Bark Minder Project Novel Draft 18 Complete!

Some of you know that for the past year I’ve been working on a novel under the nom de plume of “The Bark Minder Project.”

I created this alter-ego as a way of developing new material that might be edgy or “inappropriate” for children. (Don’t worry, I’m still doing work for families and young people!)

For example, we experimented with releasing serializations from the novel as audio on Spotify and other platforms. I’ve written a few dark and political pieces. And had the pleasure of performing and recording some distinctly non-family material in Amsterdam.

What next?

Now the book is done with the draft stage, and getting ready to move into the next phase. We’re going to be pulling the materials from Spotify, etc shortly. These are old/second draft versions, and the material has improved considerably since.

I’m engaged in the process of looking for an agent and an adventurous/traditional publisher — if you know ANYBODY who might be interested (or know someone who knows someone) — PLEASE drop me an email.

This is an awesome book, about a bunch of high school seniors who are trying to survive their senior year, when everything goes wrong. I’m not going to tell you any more just yet.

In the meantime, if you’d like to become a sponsor and get advance notice and previews, please consider becoming a Patron .

Life in Chelm (live at Limmud)

“The Challah that Ate Chelm” is one of my oldest and most favorite stories…

Life in Chelm - (Live at Limmud) - audio book coverFriday is #challahday — and I’ve been baking for years. But when I started, it was a disaster. “The Challah that Ate Chelm” is a story that grew from an early baking disaster.

Last Sunday, I had the honor of being part of the Jewish Storytelling Coalition’s performance at Limmud Boston. We recorded the live show, and this is an energetic (and brief) version of the tale.

It’s up on many audio services — links below with more coming.

In the mean time, if you’re in Rhode Island, come by my studio/ office/ bookshop during the Farmer’s Market at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket. I’m on the second floor in suite 1212.

Or support the work by purchasing some of my books and audio, like A Hanukkah Present* There are twelve stories, enough for every night of Chanukah and then some. It’s also on Amazon, iBooks, and Google Play Books, or you can the whole “Life in Chelm ebundle

And finally, if you’d like to become a patron — and get early notification and exclusive stories — and support the arts, become a patron!

Happy Holidays!
—Mark Binder


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The Last Hanukkah Candle

Will this be Rabbi Kibbitz’s last Chanukah?

The Last Hanukkah Candle - coverIt seems unimaginable, but I’ve been writing Hanukkah stories for more than 20 years. The first collection of these, A Hanukkah Present* came in second for the National Jewish Book Award for Family Literature!

Since then, almost every year, I’ve added another story to the mix. This year’s story is a bit wistful, but ultimately redeeming.

You can listen to it by clicking on any of the links below…
Become my patron-logo    Listen on spotify-logoCheck it out on googleplay-logo       Listen on itunes-logo    Listen on Deezer-logo Listen on Tidal-logoPurchase on amazon-logo Listen on Napster-logo

 

I’ve only got about 10 copies of A Hanukkah Present in stock, so I’ll be signing copies at my office today and at Limmud tomorrow.  There are twelve stories, enough for every night of Chanukah and then some. It’s also on Amazon, iBooks, and Google Play Books, or you can the whole “Life in Chelm ebundle

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