Welcome to my World

What’s that? You don’t want to come in? Too scary? You prefer the fantasy of Puffy the magic cyclops to the flesh-eating monster he really was? Sorry to hear that because I’d rather not stoop to such drivel. So spake the old man in me, the mane of mine father.

My publisher got this reply from a Review group: “our membership did not download any copies of Chicago Rage. This is not because the work does not have merit, but because most of our membership comes from the community of fiction readers, more directly, Science Fiction and Fantasy.”

And so, my writing career ends with a whimper.  Hell, no! These readers must not be my audience.

My preferred audience may not even have internet access, or they still dwell in the remote pine barrens I once called home. It’s not like I’m the only one howling in the wilderness. The wolves howl back. No, they don’t log in first, they just howl the old-fashioned way, with their throats. God, I miss ‘em. But I’m here now, among the super sensitive, over civilized beings who’ve taken over planet—spaceship—Earth.

Okay, let’s lighten up. There are other ways to get reviewed. I have to shake those trees until an apple hits me on my head. Although brain damaged, I’ll carry on!

Chicago Rage Tumbleweed Books https://daowenpublications.ca/our-authors/

 Ronald Schulz, Books and Bluster | Facebook

The Ground has Shifted

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not really a Luddite, well, not completely. I enjoy some of the gadgets and perks of the modern world. Just that it’s gone too far. Kids don’t roam free as we did in my day. The paths we carved into the forests are overgrown, the secret haunts we explored are hidden, awaiting another generation that can breathe the air scented with pine and wildflowers and shout with exhilaration at the sheer joy of being alive in a natural world. I never developed Hay fever or the long list of allergies that afflict most people I know who seem to have been cursed with an overactive immune system, that tries to kill, rather than protect them. Such a fate seems counter evolutionary to me, as if by shielding ourselves from Mother Nature, she has turned on us, denied us the comfort she gave our ancestors.

A virtual world is a poor substitute for a natural lover’s embrace.

I knew I was privileged in my semi-rural suburb, terrified that my parents would move us back to “the city” where sidewalks intervened between my feet & the earth. And yet the city chased us. My friends and I watched bulldozers tear down big chunks of our beloved woodlands to plant cul-de-sacs filled with strangers who never became familiar neighbors. Long before Eco-terrorism was heard of, we attempted sabotage, putting sand in the dozer gas tanks, but our efforts were futile. Only a few disconnected patches of the natural world remain of what we knew. I grew up an alien, a rebel, opposed to the course civilization was taking and determined to do something about it. And I was not alone. Many of my generation felt the same way, Hippies and Yippies, Freaks or whatever label was foisted on us, we recognized each other by our idealism and our discontent.

How about you?

Do you enjoy reading about life before cell phones & microwaves? Would you like to experience actual life, rather than the fake reality that fills our day on-line? Free love & social activism exploded into the wild sixties out of the staid fifties. Free Speech & Love, shared community, social norms and the rigors of fashion, short hair on men fell by the wayside. Get a taste of what you may be missing. Read on about a lost and found world that was the rebellious Sixties. No, it was not all Peace and Love. Dig it!

Chicago Rage is one slice of my perspective for you. Read it and see if it resonates with your spirit.

New Book Out, Another seeking Agent Representation.

Chicago Rage! My new Wild in the Streets Memoir is out on Amazon US.

Free Love, Drugs, Riots, and it’s all true!

A time in US history. A time of turmoil. And a time of unrest. A five-part memoir as seen through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Ron continuing his exploration of the emerging Counterculture after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

From the underground culture of Chicago to the streets of New York, this recollection of the riots and romance tells of the trials we all face. And then Karen entered his life – a young run-a-way with wild thoughts of tearing down Pig City.

Tumbleweed Books https://daowenpublications.ca/chicago-rage/


My fixed Tumbleweed website. https://daowenpublications.ca/our-authors/

Next is a sequel: From Jail to the Booby Hatch: How I rejoined the Revolution, or some such title.

Next Book Out: Chicago Rage

In October I signed a contract with Tumbleweed Books, a Canadian publisher, for my next book of the adventurous Sixties. The working title at this moment is Chicago Rage a wild in the streets and on the road story of rebellious love. Tune in, turn on, drop out! The publisher says it will be released in January or February of this year, 2022. Huzzah!

Heads down on the hood. I’m in there somewhere.

Traditional Publishing? One big Racket

In answer to D who wrote me this Re: traditional publishing.

When I went to the AWP conference in Portland a few years ago, it dawned on me that traditional publishing combined with the MFA degrees is one big racket. I heard an agent say that she could tell which specific MFA program a writer had come from. And the agents say that acceptance depends on what they individually like, not on quality or anything else. I was a prof (in Intercultural Communication) and can see how this works — faculty want to start an MFA program and maybe the English dept. has a prof who’s published something somewhere. One way to attract students is to have a journal and get them to work on it for free and publish their stuff to give them a track record. And if a college has a published author on staff, the author likely has connections in a traditional publishing company. Maybe the MFA grads get hired at that company, or at another company with someone who graduated from the same program. And won’t they all prefer someone who writes like they do? They’ve got co-students who’ve been trained with the same aesthetic and can all review each other’s work. On Twitter it seems the younger tweeter aspiring authors need to reach 1k followers. When looking for an agent, I noticed they ask you to describe your social media platform or plan therefor. I haven’t researched this, but it makes sense to me.

Like D, I’m an oldster in a world demanding fresh trivia. Welcome to the book market. Actually, it’s very unwelcoming and I’ve found what she says to be true. Just to get an agent to look at your work you need more than a good query. You must break into their buddy system or it ends in a slush pile. It took me decades before I had time & focus to start writing. Then comes the fear factor, the terror of exposing your truth to an often hostile audience. The naysayers tend to be the loudest voices & can poison the atmosphere in an otherwise appreciative group.
Fear doesn’t go away, but one must build the drive to forge on over it. I call it the ‘fuck ’em’ attitude. Constructive criticism is one thing, but if someone keeps repeating ‘it’s stupid’ or ‘don’t you know anything about the Hero journey’ without where & how that relates to your piece it can shatter your ambition and make you want to crawl into a hole & never come out.
In my case, I’m wedded to the unvarnished truth, life as lived history, & they want me to invent some murder mystery, or throw in a vampire to juice it up.
My answer? Fuck ’em! The slammers usually draw from less life experience. Stay strong, harried writer, we’ve gotta come out & say what we must for whoever gets it. All that without becoming bitter, or letting it crush you, takes supreme effort. So, any & all positive feedback is welcome. Celebrate the small victories, whether the book sells or not is up to the capricious gods of fortune.

SPIRIT QUEST 1969

TRIPPING THROUGH LANDS OF ENCHANTMENT, is available on Amazon, Abe Books & Barnes and Noble among others. Also on Audible. You can see more at the following links.

amazon book link https://amzn.to/39hDYBk

https://profilecritics.com/book/TwQANITDTwwMw

https://bit.ly/2xb6SFn

audible https://www.audible.com/pd/B08NWDS4Y2/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-223832&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_223832_rh_us


goodreads  https://bit.ly/2Y9YIYW

Colorado Acid Test

The State Trooper threatened me with arrest if I stuck out my thumb again. Hitchhiking, he insisted, was illegal in Colorado, but getting a ride looked doubtful if I didn’t thumb it. Traffic slacked off the farther I got from Denver. Plodding along, arms at my side, I craned my neck to smile at oncoming cars.

I’d dropped out of high school back in Chicago only a few days before and was on my own, traveling to communes I’d only read about in Time-Life magazines. Finally,my smile paid off and a car pulled over.

“Where to man?” Two bearded longhairs in beads, tie-dyed shirts and leather headbands satin the front seat. The pale blond driver looked like Jesus. His black bearded passenger was rugged and bronzed in a jean jacket. I’d been saved by the right people.

“I’m headed to Drop City,” I said as I hopped into the back seat. They looked like they ought to know where it was.

“Far fucking out, man,” Jesus drawled. “We can only take you as far as Colorado Springs.”

Any mileage was welcome, my legs needed a rest. The two dudes in front became engaged in some deep conversation that I didn’t bother following. Their speech was peppered with words like groovy,far out, and they said wow, a lot. Finally, the rugged looking passenger turned to me.

“Here,man,” he passed something to me. “Let me lay a tab of acid on you.” He dropped abright purple circle onto the palm of my hand. Saying no more, he turned back to his front seat conversation.

It was the first tab of acid that I’d ever seen, much less held, but at seventeen years of age I was still trying to prove myself and didn’t want to proclaim my ignorance. I examined it with care, wondering what to do with this treasure.

The tab was flat, like the wafer you got for communion in church. About two inches in diameter, it was a pretty, delicate thing, divided into four parts by indented lines, like slices of a pie. Should I take it or save it? 

I’d smoked my share of grass, with minimal results, but acid-LSD, I knew only from the negative media coverage. The scare propaganda about messed up chromosomes worried me, but scientists said there was no evidence for that. Lots of acid dropping hippies already had what looked like normal kids. Timothy Leary said acid was a gateway into our spiritual depths, a path to self-knowledge. I wanted to explore psychedelics, but later, when I was better prepared for what everyone agreed was a life changing experience. At the moment I was fresh out of high school,traveling alone to explore communes I’d only read about. There was enough going on in my life without taking acid, miles from a familiar face, but I feared this divine gift could dissolve in the moist warmth of my hand or deteriorate in my pocket. It shouldn’t to be lost or wasted.

To hell with caution! I swallowed it whole before I could change my mind. After a few more minutes ticked by the passenger turned back to me again.

“Hey man, did you eat it?”

I shook my head affirmatively.

“How much did you take?”

How much? Of course, that’s why it was divided into sections.

“I took the whole thing, man.”

His jaw dropped, and his eyes popped out like in a cartoon. That told me I’d goofed.

Woooow man! That was a four-way tab. Heavy shit!” He turned to Jesus. “He ate the whole fucking thing, man!”

“Wow!” Jesus shook his head and clucked his tongue.

None of this wowing was doing my peace of mind any good. I had to guard my mind from spiraling into panic. No way could I allow these guys to spook me. Fortunately, I was a meditator, a student of the mystic yoga of India and Tibet. Maybe my spirit guides had led me to this challenge and I was confident I could handle it.

“Hey man,” Jesus called me from my reverie. “Ever take acid before?”

“No, it’s the first time.”

The passenger reached over the seat and clasped my hand. “Welcome to the Wonderland brother!”

When they dropped me off, I’d be on my own, like Alice in a strange new, yet familiar land.