Longtime readers of this blog will recognize the name of Joe Cottonwood. New readers should know that Joe has been writing the excellent 365 Jobs blog for several years now. That project had the extremely ambitious goal of putting up one post per day for a full year -- each describing something that transpired on a different job Joe worked on over the past three decades-plus. He almost made it, too… but putting up one well-written post per day for a year while working a very physical job is all but impossible.
Actually, I think he could have done it, but at a certain point Joe realized that he had the materials for a really good book in that blog, and turned his attention to putting it together. With a little help from the Kickstarter community he did just that, and "99 Jobs" was published late last year in print and e-book form.
It's a terrific book. Being among the many Kickstarter contributors, I have several copies -- along with some very cool (and now unobtainable) bookmarks shaved from the remains of Ken Kesey's cabin in La Honda, California. There's something for every astute reader in this book -- and a few posts that will blow you away, as they did me -- because Joe Cottonwood is not just some guy with a hammer who decided to pick up a pen. He is now what he's been for a very long time now, a gifted writer who at a certain point in life picked up a hammer to support his young family. Not all writers occupy the ivied halls of academe or the tony enclaves of upstate New York: some of them live among -- and make their living from -- the tall redwoods of Northern California.
And for the next week leading up to Labor Day, Joe is offering his book in e-book form for just 99 cents.
Go on, click that link if you don't believe me.
Less than a buck, for 99 good stories -- that, dear readers, is one hell of a deal. I won't admit how much I had to contribute to get my print copies, but let's just say that at 99 cents, you'll be paying an order of magnitude less… and that's just fine. I'm just happy to have helped, however minimally, get this baby out of the womb and onto the bookstore shelves.
Some of you might be wondering about that subtitle: "Blood, Sweat, and Houses." As it happens, I came up with the name for my blog more than seven years ago, long before Joe even considered writing his own blog, much less turning it into a book. There's no copy-write for titles, though, so Joe could call his book anything he wanted -- but "War and Peace"didn't really apply, nor did "Moby Dick."
Instead, he wanted to sub-head the book "Blood, Sweat, and Houses," and asked me man-to-man
if that would be okay. I'll admit the idea didn't go down easy at first. This blog (and the book I'm still putting together from it) has been stuck in my head for a long time now, and I do feel a certain ownership of that title. But hell, I stole the idea from Winston Churchill without consulting his heirs. Joe had the decency to ask when he didn't have to, so I told him to go ahead.
Besides, my own book is nowhere close to being ready, and by the time it is I may be able to use my title without impinging on his book. Or I might go in a different direction -- something more appropriate for a book to separate it from the blog… maybe something along the lines of "Heavy Lifting: the Education of a Hollywood Juicer."
Or not. This is now and that will be then, so I'll drive off that bridge when I come to it.
Meanwhile, Joe is offering you a steal of a deal: 99 cents for a really good e-book. It's a great read, and you'd be a fool not to take him on it.