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  • I stayed far away from writer’s groups and workshops long before the Internet came along. I didn’t fancy the various clichéd atmospheres that seemed to pervade the few groups that I did initially explore in my high school and college days. I learned more about the craft from my obsessive reading of writers as diverse as Mark Twain, Emmett Grogan and Kurt Vonnegut and by attending Ray Bradbury’s library lectures than I did in any college course on creative writing. When I left broadcasting to work primarily at Renaissance Festivals, the Dirt Circuit, it was because I had discovered a niche and an audience for the wacky and sometimes seemingly outmoded poetry and comedy I was inclined to write.

    I worked in a vacuum during the decade I researched and wrote "GATTORNO: A Cuban Painter For The World". I had a few trusted Beta readers but they were the extent of any outside influence on what I wrote. I didn't workshop the manuscript. I had no agent, no manager, no publishing house. I did collect rejection letters from some of the finest of them in the business. I was and I remain as far underground and outside the margins as a writer can be.

    Want to buy a book? Let me know. I've got a garage full. I'm happy to trade your book for mine. Yes. I frequently engage in shameless self promotion. It's a hallmark of a bona-fide independent writer/publisher. Visit the website and drop me an email. http://www.artbyantoniogattorno.com

    I’ve been invited to join a few different writers sites online. I generally decline. I did accept one invitation but soon tired of it. The feedback tended to be superficial and pretentious. I was mightily unimpressed. I initially accepted my Cowbird invitation but waited months before I began to post and contribute. There’s a grassroots, ‘down in the trenches of life’ sort of aura glistening around the writers and the work I’ve discovered here that fascinates me, intrigues me, keeps me coming back to read more. I've read things on Cowbird that resonate so strongly with me that I wish I had written them myself. I am always pleased and surprised when that happens.

    Perhaps most importantly I’ve gotten excited about writing in a way that’s been lacking in my daily scribbles this season. Many reasons for that. Reckon I’ll get into some of them as we go along.

    Thanks for taking the time to write your stuff and to read mine.

    Peace... Out...
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