I figure if movies can have trailers, then books can too.
For sure I am not the first storyteller to pin the “tale” on a donkey.
Robert Louis Stevenson did it in the 1800s with Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes. Zane Grey did it with Tappan’s Burro. More recently Tim Moore wrote Travels with My Donkey and Andy Merrifeld penned The Wisdom of Donkeys: Finding Tranquility in a Chaotic World.
While donkeys played central roles in these books, each is about something more than the donkeys themselves. Likewise, with Full Tilt Boogie: A journey into autism, fatherhood, and an epic test of man and beast, I have framed my story with the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop and the gritty sport of pack-burro racing as a theme.
But Full Tilt Boogie is really about my challenges parenting my autistic son, Harrison. It is a story of determination, love and perseverance in the face of adversity.
The book is 224 pages and includes several color photographs. It is available in both electronic form and paperback.
Pay what you want ebook
To get an ebook (pdf) that you can read on your kindle, iPad or Nook, simply send an email to email@example.com and I will send it to you! You choose the price! There’s a button inside the book that will take you to a place you can easily pay for it online.
The paperback also is available directly from me for $20, including shipping. You can either “send money” using paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a check to me at 307 Centennial Dr., Westcliffe, CO 81252. Of course, send along your address so I know where to mail it.
If you prefer, Full Tilt Boogie is also available on amazon.
The book also is available at the Book Haven in Salida.
Finally made the trip (and it was a trip!) out to the Great Escapes Mustang Sanctuary (GEMS) where my friend Kim Zamudio is the trainer in chief and is working with wild horses and wild burros.
The sanctuary is out northeast of Kiowa.
Kim is an official trainer with the Platero Project, launched by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in an effort to place more wild burros captured off Western rangelands into adoptive homes. She is able to take animals directly from the BLM, train them, then offer them for adoption.
There are as many as 1,300 wild donkeys that have been removed from public lands by the BLM and are being held in captivity.
Currently at GEMS 10 of these formerly feral burros are available for adoption. Kim has them trained to various degrees. Many of them are halter-trained and broke to carry pack saddles. These are about as nice a bunch of donkeys as I’ve seen.
People often ask me where they can get a burro. If you’re considering an animal for packing, pack-burro racing, a guard or companion donk, or a pet, I would encourage your to get in contact with GEMS. Not only are these burros gentled and trained, the adoption fee is extremely reasonable.
The sanctuary also has 29 mustangs, and serves as a center for education and awareness about burros and mustangs. Tours are available and donations are appreciated. Check out their website at http://greatescapesanctuary.org/.
My recent column in Colorado Central magazine
My new book, Full Tilt Boogie — A journey into autism, fatherhood, and an epic test of man and beast is now available as an ebook directly from me. This ebook is a PDF that can be read on most tablets or your computer.
Full Tilt Boogie is a story of endurance and perseverance in the face of adversity, and is filled with parallels and metaphors for life. The book is organized as a series of vignettes that weave together to tell the story of how I set out at the age of 53 with a jenny donkey named Full Tilt Boogie to win a seventh World Championship in one of the planet’s most obscure and difficult endurance sports, while also struggling with the challenges of raising my autistic son Harrison, financial hardships, and aging.
To get a copy simply email your email address to me at email@example.com. The book is “pay what you want” — there is a button on the copyright page and on the back cover directing you to an online payment form that takes Paypal or credit cards.
The ebook is also being published by Vook, and will soon be available on all major epublishing channels — Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Nobel and others.
Print copies of Full Tilt Boogie will be available from me in the near future, and several signing events are in the works. Stay tuned for details.
This is an exciting time to be a writer, with so many ways to get your work out there, and also to get paid for it. I thank my readers for being a part of this journey.
“Inspiring, thoughtful, humorous, pensive, honest…a must-read for parents, athletes, ranchers, farmers, animal lovers. Without question, four hooves up!” — Nancy H., Colorado Springs
“In two evenings I’ve experienced more than every human emotion; loved this book , what a great job you’ve done. God bless you all.” — Chuck L., Westcliffe
“Nearly everything we are taught is false except how to read.” So says poet Jim Harrison, who apparently has an ax to grind.
“A picture paints a thousand words.” So says Frederick R. Barnard, in Printer’s Ink, a national trade magazine for advertising.
Barnard also had an ax to grind, but then that magazine went out of business.
Ancient peoples wrote in pictures painted on rocks, a form of expression which is real and lasting. Later people learned to chisel words into rocks.
Then came paper and ink.
Now it’s bits and screens, perhaps not as enduring as rock or paper.
Temple Grandin says language gets in the way of visual thinking, that words tend to cloud some ways of thinking. What does this all mean in the age of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, which all feed into short attention span, and in a world where success is determined by “Likes?”
In journalism school we were taught to write short. The “Five Ws and the H” first. Everything else can be cut from the bottom. An editor once told me the end of the world could be written in 10 column inches.
It’s also struck me that poetry is a form of condensing words into a picture.
As both a photographer and writer I see that pictures get way more “likes” than the words. I’ve been conducting an unscientific study, which I think is unbiased since nobody’s paying to view or to read. The photos win hands-down, 5-1 or better.
There also have been instances when I have posted something to read and someone has “liked” it so fast I know there’s no way they could have actually read it.
If you write a book, however, longer is often believed to be better. But will anyone read it? Or will they skip through it looking for the pictures, those you’ve painted with words? Or go right to the ending?
In this new age of expression it’s up to those who create to figure out how best to get their ideas out there. Perhaps there’s something to be learned from poets.
Like those who painted rock walls before us, we have no other choice. We can blame electronic media but then did the ancients blame rock walls?