Category Archives: free ebooks

A stone by any other name would smell…

Well my niece weighed in on the great stone/poo affair and that did it! Announcing the withdrawal of the cover with the stone formerly known as Poo. I have left no stone unturned in my bid to love all and give unnecessary offence to none. ūüôā The carved side of the stone is duly presented to you now (as seen on Smashwords – it’s going up on Amazon kindle and Apple etc when they process it:

How to Love Everyone and Everything – Starting With a Stone

We assume we know what love is, and that we just ‘need more of it in the world’, but we have huge emotional and mental obstacles to actually attempting to be ‘more loving’ ourselves. Here are 7 things love ISN’T, and the one thing it IS – and it’s probably not what you think. Once we’re clear on what love is, we can be much more relaxed about practicing it in real life – starting with a stone… More
If you haven’t downloaded it already and read it and reviewed/rated it, I exhort you to now! ¬†Here: How to Love Everyone and Everything – starting with a stone¬†I think you ¬†will like! It’s the most non-threatening book on love I know of ūüôā
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Can we love excrement?

Oh dear! ¬† Started the year with a well-intentioned little ebook close to my heart called ‘How to Love everyone and Everything – starting with a stone’, ¬†(uploaded here as a free ebook:¬†https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/604151¬†) and the first Facebook comment I got was, ‘It looks like a turd…’ Back to earth with a thud! But the friend goes on to say ‘…Not a bad place to start though.’ And yes, I think it is… if we can reflect on what excrement is so good for – apart from keeping us alive by departing from our intestines! It turns to compost and fertilizes new life in abundance…

Here is the good author of Humanure, a book that should enthuse anyone about excrement Рand horrify them about our present wasteful sewerage practices!

 

bucket_empty1

http://humanurehandbook.com/index.html

Ah, the circle of life! Some beauty to be found at every point, however humble… it all depends on our perspective. Thank you, life!

And now I have to quote Nietzsche on the matter:

“To the clean are all things clean”- thus say the people. I, however, say to you: To the swine all things become swinish!

Therefore preach the visionaries and bowed-heads (whose hearts are also bowed down): “The world itself is a filthy monster.”

For these are all unclean spirits; especially those, however, who have no peace or rest, unless they see the world from the backside – the afterworldly!

To those do I say it to the face, although it sound unpleasantly: the world resembles humanity, in that it has a backside – so much is true!

There is in the world much filth: so much is true! But the world itself is not therefore a filthy monster!

There is wisdom in the fact that much in the world smells badly: loathing itself creates wings, and fountain-divining powers!

In the best there is still something to loathe; and the best is still something that must be overcome!-

O my brothers, there is much wisdom in the fact that much filth is in the world!

Рfrom Thus Spake Zarathustra,  Of Old and New Lawtables.

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How to Love Everyone and Everything – starting with a stone

Happy New Year! This was uploaded around midnight.

How to Love Everyone and Everything – starting with a stone

how to love everyone cover copy

It’s free for now – download and enjoy! Let me know what you think – review or just give it some stars on Smashwords… I’ll be putting it up on Kindle now, but their minimum price is 99c unless they decide to ‘price match.’.

 

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The Passing of my Mother, and a Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

My mental finger has been hovering over the ‘reset button’ of my life as I approach the sobering age of sixty (On June 25th 2014). More so since my mother unexpectedly caught pneumonia and died last week, aged 92.

Leone harris funeral sheet  page two monday 2  june 2014

Such is the reality of all process – it is governed not by what has gone before, no matter how often, but by systems of cause and effect – 60 years with a mother, now suddenly no mother. The human body being what it is, and the Western diet, etc, this was not unlikely. The human psyche being what it is, it’s not surprising that it caught us all a bit by surprise. We were settling in for the longer haul, as she had stabilised and seemed quite perky. Raewyn and I were looking to try and buy a house in Whangarei, start a ‘Eutopian flat’, practicing the principles of Eutopia in the microcosm of a homely house, and taking turns with sisters Penny and Rose and brother John to visit mum every day until she turned 100 and beyond, if that was to be…

Now? Well the night she took a turn for the worse, I had begin moving my stuff into the bigger studio in the Quarry Arts Centre. Yesterday after the burial I completed that move. Now that we have sold the physical Eutopia in Kaiwaka, the Quarry is the closest thing to a stable manifestation of Eutopia (a ‘Good Place’) in my life. So we may stay on in Whangarei and keep doing Eutopian things at and around the Quarry, and buy that Eutopian house. I don’t know…

[Trivia alert!] Meanwhile here at my sister’s barn where we have lived since mum was in the rest home, we have a menagerie of one old cat Max, which younger son Robert brought back (originally 17 years ago found as an abandoned kitten by daughter Xanthe), Honey, Anna’s yappy doglet who kept waking Bruno her baby¬†son; big dog Zoe which elder son Daniel left with us upon taking off to teach English in Kazakstan; and our own Poppy mother of Honey, also a bit of a barker. Last night Max climbed a painting ladder up into our garret and set Honey off barking hysterically. I staggered up and threw Honey out and shut the door. Cat feet padding across the bed alerted me to the cause of said barking. So I got up again and threw cat out, apologised to Honey and let her back in. Woke up a bit depressed, feeling very mortal, first day without a mum above ground. Took dogs for a walk, big dog Zoe got over-excited playing fetch and bit onto my hand as I held the stick up to throw it for her. Was thinking of doing some ferrocement work, begin the couch to put by the waterfall at the Quarry:

A vision of the Quarry Arts Centre, Whangarei, with domes on the high ledge. Painted in Gisborne October 2013, in acrylics on melamine-coated mdf I found dumped up the hill on reserve land. Photoshopped to make the sofa bigger!

Now I might get to do some painting before day is over.. if I get up the gumption – the market value of my art works is… unknown but approaching zero market cap, like me. I bought this painting, Dark House, ¬†back when it surfaced on Trademe auction site. See it on my pinterest¬†http://www.pinterest.com/pin/173740498099294937/[/embed]

'Dark House' by Peter Harris c. 1970, labelled no. 5 from the Denby exhibition. Someone told me it was for sale again on Trademe and I bought it back - I don't remember who bought it originally, but it had ended up in the estate of a painting restorer in Auckland, and a trademe dealer bought it in ?March 2014. I paid $55.55 for it - a bargain at half the price! :)

As the only bidder, I got it for NZ$55.55 (I wanted to bid a figure that would strike awe in any other would-be bidder) .

Sigh… Good to have it back though. For me. And pretty good to think I still can pick up a brush and paint, just like 42 years ago when I painted it, even if left hand a bit sore from dog bite… Painting has always come easily to me, as has carving. Which is probably why I’ve mistrusted it and not done it full-time. Protestant work ethic, thanks a lot – NOT! So I mostly did ridiculous things with my talents, like make spinning wheels and photoframes and print other people’s books. Thanks to brother John, I have written some fiction books, about ¬†three quarters of a million words I guess by now. But these too lie undiscovered, apart from the ebook volume one of the Apples of Aeden, at 200,000 words a bargain at $0.00 on smashwords. That one has rung up about 4,000 free downloads but no known reviews (I would have welcomed one star even, if only they had bothered to say something). and volumes 2-4 priced at $3.99 have combined sales of 360 copies. There goes 15 years of my life…

YET I am not now despondent. ¬†Now I am free of any present lure to tow the line, sell out and prosper, I am quite joyfully resolved to write and paint and sculpt and start Eutopian flats or new systems of investing in the Flow, for ME, not for any protestant work ethic or other shoulds of any external kind. ¬†(And Raewyn now knows it’s our only chance of anything like a living from my side of the partnership, and is resigned to peter the artist in a garret).

Why do I trust Me rather than these shoulds? Because Me is authentic, and external shoulds are not. Of course I do have internal shoulds, but they are of the living kind, authentic, first-hand, dynamic. So many millions of folk have died never having authentically lived past nine or so. I have some life left, lots of experience, many memories of wonder and creation, and much clearer focus now than 43 years ago when I set out as an ‘Artist’ off to Art School. ¬†I could have begun then painting and sculpting and keeping the inner fires burning bright, but my fears of damnation if I should die without knowing the ‘meaning of life’ kept me from it. Once or twice it seemed the Empire of Sacred Shoulds seemed to have got hold of me for good, but I wriggled free, impoverished¬†and bedraggled, but free, on the outside of the Great Wall which separates the beneficiaries of the Empire from those in outer darkness/wilderness/wasteland.

A painting inspired by a ?1970 visit to Limestone Island, Whangarei, with its ruined brick limeworks. Oil on canvas board, ?1970

Now I realize I should have stayed on the outside all along, built something there, until (as does happen) the walls opened up and accepted some of the outer ground I colonised for the majority on the Inside to enjoy. Because of course the Empire is the Status Quo, Robert Pirsig’s Static Quality, the realm of the tried and true, That Which Works (more or less), and we need it, directly or indirectly. In my philosophy it is the Purple Zone, and around it are the Dynamic Zones of Blue and Green, Yellow and Red, where the new new Thing is discovered, tried, tested and applied for the first time. The Bleeding Edge. That’s where people like me do their best work – sometimes their only work… It’s not so bad out here, if you know that’s where your lifespring is. And out here, age doesn’t matter so much. When you say Me, my Creation, my Work, my Bliss, you are just being the Child you always were. Become Yourself and do as you will, and all things will be full of life and energy, and light (adversities notwithstanding). Or bow your neck to the yoke of the Empire of Should, and all things become heavy, laborious, lifeless imitations of real Life (prosperity, security and wealth notwithstanding).

Thus spake Zarathustra/Pirsig/the Wizard of Eutopia/the Child Within. ¬†Or as writer¬†Gaiman¬†says, whatever life throws at you, “Do good Art”. See the speech here:¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikAb-NYkseI

<iframe width=”640″ height=”390″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/ikAb-NYkseI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Well, I’ve inspired myself. The golden afternoon sun is shining through the garret window, and Raewyn is coming home soon. I hope she likes these magic beans I’ve traded the afternoon for. As for me, I think I’ll plan my first post-parental painting. An epitaph, maybe, set in the Quarry in the golden afternoon of my life. Sun, keep shining a little longer on all of us who dare to really live, and are willing to sell our last holy cow to do so…

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A Bio page as personal manifesto

Today I was lured back into the realm of writing if only to add an ‘author profile’ to the Amazon UK site, after an unprecedented¬†overnight spike in sales there (well, 6 actual paid sales at 99c each), spurred me out of my deep resignation at the jadedness of the web book consumers of the world. Here’s what I wrote. It was fun! Almost I inspire myself to finish the last 100 pages of the edits of the Apples of Aeden, Volume IV… How much difference a little positive feedback via sales or reviews or even LIKES or ratings can have on us! So many free downloaders, so few reviewers! I mean, like at least 5000 of my free ebooks so far this year and maybe one or two rating/reviews if I’m lucky… Am I really that ho-hum? Don’t answer that – or do: anything is better than the yawning faceless silence of the free downloaders.

pic of peter 15kb

 

Although I am an ‘Antipodean’ from New Zealand, my deepest sympathies lie with Tolkien and the True West, and therefore with England, or to be accurate what C.S.Lewis calls ‘Logres’, the true heart of England. So I have been gratified to see my sales on the UK Amazon site increasing to rival those of the US site. Wonderful! Hence this author profile (the US one doesn’t feed through to the UK site).

I write fantasy, or rather, I have a World into which I disappear from time to time in order to discover more of it by writing, just as I still often disappear into Middle Earth for my bedtime reading. I hope my World of Aeden will inspire ‘secondary belief’ for others just as Tolkien’s world (and C.S.Lewis’s) did for me. And a yearning for something that is beyond all Worlds.

Now, I need to confess to not being (not for many years) a Christian like my two greatest fantasy-writing heroes, but I am a Platonist, a Pagan, and a Romantic, and I hope I have done no violence to the real values of either of those wonderful wizards of the imagination. Also in sometimes styling myself the ‘Wizard of Eutopia’, I hope I do not put off any Christians of open mind. Gandalf rather than Merlin is my greatest wizardly inspiration. And I do not cast spells on people – well, not by hocus pocus. But I do believe in Magic, in that, as I say in ‘How to be a Wizard’, Life is magical and we are too.

So, I am a ‘Eutopian’, believing that a ‘Good Place’ or piece of true civilisation, can and should be created wherever we live, and in whatever age we find ourselves. Especially important in an ‘Age of Jade’ such as the one we seem to be slipping into, where everything has been seen on TV or You Tube and the sense of wonder at lovingly created artefacts and ideals seems to be at an all-time low, and all future fictions are Dystopias…

If what I’ve said resonates with you I think you will like all my books, fiction and non-fiction. If not, you will probably think them hopelessly idealistic, romantic and optimistic. I suppose you could read ‘Fantastic Ferrocement’ and be a Dystopian DIY, or even get something out of ‘Happiness – It’s Now or Never’ if you believe in ‘Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die’. I think there is much, much more to happiness than that, though, and I hope ‘The Apples of Aeden’ will help remind you what it once was, and can be again.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B007SZAGA4

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A New ebook on the vexed question of why Nerds so often ‘fail’

This is Letter Two in the series I called ‘If You’re so Smart, How Come You Ain’t Rich’ – a money handbook strictly for the Nerds.

Simple Nodes Prosper – Letter Two of the series “If you’re so Smart, How Come You Ain’t Rich?”

Nonfiction¬†¬Ľ¬†Business & Economics¬†¬Ľ¬†Motivational
Essay¬†¬Ľ¬†Business

Cover for 'Simple Nodes Prosper - Letter Two of the series "If you're so Smart, How Come You Ain't Rich?"'

By Peter Harris
Rating: Not yet rated.
Published: April 20, 2013
Words: 1,993 (approximate)
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301465965

Description

More advice, strictly for the Nerds, from the heart and mind of a serial entrepreneur idealist nerd who is now finally getting exactly what it takes to succeed in the actual (socially driven) world. (No principles were injured in the making of this book.)

Go to:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/308238

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Free ebook on the Wheel of Wisdom Game

Now all go – see www.qor.co.nz

cover 820pm 12 0213 copy

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