Wednesday, January 27, 2010

66 pages into Becoming Isaac!

Ok, so I just wrote for a half hour and lost it all when I pushed publish so I am going to start over and hope it works.
I spent the morning glazing and then started writing at 1. I put in more than 9 hours today on the computer and feel like I made some really great progress. I am learning all sorts of things--namely that this is not my story. I tried to force something that wasnt working a couple of days ago, and it kicked back, getting me frustrated. Yesterday I learned again that this is not my story when, frustrated, I sat down to write after a long prayer and good night's sleep and it became clear to me that I had missed out on some really important things that needed to come out- that needed to be told. Michaelangelo once said when he sculpted stone, he felt like he was freeing the figures from the stone, that they were telling him what they wanted him to make them into. I thought I understood this as a potter, but I am really understanging it now as a writer. Things are coming together in a magical and strange way that I never could have imagined. Many of you have expressed your anticipation at what is going to happen next. I know exactly how you feel. I don't know either. It comes a day at a time, but I promise you, you are going to love book three. I am beginning to realize that this whole series is really just getting us ready for book three.
I have recieved another few reviews on Amazon. Thank you. Hearing how the books are affecting you makes the toil of writing them worthwhile. I would love to see more of your reviews on Amazon. It's easy and only takes a few minutes. if you dont know how, I have posted the instructions on my previous posts. Thanks. Ben

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fifty one pages in to Becoming Isaac

So, I am trying to find a balance between my work in the studio as a potter and book signings and what I really want to be doing most of the time--writing. I signed books yesterday in Bountifl after making 50 cereal bowls. I was hoping to get some writing done--ideas were burning holes in my head, but I didnt get to do any writing yesterday until very late. I wrote some on Monday after making bowls and again today after making bowls. I guess Ilike to make bowls. They take up space in my big kiln and feed my family, so what's not to like.

I have learned that if I don't make pots, I can't write. Somehow the world of writing is connected to the world of creation and silence found in my work at the wheel. This book is being different for me than the others have and I find myself learning and being taught by what is coming out of my fingers. I am learning a lot about the need for forgiveness. How many of us have been holding on to grudges and hurt in our relationships with family and friends? I never thought I did, but as I write about Amy and her dad and Sam and his son and Mr. Allan and his kids, there is a common theme that continues to rise to the surface. I feel like this book is working on me at least as much as I am working on it. There is contention in this book and I don't do contention very well. When I go back and read it, I dont feel it so much, but when I write it, it takes time and effort. Today, I spent the better part of an hour on one paragraph--learning and discovering pieces of myself--things I want to change--things I want to overcome. I don't know if others will feel similarly. I guess time will tell. I will say that is it really isnt fair that you as a reader can read in ten minutes what takes me a week to write. I either need to write faster or figure out a way to slow you down.

I will be signing at the Lehi Costco tomorrow from 2-6 and then speaking tomorrow night at a Mentors Series from 7-9 in the Olympus Cove area. Oh, and I am speaking to a book club tomorrow at noon. SO I wont be writing much tomorrow.

On Saturday, you can find me at the SLC Downtown Costco from noon -6.

Thanks to those who responded to my invitation to fill out a review on Amazon. I have already had four people respond, fortunately, with postitive reviews. I invite you to take five minutes and write your own review. Instructions can be found on the previous blog entry. Thanks and cheers. Ben

Friday, January 15, 2010

Be connected to Isaac in cyberspace! An invitation to create your own review on

Since the time I began signing books at Costco, I have had lots of folks ask if my book has been reviewed on It has been and currently has 5 stars, but only 15 people have reviewed the book. To date, we have sold more than 8500 copies combined of the first two books, so I have a feeling that people either don't know how, or they are just too doggone busy to figure it out. I filled out a review a little while ago on another book and it is very simple once you know where to go. Here is the easiest way I know how.
I should mention first that this will only work if you have purchased something from Amazon before. See below for more details.
-Got to
-In the box just above the word and picture of the Kindle, type in- Remembering Isaac. Then press the "GO" button to the right of that box.
-Remembering Isaac will come up with a picture of the cover. To the right of the book cover are five stars and to the right of that is a number in parenthesis. At the time of writing this blog, the number is 15 so it looks like (15). Click on that number, whatever the number is, and all the customer reviews will pop up.
-At the top of that page, just underneath the stars, there is a button that says, "Create your own review." If you click on that, and follow the prompts, you will be able to quickly write your own review and then push the button that says, publish, or something like that. You can give it the stars you think it deserves. Of course, five stars means you liked it, one star means you didnt like it so much.
I know that by asking for you to post your opinion, it may cause my ratings to drop, but I think its important to have a lot of ratings and we'll still be friends if you hated my book and say so.
You are also welcome to leave a review for Discovering Isaac as well. I really appreciate your help.
I should mention that this will only work if you have an Amazon account which only requires that you once bought something from If you go to from the computer with which you made the purchase, Amazon should recognize you, even if you forgot your password. If you have any qestions, post a comment on this blog and I will respond to you. With so many people having read the book, it seems like it would be easy to double or triple the reviews in the next few weeks. Please tell your friends that have read the book and invite them to do the same.
Thanks so much. Ben

Friday, January 8, 2010

40 Pages In To Becomming Isaac

This has been an ineresting week. I am a potter and January is always a crazy time because it is the time I get ready for art festivals. It may seem early, but applications are usually due by mid February and I feel it is important to come up with new work each year to keep the jurors excited about me. Most folks dont know that art festivals are very competitive, especially for potters. At the Park City show for example, there are usually more than 300 potters vying for the 15-20 spaces they award to potters. I have been fortunate for the last several years to have been able to get in to both major Utah shows, the Utah Arts Festival and Park City. These shows have been a great boon to my business and provided me with the funds I've needed to self-publish my books. So, I have to take application time seriously. I worked hard on Monday and Tuesday mornings and was able to produce a lot of work so I could write in the afternoons. On Wednesday, I wrote for a couple of hours before going to a book signing in Ogden. I was disappointed to discover when I got there that they only had 19 copies of the first book and about 40 copies of the second. I sold the 19 copies in less than an hour, along with about ten copies of the second. As I was packing up, I sold another three copies of book 2 to people who were curious, but had not yet read book one. I really like signing in Ogden. I came and wrote more.
Yesterday, I wrote from 8:30 am until 1 am with a short dinner break to spend time with the family. It was amazing how the story unfolded as I wrote. I am constantly learning what this book is about. I came in for dinner, completely emotionally drained after Sam's story took on a twist I never could have guessed. The experience taught me once again that I am not writing this book.
40 pages in...that translates to about 80-85 pages in book format. I am expecting this book to be about 500 pages, give or take, considering how much as been written and how much more I have to write. I had figured on this being the last of the Isaac series, because I have three other stand alone book ideas that keep me up at night, but Niederbipp is going to be a hard place for me to leave. I love going there on the days I write. I love the people I meet there. I have fallen in love with each of them and each of them-okay, most of them have made me a better person. A new guy showed up when I was writing last week. I wrote about this Fromage bon vivants in my last post, but as I read over those chapters today, I found myself completely enamored by this eccentric fellow. He has a lot more to say and I am excited to hear more about him in the coming chapters.

I spent the day writing again--I have lost interest, for the time being, in pottery--and I have enjoyed discovering the depth and pain and hope of the town baker. Sam was such a jovial character in my mind, but Jake discovers some pretty dark stuff.

One thing that has really kept me going this week is receiving emails from readers. One man sent me beautiful poem that book 2 inspired his to write. Another told me of the comfort she recieved from the books as she lost her nine year old neice. Several others told me they were planning trips to Niederbipp and asked for directions. I suppose I better put a map in the next one--no one seems to be able to find it and everyone wants to go there. For those of you who have read the book, thanks. I love hearing from you. If you feel so inclined, I would love to have you fill out a review on Amazon. Just look up my book, click on the number next to the stars and then click on the button that says "create your own review." It doesn't take long, but it is a great way to spread the word about Niederbipp. I should warn you that unless you have purchased something from Amazon, (not necessarilty my book), it won't work. I will write more about it in an upcoming blog.

Its late, but my wife is at an overnight girls-night-out, so I may just stay up late and go back to Niederbipp. Cheers

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

It is hard to believe another year has slipped into history. If the first day of the year gives any indicaton of what lay ahead, it seems I will be writing more in 2010. I spent the day working on chapter three of Becoming Isaac--I love it. It includes an strange man who among other things is a globetrotter with unusual talents. He is a Fromage bon vivants.--even rarer than a chimney sweep these days.
I have been thinking a lot lately about what I hope this new year will bring. Writing has become a passion. It has opened my mind to a new world. I feel like the more I write, the more I have to say. Getting into Costco was one of my goals. Now that I have been there for 3 1/2 months, I find myself being itchy. I have no idea what the future holds for me or my books, but I do know that Isaac's message is much bigger than me, the 9 utah costcos and the nice people who shop there. It seems like it could be a message that others would enjoy and benefit from.
I turned 36 last October. It seems strange to be be thinking about what I will leave behind when I pass on to the next world, but for some reason that thought is always in the back of my mind. Maybe it has been for years. I have often told people that Isaac is the man I hope to become someday and Jake is the man I am today. I still feel like I have too many "Jake Days" and not enough "Isaac Days", but I'm working on it. Cheers to more "Isaac Days" for all of us in 2010.