Staying Alive

Now Anthony Bourdain is dead. Another suicide, following after Kate Spade. Two iconic success stories just killed themselves. So did one of my former teachers, Spalding Gray. Kinda makes you wonder.

Yes, I mourn for their families, etc, but really as a selfish artist-type, I’m reflecting on my own life.

If you’ve known me for long, you’ll know I’ve got two ambivalent drives—success and solitude. I hate the bullshit self-promotion that seems to be required to toot your horn endlessly about stuff.

That said, If I had to sum up my life goals so far they would be (in order: “Be a successful novelist… NO. Be a successful playwright. NO. Be a successful freelance writer. NO. Be a successful novelist. NO. Be a successful Jewish writer. NO. Be a successful storyteller. Well, maybe… Be a successful Father. (CHECK! Awesome kids!) Be a successful writer/storyteller.… Um…”

Blah blah blah. In the past 20 years, I’ve made a lot of great books and audio (patting self on back). I’ve told stories to more than 200,000 people live in five countries.

And I’ve been satisfied for about ten or fifteen minutes at a time.

On the one hand, this drives me to create new and better stuff. On the other, it often/always leaves me wondering what am I doing and why.

Fortunately, in between all the angst and self-flagellation, I’ve had help from my lovely wife, family, friends, coaches and shrink. As my advisor, Ben said, “You’ve been like that as long as I’ve known you. Which is about 30 years.” Thirty years and I’m still not “there” yet? Talking to people and listening and getting perspective keeps me even contemplating eating a gun.

I’ve said at times that my mission (one of my missions) is to transmit joy with story. How can you do that when you’re bleaked-out? The answer is, you can’t. You have to dig down, set aside the debris, and shine a light on the gold — even if it is dust that slips through your fingers.

Is this maudlin tripe? Well, reflecting lightly on the suicides of two uber-success stories will do that to you.

I’m going to miss Anthony Bourdain’s acerbic appetite. And I always liked Kate’s bags.  Spalding was in constant pain and never really hid it.

Tonight I’m “closing out a two-year world tour” at @PVDFeset. It’s all Rhode Island stuff. We’re videotaping it for posterity. And then I’m taking a break. I’ve got a bunch of gigs already scheduled, that I’m looking forward to.

But after that…

I’m going to stay alive. Breathe. Eat some good food. Transmit a little joy.

Thanks for reading this.

 

Spring 2018 Book Sale – April 287

Winter is going… So it’s time to get some spring reading!

Come by and celebrate the last @FarmFreshRI Winter Market of the season, get your clams on, grab some fresh spinach and yummy bread, then come upstairs to check out all sorts of cool books and audio books.

Mark’s Awesome Book Sale on April 28 from 9:30 am to 1pm at Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main Street, Suite 1212, Pawtucket, RI 02860. (Go upstairs to the second floor, and look for the signs)

What’s on offer? Some items rare. Some are out of print. Some are just awesome to read and share.

This is a great opportunity to get your local veggie shopping done at the WinterMarket downstairs, and take home a few signed books for your family and friends.

BLOG SPECIAL: Come by and mention this web page and get a free Cinderella Spinderella eBook Gift Card – no purchase necessary.

See you then!

– Mark


Mark Binder - writer • storyteller

Become my patron-logo Purchase on amazon-logo  Read it on iBooks-logo Check it out on googleplay-logo get it on Gumroad-logo get it on Indiebound-logo get it on Barnes & Noble-logo Read on a kobo-logo  Listen on spotify-logo Listen on itunes-logo get it from CD Baby-logo Listen on Audible-logo  get it from Follett-logo

 

 

Spring 2018 Open Studio Sale – April 7

It’s time to clean the office, and I’ve been finding all sorts of cool books and audio books buried under the stacks of paper.

So, we’re having a Spring Cleaning Open Studio Sale on April 7 from 9:30 am to 1pm at my offices: Hope Artiste Village, Suite 1212, 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860. (Go up either of the front staircases to the second floor, and look for the signs)

What’s on offer? Some items rare. Some are out of print. Some are just awesome to read and share.

This is a great opportunity to get your local veggie shopping done at the WinterMarket downstairs, and take home a few signed books for your family and friends.

FAN SPECIAL: Come by and mention this web page and get a free Cinderella Spinderella eBook Gift Card – no purchase necessary.

See you then!

– Mark

Open Studio Graphic


Mark Binder - writer • storyteller

Become my patron-logo Purchase on amazon-logo  Read it on iBooks-logo Check it out on googleplay-logo get it on Gumroad-logo get it on Indiebound-logo get it on Barnes & Noble-logo Read on a kobo-logo  Listen on spotify-logo Listen on itunes-logo get it from CD Baby-logo Listen on Audible-logo  get it from Follett-logo

 

 

Missions and goals (spring 2018 edition)

By now you may know that I hate writing autobiography. Even worse, I despise writing my own bio. This is something I have to do waaaaaay too often — whether for a new brochure or a web page, or in this case for a workshop I’m giving Saturday at the Sharing the Fire storytelling conference.

Bios of this sort are manipulative stories designed to impress. That said, I found the last paragraph I wrote about myself actually inspired me — which is kindof cool.

As a storyteller Mark Binder’s mission is to transmit joy.
As a writer his goal is to engage, enrapture, entertain and occasionally challenge.
As an American citizen his goal is to create a more perfect union.

I kind of like that, and I wanted to share it with you.
Thanks for reading and have an awesome day.