it’s going to be a hot and
lonesome summer
for many of us when
the devil walks in and retakes Hollywood
once more.

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Summer, 2019


Hello Bumblebees!

It's still technically summer! I was going to skip this season's newsletter, but I got this together just in time. Whew! Autumn doesn't officially start until September 23rd. So, here we are, still sweating. Together we perspire as one, bonded by liquid salt. Do you feel it? This is usually the hottest time of the year, at least in Southern California--in my experience; the last week of August through the first week of September. I hope everyone’s summer is not as hot as mine has been, because mine has been especially blazing, like a nuclear potato. For one thing, I moved to the desert. Yup. I'll let you in on all of that in a minute. ...Okay, minute's up. Let's get to it, shall we?

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

So I did it again. I moved. That's twice in two years. You'd think after being in the same place for 10 years prior, I'd never want to move again. But as some of you may know, the last move was against our will. It was stressful and more traumatic than I have words for. The only good that came of it was rewriting and completing my book, Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley in just seven weeks after I moved in. Other than that, I didn't like it so much. And now, it's no secret that as soon as we moved in, mjp was let go from his job of 12 years. We thought he'd land another one lickity-split, but that never happened. For over a year we were practically living on fumes.

The plan for our life has always been to get out of debt and save for a down payment on a house in Joshua Tree where we could retire someday. That was clearly not going to happen now that our income wasn't what it used to be. Finally, he got a remote writing job, but it didn't pay anywhere near what his old job did. At least it was something. Now we were able to afford half the rent! Ha! We really needed a new place that was more affordable--in LA! (Good luck!)

Long story short, we're now renting a beautiful house in Joshua Tree that we can afford. A nice one too. And while I have always been a Los Angelena through and through, I am very happy here. I feel at peace--maybe for the first time in my life.The high desert life is slow, and I like it that way. It's very different too. First of all, bunnies are everywhere. Toast cooks faster at 5,000 feet and popcorn doesn't taste as good, but I can't wait for winter, as we'll probably get snow this year.

I won't bore you with more details, but this is my backyard: 

Behind is in the Past

I have plenty of more news to tell, so let's get to it. First, let's recap. My spring show, Memoir at Craig Krull Gallery went swimmingly. What a turnout! I couldn't believe how many people showed up. I was very pleasantly surprised, humbled, grateful and tremendously happy with the support I received. I mean, almost moved to tears at some points in the evening. The reading couldn't have gone better, though I was very nervous at first. I already have a tremor, so I probably looked a lot more nervous than I already was. Just call me, "Trembles"

So many supportive people listened at my reading. All the chairs were full at some points of the Q&A portion. There were lots of questions about my book and the art on the walls. I signed and sold lots of books. It was really more than I could've asked for. Here's a few pics from the opening. I know I shouldn't point out how big I got, but I'm already shedding the pounds. Woo hoo!

The day my show opened, I was the featured guest on THIS IS NOT A TEST, a stupendous monthly podcast hosted by my one and only, mjp. You can listen to that at any time, as it will stay on the Internets forever more. I was also interviewed by Shana Nys Dambrot in the LA WEEKLY for Meet an Artist Mondays. What was mentioned in there was the fact that I had just been awarded the Bruce Geller Memorial Award: WORD Grant from the American Jewish University for my book!

To boot, I was also featured on Tony Ortega's blog, the Underground Bunker, where we not only spoke about what it's like to be indoctrinated into Scientology, but he added an excerpt of my book in the article. I got a lot of great response from his readers too. Tony used to be the editor for the Village Voice and now authors two books. You can read more about Tony Ortega here.

Those tidbits kicked off a bunch of other interviews and reviews, which were part of my virtual book tour, otherwise known as a "Blog Tour," which went from April to the end of May.

The Only Thing That Matters is Now

When I started to settle into my new digs, I decided to read my book fresh (if that's even possible). I started to see some enormous mistakes, one after the other. How frustrating. How embarrassing. How did they get there? I had it professionally edited, then proofread. Then, a good friend of mine, my drummer friend Dave Mintz (Thanks Dave!) pointed out that I named the wrong person at a time when I needed a fill-in at a gig with my band. I got him mixed up with someone else. More embarrassment. As the mistakes began to accumulate, I decided I needed to correct some things and tweak some words, and restructure a few sentences here and there. I realized that I changed more than just making corrections, and well, now it's a second edition. It's available for purchase. I suppose those of you that have the first edition now have a collectors item: Ha ha ha! Those of you that have not yet purchased the book, you can buy signed copies of the new version through the publisher's site: Desert Dog Books, or regular ones (much faster) on Amazon, but you will have to wait a few weeks to get a hardcover from Amazon. You might have to give me a few days to order the signed copies from my distributor if you're going to order them in the next couple weeks, as the changes were only recently made. 

There are also Special Limited Editions left, and they are still only $199. This is the super deluxe lettered edition with the artwork inside. The fancypants ones. Don't you want one of those?

Since we have released a second edition of the book, I decided to do a Giveaway on Goodreads. You can sign up starting Friday, September 6th to win a free signed copy of either a paperback or a hardcover. I'm giving away five of each. If you'd like to read a bit of the content to see what you're getting yourself into, I've posted three chapters on the book site for anyone to read--right there in broad daylight. Just click on "Excerpts."

Sorry, No Paintings.

But give me a break, I've only been here since June. I had a lot of shit to put away, plus I filled a 10 x 20-foot storage space to the gills with my backlog of art inventory. I found an affordable climate controlled space where I could store all that, plus my drums, and insure it. Finally! There was no way I could put any of that stuff in a hot garage out here. I had to do that in a matter of three weeks, plus pack the rest of the house in a little under a month, that is, once we found the house--sight unseen by the way. We rented the place based on where the property was: against the National Park. We had to grab it in a hurry before someone else did. Never saw the inside until we had the key and signed the lease. Crazy, right?

Okay, I did one painting since I've been here. I lied. I mean, I almost forgot:

Stone's Throw, 2019. Watercolor and ink on Fabriano Artistico, 22.5 x 30 inches.

What Will Come?

What's already coming is another book. I already started a new one and I don't know if it will be published as fiction or nonfiction, or if it will turn out good enough to be published at all. It's all new, nothing like my short stories, of which I'd like to publish a book of if I could ever get a collection of them up to par. I've been simultaneously working on both endeavors. The bigger book is about gender and that's all I can say about it at this point in time.

I'm also working on more watercolors. I enjoy doing them and started another 16 x 20 inch one, but I've let it sit a while now. I need to get back to it, but here it is in progress...

Okay. I'm pretty tuckered out now. The only thing I have left to say is this: it's a request. If you have read my book, please (and I hate to beg), but please write a review on Amazon for me. I don't care if it's good or bad, just give me your honest feedback. Tell me you wrote one and I'll send you a special "thank you" in the mail. 

I hope everyone’s summer has been splendid and fun, and that we all cool down soon. Thank you for your wonderful support, because I really appreciate every bit of it. 

Yours very truly,

          Carol Es Artist and Author Carol Es

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