Saturday, March 29, 2014

Back Blurb for Metastatic Memories

I've been steadily at work on the back blurb for Metastatic Memories, and I think I've finally hit on something solid.  With the help of my dedicated editors and volunteer readers, I've come to a rough draft of what could become the finalized content.  Read it below.

Metastatic is a word that describes cancer that’s no longer contained to a single site, and has spread elsewhere.  Which is bad.  

Metastatic is the kind of cancer Kevin Lankes was diagnosed with at the age of 25.  At only a quarter of a century long, Kevin’s life began spiraling out of control, ushering him helplessly toward the unknown.  

This is a heart-wrenching tale of pain, loss of innocence, and the will to go on.  It’s a candid recounting of the events following the collapse of a life barely lived.  By the time he was 25, Kevin had managed a city-wide project, hung with celebrities, joined a secret society, and otherwise made his mother proud.  He was a New York City transplant with a powerfully bright future.  This is the story of his most challenging obstacle yet.  In and out of several appointments, whirring machines, and emotional states, he describes just what it’s like to be a young man whose world was swept out from under him in the prime of life, and what it’s like to find the courage to press on.  

Does this make you want to read the book?  Let me know in the comments!  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Miley Cyrus Shows Off Her Sunburned Parts

Miley Cyrus came out with revealing pictures recently (what's new?).  Only these pictures showcased a nasty sunburn she'd gotten during her latest tour stop in Florida.  All of the media attention is on her skin... but in the erotic sense, and not the healthcare sense.  All of the advice is focusing on aloe to cut some of the pain she'll be subjected to at present.  While no one is mentioning the likelihood of much great suffering in the future.

I see this as a golden opportunity for her to make a positive impact by discussing the rising rates of melanoma in people in their 20's.  It's now the leading cancer in our age group, and kills one person every hour.  But, ya know, I guess we can just keep looking at her lady parts and making light of sunburns.

The reason for posting these latest pics is clearly to bring further attention to her loose cannon marketing blitz.  We all like to look at the crazy hot girl, and watch what she does next.  It's not surprising that you can find practically sixty-five million articles on these pictures.  But what you won't find are stats on her now elevated risk of melanoma, or stats on her risks of basal and squamous cell carcinomas.  If she comes down with cancer later in her life, though, it may bring us closer to my tongue-in-cheek goal of making cancer the next celebrity trend.

And here's an article from Huffpost about Miley's latest escapade.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

An Even Newer Cover! Could This be the One?

I'm getting even more excited about the cover for Metastatic Memories.  I didn't think that was possible, but my perception of what's possible has been completely shattered by this new version of the cover.  Here I am before you, a shattered man.  But, I digress.  This new version of the cover is pure awesome.  And I can't thank them enough over at TheCatchMode for continuing to outdo themselves.

Check out the new cover:  

I think this one really captures the feel of the book.  We'll see what they come up with next.  But for now, this one's my first choice.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Book Update: A Cover Story

The cover is coming along nicely.  My friend John Langan at TheCatchMode sent over a zillion versions for me to evaluate, and we worked through them all until settling on one.  It felt a little like a trip to the eye doctor -- better... or worse?  Better..... worse?  Is this one better?  Or worse?  And so on.

Here's the updated cover:

Friday, March 7, 2014

This Is What The Cover Of Over A Year Of Pain Looks Like

The cover for Metastatic Memories is done!  My very good friend, John Langan, designed it based on a drawing I did in Middle School.  John and I go way back -- all the way, like, a few years ago to college.  Okay, probably close to seven years.  Which can qualify as "way back" if you only have a span of 28 years to pull from.

I'm ecstatic about the way the cover turned out.  It holds a great deal of symbolism and emotion.  Transfixing, is a good word to describe the finished product.  It's the perfect image to reflect the feel of the words inside.  John and his fiance' own a design firm catering to a variety of needs.  Check out their website, or like their Facebook page.

Without further ado, here's the cover of Metastatic Memories:

And here's the drawing it's based on:

I'm happy to report that editing is going well.  You can expect the release of Metastatic Memories at the end of March.  Read more about the book here.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Reworking A Memoir About Cancer: The Journey of Documenting Tragedy

It's been a long while since I finished the first draft of the book I wrote detailing the events following my diagnosis with stage 3 melanoma.  Recently, I've opened up the file folder, "dusted" it off (regular internal dusting of your computer files is highly recommended by the Department of Dusty Computer Innards, a Pentagon affiliate), and started rewriting.  There was some kind of road block in the way of this for several months, and, if I'm honest with myself, I have to admit that there still is.  I don't really know how I wrote it in the first place, not to mention, while I was undergoing immunotherapy.  It remains a mystery to me, because any time I think about working on it now, I feel the motivation spilling from my body like I've been wrung like a sponge.

The past few days I've been able to push through.  But I still get easily put off and sidetracked.  I'm going to finish it though, complete with a new title, new Foreward and new internals.  I'm not changing all of it -- just the parts that I now realize are mostly unreadable.  This book, while representing a terrible time in my life history, has to be authentic, yet also entertaining.  That balance is crucial.  While I think it has great potential to reach many people and increase awareness for young adult cancer, it still has a short hop, jump, and skip to go before it crosses the finish line.  And I'm the one who has to usher it along.  There's no one else.  Writing is a very solitary profession to begin with, even more so when you're writing a book about an experience that made you feel isolated and alone.

New title ideas are in the works, but right now I have these in mind:

Metastatic Memories (the title of my first post, and the reason we're all here)

Zen of Metastasis (after the blog -- though I have an idea for a better use of this title)

Battlefield Me (though I'm not too keen on the war metaphors, the battle in this case would refer to the internal battle with myself throughout treatment)

Cancer Kid (former title -- feels gritty, but trite to me now)

Please leave your thoughts on the title change, along with any encouragement you'd be kind enough to impart.

Until next time (at which point I will hopefully have a finished product for you to read!)