Archive for September, 2010


Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Yes, after only a decade or so in the making, I have finally released From God To Verse:

If you do judge a book by its cover, at least you know what to expect.

This is the first book I started writing, almost immediately after college. I don’t even know why; I just had the idea and decided to go with it, as explained here. Sometimes I get ideas for something I have to write, and then I do it. That’s why I’ve previously pulled all-nighters writing rhyming summaries of presidential debates. This book was a somewhat larger commitment, but if nothing else it stands as proof that you can accomplish big things if you are sufficiently stubborn. Besides, now if I attend a highschool reunion and someone asks me, “So, what were your 20s like?”, I can just hand them this book*.

But in case nobody hands you this book, and you want to know a little more about it, let me tell you: It’s a line-by-line translation of the Torah into verse. The whole thing, from the first chapter of Genesis to the final chapter of Deuteronomy. Every person who begat someone else, every cubit and measurement of the ark, everything. Nothing has been left out.

In fact, a few small things have been added for your convenience. First and foremost, the whole thing rhymes, and is written in a manner that will hopefully be easier and more fun to read than any previous translation. Secondly, in service to this goal, I’ve added a number of parenthetical explanations of things, because many of the names in the Torah make more sense if you understand their Hebrew translation. And finally, I’ve added a short, large-print rhyming summary of each chapter, perfect for parents or educators who would like to share a rhyming version of the Torah with children who will not yet appreciate the full text.**

So that’s what it is. You probably have a pretty good idea if it’s the kind of book that would appeal to you. If so, fantastic, you can buy it right here:

If you are not of a Judeo-Christian persuasion, it might well not appeal to you, but you probably know people who would appreciate it. I would be most grateful if you would send those people here***. Because From God To Verse is not on any store bookshelves to catch people’s eye, so the only way anyone will know about it is if someone tells them.

I was going to say “in other news”, but really, this is big enough news to be my whole post. This is the culmination of a whole lot of work over a whole lot of time, and I am excited about it. I hope people will enjoy it.

* And hopefully they will understand that I spent my 20s writing the book, as opposed to building an ark, murdering my brother, and wandering in the desert. Ah, ambiguity.

** Or really, anyone who would not yet appreciate the full text. When it comes to chapters that contain nothing but ark-building instructions, I think most people would be just as happy reading the summary. Sometimes I would, and I say that having gone through the trouble of writing the full text.

*** By which I mean, this blog entry, as opposed to my house. I’m not at all opposed to meeting new people, but having many random people show up at my house unannounced might be less convenient for me, especially if they showed up before noon.

Expect the Unexpected

Friday, September 17th, 2010

So, remember last month when I said that my book would be out by now if there weren’t unforeseen circumstances? Well, sure enough, I did not foresee the number of delays in the printing process. I will say, in my defense, some of the delays were not my fault. For example, an error in the production process at the printing facility. On the other hand, some of the delays were my fault. Such as the fact that I decided to add a table of contents. And a running head*.

But I am really hoping to have the book actually released by the end of the month. (Then again, I was also hoping to have the book released much earlier than this, and that didn’t happen.) On the other hand, the past month or so has been absolutely wonderful for me. The previously mentioned WordXWord Festival in Pittsfield took place, and not only did I get to see a lot of wonderful poetry, but I also won their poetry slam. We’ve been cooking up all sorts of delicious and interesting food, ranging from Thai curry to baba ghannouj, and I have sure enjoyed eating it.

And best of all, September was the month of my annual Alphabetic Boardgaming Challenge, an event of absolutely no interest to those of you who are not at least partially obsessed with boardgaming. For my fellow gamers, though, feel free to read through my summaries of the 26 games we played last weekend. For my non-gaming readers, let me hasten to assure you that you will find that link incredibly boring.**

Other than that, things continue apace.***  I’m still writing my column, contributing the occasional book review to the USA Today, have an improv show this weekend, and am eagerly waiting to be able to post my book release announcement. Hopefully next post, although I don’t want to be too expectant*****.

* I am, of course, more of a punning head. To quote the great Samuel Johnson, “I should be punished, for every pun I shed, do not spare a punny shed, of my punnish head.”

** I briefly considered linking you to the Shopping Penguin song instead, but I’d have to go to the page to find the link, and then I’d be singing it all day tomorrow.

*** Which is sort of a weird word, when you think about it. Things could continue at the same pace. But “a” pace? What if they suddenly continue at a really fast pace? Or a really slow pace? I’m practically pacing just going through the paces**** in my head.

**** “Oh, the Paces You’ll Go!”: One of Dr. Seuss’s many rejected titles, along with “Green Eggs and Jam”, “The Cat in the Hut”, and “One Fist, Two Fist, Red Fist, Blue Fist”.

***** One of my favorite ideas for a far-too-convoluted pun involves angry workers on strike outside of a factory, spitting at the factory while lamenting their lack of  hourly pay, yelling, “We expect a rate!”