Front Matter Marketing Doc (EVERY BOOK). [TOC]4

(1) Praise / Testimonials / Social Proof (separate Word doc).

Praise

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus imperdiet, tortor ac ullamcorper convallis, tortor leo mollis orci, at sollicitudin erat nisl at quam. Donec non mi quis odio fermentum mattis luctus sit amet enim. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Sed bibendum, risus ac convallis sodales, lorem urna tristique neque, aliquam sagittis ante diam at sem.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus imperdiet, tortor ac ullamcorper convallis, tortor leo mollis orci, at sollicitudin erat nisl at quam. Donec non mi quis odio fermentum mattis luctus sit amet enim. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Sed bibendum, risus ac convallis sodales, lorem urna tristique neque, aliquam sagittis ante diam at sem.

Phasellus imperdiet, tortor ac ullamcorper convallis, tortor leo mollis orci, at sollicitudin erat nisl at quam. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam mollis ante in velit finibus, id iaculis quam pellentesque.

(2) Books by Author (in Series) (separate Word doc)

Also by AuthorName (pAlsoByNextPageFront <p>)

Title Hard-coded Here

Author Name

Story Template (Word)3

CSS DEV: STYLES

cBold

cBold

cEmphasis

cItalic

cItalic-Bold

cR-DCap

cSetup

cSpanish

cStrong

cSuperscript

cThought

cUnderline

Footnote Reference[1]

Hyperlink

Normal

pBase

pBaseBody

pcCenter

pCh1stP

pChHead

pCopyright

pDedication

pDigital

pEpiQuote

pEpiQuoted

pFrontBlankHead

pFrontRomanTOCHead

pGlyph_abc

pHandwritten

pImgCaptionCenter

pImgCaptionRight

pImgChHorz

pImgChPano

pImgChSqr

pImgChVert

pImgMap

pLyrics

pSc1stP

pSignage

pSpacer

pTitleHalf

Image Count: x of 10.

Misc Styles for Testing Style Mapping.

Here is some italic-bold inside pBaseBody.

Here is a non-superscripted footnote[2]. [Word Styles: “Footnote Reference” & “Footnote Text”].

-do NOT use in your writing these characters b/c they require escape for HTML: &, <, > (or Find/Replace functionality)

SHORTCUT TEST

Ant 1.

Nar 2.

Pro 3.

hyperlink styling test

Here is hypertext to www.PrimalTonic.com.

*PT based on cHyper

L.I.F.T.. Answer these!

*Persuasion*.

E: Remember that ACTION and RESULTS are more persuasive than any words.

Value Proposition.

2. A Vivid Protagonist Readers Can Relate To

Dean Kootz stresses that readers of genre fiction want to escape their lives, for a few hours they want to trade their existence for one that is more exciting. They don’t want to read about someone trying and failing.

James Frey agrees and writes that “readers wish to read about the exceptional rather than the mundane”. Your characters need to be “more handsome or ugly, ruthless or noble, vengeful or forgiving, brave or cowardly, and so on, than real people are.”

A protagonist in a genre novel has ...

... hotter passions and colder anger; he travels more, fights more, loves more, changes more, has more sex. Lots more sex. TEST. Homo fictus has more of everything. Even if he is plain, dull, and boring, he’ll be more extraordinary in his plainness, dullness, and boringness than his real-life counterparts. –Dean Koontz

Relevance.

Clarity.

Anxiety (Guarantee?).

Distraction.

Urgency.

FB Matter.

Cover.

FRONT MATTER NOTES.

attention grabbing

“A preface (author) or foreword (3rd party) deals with the genesis, purpose, limitations, and scope of the book and may include acknowledgments of indebtedness;

an introduction deals with the subject of the book, supplementing and introducing the text and indicating a point of view to be adopted by the reader. The introduction usually forms a part of the text [and the text numbering system]; the preface does not.”

Front matter is usually numbered with small roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, etc.). The text itself is numbered using arabic numerals (our “regular” numbers: 1, 2, 3, etc.) starting with page 1. Like the text, back matter is numbered with arabic numerals and continues numbering where the text leaves off.

There’s actually a logical explanation for this system of numbering. Often, front matter has to be added late in the publishing process. By having the text start with number 1, the publisher won’t have to renumber all the pages when adding something to the front matter.

Some of these rules are broken in ebooks, for which there is often much less front matter.

Front Mkt Blank. [pFrontMktHead <p>] (separate Word doc).

Notes.

Master Page: Blank

TOC: No.

Separate Word doc.

Link to this Word doc included in the ID template.

Upon each new book, all old books merely need be opened in ID, their Front Mkt Blank link updated, and re-exported and re-uploaded to Amzn for most recent and complete marketing.

(1) Praise / Testimonials / Social Proof. (1pg)

(2) Books by Author (1pg)

Title Page. [pTitle <p>]. (hard-coded)

Hard-coded Master page including Author Name & Logo.

Page itself is also hardcoded.

Front Mkt Blank is placed ahead.

TOC is hard-coded after.

CreateSpace requires author name/initials to be inside book. Must match the full name entered during setup process.

hard coded content and logo.

TOCs.

Device Nav TOC. (style: “epub-device”)

http://www.lynda.com/InDesign-tutorials/Creating-navigation-TOC/374187/415018-4.html

Every ebook has one, whether HTML TOC or not. (req’d to be valid)

ID: file > export > epub > Nav TOC > Multi Level (TOC Style)

Create TOC Style.

P-styles must be used for only those items (eg, ‘Headline’, ‘Subhead’, etc).

Layout > TOC Styles > New “epub” > add styles to include in TOC > ‘Make Text Anchor in Source Paragraph’

export > Nav TOC > Multi Level > Select TOC Style

Print TOC.(style: “print”) [TOC Title & TOC Body Text]. (hard-coded) (must update) (2pg)

Hard-coded TOC page including pStyles:

TOC Title

TOC Body Text.

Page itself is also hardcoded.

Title Page is hard-coded ahead.

Story is placed after.

{28 lines/page, 35 beats = 2 pages, start on right page}

TOC workflow: Build TOC in ID Template so it’s waiting there, then refresh when doc is updated.

Table of Contents includes everything that follows it and nothing that precedes it.

InDesign: Layout > TOC > by Paragraph Style.

E: Should be able to build TOC into Template and have it auto-populate based on the content Styles. This should include the formatting style of the TOC itself.

http://www.vandelaydesign.com/indesign-toc/

InDesign’s Table of Contents generator works with Character Styles and Paragraph Styles to generate a Table of Contents. The generator searches your document for Styles of various titles, subtitles, headings, and subheadings, as specified by you, the user, and generates a Table of Contents based on these Styles, along with certain formatting options that you choose from the generator dialogue.

Note: For the TOC Style entry, you must already have a saved Table of Contents style previously formatted. If you don’t have one yet, you can save a new one by clicking Save Style on the right of the dialogue.

HTML TOC. (style: “epub-html”) (hard-coded) (must update)

epub export uses Articles panel.

http://www.lynda.com/InDesign-tutorials/Adding-custom-TOC-first-page-EPUB-file/374187/415030-4.html

bottom line: depending on whether you’re exporting for print or epub, make sure that the correct TOC style is applied to the TOC before exporting. (HTML has no page numbers or special spacing).

“print TOC should work perfectly well as HTML TOC when exported to epub”

Print TOC formatting is lost in HTML.

-tabs are ignored.

-em spaces are converted to regular spaces.

-page #s are NOT desired in ebook.

She deletes print TOC and creates new TOC style called “epub-html”.

-Entry Style.

-Page Number.

-Make text anchor in source paragraph.

export to epub > still use “epub” style for Device TOC >

List of Figures, Illustrations, etc. (hard-coded) (must update) (1pg)

pStyles used to build List:

pImgCaption <p>

List workflow: Build List in ID Template so it’s waiting there, then refresh when doc is updated.

InDesign: List of Figures & Tables.

-images must have unique paragraph styles

Layout > TOC Style > New > List of Figures

Map.

Front Blank (3pg). (Story doc Placed here)

Notes.

Master Page: Blank

TOC: No.

Main Word doc.

Use ID template to generate new .indd and Word template to generate new .docx, then Place the .docx into the .indd.

Mix these up on a per book basis to keep things fresh.

(4) Copyright (1pg).

Copyright

Title
Series
by Author Name

A PrimalTonic [no logo] Production / Publication / Adventure
www.PrimalTonic.com

Edition 1.0

Copyright © 2016 Author Name (pen, VD).
Illustrations copyright © 2016 Author Name (pen, VD)
Map copyright © 2016 Author Name (pen, VD)
All rights reserved

(6) Disclaimer (1pg).

Disclaimer

Who this is NOT for (disqualify).

Space and time have been rearranged to suit the convenience of the book,

For the purpose of the story, I condensed some of the historical events into two years, while in reality the dust storms, food riots, and other historical events played out over several years.

Some names and characteristics have been changed, some events have been compressed, and some dialogue has been recreated.

This is a work of nonfiction. No names have been changed, no characters invented, no events fabricated.

“Zero Hedge is intended for mature audiences.”

Happy surfing.

How do we plan to handle conflicts of interest? We don’t. [plus entire page of rationale.]

You should consult your doctor…

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis ac elit at augue tincidunt eleifend in mollis odio. Mauris turpis libero, aliquam a feugiat auctor, egestas non elit. Nullam hendrerit ultricies pulvinar. Mauris gravida tellus quis tortor feugiat, non ullamcorper tellus facilisis. Ut euismod egestas ex, vel lobortis orci hendrerit a. Etiam metus nibh, congue ac nunc sollicitudin, porttitor facilisis mauris. Pellentesque luctus ornare nibh, a porttitor urna hendrerit sed.

(5) Dedication (1pg).

In appreciation for whatever it is that makes men accomplish the impossible (Endurance)

Do you actually want the word “Dedication” on this page, or just dedicate without saying so? Adjust styles accordingly.

The dedication usually comes right after the copyright page, which is on the back of the title page. Sometimes publishers squeeze it onto the top of the copyright page, when space is tight.

Front Roman TOC.

Notes.

Conversion = buy the book.

Mix these up on a per book basis to keep things fresh.

Front matter listed & styled per Bourdain.

How to keep running head when the “chapter” variable is not available?

Create additional variable(s) and Master Page(s) or collapse Styles into ONE STYLE that can be used for variable? What about TOC?

Major Selling Tools (1-4) (2pg). {running head}

Notes.

attention grabbing

Establish the importance of the book relative to others

Why should you read this book, over other books on the same topic? What makes it more relevant, comprehensive or useful?

Establish the credibility of the author(s)

Why are the authors of this book particularly well-qualified to write about it? What makes their perspectives unique and worth reading?

Explain the value of the book to the reader

What will you gain or learn by reading this book? How could it augment your perspective, or satisfy a goal you might have?

1) Foreword.

Foreword

(not “forward” or “foreward”)

attention grabbing

3rd party of some stature giving credibility to and selling the author and/or book. Variety of ways, like writing about:

-a chapter,

-the book as a whole,

-personal relationship with the author,

-how author’s work has affected your life,

-importance of the work

-be creative and have fun!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis ac elit at augue tincidunt eleifend in mollis odio. Mauris turpis libero, aliquam a feugiat auctor, egestas non elit. Nullam hendrerit ultricies pulvinar. Mauris gravida tellus quis tortor feugiat, non ullamcorper tellus facilisis. Ut euismod egestas ex, vel lobortis orci hendrerit a. Etiam metus nibh, congue ac nunc sollicitudin, porttitor facilisis mauris. Pellentesque luctus ornare nibh, a porttitor urna hendrerit sed. Nulla non risus nibh.

2) Editor’s Preface.

Editor’s Preface

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse luctus blandit lacus vel dictum. Donec quis scelerisque ante. Nulla volutpat augue vel ex gravida pharetra. Etiam efficitur risus eu bibendum finibus. Quisque vitae massa scelerisque, laoreet orci sed, tristique libero. Cras tincidunt varius lectus. Praesent elit nunc, rutrum eget velit sed, congue pharetra leo. Nullam vitae efficitur purus. Sed tempus luctus erat vitae blandit.

3) Preface, Author’s Note/Comment, etc.

Preface, Author’s Note/Comment, etc.

To answer the question: why this book? why now? why this person? why by this author?

To sell the book to the potential reader/buyer (lure them, hook them, make them want to read more).

To talk about how you came to write the book, especially if that will help draw the reader into the book.

your chance to speak directly to your readers about why you wrote the book, what it’s about, and why it’s important.

Many books don’t require one, especially works of fiction,

As it is an introduction to a book, a preface should include information about the book. Consider including a few or all of the following ideas:

-Discuss how the book came about. Why did you write it? Why did you choose the particular subject? What was your motivation? You could also discuss what your inspiration was (especially if it is a work of fiction).

-Give a brief description of the book, the main characters, or themes. Give just enough to get the reader interested in reading more; don’t give anything away.

-State the purpose of the book, especially if the work is non-fiction. For example, if your book is intended to educate the reader about famous African scientists in the 20th century, you may want to state this in the preface. You could also describe what the reader can hope to learn by reading the book.

Describe the journey of writing the book—what you learned, how you felt, and any insights into real life situations gained through the writing. You may also want to include how you’ve changed as an author or as a person during the process.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis ac elit at augue tincidunt eleifend in mollis odio. Mauris turpis libero, aliquam a feugiat auctor, egestas non elit. Nullam hendrerit ultricies pulvinar. Mauris gravida tellus quis tortor feugiat, non ullamcorper tellus facilisis. Ut euismod egestas ex, vel lobortis orci hendrerit a. Etiam metus nibh, congue ac nunc sollicitudin, porttitor facilisis mauris. Pellentesque luctus ornare nibh, a porttitor urna hendrerit sed. Nulla non risus nibh.

4) Acknowledgements.

Acknowledgements

E: Acknowledgements in the front are ONLY for selling—if they’re not selling, leave them for the back of the book.

(if long or boring, acknowledgments may go in back matter; if there is an old preface and a new preface, the new preface goes first).

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis ac elit at augue tincidunt eleifend in mollis odio. Mauris turpis libero, aliquam a feugiat auctor, egestas non elit. Nullam hendrerit ultricies pulvinar. Mauris gravida tellus quis tortor feugiat, non ullamcorper tellus facilisis. Ut euismod egestas ex, vel lobortis orci hendrerit a. Etiam metus nibh, congue ac nunc sollicitudin, porttitor facilisis mauris. Pellentesque luctus ornare nibh, a porttitor urna hendrerit sed. Nulla non risus nibh.

Half-title (1pg).

Half Title

Back Mkt Blank TOC.

Notes.

Master Page: Blank

TOC: Yes. (Needs Style for TOC.)

Separate Word doc.

Link to this Word doc included in the ID template.

Upon each new book, all old books merely need be opened in ID, their Front Mkt Blank link updated, and re-exported and re-uploaded to Amzn for most recent and complete marketing.

Books by Author. (1pg)

About the Author. (1pg)

Get in Touch. (1pg)

PrimalTonic.com. (1pg)

0: Front Body <content, optional> (Arabic #s).

Epigraph.

The epigraph (brief quotation or saying), may appear on the title page or on the back of the dedication or may replace the second half-title or be on the back of it, facing the text. To me it makes sense that it be near the text.

(or before main text)

(or on opening chapter titles and/or on title or copyright page)

Men play at tragedy because they do not believe in the reality of the tragedy which is actually being staged in the civilized world. (pEpiQuote <p>)

Jose Ortega y Gasset
(pEpiQuoted <p>)

Map.

MAP CAPTION = ONE LINE ONLY.

Introduction.

a

Introduction

Notes.

Introduction For Nonfiction.

The introduction of a nonfiction book is one of the first places potential readers look when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. The introduction answers the reader’s questions: Will this book be useful to me? Will I learn something? Will it inspire me or help me with a problem? Potential customers have already been intrigued by your cover, title, and the blurb on the back cover. Now that they’ve expressed serious interest, they are turning to the all-important introduction to help make their final decision. Your job is to make sure your introduction hooks the reader and answers the most important question: “Why should I buy this book?”

E: for fiction, will this book entertain me? “Do I not entertain you?”

What should be included in the introduction to a nonfiction book?

The introduction to your nonfiction book should clearly and concisely explain what the book is about, what the reader can expect to gain from the book, the motivation behind the book, and any background (the story behind the story) that may be interesting and relevant.

A nonfiction book provides information, guidance, and/or inspiration to its readers, and the introduction should generate interest in what the book promises to deliver. Start with a hook that answers the reader’s most basic need: What’s in it for me? … Others start off with a brief overview of the book, a clear and specific (and short) summary of what the book offers. “This book will show you how to get debt-free in six months.”

Again, they want to know what benefits they’ll receive from reading the book. You must forge a connection with the reader and determine what your audience is looking for.

If you offer a concrete benefit for purchasing the book, make it clear in the introduction. “This book lists 100 Internet-based businesses you can start for less than a thousand dollars.” Your readers need to know that your book will help them increase their wealth, improve their health, strengthen their relationships—it could teach them how to build a deck or improve their SAT scores.

Your introduction might also instruct a reader how to approach the book in question: Should the book be read front to back? Can the reader jump around? Are there online supplements to the book? Is it best that the reader plow through the book in a matter of days, or should he or she be prepared to make a longer investment? Are there quizzes, writing assignments, or other additional steps that the reader should expect apart from just sitting back and reading?

Lastly, to further engage your potential reader, invite them to participate in the journey of your book: “I invite you to explore the world of tropical fish” or “Discover the secrets of successful e-commerce businesses.”

Who should write my introduction?

If you’re writing your own introduction, match the style of your introduction to the actual text. (A humorous book should not start off with a dark, moody introduction.) Make sure your introduction is clear and concise—this is no place for tangents, long-winded descriptions, or a boatload of statistics—and make every word count. Don’t take more than a few pages to make your point: Readers want to get right to the heart of the book as quickly as possible. Use engaging language and keep your audience firmly in mind.

3. The Introduction

The introduction introduces the material that is covered in the book. Here the author can set the stage for the reader, and prepare them for what can be expected from reading the book. The introduction is a way for the author to grab the reader, and intensify the reader’s desire to find out more, and hopefully devour the entire book. In the introduction the author can quickly and simply tell the reader what is to be revealed in much greater detail if they continue reading.

Introduction.

But a good introduction whets readers’ appetites partly by showing us both why this story is going to entertain us, and why it’s meaningful.

To provide a framework for what’s to follow — the hooks on which to hang the pegs of story details

To provide, in brief, your main argument or point of view about the subject.

Introduction. (Write to Market).

Write to Market.

If you’ve read 5,000 Words Per Hour or Lifelong Writing Habit you already know what to expect in this intro. I’m not going to spend fifty pages telling you all the things this book will do for you. I’m going to do it in one sentence. This book will teach you how to analyze the market, and to use that information to write a book that readers want. [E: Great opening paragraph.]

Some of you are immediately skeptical. Others are grabbing pitchforks and torches. Writing to market has some nasty connotations, and we’ve all been taught that what it really means is that you’re selling out. I’m here to tell you that absolutely is not the case. If you want to be a successful author, then you need to master your craft. You need to tell amazing stories. But the kind of story you choose to tell can dramatically affect your career as an author. [E: addressing objections.]

There are two methods of writing a book. You can write, then market. Or you can write to market. One has a much, much, higher chance of success than the other. The first method is writing whatever story pops into your head. This might result in you writing something new and unique, something that takes off like Harry Potter. Most likely it will result in you writing a book that almost no one reads. Harsh, but accurate.

The other method is contentious in the writing world. Many authors demonize writing to market, though I suspect very few really understand how or why it works. Writing to market is not copying Hunger Games and changing a few names and places. Hundreds of authors attempted to do exactly that, and the vast majority of their books failed.

So what is it? 

Writing to market is picking an underserved genre that you know has a voracious appetite, and then giving that market exactly what it wants. It means that before you write word one of your novel you already know you’re going to have fans waiting to buy it. That may seem impossible, but trust me when I say it is absolutely achievable.

How do I know? Because I’ve utilized both methods. The first method served me fairly well, initially. My first novel was called No Such Thing As Werewolves. It turned several genres on their heads, and was quite unique. Readers responded favorably, and the series continues to be my top seller. 

So if the method was working, then why change it? Why start writing to market? Because I later realized that I’d accidentally written NSTAW to market. That wasn’t clear until I attempted my first spin off.

I launched a second series called Hero Born that I touted as X-Files meets Heroes. I was immensely proud of it. It was unique and fun, and I assumed readers would love it. I had a large mailing list, an understanding of marketing and advertising, and a broad platform I used to launch the book.

The series sank like a rock, and the only people who bought it were loyal readers who loved my Deathless books. Everyone else ignored it, and three months later it still hasn’t earned back what it cost to produce. If I followed the conventional wisdom offered in writing forums like Kboards I’d try to advertise the book. I’d try price pulsing. I’d mess with key words. Maybe I’d change the cover. I’d monkey with the blurb. You know what? I didn’t do any of those things, because I understood  immediately why the book failed. 

I didn’t write it to market. I wrote it, then tried to market it.

At the same time I launched Hero Born my friend Domino Finn launched a book called Dead ManDead Man was an urban fantasy written to market. It followed all the genre tropes, and is a slightly darker version of the Dresden Files. Fans loved it, and while my book sank, Dead Man took off. Nor was it the only book I saw do that. 

Dawn McKenna published a wonderful literary novel called See You. If you want a good cry, read the book. It’s amazing. Very few people bought See You, and Dawn was in a rough financial spot. She decided to try something else. Dawn worked with powerhouse Wayne Stinnett, who all but owns the Sea Adventure genre. Dawn wrote a series to market, and went from two figures a month to hitting five figures a month.  

R.M. Webb did the same thing. So did Cady Vance. The list of authors who transitioned into the writing to market model is long, and you’ll hear more about them through the course of this book.

So I decided to do it too. My first attempt was a book many of you have read. 5,000 Words Per Hour was written to market. I looked around at the non-fiction space, and realized there was room for another book on writing faster. 

But this is the real rub, the thing many people get wrong. You can’t just rehash a successful book. That way lies disaster. I didn’t copy Rachel Aaron’s 2k to 10k. Instead, I figured out what problem she was solving, and solved the same problem in my own way. My book reads differently than others like it. It’s shorter, more concise, and offers exercises at the end of every chapter. None of the others did that.

I hit the same tropes other successful books have hit, but I made sure to do it in my voice, and in my own way. If the idea of tropes is new, don’t worry. I’ll explain what they are, and how to analyze them for your genre. All you need to know right now is that before you start writing your next novel you need to understand the market you plan to aim it at.

So how about it? Have I piqued your interest? If so open up the book, and let’s get cracking!

Prologue.

a

Prologue

Notes.

A prologue is an act, scene, event, or development that precedes the main action of the book. It may start the action and be PART of the action, though it could take place in the middle of the action — may be a pivotal moment.

How to Write a Prologue

Make it interesting! You want to get the proverbial hook in right away to make readers want to keep reading.

Don’t think because you have a hook in the prologue that you don’t also have to have one in the first chapter. Think of the prologue as a separate entity. A good general rule is that it should have all the components of a short story, except that no conflict is resolved.

The Prologue - When to Use One.

Don’t ‘cheat’ by just copying a short scene from a ‘cliffhanger moment’ near the end, pasting it in before Chapter 1 and calling it a prologue.

It should make us want to read on.

What Is A Prologue?

A prologue is used mainly for two reasons.

1. To outline the backstory quickly and economically, saving the author from having to resort to flashbacks or ruses such as conversations or memories to explain the background to the reader. The prologue is a better option than a first chapter bogged down in detail.

2. To hook the reader and provide the story question right up front, giving them a reason to keep turning the pages to find out the answer.

Do You Need a Prologue?

If you’re still not sure, then simply ask:

What if I just call the prologue Chapter 1? Will the story flow smoothly from that point anyway? (If the answer is “yes”, ditch the prologue.)

Do I need to give the readers a fair bit of background information for the story to make sense? (If “yes”, the consider doing it in a prologue before the ‘real’ story starts.)

Am I thinking of using a prologue just to hook the reader? (If “yes”, then ask yourself why you can’t do this just as effectively in Chapter 1 anyway. Do you need to brush up on your technique for creating suspense and conflict? Does your plot need revising? Are you starting your story too early?)

1: Hk_1 (Chapter: Heading 1)

021_21refugio-laguna-negra-Impress-CaveDweller3

Glyph/Img above. Img Name (w/kw) + short caption, suitable for “List of”.

Chapter Title

Brandon had split from the train a good ways back, atop one of the many valley undulations. I’d tracked him over my shoulder for a while, watching him follow a high ridge along the valley wall, growing ever smaller in the distance, as the train made straight for the heart of the basin. As the train dropped altitude, I’d eventually lost track of him. TEST TEST

Create Templates: Chapter Title, First Chapter Paragraph, Raise Cap, Spacer, First Scene Paragraph

Where the hell is he? I wondered, scanning for him along the ridgeline. I searched in the book called Book Title for answers. Here is some emphasis <em>.

TEST NAMED ENTITIES HERE.

SUPERSCRIPT (<sup>). Today is October 1st, 2015.

SUPERSCRIPT STYLE. October 2nd, 2015. superScriptTest.

Here is non-superscripted ordinal: the 1st of April.

Here is non-superscripted and bracketed footnote[3].

Here is another one[4].

This hypertext points to www.primaltonic.com.

EM DASH. Here is an em dash—right here—hope you liked that!

EN DASH. Here is an en dash – right here – hope you liked that! Not sure this is actually an en dash.

ELLIPSIS. Here is an ellipsis… to convey trailing thought…

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COPYRIGHT. Copyright © Eric 2015.

CENTERED PARAGRAPH. Paragraph <p>.

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CENTERED PARAGRAPH + CHARACTER. Paragraph <p> and Character <span>.

“Don’t worry about Brandon,” I told them. “He can take care of himself. Seguimos.

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Network path. http://primaltonic.com

Email. info@primaltonic.com

When, finally, the train began its descent, we dropped into a very steep switch-backing gully of heavily eroded stones and mud, which carved its way through a shoulder-high field of snow and ice, straight down.

Here is a handwritten note about something. Here is some more text for this handwritten note, because we want to see how this bad boy wraps. Should the first line be indented?

Here is a handwritten note that is INDENTED. Let’s add some more so we can see how it looks wrapped. Which is better?

My knees quivered. In an effort to preserve them, I went to mount the emergency horse, not because my knees needed it right then, but because we had two weeks of higher and steeper descents ahead of us, and I thought preserving them might be an intelligent idea. Here is some bold. Compare bold to this here strong. Here is underline, should we need it for some reason.

“You’ll have to wait until we reach the valley floor,” said Manuel. “This bajada is dangerous enough for the horse, without a rider.”

Why am I paying for the riding horse then? I wondered.

Here is a set-up: we want the reader to take note of this.

Your bones are brittle
Inside you
Wrapped so soft your blood
Is running I’ll be there
If you’re moving slowly
We still get there I’ll be there
Such a strong desire
Hunger

The initial drop from pass turned out to be very slow going for the horses. After the first switch-back, the trail had deteriorated into a washed out snarl of boulders and slick patches of ice, tricky—downright treacherous—for their hooves to navigate. It demanded from them considerable steadiness and balance. I watched them below me on the trail, slipping and lurching and scrambling, the weight of their cargo throwing them off center, steam belching from their nostrils, struggling to maintain footing.

I’m happy to descend on foot, I thought.

“How far do you think Manuel has traveled?” asked Lucia, her heart and mind clearly with her husband. “Do you think he made pass before dark?”

“Claro,” I said.

Scene: Name (Scene Name: Heading 2)

Scene: Notes (Scene Notes: Heading 3)

***

“Shit,” said Brandon, staring into a six-foot wide chasm, at least a hundred feet straight down. What do I do? If I go back, that’s going to put me forty-five minutes that way, plus they’ll be another forty-five minutes or an hour down the valley… I can make this jump… What do I do? Shit.

Where Brandon had split from the train, in an attempt to maintain elevation and a bird’s eye view of the valley, as well as wanting some distance from Lucia, he’d taken an overgrown trail along a soaring highback ridge, slightly upward, away from the basin. As the train had continued to drop in elevation, Brandon’s trail had climbed, clinging precariously to the ridge.

Cool, he’d thought, as he’d walked on. I’m just gonna see where this trail goes.

It had led him into a slot along the length of the ridge, blocking his view into the basin, and while he’d known that he’d been slightly gaining elevation, he hadn’t realized just how high he still was, relative to the train, until he came to a small chasm, where the trail had been washed out, and where he could see through the wall, over a hundred feet, almost vertically straight down.

Ant 1.

Nar 2.

Pro 3.

From that vantage, through the end of the slot, he’d once again had a visual on the train—it had just entered the basin, far below. He’d held up his pinky finger. The train, stretched out, hadn’t filled his fingernail. Thinking that he would soon find a place where he could take a shortcut down into the basin, he’d hopped the washout and continued.

“I won’t let you,” replied the scene’s antagonist, with paragraph style pScAnt <p>. Maps to InD pBase <p>. TEST.

He did this and then he did this other thing. This paragraph style is pScNar <p>. Maps to InD pBase <p>. TEST.

“I want to do the following thing,” said the scene’s protagonist, using the paragraph style pScPro <p>. Maps to InD pBase <p>. TEST.

Now he stood before a third washout, wider than the previous two, and wide enough that to cross it, he would have to make a running jump. The leap was slightly downhill, and he didn’t think he’d be able to jump it back uphill.

If I turn back now, to join the main trail, he thought, I’ll lose sight of them and might get lost… Screw it. I can make this jump.

***

The next morning in Huaraz, a glorious Sunday, I was dropped to the pavement by what I at first thought was a heart attack, until the pain had persisted long enough to make clear that this was not a temporary episode. I spent the morning staggering through town in a vain attempt to locate someone who could help me, or at least diagnose the affliction and tell me that it wasn’t serious. It being Domingo, the town was mostly closed, except for tourist shops. The only help I could find was a young clerk in a farmacia. She sold me some generic antigas pills.

The antigas pills relieved nothing. I spent the afternoon lying in my flophouse room, trying to make my breathing as shallow as possible and resisting panic.

My body was a broken down wreck at this point.

***

More than a year later, I received the following e-mail from Caryl, the girl with whom I’d hiked the Huayhuash, the attachment taken from a post to the South American Explorers website:

Dear Eric,

Just got this info from the girl who connected us for our trip. SAD!! I am glad we never encountered problems like this. Maybe Peru was done for me and yet all the people, like our guide, who rely on tourism, will really suffer.

With Love from your touring partner,

Caryl

ATTACHMENT:

Julie and Skip
www.saexplorers.org
9jul04

TREKKERS: WE ADVISE YOU TO NOT ENTER THE HUAYHUASH AREA AT THIS TIME.

Saturday evening, July 3, 2004, just before sunset, during a trek of the Cordillera Huayhuash, our camp site in the settlement of Huayhuash was attacked and overrun by a rouge group of revolutionaries or bandits shooting semi automatic rifles. They had already attacked two other camps near-by and herded all of the prisoners into our camp. We had 6 North Americans and 7 Peruvians in our group. The other two groups were made up of four Israeli students and their guides, and an Australian/British couple with their guides. We were pulled from our tents and all us were forced to lie face down in the dirt and snow along side each other. They were screaming at us in Spanish and shooting close to our heads. I thought we were all going to be shot as we lay there and tried to get ready to die. They tied the hands of the Peruvians, kicked and beat one of them they thought was a policeman, and then told the 6 North Americans to get inside of the dining tent. For the next 4 hours we didn´t know if we would live or die while we tried to satisfy all of their demands. Finally, after we gave them all of our money, about a $1,000, and after they had ransacked our tents stealing all of our cameras, a video camera, boots, backpacks, socks, walkie talkies, rain gear, lights, food, etc. they made us feed them supper and then took off into the night firing their semi automatic rifles into the air. They said they were part of Frente Andino Revolucionario from Columbia but some of the trekkers thought they are a band of local bandits.

They told us to continue on the trek and not warn anyone or do anything differently. If we didn’t do exactly as we were told, they said they would be watching us and would come back and kill all of us.

Later we learned we were the third group to be hit that day. A British doctor with a group of four and another British couple trekking just a day ahead of us were also attacked. They were ambushed on the trail leading out of Huayhuash that morning and were held for almost 6 hours. Their Peruvian guide was badly beaten and their tents, hiking gear, money, and cameras were stolen.

We hiked for two days to exit the trek at Cajatambo. When we reported the event to the local police there, they pretended they knew nothing of it although the whole town knew what was going on because the other two groups had already been through the town the day before. We were afraid to stay in Cajatambo that night because we didn’t know what the police or others might do. We were able to rent a bus for all three groups who had been attacked on Saturday and got the hell out of there. When we got back to Huaraz, we reported the attacks to the police on July 6, 2004 but expect little if anything will be done about the situation.

We advise you to STAY OUT of the HUAYHUASH area if you value your life and goods until you are sure something has been done to make the area safe for trekkers again.

***

In a mountain town called Huancayo, we paid a visit to the relatives of one of Brandon’s friends, a family of Christian missionaries from the U.S.

Later that afternoon, we visited Huancayo’s outdoor market, a long street lined on both sides by tarp covered stalls, beneath which every conceivable ware was displayed for sale.

We came upon a woman without a stall or tarp. She sat in a chair behind a table low to the ground, which supported a blender. Three plastic buckets sat on the ground in front of the low table… filled with large live toads squirming to climb out of the buckets. Her sign read:

CONCENTRADO de SAPO
para: los bronquios,
tuberculosis,
asma, pulmones

Translated:

TOAD CONCENTRATE
for: the bronchi,
tuberculosis,
asthma, lungs

Two young girls eagerly awaited the next paying customer, so that they could watch the woman crank out a fresh batch of pink frothy medicinal wholesomeness.

Thus we embarked on what would become a running theme of creatures meeting their unseemly demise throughout our journey.

“Buenos días,” Lucia greeted me. She already tended the fire. “¿Quiere un mate?”

“Bueno, Lucia, gracias,” I said. “¿Cómo dormiste?”

“Bien, gracias,” she answered, and handed me a cup of mate, hotter than the night before.

“Where is Diego?” I asked.

“Se fue para los caballos,” she said. She shifted and looked away. “Yyyy, esteee… su amigo está malo.”

Diego had gone to fetch the horses, she said, and Brandon was not well.

What’s up? I wondered. Why won’t she look at me?

“¿Dónde está Brandon?” I asked.

“En su carpa,” she said, pointing at his tent below.

***

Oscar, the boarding house employee, nineteen years old, shut the door behind himself, after spraying air freshener throughout Brandon’s room. The female housekeepers had refused to clean his room otherwise. He asked Brandon to keep the door closed. Brandon lay in bed creating what he thought must be the foulest odor that any human creature could create. He’d been confined to bed for the better part of five days. His room was caustic. Oscar had been checking in on him during his shifts.

Here is Anna’s ellipses… Here is the digital ellipses… The day after our night return to Cuzco, I’d canvassed town in search of someone who could diagnose my chest condition and recommend treatment, to no avail. Eventually, I diagnosed it myself in an internet café, at MayoClinic.com. Here’s an excerpt of what I learned:

Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). It causes sharp pain in the costosternal joint—where your ribs and breastbone are joined by rubbery cartilage. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack…

…most cases have no apparent cause… this makes it difficult to treat…

…Often the pain is sharp, though it can also feel like a dull, gnawing pain…

Other signs and symptoms… may include: Pain when taking deep breaths; Pain when coughing; Difficulty breathing…

Doctors don’t know what causes most cases…

Chest pain is an emergency—seek medical attention right away

…Costochondritis usually goes away on its own. The pain usually lasts a week or two and then resolves. To ease your pain until it fades…

It’s been almost a week already, I thought. It should pass soon.

While frustrating to diagnose my condition as something with no known treatment, it nonetheless relieved me to learn that I should only need to endure “sharp, dull, and gnawing pain,” for maybe a week or two longer, with, apparently, no long term consequences.

I also diagnosed Brandon’s condition: Salmonella.

Late that first night back in Cuzco, he’d woken to violent pain in his innards. He’d then spent a very unpleasant few hours in the bathroom.

The best we could figure is that he’d contracted it from the raw egg in the Pisco Sour. It laid him up for five days solid, and during most of that time, he felt as if he were on his death bed. Let’s just say that it made for a less than pleasant ambiance inside the room.

I checked into a separate room, and spent all week bringing him fluids and soup and electrolytes.

It would not be Brandon’s last adventure in South America.

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Scene: Notes (Heading 3)

2: Thm_2

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Chapter Title

Unlike paragraph styles, character styles do not include all the formatting attributes of selected text. Instead, when you create a character style, InDesign makes only those attributes that are different from the formatting of the selected text part of the style. That way, you can create a character style that, when applied to text, changes only some attributes, such as the font family and size, ignoring all other character attributes. If you want other attributes to be part of the style, add them when editing the style.

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Website Quote

After two mentally challenging and emotionally confusing months in Cuenca, Ecuador, I write you now from high in the Andes. I arrived in Cuenca with grand plans. Those gradually fell away, to be replaced by spiritual practices, the strengthening of an important relationship, and the completion of Mule Drafting. When that was finished, it was right to pull up the roots I had put down in haste and ride once again the currents of the path. Testing 1st superscript—turned off.

—Eric

3: Sts_3: Vaya con Dios, hermano

Glyph/Img above. Img Name (w/kw) + short caption, suitable for “List of”.

Vaya con Dios, hermano

Scene: Name (Heading 2): BA’s Decision

It felt like a mule had kicked me in the stomach.

I had to push on, and knew if I continued to burn cash in Cuenca I would never make any raw expeditions into the Andean wilderness, would never explore the mysteries of Machu Picchu, and Patagonia would remain a faraway dream.

My brother, Brian, and I, had traveled together from Belize to Ecuador. In the forge of adventures and hardships along the way, not to mention the daily minutia of life, our relationship had transformed into a brotherhood of the truest bond.

For two months we’d been living in Cuenca, above the only vegetarian restaurant in town, in an apartment copiously decorated by the prior Hare Krishna tenants with artwork involving pink elephants, blue beings sporting multiple limbs, and a fat little Buddha figure, gripping incense. We were both running low on cash. Brian was building websites for the locals, and things were heating up with Marcela, his new girlfriend. I’d been hitting the gym on a regular basis for the first time in years, and writing Mule Drafting—conceived in the bleeding ink of Granada’s monsoon downpours, and delivered with the midwifery of middle-aged porn addicts in a dirty Cuenca Internet café.

When I finished that story, I felt I had been liberated, and I told Brian that it was finally time to move on, that I wanted to plunge into the heart of the Andes, to experience the high-altitude culture that had gripped my imagination, to capture the money shot at Machu Picchu, and to explore Patagonia—my personal grail—at the tip of the continent. I studied my maps and wondered how we would make it on our precariously diminishing funds. One day, while I told Brian about our plans, he seized the moment during one of my few quick breaths, and broke in:

“I’m not going with you. You’re going to have to make this one on your own. I’m staying here.”

His heart was devoted to Marcela.

***

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Vilcabamba

Leaving Brian at the bus station was tough, for a second time. It was emotional for us both, but it assuaged my guilt to know that he was in good hands with the angelic Marcela. I peered out at the world through smudged glass, intoxicated by the unknown as it unraveled in a blur. The earth beside the road soon gave way to an abyss of sky and haze. I clung to the belief that if I launched out of Cuenca with enough energy and will, I could overcome all gravitational forces, somehow build momentum, and that that momentum would eventually bear me deep into the Andes, and maybe, someday, on to Patagonia.

The four-hour bus ride south to Loja, through the harsh, windswept expanse of Ecuador’s southern Andes, was serene, and consisted mostly of meditation and breathing. The bus was packed with indigenous people. From Loja, the valley continued south along Podocarpus National Park. We rounded a bend, and the nestled valley of Vilcabamba unfolded like some long-lost paradise spared from the march of time. I felt the tremendous energy immediately. The tales were true. Vilcabamba was indeed a powerful place.

On the ride down, I vowed to return to the life of a pilgrim, consuming only the minimum necessary for survival, and maintaining the tightest budget yet, even if it meant sleeping in the hills. All the flyers for rooms listed prices from eight to twenty dollars per night. Those wouldn’t work with my planned austerity. I asked God to bring me in on budget for the day . . . I had $2.50 remaining, after transportation.

When I stepped into the streets of the small pueblo, I turned the brain off to feel the way, prepared to receive God’s will or sleep in the hills, whichever came first. I visited with townsfolk, checked several boardinghouses, all too expensive. So I chose a direction and just walked, away from town, into the hills. After a few minutes, a man walking a bicycle appeared at my side and asked me where I was staying. “Don’t know,” I replied. He said he had a room with hot water, and did I care to see it? Yes, I did. We walked a little farther, through a grove of fruit and coffee trees, past dogs and chickens, until we came to a small cabana, with fire pit and hammocks. It was perfect. To be precise, it was the best place I’d stayed since I’d left Texas, and the price was right, two dollars.

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Mateo

I threw down my pack and went for a walk, to flow through town, to know its inhabitants. I’ve learned by now to feel the people I’m supposed to meet, but the only people I saw in town that day were a few pasty, bloated Euro-tourists and the locals . . . and one wild-haired, wild-bearded hippie type, drinking a beer and smoking cigarettes on the corner of the square.

“Hola, ¿qué tal?” I said.

“Bien, bien,” he replied.

We made some small talk in Spanish, and left it at that. I figured he was a gringo hippie, well worn into the groove. I’d become all too familiar with the caricature by now. He didn’t want to speak English, because we were in Ecuador. Fine. Six months earlier I would have considered that behavior ridiculous. I would have thought him a self-arrogating prick. But now I understood. Once you’re into the rhythm of the local language, not just Spanish, but the lingo, the street talk, the gibberish that makes no sense to the uninitiated, it’s jarring and uncomfortable to pull out, to revert to the English mind-set, to find the English words, the English gibberish. It’s easier and more natural to just keep flowing with the language of the land. So, Cool, I thought, and we left it at that.

In short order, I came upon an office offering horse tours. I asked the guides if I could help with the horses for a few days, and they agreed. I would meet them the next morning to bring the horses from pasture.

Scene: Name (Heading 2): E Sad for BA

The afternoon grew late; sunset was a rich mixture of crimson, rose, and tangerine. As I followed the flow, wondering what I would eat for roughly fifty cents, a tremendous feeling of emptiness and melancholy began to overtake me. I was alone again. But it wasn’t that. I like being alone. It was Brian. He was gone. I felt as if a huge part of me had been ripped out, leaving a hollow, aching mass of nothingness. The late afternoon was breathtakingly serene and tender, and yet there I was, filling with sadness and heartache. An emotional column of energy was rising from the core, coming to a head, soon to erupt into a sobbing meltdown. I tried to hold on.

Where are these emotions coming from? I wondered. Am I doing this to myself simply to feel something in my newfound state of solitude—a drama to pass the time, like so many other emotional episodes in life? Do I want to have a heavy heart, a sad presence inside, this depressed ache of separation? No, as a matter of fact, I don’t. But don’t I owe this pain to my brother, a sacrifice of love and loyalty? Nope. Is that what he would want? Nope. Where have I learned this conditioned response? Don’t know, but it’s bullshit.

Still, the growing depression was too strong; I was unable to quell the maelstrom surging from within. I was going to burst, so I surrendered, as I have now learned to do. I asked God to fill me with His presence and love, to let me feel the connection with Him and all of creation. In thirty seconds, it was gone. The pain, the emptiness, the surge. Gone. Nothing but love for Brian, for the people of Vilcabamba, and for all of creation.

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Shanta’s

After that unnerving brush with emotional implosion, I felt I should strike up a conversation with someone quickly before it returned, so I stepped into Shanta’s, a rustic saloon near the cabana, complete with fire pit, horseshoes, cabinas scattered under the trees, stirrups, spurs, dream catchers, art nailed to the walls, and saddle stools at the bar. It felt a little like Texas. There were only two other people there: Shanta and the wild-haired, wild-bearded hippie type, who had been drinking beers and smoking cowboy killers. I pulled up a saddle. The guy’s name was Mateo. As it turned out, he was not a burnt-out hippie too cool to speak gringo, but a student from Quito who spoke little English. He was studying to be an eco-guide, and he’d come to Vilcabamba to make a film about the local flora and fauna. We hit it off, Shanta joined in, and the conversation grew thick with bullshit. It was a little like Texas.

On the bar rested a huge jar of pale, coiled snakes, drowned in clear liquid, with a worn masking-tape label that read “Licor de Culebra.” They were coral snakes, said Shanta, and the liquor was seventy percent cane alcohol, a recipe of his grandfather’s, the only spirit that Shanta drank. Most people can’t drink more than one, if that, he said. The record was held by some Aussies, who had had five, and passed out in the dirt by the fire pit. Gotta love the Aussies.

He gave Mateo and me a free round, to test our mettle, I think. “¡Ay, ay, ay!” Mouths on fire. Shanta laughed. Mateo and I almost burst into not-so-spontaneous combustion.

A few minutes passed and Shanta looked at us, raised his eyebrow: “¿Ehh?”

“Fuertísimo,” we conceded, with teary eyes, white faces, and spinning brains.

Then Shanta offered another. Dared is more like it. It was one of those moments when you know you are being squarely presented with a decision that will lead to either of two very different courses of destiny. The nineteen-year-old Sixth Street hellion in me took over. I chose poorly. We wound up downing four of those damn culebras in under an hour. I don’t remember seeing any train tracks running through the valley, or hearing the chugging of an engine or the sound of its horn, or seeing any plumes of black smoke wafting through the hills. But a monster freight train roared through Vilcabamba that evening and I ended up dead in its tracks. It hit hard with a force like no other. I was creamed, flattened.

4: Cat_4: The Valley of Longevity

a

The Valley of Longevity

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Mandanga – Man

Woke up the next morning in the cabana. Don’t know how I got there. Someone had given all the roosters, dogs, and burros bullhorns that morning, to amplify their revelry, lest anyone fail to hear them. Also, the local kids had discovered a way to spin the cabana, ’round and ’round, until it was all I could do to keep my insides inside. I pulled the covers over my head and waited for the hooligans to tire of their games. Finally they did, and I emerged to a splendid day of warm sun, birdsong, chirping chicks, murmuring water, and the valley’s human inhabitants going about their agricultural existence, in the largely self-sustaining valley of longevity.

I walked into town to meet the owner of the horses. He sent me with Pablo, one of the guides, to return several horses to pasture. We rode two horses bareback across the valley, several others in tow, with an excited dog barking and going crazy, nipping at the horses all the way to pasture. It wasn’t much, but it was fun, and Pablo invited me back the next morning to retrieve the horses from pasture to be shod and groomed.

That afternoon I climbed to The Face, Mandanga in the indigenous tongue—a knob atop a mountain high above the valley, with a large white cross planted in its crest—so named because its outline resembles a face gazing into the heavens. This place has been sacred to the native people for millennia, and each year they throng to make the pilgrimage to pray for fertility in the valley below. I prayed during most of the ascent, that God reveal Himself, that He send some irrefutable sign, some shred of evidence that not all of my searching was in vain.

Upon reaching a lower summit, also marked by a cross, I encountered a gentleman from Venezuela and his children. The man and I talked for a few minutes about the bountiful valley below and the exalted knob on a foreboding cliff formation to the west, some two hundred feet above us. Then he launched directly into matters of the spirit. I like it when people get right to the point. We discussed Jesús Cristo and the power of faith. He gave me a prayer booklet about the Good Samaritan and a printed prayer with a rendering of Christ bowed to the Father.

I looked over my shoulder, up at the higher cross. The man asked if I was going there. I answered that I was. He said that it was dangerous, that many people had been badly injured sliding down the unstable gravel face. Was I still going, he asked. I answered that I was. He and his children said a long prayer for me, asking God to fill my heart with love when fear crept in, and to keep me safe. I was deeply touched, overwhelmed really, and thanked him repeatedly.

Then I hiked across the ridgeline to the cliff formation, rounded it to the west face, and began the final ascent through an almost vertical crevasse of loose gravel and renegade stones, falling and sliding more than once, clutching exposed roots to catch my fall. I reached the top and saw the man with his children far below. They waved and cheered. Again I was touched, and I returned their blessings with a few prayers of my own.

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Mandanga – Cross

The view was outstanding, into every adjacent valley and beyond. I walked to a giant quartz stone and was immediately surrounded by a swarm of purple-and-white butterflies. For several minutes they circled. Atop another sacred summit, in Mexico, a friend had taught me that that is butterflies’ way of feeling one’s energy. I didn’t believe him then, but ever since, when I reach the summit of a place held sacred, there they are, the butterflies, and always, they come close and circle for a while, and then go about their business. I was beginning to believe. I shut my eyes, held out my hand, and tried to radiate as much love as possible. In less than a minute, one butterfly landed on my hand, and one on my arm. I felt like a child; silent joy welled up from inside. I wanted desperately to share the moment with someone.

Soon enough, the butterflies went about their business, and I sat on the quartz stone to meditate. If God had not revealed Himself through the man below and his gift of prayer, He certainly did so on that summit. For the first time in my life, I felt that God spoke and I was sufficiently silent and non-self-involved to hear Him. I sensed that my life would never be the same.

After leaving an offering at the cross, in an elevated state, I descended down the steepest slope of mountain, lost the trail, and spent several hours puzzling my way through the net of paths cast over the entire mountain by goats—creatures far better suited than I to negotiate steep hillsides. The descent took twice as long as the ascent, and I enjoyed every moment.

That night at the cabana I built a fire in the fire pit, stretched by its light, concentrated on its flames, and retired early.

***

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Horses

The next morning Pablo and I hiked to retrieve the horses from pasture, and rode two of them to town bareback. As my horse struggled to climb a small hill, I forgot to clutch its mane as Pablo had instructed, and slid right off, onto the ground, one knee in a steaming pile of horse manure and one hand on a cactus. Pablo went nuts, laughed the whole way to the corral, and was quick to tell the other workers, who all had a good laugh. It was pretty funny, I must admit.

Later that morning, the owner of the horses and his workers taught me how to change horseshoes, trim manes, apply insecticide, and show the horses who the jefe was. It was a sweaty morning of honest work, learning, and camaraderie.

News came that some gringos wanted to ride horses that afternoon. The owner said I could go along, no charge. We’d be leaving in twenty minutes. I was starving, hadn’t eaten all day, and there was no time to go into town for lunch. Out of nowhere, the owner’s wife called me into the house and sat me in front of a pile of eggs, bread, coffee, and jugo de tomate de árbol—sweet juice from tomatoes that grew on a tree in the yard. I was awed by the gesture, and thanked the señora until she had had enough and told me to get outside and ready the horses.

We saddled them, headed into town, picked up the gringos, and were off. The sun was hot that afternoon. The horses were strong of body and spirit. We rode through the whole valley, past mud-brick dwellings and burros carrying firewood, past gurgling irrigation canals, rivers, colorful flowers, sugarcane fields, towering cacti, and groves of fruit trees. At day’s end we stripped the saddles and stored the equipment. The señora called me into the house, and once again sat me down to eat, a dinner of arroz con pollo, juice, and coffee. Again I was awestruck. Again I overthanked. And again she kicked me out!

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Rites

I stopped into Shanta’s for a cerveza on the way home, and there at the bar sat Mateo. He told me that we were neighbors now, that he’d rented the other cabana, the one next door to mine. We talked for a while, and were joined by Des, ambassador extraordinaire of the Emerald Isle. Des had been flying solo, trying to catch his tour group whom he’d lost more than a week earlier. He said he was starting to like flying solo. Later that night the three of us relaxed at the cabanas, traded stories around the fire pit, and agreed to rise early in the morning to prepare for a native ceremony the following night.

The entire next day we prepared, fasted, cleansed; late that evening the moment arrived. We climbed high into a valley to the north, far from all other humans, the pueblo a distant dream below, the night sky framed by the mountains. There, in a harvested sugarcane field, under a lone cactus tree, we raised a fire and entered into the ancient ceremonial rites that have been followed in the valley for thousands of years. We clung to that hill all night, without tent, without sleeping bags, through light rain and biting wind, exposed on the seasoned slope.

That was the most intensely powerful, humbling, educational night of my life. There is a place that transcends time and space, where one can at last connect fully to the earth, to wind, to fire, to the fluidity of life, to the animal within, to the human that grows out of that animal, and to what the Native Americans call “the Spirit that moves in all things,” or what we called that night “el Gran Espíritu.”

In that place, where we were human only by our limited ability to relate to one another and to maintain the fire, to drive back the darkness and quell the shivering, the primeval wisdom of el Gran Espíritu revealed itself through all reaches of consciousness that our minds could assimilate, and beyond. We gripped the mountain as though a dam had broken above us, releasing a reservoir of surging insight, without bounds, tearing away all filters, pressing the limits of our capacity for reception. I struggled to maintain focus, to integrate, but to do so fully, is, I suspect, next to impossible. I have since compiled a list of more than fifty lessons from that night and am working to put them into words, if that’s even possible, to solidify them for future reference.

The ceremony lasted through the night, well into the next day. Two days without sleep, surviving only on the smallest sips of water, trace amounts of chocolate sugar, the grounding smoke of tobacco, raw will, and no other option but to survive. Two days of a glimpse into the other side, behind the curtain, into the exacting geometric structure of the universe.

Stars receded, the fire died to a smolder, night faded to purple, then to pink, then blue. We dug our hands into the earth, shoveled dirt onto the coals. On the way back to the cabana, Mateo suggested that I wash the smeared ash of sugarcane from my face, so as not to alarm the villagers. We walked through the forest to a small stream to clean up. The early water was cool; its burbling sounds massaged my inner skull, as did the leaves rustling in the breeze overhead. I spent the rest of the day sitting in the yard, watching with new eyes the Spirit that moves in all things: a male and a female puppy playing, each wrestling with the fascination of the other; reinas scratching nests in a sandpile, guarded by their gallo; birds singing, from branch to branch; humans living from the fruit grove, taking only what they needed for the moment.

5: SQ + (Dbt1?)_5: Haste

Glyph/Img above. Img Name (w/kw) + short caption, suitable for “List of”.

Haste

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Imagine

The next morning I left for Peru. Virtually everyone going in that direction returns north to Loja, shoots over to the Panamericana, and drops down along the coast. Still needing solitude, I chose to head due south, to Zumba, not knowing what lay in store.

It was eleven a.m. The next bus south didn’t leave until two-thirty. I don’t like sitting around and waiting. I prayed for a more fluid alternative. Ten minutes later a flatbed truck with a drilling rig pulled up. I asked the driver where he was going. Palanda, he told me. I asked if I could ride with him, he agreed, and we hit the road. Talk was typical and brief until we were both content to ride in silence, taking a high road through the lush valley, which, after a while, was hardly touched by man.

He dropped me off at a muddy intersection in Palanda, a tropical mountain valley pueblo of clapboard houses, tin roofs, muddy streets, and horny burros. I was immediately surrounded by about ten local men, one of whom spoke fairly decent English, the last thing I expected in a town like this.

“How can I keep moving south?” I asked them.

“You can’t,” was their reply. “Bus doesn’t get here until four o’clock.”

Great, I thought, stuck here for three hours.

Luis, the man who spoke English, pressed with a barrage of predictable questions. I wasn’t in the mood, but he persisted; he wanted to practice his English, and his friends loved watching him talk with a gringo. So I indulged. He sang every conceivable cursed pop ballad from the English-speaking world unleashed on the globe over the past two decades or so, including a Milli Vanilli song for good measure. Then he asked me if I could transcribe in English the words to John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

“Sure,” I said, why not.

He brought me the tape. I popped it in my Walkman and set to the task. His friends gathered around with an odd curiosity. Apparently, Luis had told them what a great song it was, but couldn’t quite make out all the English lyrics. After I wrote down each verse, he read it, we clarified its meaning, and he made the proper mental notes. When I finished, he read each line to his amigos, first in English, then in Spanish. They let out ahhs of understanding and smiled.

Then he sang the song, first in Spanish, and afterward in English. He had a surprisingly nice voice and held the melody almost without flaw. As I sat there in the middle of that impoverished jungle valley, listening to this man sing “Imagine” in his broken English, with the emotion that he held for it, the words took on new meaning. I imagined that I’d never hear it the same way again.

The bus finally arrived, saving me from the pop shtick Luis was fully willing to perform for as long as I sat there, including Poison’s coup de grâce, “Unskinny Bop.” Those three hours in Palanda passed sooner than I had expected. I boarded the bus, and in another four hours, after nightfall, reached Zumba. Checked into a flophouse, had a beer, and was asleep by nine.

***

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Travel to Peru & Juan

I hadn’t bathed in two days, and I woke at six to rinse off in the shower. There was no water. Twenty minutes later I boarded a covered, bench-lined flatbed bound for the Peruvian border. For two hours we ground our way through the lush mountains of southern Ecuador, along rutted roads, across rivers, past homesteads miles from civilization, finally arriving at the Peruvian border—a river where the road ended. We stepped onto a small floating contraption hooked to a zip line, and the captain poled us across.

Immediately across the border, the land and people took on a distinctly different energy. I didn’t like it at all. I bullshitted with the border guards, and climbed into a cramped combi—minivan—that continued south. The land was dry and coarse. My instincts told me not to trust anyone. Bouncing for three hours along a rutted, dusty, hellish road, we made our way to San Ignacio, a squalid shithole. There I crammed into another combi, imported from Asia, evidently constructed to meet the spatial requirements of Oriental passengers, not a centimeter more, and suffered through the next four hours to Jaén, also a shithole. My knees were killing me. In the rear of the minivan sat a heavyset, dirty, slobbish character. I didn’t like his energy and intended to avoid all interaction with him.

I had been deliberating whether, from Jaén, I would continue southeast into the Andes to Chachapoyas, or west, to the coast. The southeast held the Inca ruins of Kuelap, and the promise of soothing thermal baths near Cajamarca. The west held the oldest pyramids in South America, from an ancient coastal culture of earthworkers—pyramids, I had read, as old as those in Egypt. I chose southeast.

In Jaén, I discovered that the next bus to Chachapoyas didn’t leave until ten o’clock that night and didn’t arrive in Chachapoyas until five in the morning. I didn’t want to hang around the oppressive squalor that is Jaén, and so I began scrambling for a solution. The heavyset guy overheard me, stepped up, and offered to get me to Bagua Grande, from where I could continue to Pedro Luiz, and then to Chachapoyas. I hesitated, but anything was better than spending the rest of the evening in Jaén, so I accepted his offer.

We took a motor-tricycle taxi to a car for hire, waited for it to fill with passengers, and set out. Two and a half hours later, just before dusk, we arrived in Bagua Grande. Juan, the heavyset guy, proved to be un buen tipo. A mirror salesman, he traveled constantly to the far corners of Peru and knew the country well. He told me the south was better, and I hoped so, because I’d had it with the north. He also told me not to trust anyone, as there was, he said, mucha mala gente in Peru—many bad people. I had already learned that none of them knew a damn thing about the transportation system, as every shred of information I’d received had been dead wrong. Either that or they took pleasure in giving bad information. Juan said they probably enjoyed giving bad information.

Old Juan and I split in Bagua Grande, also a shithole, and I waited in a car that was bound for Pedro Luiz. There were already three passengers, but the driver would not leave without four. We drove around the block for two hours, the driver yelling “Pedro, Pedro” at every passing pedestrian, as though that would trigger some long-latent desire in some random person to suddenly decide to make the trip to Pedro Luiz, at exactly that moment.

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Hitchhike

Meanwhile night fell, and the air of Bagua Grande turned from one of shithole to one of less-than-secure. My attempts to persuade the other two passengers to chip in the fare of the missing passenger failed miserably. I guess they were prepared to drive around all night shouting at random pedestrians. I hit the breaking point and told the driver to let me out. That was a chore. He didn’t want me to leave, nor did the other passengers. I had to get hot with him to release my backpack, which was being held hostage in the trunk. He cursed me and spit at my feet.

After that unfortunate confrontation, I stepped out to the “highway” and started walking and thumbing. Finally a car stopped. Maybe “car” isn’t the right word. It had four wheels, a smashed, taped windshield with the texture of crumpled aluminum foil, three doors, no trunk hood, and an engine hood tied down with pink nylon twine. The backseat was little more than a plywood bench with a few clumps of foam and some empty liquor bottles. A passenger rode shotgun.

“¿Adónde vas, gringo?” he asked me.

“Pedro Luiz,” I answered.

He told me to climb in the backseat.

What the hell am I doing? I asked myself. This is not wise. I guess it’s no worse than hanging around this shithole after dark, though. Okay, be bold. Indecision is the mark of weakness.

I opened the front passenger door. “Te vas atrás,” I said, and motioned for him to get in back.

“No.” He laughed and told me to get in back.

“No,” I commanded, “te vas atrás.”

He gave me a stunned look, turned to the driver, who shrugged, and acquiesced.

I didn’t really care about sitting in the front seat, but I remembered something I’d been taught about the roles of cats and mice. If I was going to ride with these guys down a dark, desolate road, it would be as an imperial soldier in the hinterlands of the empire, not as a weary backpacking gringo out of options.

The driver was insane. He accelerated through curves and jumped from the asphalt, as though the engine ran on raw machismo. We flew through the invisible night, swerving to avoid dogs and burros, skirting landslide boulders, slamming into deep ruts, back to broken asphalt, back to rutted dirt. I held on for what little life I had left, and tried not to show it.

My companions commented that it was the anniversary of the World Trade Center incident. What did I think? Had I been to New York? Did I know anyone who was killed? Sensing that the energy of the night had taken a sharp turn into the vectors of unpleasant destinies, I evaded most of their questions.

“It serves you right,” they said. “It’s about time los Estados Unidos got a taste of its own medicine. There are many poor people in Peru because of the United States and its robber banks. It’s about time your economy crashed from all your corrupt leaders. Now you know what it feels like.”

Okay, I thought, things could be better.

I bit my tongue and wondered how much more we had before Pedro Luiz. I hoped not much. We rocketed through the black dusty air, through the epicenter of nowhere. They continued their assault.

“Look at the stars,” I said, trying to change the subject. “There are many stars tonight.”

They laughed and began to direct their attack at me personally. They’d called my bluff, and they knew they’d gotten to me.

“Are you traveling alone,” they asked, “¿solito? Are you scared that something might happen to you, that bad people might do something to you? Are you scared that the devil might possess someone and attack you?”

I really didn’t understand all they were saying at this point, just that their energy had taken a definite drop into the lower frequencies, devils were amidst, and my well-being had abruptly come into question.

I answered that I wasn’t really traveling alone, that God was my compañero, and that no one had any reason to attack me, because I had nothing of value and everyone was my friend.

That shut them up, and the rest of the drive was silent, save for the wind.

After two hours of enduring the base, animal, aspects of humanity, I arrived in Pedro Luiz, reconsidered the value of hasty decisions, and patiently waited in a car for hire until it had sufficient passengers to make the trip to Chachapoyas.

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Kid

That car departed at about ten-thirty that night. I was exhausted and filthy, hadn’t eaten all day. I sat in the backseat, a local kid crammed in the middle next to me. He fired off all the usual questions, but I wasn’t in the mood and ended it abruptly, feeling guilty for doing so, but also justified. After several bumpy, rutted hours of uphill, cramped conditions, every muscle in my body aching, my knees starting to lock up, we finally arrived in Chachapoyas.

It was around two in the morning when I stepped, creaked, from the car. The kid started talking again and I was too exhausted to deflect the exchange. But his energy was good, so we found the only open bar in town, grabbed a bite to eat and a few beers.

The kid’s father was dead and his mother was terminally ill; he was helping her with the family business, potato wholesaling. He was in Chachapoyas to buy potatoes. A few years back, in Lima, he had suffered an infection in his hip that confined him to a hospital for weeks. That’s why he limped. While he was in the hospital, a girl from New York, a rubia who was studying Spanish in Lima, came to visit him, part of a volunteer program. That was three years ago. She loved him, he assured me, and he was in love with her. He had two novias in Peru, yet all he wanted now was to get to New York, to be with his true love. But it wasn’t that easy, he lamented. Visas for the States were hard to come by in Peru. Plus, he didn’t know English, didn’t know how he’d support himself when he got to New York, and didn’t know if the girl had already found another. Could I help him? Please, please, could I help him? I said what I could to stoke his dreams, told him that the real prize would be not the girl, but making it to New York, and bought him a few rounds of pisco to ease the pain.

Scene: Name (Heading 2): No Bus

Later, at the hotel, the clerk informed me that the next bus for Cajamarca didn’t leave for three days.

Dammit, man! I came all this way, and now I’m stuck here for three days! Unacceptable!

I asked him if there was a bus west to Chiclayo. Yes, he said, at eight the next evening. So I crashed in that cell of a room, made arrangements to visit the ruins of Kuelap the next day, then catch the overnight bus to Chiclayo.

I woke at six in the morning to shower, but passed on that when I realized that the water sputtering out of the showerhead was just shy of freezing, and that it was not going to warm up. Half an hour later I was headed for Kuelap, crammed into the back of a tiny car: three hours through scenic, dusty, parched cactus-strewn mountains to the ancient sky fortress soaked in clouds, crawling with moss, and draped with purple bromeliads. Explored the site for a few hours, took in the sweeping views, crammed myself back into the tiny car for the dusty, bumpy ride back, and caught the red-eye to Chiclayo.

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Bus to Chiclayo

The bus to Chiclayo was hell. Pure hell. I had been squashed into undersized transport for the better part of three days, had barely slept, and here was an eight-hour overnight bus. I got stuck with a window seat, and my legs had nowhere to go, and I mean nowhere, except straight into the metal seat back in front of me, with two screws right at my kneecaps. The man beside me hacked and coughed through the night, babies wailed, dust filled the bus, and The Scorpion King blared from the TV screen overhead, the sound ten seconds out of synch with the picture. What garbage. I thought it might be a cool movie. The Mummy flicks were cool; horrible, but cool. Nope, The Scorpion King was just horrible, nothing cool about it.

I was desperate to get off that midnight inferno blasting through the night, and the gears started turning. I pulled out the map. Was there any decent excuse for getting off this bus before Chiclayo?

Then I saw it: Túcume, some of the oldest pyramids in South America, thirty kilometers north of Chiclayo. We were getting close. I sprang to the front of the bus and asked the driver if he could let me off there. He agreed. An hour later, head fallen forward, neck in dire pain, knees screwed to the seat back in front of me, I felt a hand shaking me from a miserable sleep.

“¡Gringo! ¡Gringo! Túcume.”

Sometime before four in the morning I stepped from the bus into a suffocating wasteland, a heap of mud and concrete, buried in trash and rot, patrolled by packs of mangy skeletal dogs.

“Which way are the pyramids?” I asked the bus driver.

“Por allá,” he said, with a disgusted flail of his arm. (When I’ve asked for directions in Latin America, I have invariably received one of—or more often, a combination of—the following five responses, listed in order of frequency: por allá, por acá, por allí, directo, and por aquí. These all have the same meaning, which is to say, they mean nothing, absolutely nothing.)

“Okay . . . hmm . . .”

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Ladrones & Dogs

The bus pulled away, and there I stood—weary, exhausted, starving—exposed to the toxicity of those harsh, cruel badlands, trash swirling around in clouds of dust, permeating stench, villains and demons lurking in the shadows.

Okay, don’t let your imagination run too wild. Pull yourself together, man. Remember the cat and mouse. Walk. Por allá.

So I walked, por allá, through the impoverished hovels, the mounds of refuse, the grimy haze of what few pathetic lights struggled to shine. Two young males, rank and filthy, approached with the whistles of scoundrels. I think they were human. They came close and demanded money. I told them no. They shoved and grabbed at my pack.

Cat and mouse, cat and mouse, I told myself. “Get the fuck off me!” I yelled.

Stripped the pack, threw it to the ground, grabbed some rocks. “Bring it, motherfuckers!” I yelled, and moved to offense, into their zone. “¿Quieres mi dinero? ¡Saca! ¡Saca!” I raised the rocks and challenged them to advance. They backed down, cursed me, and slithered into the shadows, cursing me all the way back to the trash heap whence surely they’d come.

My heart raced.

Dammit, man! What are you doing? This is beyond stupidity!

Adrenaline pumping, body shaking, I walked on. Starving dogs defended their turf like ferocious gang lords, but in Guatemala I’d learned that they were really chickens, and that all that was required was a cool head, the projection of strength, and the demonstration of the tool-bearing ability possessed by humans, and they would keep their distance.

Where are these damn pyramids?

I humped my gear, through the night, through ground zero; to where, I had no idea. A pack of dogs surrounded me, screaming and foaming, hunched and bloodthirsty. These were not normal chicken-dogs simply defending their turf. Most likely they were wild and had nothing to defend. For the first time since leaving Texas, I was scared shitless. A truck drove by. I waved at the driver to let me in. He stopped not, drove on. The dogs closed in. I grabbed a handful of rocks, big ones, backed toward a wall to cover my rear, and tried to keep moving up the dusty street, out of their zone. The alpha male broke the line, teeth flashing, roaring his attack cry. He wanted a piece, and I gave it to him. I launched the heaviest stone in my arsenal at point-blank range, and to my surprise, connected, right in his muzzle. He dropped to the dirt. I heard his teeth smash, saw his face rip open. He twitched and whined. A puddle of blood soaked the dirt. The other dogs backed off.

I moved away from the dogs as fast as possible, heart pounding, surging with adrenaline and fear. At that moment I was so gripped with fear, with raw animal instinct, that I could have killed anything that stepped in my path, including scavenger beasts of the lower human stratum. I checked my back constantly, built speed.

What if the blow didn’t finish him? flashed in my brain.

Had I truly entertained the possibilities flowing from that question, I probably would have broken down with panic; I put them out of mind and walked, fast. Over my shoulder, I saw the alpha male rise and drag himself into a side street. The other dogs dispersed.

I felt horrible. I love dogs and hate violence. How many times had I cursed the people of Latin America for their barbaric treatment of animals? Maybe I had pulled the trigger too soon. Maybe I could have just kept walking. Or maybe those dogs were every bit as dangerous as they seemed. Maybe their full attack was imminent. Maybe it was either them or me. Maybe my instincts had served me well. All I wanted to do was curl up in a corner, in a pile of rancid garbage—it didn’t matter, as long as I was hidden—close my eyes, and wait for the sun to come out.

Two men emerged from the shadows. I approached them and asked where the pyramids were.

“No hay,” said the elder.

My heart sank. I almost imploded, cursed the bus driver and all of Peru. The elder of the two men figured out that I was trying to get to Túcume, and said it was in the next town. He was going to Chiclayo and would help me get there.

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Pyramids

I almost didn’t go. My nerves were so fried, my gauge so past empty, that I almost skipped Túcume, writing off a five-a.m. visit as one more in a long chain of unwise decisions. Then I realized that I had to have something to show for the hell I’d been through. So I dug deep, brought the nerves back into the fold, and reset the intention, to be fulfilled, come what may.

I made it to the next town at five in the morning, and a farmer walked me to the pyramids, a few miles off the highway. We stepped into a moonscape of dirt mounds, scorched earth, scrub brush, and eroded pyramids; made our way up and down through the labyrinth of ravines. We eventually climbed the largest pyramid, Purgatorio, and waited for the sun to rise. I was parched. My water bottle was on a bus, by now somewhere near Chiclayo. The sky was overcast. The dogs and roosters and burros of a nearby village sounded their maniacal revelry. The desert sun began to burn the haze, slowly illuminating our surroundings; the tortured, barren, expanse of Túcume unfolded below us. It was mysterious . . . and eerie, as if the ancient sands had swallowed the countless souls of those who had lingered here. I snapped a few pictures and told the farmer I was leaving. Didn’t I want to see the rest of the site in daylight? he asked. Nope, I just wanted to get out of that place, to anywhere less evil.

I made my way back to the road, crammed into a combi, and an hour later made it to Chiclayo, also a shithole. Three hours more to Trujillo, also a shithole. Four hours more to Pativilca, also a shithole. The entire northern Pacific coast of Peru that I experienced was a essentially shithole—post-apocalyptic, straight out of the Mad Max movies—mud hovels and concrete blocks, barren desert, pollution and refuse, mangy dogs, dirty humans, gross poverty, burning tires, dusty, hazy sky. The sectors of desert devoid of human influence are beautiful and mysterious, but they are few and far between. Mostly it was a sickly wasteland, heavy with a palpable negative vibration.

I hadn’t eaten for more than thirty-six hours by now because I was afraid to touch or eat anything in that godforsaken corner of the planet. I was about to pass out. Hadn’t bathed in four days, which normally wouldn’t be a big deal, but because I was enveloped by an oppressive, diseased air that caked my skin, it was a big deal. I’d been accosted and attacked, had succumbed to the primal depths of animal violence that I strive to avoid. I’d been lied to repeatedly. Finally, in Pativilca, I was so frazzled, so running on empty, that I broke the fast . . . with a warm, nauseating Peruvian beer and a pack of smokes, which I consumed three feet from the Panamericana, choking on a cloud of dust and diesel exhaust.

What the hell is the big to-do about Peru? I wondered. This place is a shithole, a wasteland of diseased contamination, raped earth, and the putrefaction of human spirit. What am I doing here? I want to see the women in Buenos Aires. I just want to experience Machu Picchu and get out of this country.

***

Scene: Name (Heading 2): Theory

I had a nice, neat theory worked up, even written out at one point. It explained why people in certain Latin American locations can be so nasty, so inhuman. In short, the theory went like this: The level of negative energy harbored by a given local population is directly proportional to that population’s level of contact with gringos. I had pages of evidence to support this. How the dirt-poor highland Maya of Guatemala, living far from the gringo trail, were some of the most beautiful people I’d encountered. How those living among gringos were often nasty. Story after story of gringos dealing with local people completely inappropriately . . . reams of those stories. How the Costa Ricans were the worst of the bunch, and how the Costa Ricans had had the longest-sustained direct contact with modern gringos because of their early investment in ecotourism.

I’m glad I never posted that thesis, because the people of northern Peru shattered it. Certainly I met some very nice people there, who were honest and helpful, but as a whole, these people harbored immense negative energy, and I don’t know why. Without doubt, the material poverty is a huge factor, but it’s more than that. Perhaps it has to do with spiritual poverty. The farmer who walked me to Túcume worked a plot of land right next to the pyramids. I asked him who built them. He said it was the Inca. It was not the Inca, but a coastal culture predating them by centuries.

It’s as though these people have been cut off from their past, manipulated by industrial interests, and forced onto the teat of a religion they don’t understand. The highland Maya of Guatemala, by contrast, have been slaughtered by the thousands, are forced to work the land for behemoth agro-transnationals, and have Catholicism and Evangelicism piped into their heads daily through bullhorns and amped-up speakers. And yet they resist, they maintain—their dress, their culture, their language, their beliefs, their spirituality—living as they’ve lived for hundreds of years; working the land; knowing that there exists only one true owner of the earth; attending the Christian churches to appease the government, yet all the while preserving their true religious practices, a storehouse of spiritual riches for their culture.

I was beginning to think that Latin America’s poverty, along with all that it manifests, was a direct result of the Spanish conquerors and their utter lack of long-term vision, not to say that many of their predecessors were much more strategic. The Aztec, Maya, and Inca were imperial civilizations, all of which sought to control their neighbors through military, political, and religious domination, to expand their territories, increase their production, and stuff their treasuries—nothing different from the imperial civilizations that exist today. But the Inca, at least, seemed to realize that conquering a neighbor is only the first step in a long-term, forward-looking process of integration, strengthening, and growth. They had an ingenious system for ensuring the efficient assimilation of their acquisitions, the smooth integration of cultures and peoples, and the firm allegiance of the conquered. Why were they different? I think it’s because they understood that gold and treasure enjoy elevated value in our human world only by virtue of our humanity, and as humans, we elevate their otherwise valueless existence within our collective mind. It would follow, then, that the true source of the world’s “wealth” is the collective mind of humanity, which subjectively grants and maintains its value.

At the height of its power, Spain looted the treasuries and stripped the mines of Latin America’s civilizations from Mexico to Chile, enjoying tremendous wealth and prosperity. But from what I can tell, Spain invested next to nothing in the development and exploitation of its true conquered assets, the human treasure, other than forcing the Spanish language and Catholicism into its collective mind. It shows. Spain has long since burned through its looted wealth, recovered from its binge-induced hangover, and sits quietly now, as a second-tier country, with nothing left to conquer. (I like Spain.) Latin America is a raped and pillaged land, largely cut off from its past, with no clear direction for its future, and a near-total lack of adequately developed human capital to take it there. (I like Latin America.)

So I no longer hold to that naive theory, and I now know the problem is not just direct contact with insensitive modern gringos. Perhaps it’s indirect contact, through the machinations of modern conquista: international banks, governments, and industry. Perhaps it’s something endemic to the people of this land. I don’t know. Maybe it’s not my place to know.

Scene: Name (Heading 2)

6: SQ + (AntInt?)_6

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Scene: Name (Heading 2)

***

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7: SQ + (Dbt2?)_7

Glyph or Image above; if image then Caption with keyword goes here.

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I walked into town to meet the owner of the horses. He sent me with Pablo, one of the guides, to return several horses to pasture. We rode two horses bareback across the valley, several others in tow, with an excited dog barking and going crazy, nipping at the horses all the way to pasture. It wasn’t much, but it was fun, and Pablo invited me back the next morning to retrieve the horses from pasture to be shod and groomed.

That afternoon I climbed to The Face, Mandanga in the indigenous tongue—a knob atop a mountain high above the valley, with a large white cross planted in its crest—so named because its outline resembles a face gazing into the heavens. This place has been sacred to the native people for millennia, and each year they throng to make the pilgrimage to pray for fertility in the valley below. I prayed during most of the ascent, that God reveal Himself, that He send some irrefutable sign, some shred of evidence that not all of my searching was in vain.

Upon reaching a lower summit, also marked by a cross, I encountered a gentleman from Venezuela and his children. The man and I talked for a few minutes about the bountiful valley below and the exalted knob on a foreboding cliff formation to the west, some two hundred feet above us. Then he launched directly into matters of the spirit. I like it when people get right to the point. We discussed Jesús Cristo and the power of faith. He gave me a prayer booklet about the Good Samaritan and a printed prayer with a rendering of Christ bowed to the Father.

I looked over my shoulder, up at the higher cross. The man asked if I was going there. I answered that I was. He said that it was dangerous, that many people had been badly injured sliding down the unstable gravel face. Was I still going, he asked. I answered that I was. He and his children said a long prayer for me, asking God to fill my heart with love when fear crept in, and to keep me safe. I was deeply touched, overwhelmed really, and thanked him repeatedly.

Then I hiked across the ridgeline to the cliff formation, rounded it to the west face, and began the final ascent through an almost vertical crevasse of loose gravel and renegade stones, falling and sliding more than once, clutching exposed roots to catch my fall. I reached the top and saw the man with his children far below. They waved and cheered. Again I was touched, and I returned their blessings with a few prayers of my own.

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First chapter paragraph. I walked into town to meet the owner of the horses. He sent me with Pablo, one of the guides, to return several horses to pasture. We rode two horses bareback across the valley, several others in tow, with an excited dog barking and going crazy, nipping at the horses all the way to pasture. It wasn’t much, but it was fun, and Pablo invited me back the next morning to retrieve the horses from pasture to be shod and groomed.

I walked into town to meet the owner of the horses. He sent me with Pablo, one of the guides, to return several horses to pasture. We rode two horses bareback across the valley, several others in tow, with an excited dog barking and going crazy, nipping at the horses all the way to pasture. It wasn’t much, but it was fun, and Pablo invited me back the next morning to retrieve the horses from pasture to be shod and groomed.

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That afternoon I climbed to The Face, Mandanga in the indigenous tongue—a knob atop a mountain high above the valley, with a large white cross planted in its crest—so named because its outline resembles a face gazing into the heavens. This place has been sacred to the native people for millennia, and each year they throng to make the pilgrimage to pray for fertility in the valley below. I prayed during most of the ascent, that God reveal Himself, that He send some irrefutable sign, some shred of evidence that not all of my searching was in vain.

Upon reaching a lower summit, also marked by a cross, I encountered a gentleman from Venezuela and his children. The man and I talked for a few minutes about the bountiful valley below and the exalted knob on a foreboding cliff formation to the west, some two hundred feet above us. Then he launched directly into matters of the spirit. I like it when people get right to the point. We discussed Jesús Cristo and the power of faith. He gave me a prayer booklet about the Good Samaritan and a printed prayer with a rendering of Christ bowed to the Father.

I looked over my shoulder, up at the higher cross. The man asked if I was going there. I answered that I was. He said that it was dangerous, that many people had been badly injured sliding down the unstable gravel face. Was I still going, he asked. I answered that I was. He and his children said a long prayer for me, asking God to fill my heart with love when fear crept in, and to keep me safe. I was deeply touched, overwhelmed really, and thanked him repeatedly.

Then I hiked across the ridgeline to the cliff formation, rounded it to the west face, and began the final ascent through an almost vertical crevasse of loose gravel and renegade stones, falling and sliding more than once, clutching exposed roots to catch my fall. I reached the top and saw the man with his children far below. They waved and cheered. Again I was touched, and I returned their blessings with a few prayers of my own.

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An epilogue provides comments outside the main action that give insight into what happened. The main actions in the book may take place in one period and the reader will want to know what happened afterward. That kind of follow-up could appear in an epilogue.

Afterword.

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(not “afterward”)

Conclusion.

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Likewise, I sometimes receive manuscripts that end abruptly without a proper conclusion. A dramatic climax, even an epilogue, is not the same as a conclusion that helps the reader look back at how far he has come and reminds him of the importance of that journey. It’s not obligatory, but it’s a terrific tool for sending your reader off charged with excitement about your book – and eager to tell other readers about it.”

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BACK MATTER <meta> (Arabic #s).

Notes.

back matter is numbered with arabic numerals and continues numbering where the text leaves off.

Appendix, appendices.

Glossary.

Acknowledgments. [TOC]

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Acknowledments

[before or after bibliography; may include extended permissions credits] [note spelling--no “e” before “ments”]

Bibliography, reference list.

List of contributors.

Index.

Errata .

Colophon.

optional (bibliographical note about design, designer, typography, other general info about book production “this was a special printing, etc.”)

Back Mkt TOC (Arabic # in TOC) (separate Word doc). (3pg) [Conversion = Visit Site & Email].

About the Author. (1pg)

Books by Author. (1pg)

Get in Touch. (1pg)

PrimalTonic.com. (1pg)


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Books by Author. [TOC]

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Title

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Title

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About the Author. [TOC]

About the Author

at very back and/or on back flap copy

Free on sidewalk, I started running. With my shopping bags. At midday under the Bangkok sun. May I remind you, that on a regular morning jog people started at me like I was insane when I took to the road for a jog. Let alone a foreigner, running in the noon heat with their shopping.

I got about 10 minutes down the road, as the traffic along side of me thinned. Sure enough as I was jogging along the bus I had defiantly disembarked crept up behind me. If this had been in the US, I’m sure the bus would have blown by me as the passengers remarked how dumb I had been to get off and run. But in a pure Thai manner, the bus began to honk its horn to get my attention. (and perhaps to ensure that anyone in the entire vicinity who hadn’t already been watching me was now).

The driver pulled the bus up beside me, opened its doors and beckoned me back in. In my perfect memory all the people on the bus cheered when I hopped back on, but perhaps I was just hallucinating from near heat exhaustion, and they were all just smiling in their patient way that I obviously hadn’t mastered.

Get in Touch.

Get in Touch

Share Buttons (Huge).

Twitter

Facebook,

Amazon

Instagram Image.

“Follow Me on Amazon”.

PrimalTonic.com. [TOC]

www.PrimalTonic.com

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www.PrimalTonic.com

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www.PrimalTonic23.com

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In 1997 I moved to Bangkok to teach English writing at a Thai university. I was young, impatient, idealistic, and determined. (I’m still impatient, idealist and determined, but older now). Bangkok 14 years ago was also much like it is today: crazy, chaotic, congested and operating by its own set of western-logic-free rules. In short, Bangkok was ready to eat me alive with a smile.

For some unknown reason, idealistic and determined me chose to train for my first ever half-marathon in Bangkok, one of the hottest and most air-polluted cities in the world. This story could be about how many times I tripped in a gaping hole in the pavement while running and fell flat on my face while smiling Thais looked on and giggled, or about how I both passed out and placed in that very race I ran. But those stories are for another time. This story is about my weekend running ritual.

My 1997 home in Bangkok was approximately three miles on foot from the well-known Jatujak weekend market. It was the cheapest place to buy anything I could possibly ever need or not need. Each weekend I’d brave the heat, grey air, three legged dogs, and missing sidewalks and put in some miles. On days when I needed to shop, I’d defeat Bangkok traffic by running one way to the market, doing a few laps around the park, finishing my shopping, and hopping the bus home.