You can get the print editions, too…

Brick and Mortar bookshops – ….although why not order the print editions from your local bookseller (like Whistlestop Books in my hometown, Carlisle, PA) or request them from your local library (like Bosler Memorial Library in my hometown, Carlisle PA)? All titles are available for order from Ingram and other book distributors.

What should you read first? – Where to start reading is up to you. As I explain in this blog post, my fiction follows a core group of characters  from their childhood years in the 1960s up through the present day, and it’s always nice to read a unified set of works in “timeline order.” So here’s the timeline. 

Facebook – Of course, I post liberally on my Facebook page, on my characters’ Facebook pages, and on a Neville Goddard page– Neville From My Notebook— and group–Neville Goddard Lecture Discussion Group— that I admin.

Buy me a cuppo coffee – If you read my work or see my videos on YouTube, there will always be a link to my Kofi page, which enables you to “buy me a cup of coffee” via Paypal. Three bucks, as many times as you want, just to pitch in for the time and energy and expense I put out in creating otherwise “free” work (like the Neville Facebook posts, the character Facebook posts, my Youtube videos, etc).

Other venues – I’m in the process of investigating other social media and online artist/writerly venues like Patreon, MeWe, etc, and I’ll certainly update here on my blog as I delve in and create. But for now…

…if you want to support me in the way I like best– by buying and reading my work– this post gives you the GPS.

Thank you! –Max

Trees in winter…

From the book A Guide to Nature in Winter by Donald Stokes:

“Trees are plants that have evolved woody stems so that their leaves will be supported in the air, thus avoiding the competition for sunlight at ground level. As with all green plants, their first priority must be to place their leaves in sunlight, for the sun is the primal source of their energy. This striving to arrange leaves in light is most clearly shown in the winter trees. Here in the outline of their bare branches hundreds of solutions are revealed, each species a distinct linear sculpture created jointly by the forces of light and life…”

“I don’t want anyone I know to see this…”

COLLOQUIUMIn this excerpt from my short work “Colloquium,” former porn actress Christy Kelly (aka “Rebecca Christy”) describes the first time she saw her face on a magazine cover.

“Colloquium” is written in the form of a question-and-answer session in front of a university audience at a lunchtime sociology colloquium (hence the title). For more information on “Colloquium” and to order, click here. 


Moderator (Ross) – (Tell us about) the first time you saw your face on a magazine cover.

Rebecca – Yeah. Well, like Ross said… OK. First of all, I think we all know the mindset and attitude that kind of goes along with being up here (Penn State) as a student, right? It’s what my husband calls the Happy Valley syndrome. You know… they say “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” but here it’s kind of the opposite of that… that you feel that what happens outside of Happy Valley can’t touch you in here. You know? And I was kind of traveling outside of the gravity of the college to do these shoots and so it always felt like, when I’d get in that car to go do a shoot, that I was kind of driving away from Christy and driving toward Rebecca. So that when I’d get to Gerry’s or down to Harrisburg to do the shoots there–

M – Just to interrupt: Gerry being one of the photographers you worked with.

R – Right. Yeah. Sorry. So anyway, when I’d get away from here, as I was driving I kind of felt Rebecca brain taking over. So that when I got there I’d kind of… I don’t know if “steeled myself” is the right term, but I did feel like I had made a kind of mental shift and sort of psyched myself up for doing this. Right? It’s like I couldn’t have done the shoots in my dorm room (audience laughter) and if college girl Christy had shown up at the shoots, that would have been weird, but Rebecca was totally fine with it.
I have a split personality, don’t I? (audience laughter) 
So what was the question again?

M – The first time you saw your face on a magazine cover.

R – OK. Yeah. So there’d always been that very clear division– Christy and Rebecca. Happy Valley and Adult World. You know? And one of the biggest fears I had when I was doing this stuff at first… I mean, I wasn’t just a student here, but I was a student trainer for the football team. And I was horrified that Coach Paterno would find out somehow, or Jesus Mary Joseph, one of the players would see something or hear something and I would… my cover would be blown, I guess. Right? But I kind of told myself that, again, driving away from campus to do the shoots, Rebecca was out there. Christy was in Happy Valley. Right? And I think only… that first magazine was published, the one that I’d done the first shoot for… it was one of those “College Girls” magazines, called “University Girls USA,” and I had one picture in it. So it’s not like I was the cover girl, and it didn’t give my real name. It said “Rebecca Christy.” And when you looked at the picture, it didn’t look a LOT like the way I looked going out around campus. For one thing, I wasn’t naked… (audience laughter) …but also, the whole look, makeup and hair, all that. Anyway. Even when that magazine came out and it was sold in town and on campus at the bookstores, I felt… I may have gotten a feeling a couple times like “That guy recognizes me from the magazine.” But I still felt pretty anonymous and hidden. And like I said, like that was “out there” and here I was, in Happy Valley. Right? And that was really the only magazine that was published while I was a student.
But… OK. So a couple years go by. I had graduated as an undergrad, I was still living in town. I hadn’t done any work, you know, any shoots, in three or four years, and I was a single mom. And I was leaving town with my daughter to go to Bloomsburg to see my big sister, who, ironically, was one of the few people in my circle who knew what I’d been doing, what I was up to.

M – Or at least whom you’d told.

CityNewsStand016

R – Right. We’ll get to that. So I stopped at this 7-11 near the exit on I80, so I still felt like I was kind of here, and I grabbed some coffee, some gum, you know, and there I am, in my sweats, no sunglasses or any disguise or anything, and as I’m standing there at the counter waiting to check out, I happen to glance at the rack of porn behind the counter and right there on the top shelf was the new issue of “Coed” Magazine with my face big right on the cover. And I mean, my body was behind a wrapper and they had a modesty shield over most of the cover, but there was my face, staring right out at me from the porn rack at the 7-11. I think that… if it wasn’t the first time I’d ever gotten a cover, it was at least the first time I’d ever SEEN myself on a cover. And I just… I felt a little weak-kneed at first, and like “Holy… CRAP!” And I felt my face turning bright red, and then looking at the clerk, the guy in line in front of me, the guy in line behind me, thinking not only did they see it too and they had to recognize me, but almost like I was standing there naked in line right there in front of them. You know? And really… it was all I could do to pay for my stuff and get the heck out of there. And the whole way to my sister’s I was, like, “Oh my God. It’s OUT THERE. What am I going to do?” As if it had never really occurred to me that from all those shoots I’d done, one of them might actually get published and printed on the front of a magazine that I might see for sale.

M – Well, and what you did next was the amazing thing.

R – By amazing you mean “ridiculous”?

M – Well…

R – But it was. I mean… I should say. What I did next was… I thought, “OK. I don’t want anyone I know to see this.” And so I got this… big redhead wig… and big Jackie O sunglasses… (audience laughter) …serious… and I took almost my whole next paycheck, because I was working as a grad assistant at the college, and I went around to all these newsstands, convenience stores, in and around State College, and I bought up that issue of “Coed.” Parked the car out front and let it idle with my daughter in the back seat, and I’d go in, scope out their porn… if they had my issue of “Coed,” I’d buy every copy they had. I think I had thirty seven copies of that magazine in the back seat before I finally thought, “OK, this is really… frickin’ stupid. You know? Obviously I’m going to run out of money before I get every magazine. And I can’t take the time and waste the gas doing this. And what happens if child welfare comes by and finds Maura in the back seat of my idling car with a stack of porn next to her?” (audience laughter) 
This business is great for worst-case scenario thinking.
Anyway, I gave up after 37 copies. And I took them out to a barbecue grill at Bald Eagle and I stuck them in a grocery bag and torched the whole stack.
And now Marty says, “You know, I’ve seen copies of that issue of ‘Coed’ on eBay for thirty bucks a pop.” (audience laughter) Thanks, honey.
But see, that just goes to show–

M – Did you?

R – What?

M – No. Go on ahead. “That just goes to show…”

R – Yeah, well, I was just going to say, that that just goes to show how insulated I felt up here, and how I felt like that activity couldn’t possibly intrude into my little single mom life in Happy Valley. And when it did, it was a shock. It shouldn’t have been, but it was.
And then the thing that followed was: OK, if it’s out there HERE, then it’s out there where my FAMILY is. So THEY might see it. I think that was what really upset me and also made me realize that it was pretty retarded– sorry… some of us still use that word without thinking… pretty ridiculous to think I could actually safely buy up those magazines so that nobody I knew would see it. I mean, where would it end? You know?
That’s all.


For more information on “Colloquium” and to order, click here. 
COLLOQUIUM

Meeting Dennis Wilson (serialized novel, 2013)

All seven books - bestMeeting Dennis Wilson was my first published novel and is the third book in my story timeline. It’s available as seven serialized volumes and in an omnibus edition. Here’s how you can order copies.

PDF e-book editions (readable or printable on any device without loss of formatting) are available from my store at Selz.com. Click here for more information on the  PDF e-books.

Print editions are available from any online or brick-and-mortar bookshop. Here are the ISBNs to order. Books 1-4 each contain a “bonus track” extra story.

Book One (ISBN 978-1484950029)
Book Two  (ISBN 978-1490303116)
Book Three (ISBN 978-1490581859)
Book Four (ISBN 978-1490904733)
Book Five (ISBN 978-1491241332)
Book Six (ISBN 978-1492243137)
Book Seven (ISBN 978-1493520206)
Omnibus edition (contains all seven books minus bonus stories)(ISBN 978-1494325695)

Kindle Editions are available directly from the Kindle store at Amazon.com.