Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Lives Project

I love movies. I love the idea of how words on a piece of paper can be transformed into bright, magical images on a screen. And speaking of transformations, I can't help but think of the movie 'Transformers' and one of my all-time favorite movie lines.

Sam Witwicky: So what was that last night? What was that?
Bumblebee: [pointing skywards] "Message from Starfleet, Captain"..."Throughout the inanimate vastness of space"..."And angels will rain down like visitors from Heaven! Hallelujah!"
Mikaela: Visitors from heaven... so you're, like, an alien?
[Bumblebee points a finger at her and nods, and converts into a Camaro]
Bumblebee: "Any more questions you want to ask?"
Sam Witwicky: He wants us to get in the car.
Mikaela: [laughing nervously] And go where?
Sam Witwicky: Fifty years from now, when you're looking back at your life, don't you want to be able to say you had the guts to get in the car?

And there it is; one of the most fundamental and commonly occurring themes in all our lives. Taking a chance, placing a bet, going out on a limb. Life is about making the most of the opportunities thrown your way and grabbing the proverbial bull by its horns.

Eight weeks ago, I was asked by my friend John Taglieri

if I'd be interested in working with him on a project. He had just finished recording six new songs for his soon-to-be released EP called 'Lives'. Upon listening to the songs again, he realized all six tracks together told a story. His idea was to expand the story told in the lyrics of the songs into a book, with each chapter in the book correlating to each track on the CD.

John was up front with me regarding the level of effort required should I be interested. In order to meet the scheduled release date for his CD, I'd have to work overtime with the writing and have everything ready to go to the publisher by the end of April. I thought about it and everything else I had going on at the time. I'm getting married in June, Lee and I are planning a big party to celebrate our marriage in July, and there's this little thing about submitting a bid to buy a house. As exciting as the project John was describing sounded, I just wasn't sure I wanted to commit to such an effort. After all, it wasn't just one book. JT's plan is for a four-volume series spanning the next eighteen months.

Then I thought about that line from 'Transformers'. "Fifty years from now, when you're looking back at your life, don't you want to be able to say you had the guts to get in the car?" Eighteen months from now, I didn't want to look back and wonder what might have been had I said yes to John and his offer.

I sit here now, however, knowing that my book, Volume I of The Lives Project, has been submitted to our publisher. I should have a proof copy of the book in about five days and it will be available for purchase beginning June 2. Even though there were long nights writing and re-writing the story, and even longer nights editing the whole thing, it's still somewhat surreal that in about a month I will be able to go to and see my name listed in their catalog of authors. How many people you know can say they have their own ISBN?

I hope you take a minute to check out The Lives Project and consider buying a copy (or two) of both the book and the CD. I also want to thank all of you who have supported my writing efforts all these years. I like to think there's a little bit of everyone's feedback and positive reinforcement in each of the eighty-four pages of the book. Your continued support and encouragement means the world to me. Thanks again.

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