Author: Gregory Patrick

A mad man who writes books, knits, and deals with the daily dilemmas of living 20 miles from nothing...I'm not kidding.

Books, Cats, Knitting…What Else Do You Need?

Phillip and I did the most recent episode of our little show on Youtube, “KNITTER BE DAMNED.” I really love the direction our show is going. 20 minutes, just the two of us, no possibility of editing. Just be ourselves and talk about what’s been going on in our little world. It’s much more joyful, laughable, even charming. We talk about our life together….and probably the same way that you do! And LAUGH hysterically the whole time.

This week we talked about my new book and some of my favorite scenes (watch Phillip try to explain the book. Hilarious), we talk about our new kitten, “Black Betty….Bama Lam,” and all the fun stuff that we’ve been up to, and looking forward to, while enjoying this holiday season.

So, take a look!

Click here for a Kindle version of “TENANTS.”

Or here click here for a paperback version.

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it to continue, please donate to help keep it going. Every single dollar helps! We couldn’t do it without your support!

 

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Knitting Through This Winter of Waiting

Impatience is fueled by the simple look at a calendar. Impatience is also fueled by anxiousness. Sometimes you have to wait for something, as much as it burns you up inside. And it’s not entirely my fault, the whole world and it’s need for instant gratification has made us this way. Why wait when you can have it on demand, with the press of an app, with a few strokes on a key pad? But, some things in life you simply must wait for. True love, holidays, birthdays….royalty checks…..

“TENANTS” is now on Amazon Kindle. That’s wonderful! It’s been up for about two days now. However, the bad news all sales will be paid in 90 days. That’s ok, those are the rules, it’s how Amazon does its business, and I’m happy for it. So, this is where you turn something that makes your impatience level rise and come to terms with something to look forward to. I can easily visualize, hold in my sight, in my dreams that three months from now, just at the touch of spring, when blooms begin to hint at arrival, that my book will have done so well that we can finally get a royalty check and move into Honeychurch. There, not any other time, but there, at the sudden tilt of the new sun, as the bees graze by you in hungry need to feed, grass shoots tug at Phillip and me as we step finally into Honeychurch. Because, you see, there seems like no better time to finally have our home than in spring, and if you’ve learned anything from reading my blog, you know how damned precious spring is to me.

Am I being too flowery for some of you? I’m afraid I can’t apologize for that. It’s what I do….

So, we knit through this winter of waiting, biting our nails, pacing from coffee station to laptop, unable to sit through an entire TV show, constantly refreshing emails, hearing random chirps that sound like “notifications”, thinking 30 seconds in the microwave is too long to reheat something when I want to get back to promoting this book, thinking meditation is for people with nothing to do, bitching and counting the items on the conveyor belt of the person in front of you in the express lane and wondering, “WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG????”

Pish posh. You have to wait, Gregory Patrick. Just wait…..

The better part of this month will decide if I’ve finally made it, if my sales of “TENANTS” bring us into a happy spring and the realization of a dream.

I’m going to be doing a ton of promotion for this book, actually a bit nervous about the first one we have planned. A little video excerpt. Yes, I play Mr. Brown. Reading back my own words terrifies me, especially when you think of Mr. Brown being an agoraphobic knitter….and I have to read back what I said (painfully) about myself. But, no time like the present to finally get hold of my writing and see what it says about me…

Am I being too honest for some you? I’m afraid I can’t apologize for that. It’s what I do….

So, while we wait impatiently for the first thaw, while we eagerly anticipate the first flight of a wren, I’ll be sitting here knitting, thinking only of what could be….what could actually, finally BE with that first royalty check.

If you have a Kindle, you can get the book by clicking here.

If you would rather have a paperback, please click here.

I really hope you love the book.

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it to continue, please donate to help keep it going. Every single dollar helps! We couldn’t do it without your support!

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Excerpt From “TENANTS”

An excerpt from “TENANTS

“When did you first learn to knit, Mr. Brown?”

“About two years ago,” his stony voice answered. And that was all. The Madam was waiting for some confession, waited for him to expand and explain so that she could explore. But, she got nothing back.

He was obviously on his side of the wall working a pair of socks from the skein that was on her side of the wall. And she, in turn, was crocheting a blanket from the skein from his side of the wall. Odd, yes, but this strange system worked for the two of them.

She pressed on with her questions. “Did you take a class? I mean, to learn to knit, or something like that?”

“I learned to knit as part of my therapy.”

“For your….condition?”

“You might say that. It helps me to escape. Helps me forget about the world better than any book or TV show, or random radio program. I get to disappear, you see.”

“I started crocheting so that I might liven up my little home.”

“What home? You mean, here?”

“Well, yes, of course I mean here. Where else would I mean?”

“You think of it as home?”

“Oh, I’ve been here for years. It wasn’t ever a home. Well, not at first, not really. But, I had no choice. It was all I could afford. But, I started crocheting to make it more livable. The yarn is cheap, projects work up fast and I can have something finished and ready within a day.”

And to that Mr. Brown peeked past her, spying at her decor, at her little shell the world had pushed her into. Afghans, crocheted pillows, little doilies, little animals, her shawl, the ends of her dilapidated chair’s bruised and battered arms hidden by crocheted sleeves. The house was covered, decorated, and over run with crocheted items. So he had to ask her.

“Do you ever knit anything?”

“Oh, no,” she said with a little giggle, “I never learned to knit. I guess I don’t have the smarts or the dexterity in me to work two things at once.”

“To be truthful…”

“Oh, do tell!”

You see? She expected him to finally open, break free, heroically burst through the wall and share with her.

“To be truthful….I only know how to knit socks. I gather I have the skills to knit other things, but….socks are the only thing I’ve ever knit.”

She glanced at the brown yarn she had given him, the yarn that was being fed slowly through the wall into his hands, through the needles.

“Mr. Brown? Those are some awfully small socks for a man with your shoe size.”

“It doesn’t matter. It’s the action I’m looking for, not the result.”

“I see.”

“Besides, these socks were never meant for me. They’re for you.”

Just here, in a normal setting, in any good romance, you would hear orchestral music in gorgeous floats of soaring violin flood their little duplex, but alas, you don’t get such things from Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown wasn’t the sort to hand over emotion like that. His brutality, his coldness, his emotionless delivery to life and all of it’s inhabitants was meant to hide the hard truth that he had been hurt before and had no intention of being hurt again. There wasn’t even a smile on his face when he said it, but that wasn’t the point. His actions were showing his emotions. He was telling her through his knitting that she meant something to him. Whatever that may be….

She smiled and said only, “Funny you should mention that. I’ve been working up this afghan for you. Despite what the landlord says, it can get awfully cold in this building during the winter. I felt you might need it….”

“Well, then. I guess I won’t be getting rid of those horrid skeins and all their bright colors after all.” And went back to knitting his socks (her socks!) with a grumble.

Despite it seeming to be said out of spite, she smiled.

There was a long silence after that. Sometimes you don’t need to speak to say anything at all. She was on her side crocheting him a blanket from his yarn, and he was on his side of the wall knitting her a pair of socks from the yarn she had given him. Nothing more need be said between them.

It only takes a minute to look at someone and see that they’re sad, but it can take the length of an entire relationship to figure out why. He had been hurt by the world, she had never been loved by it. And somehow the two of them were saying the same through their hooks and needles:

Please love me.

“TENANTS” available on Kindle by clicking here.

If you don’t have Kindle, you can get a PDF copy here. 

I See Patrick Stewart

While writing “TENANTS” I did have Patrick Stewart in mind for Mr. Brown. Patrick Stewart has always reminded me of my grandfather, the same sort of distinctive, but distinguished bald head and high cheeks. The older I get, the more I look like my grandfather….and in some respects, Patrick Stewart. So, it wasn’t that strange that much of what I wrote about Mr. Brown’s agoraphobia and knitting came from me. Should I be written as an older man in fictional verse, then I could think of no one else, but Patrick Stewart. I guess like most writers, we have a tendency to see the “film” play out before us while we’re thinking of the story, while building the plot, while birthing the characters. (By the way, photo courtesy of The Observer).

Much of Mr. Brown’s story in “TENANTS” is pulled from my own experiences. And there is that wonderful scene towards the end, where his paranoia is getting the best of him, won’t allow him to be a hero, won’t let him be a conqueror, and that stream of consciousness derived from far too many past experiences in his head fight to keep him from moving forward definitely came from a place of importance for me. I was there, I heard all of that, I felt it, and let Mr. Brown say it (or think it) for me. Those are my words, not written from a character, but from bold prose. I got honest. Or rather, I let “Mr. Brown” be honest.

And why is so much of the interaction between Mr. Brown and the Madam centered around knitting and crocheting? Easy. The two of them are so much the same, both bound by their psychological afflictions, both absorbed in a different craft in order to escape their conditions. They are uniquely so similar, but just happen to speak back at the world in two different languages, but while using the same tone of voice. He knits, she crochets. He is agoraphobic, she’s a voyeur. But both of them are saying the same thing, just in different ways. They just want to be loved, and only extended action shows that, nothing else can show that. Not even a look on the face. It takes just a minute to see that someone is sad, while it can take the length of an entire relationship to see why….

So much of my life with Phillip is in this little novella.

So much of the book is like us. Delicious dialogue and vicious banter. That is who we are.

Hell, just that alone would make it a wonderful adaptation into a film, or even a stage play. One setting, two people who get off on sharing this relationship through a tiny hole in the wall that separates their two apartments. What fun that would be 🙂 (You may ask why I haven’t written the script for it myself? Well, I’ve never been good at writing scripts. There just isn’t enough room for me to move. I mean, you’ve read my blog, my books. You know I’m a languid writer. My writing is precisely slow and steady, moving through the torment of simplicity, while glancing harshly at cold reality. My words lounge like a vain lady on a chez lounge….)

Doesn’t mean someone else can’t make a movie of my little book 🙂 Go ahead, ya’ll. Currently accepting offers for the rights 🙂

By the way, you can get a PDF copy of “TENANTS” by clicking here. I’m relying on you to tell me what you think.

I see Patrick Stewart playing “me.” But, who should play the Madam? Whom do you think? Let me know.

 

Why Can’t This Be The Day?

Good morning! Well, it may not be morning when you read this, but I hope you still had a good morning anyway. I woke up this morning, checked me emails while the coffee steeped and was met with the great warmth that we had sold a few more copies of “TENANTS” over night. Ok, I didn’t sell enough to become an overnight best seller, but why can’t this be the day that happens? And some may say that having goals is important…..just, make sure those goals are obtainable. Really? People say that? Then what would be the point of dreaming big if someone squashes it with, “…but, not TOO big.”

Well, I have very bad news for you, I’m dreaming WAY too big for my britches today. I mean, if every single person who follows this blog bought a copy of “TENANTS” then yes, I’d be on my way to Honeychurch. And why can’t I dream of a Christmas Miracle? You know? The kind that is so wildly big and crazy that the Hallmark Channel makes a Christmas movie about it? I mean, to sell 1,000 copies would be quite the achievement. But why can’t I sell at least 100 today? You know? I think I can do that.

But, not only am I relying on you to buy a copy of the book, but to let me know if there are any problems you see in it before I put it up on Amazon and all the other book sellers. I want my little book to be flawless, and you could help me spot things I wouldn’t normally notice. So, go grab a copy by clicking here! I’m spending this grim and gloomy grey Saturday half-time knitting, and full court formatting “TENANTS” for Kindle (THAT is some work!) Gonna have the coffee constantly brewing, and “Murder, She Wrote” constantly running.

I can almost smell the jasmine blooming at Honeychurch…..

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it to continue, please donate to help keep it going. Every single dollar helps! We couldn’t do it without your support!

“TENANTS” Is Here!

Here it is! Finally ready! YES! I have loved working on this book. You have no idea. I mean, it’s one thing for a writer to feel something when they write, but there were moments in this book where I had to walk away because some of the scenes were making me cry! And not in a bad way, mind you. A really beautiful way. The scenes weren’t sad, just heartbreaking (in a good way!) An agoraphobic knitter and voyeuristic crochetter start a relationship through a pinhole that separates their apartments. And what is born from that is so devilishly wonderful and charming, but the only thing keeping them apart is their own afflictions. But, how it ends will give Casablance a run for its money in terms of tear jerkers.

I’m going to ahead and sell the PDF version, for it takes a lot more formatting for it to go up on Amazon and all the other book retailers. The paperback is a different issue all together. So, why wait? Go ahead and let people read it! By the time it arrives on Amazon you can go ahead and leave honest reviews there. But, for now you can go ahead and read it and we can go ahead and get some buzz going.

I do so hope this book does well. It means so much to me. This book, this could finally be my ticket to Honeychurch. If you’d like to read it, click here.

 

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it to continue, please donate to help keep it going. Every single dollar helps! We couldn’t do it without your support!

And That Would be the House that My Knitting Built

Can you see me? At one moment proudly walking the promenade of cobblestone streets in Savannah, to the next minute falling face flat into the asphalt of Orlando, hoping only to one day rise back up again and contemplatively step through a path made of blue bells and dragonflies through “Honeychurch?” Can you see that? Our own roads are so sown in the strange, or familiar, hopeful, or devastating.

I mean, think of my own journey. From homeless man to entrepreneur, from one who had been successful, to one man who dared even attempt the tenacity of self worth, to a new man who dreams of achieving great things.

God, when I went homeless in 2010 I never imagined the heartbreak, nor the inspiration it would require to get back on my feet again. Hunger was all it took for this path to begin. My very belly ached. I sold that first teddy bear that I had knit for some food, just something to eat. Then I knit and sold another. Then another. And another, until over these years I have knit and sold nearly 4500 teddy bears. It never would have dawned on me then that this would be the result, that this is where that first teddy bear would bring me; to a place where I don’t worry of the nightmare of living on the streets, but think only of how to get to my own home one day. What a big dream, brought on by something as simple as hunger.

Wow, have far we have come. All those bears and books, and that chance to be seen in the arena, that often rare occasion when the populace sees you and you finally get to hear people cheering for you.

In our mundane pursuits, we rarely think about where they may take us. One day I was knitting for a hobby, the next day it was a resource available to me for making money to live. One day I was writing in diaries and journals, privately etching in my mind the trivial things of the day, the next day I was publicly sharing my story with the blatant pounding of keys. (I like to type like that. Makes me feel like a virtuoso at a Grand Piano). One day I felt as the most unloved person there ever was, the next I was beautifully, happily married to the man of my dreams and tending to three cats.

I’m not being forlorn, nor even nostalgic in any sense today. I was just thinking just precisely how I got here, to sitting at these keys, boxes of knit bears out the door to be shipped, learning how to be in the arena without pissing people off, husband in the corner with a belly full of chili watching his favorite anime, cats purring near my afghans, one legged crossed over the over, (me, not the cats) beautifully sporting a set of knit socks he made for himself….this guy, how did he get here?

My simple act of knitting teddy bears opened amazing doors for me. I didn’t wait for them to open. I went to every latch and knob I could find until one of those doors would creak right open.

But, it’s easier done with the support of the crowd, the cheering crowd, the many new faces and names who wanted to inspire and help, who wanted to see that their support mattered and made a difference. Never trust anyone who cheers for someone’s demise. Clean those people completely from your life and fill it with people who cheer you on.

Because believe it or not, at some point you get to be the one doing the cheering for others. Not a far fetched concept. That’s how this beautiful universe works! You get cheered on, then YOU cheer on others. Rid yourselves of dark people filled with dark ideas and fill that space with people who WANT you to go well. This is the Law of the Mundane: that the little things you do, like cheering someone on, can have monumental impact.

And I thank you for that.

Your cheering me on has made the greatest impact in all my life. Now I’m off to knit because I want my own home.

And that would be the house that my knitting built.

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it to continue, please donate to help keep it going. Every single dollar helps! We couldn’t do it without your support!