afpblog

just in time for book-release week
YOU CAN NOW GET “THE ART OF ASKING” ON AMAZON…
!!!! WAR IS OVER !!!!

goddamn.

you’ll see there are a variety of formats (hardcover, kindle/ebook, audiobook via CD or digital download) and should you encounter a dreaded message like this, do know that they ARE hurrying to get everything in stock as we speak. or as i type this. or as you read this. or maybe it’s all “in stock” by now. ANYWAY…

this is all to say that finally - awesomely - copies of

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are now somewhere in the ocean of amazon-land…
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you probably already bought it from your local independent bookstore, because you’re awesome like that (THANK YOU), so i’m going to call this entire exercise a win-win-win for everybody. FUCK YEAH GUYS, WAY TO GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER!!!!
#‎hooray

here’s the story ‘bout it, via the times: nyti.ms/1pXFpwM



i asked neil if he would include my book in his blog yesterday. and he did. i’ve been asking the people coming to the shows every night to please spread the word once they read (and if they like) the book. and now…people of tumblr and my blog, people of the internet at large (and the facebook microcosm)…i’m asking you. so many of you poured out your stories, your hearts, and your help to get this book off the ground.

so to anyone who shared advice, stories, suggestions here on the blog: i couldn’t thank you all in the acknowledgments (which are already like 8 pages long)….but i know you’re there.

THANK YOU.

i poured my fucking bloody heart and soul and brain into this book for the past year. i hope, more than anything, to make you guys proud.
a lot of it is the story this community – what i’ve learned from being here. i hope when you read it, you see yourselves there.

you’ve been watching. it was a brutal road to get here.

and……now, i’m also taking a page out of my own book (kinda almost literally) and i’m asking for your help.

PLEASE HELP ME SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE BOOK. it should be in your local bookstore. if it isn’t: ASK THEM TO ORDER IT!

if you want to order it online: wherever you’re from, we have a list of where to get ithachette made one, too…and if you like ebooks or audiobooks (which i read myself), ALL the info is here on my site.

and most important: if and when you read (or listen to) it, and if it touches you, if you like it: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE TELL PEOPLE. all the promoting in the world won’t do what you can do. no amazon, no full-page ad in the new york times, no giant billboard in times square can do as much as a person telling another person that a book is worth reading. you are my word-of-mouth warriors.

so i ask: share this tumblr, write a blog about how it hit you, write a review (and add it to your shelves) on goodreads or amazon, write a tumblr, write a facebook post, tweet the link, instagram photos of you with it (use the hashtag #TheArtOfAsking and feel free to tag me), tell your aunt elanor, give it to your graduating nephew…buy a stack of copies and hide them in your employees bathroom under the maxi pads…i need you guys. you are my word of mouth, and i’ve never needed you more. get creative. there’s no rules about how to promote a book.

i hope, most of all, that the book creates a bigger conversation about love, art, connection, human beings, the internet, and how we can take this bizarre moment in history to help each other fearlessly.

here’s to the extroverted taylor swifts, the introverted PJ harveys, the george bushes, to the dalai lamas, the U2s, and to everybody on earth.

we’re all in this together.

and you……thank you guys, for everything.

here’s to you.
without you, none of this would have existed.

xxx
AFP

homelessnesslessnessless

overnight we became a twitter-mass of 800,000. in return, i wrote a really rambling poetic & painful blog. iz what it be. below, as posted earlier on my blog.



it isn’t even fair to say the word.

but i have my own version of it:
i always have

it used to be funny….where i was at home.

more happy when alone with the doors locked tight behind me in the music practice rooms of high school 
22 cubic feet of concrete and a shit upright 
more at home there than in the giant living room of my house with lurking humans in the kitchens, the bedrooms….

human ears - probably not even listening, who knew - that invaded a sense of freedom

DONT LISTEN TO ME

i didn’t want anyone listening

(funny given how desperate i was, in general, to be heard)

BUT LOVE ME

i remember this being a problem in general - the messages always mixed

i remember my first solo piano show - that was a dark one - that room i played in, for 20 people, it was living-room-y
carpeted, grand piano, grandeur
i was so afraid 

and my friend will greene was doing sound for me 
there was barely a system at all, but i wanted to record that show to four-track - to have a record of it

and we tweaked the sound and once we got it right 
will stayed while i practiced and pulled out a book
and my face started burning
and i couldn’t stand the idea of him sitting there
READING
while i practiced and ran through my set : my songs
the ones that nobody had ever heard

and i banished him

i think i said something to the effect of

if you’re not actually listening to me, can you just leave?

oh, amanda

classic

home growing up my room was a temple
everyone was banished and the walls were covered from floor to ceiling with an ever-growing collage
most of the images were meaningless - cut out of magazines
newspapers
old lost mix tape covers
ex-boyfriend cigarette boxes
xeroxed of drawings
shells the envelopes that housed love letters
secrets that only i could uncode
all stuck up there with scotch tape over the course of years
and years 
and years

my parents recently stripped the walls

a few weeks ago

they didn’t warn me.
i was really angry.

i would have come to say goodbye, to have my moment with the last artifacts of my childhood
i would have pulled each relic down, one by one, remembering the stories

but sometimes we don’t get the long-drawn-out cancer
we get the heart attack

and we don’t get time to say goodbye

my mother went above and beyond and photographed the walls before they stripped them

and sent the photos in 16 emails that are sitting in my inbox that i cannot open

and….

i mean

seriously amanda

some peoples houses burn down….

STFU.

i remember when anthony’s mother jackie died and they had to sell the house

he’d grown up there and even lived there for a few years as an adult during a crazytime

he said

we’ve lost 

homebase

that point to which he and his brother would always return -
the scene of the crime (and you’ll get that more if you’ve read his book, but whatever)

but still:

home nonetheless

every memory i lose leaves me a little loster
every stranger in my personal space leaves me a little more homeless

and so that’s the hilarious part

i feel more at home in a cafe where i know i can look up and see the same disfigured pipes

or the same portrait of jimi hendrix
than i do in a lonely invadable space

than i do in a hotel room belonging to the disconnected souls of yesterday and tomorrow
than i do with you if you’re not listening to me

and i’m writing this TED talk and going blah blah blah blah about risk and shame and my noble ability
to surf on every couch and connect at the deepest levels of trust with a crowd of intimate strangers

but man FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCK if you actually cross my lines and pry into the box of privacy that i must keep locked

the more i share, the more i live publicly, the more couches upon which i surf, the more dressing rooms i must share with 15 others

the more desperately i need retreat
the more i need the sanctuary
the more i need a holy place of total privacy, of safety

and 
funny enough
that doesn’t mean a place with no people.

you see
privacy and safety 
to me
don’t mean 

alone.

it is why i don’t feel invaded when a stranger approaches me 

but why i do when a loved one knocks at the wrong time when the do not disturb sign is up.

always been that way.

i’ve been sitting in the car lately, outside the house, listeneing to NPR and talking on the phone for hours in my coat and hat and gloves

i feel safer.

who said that?

oh, gary.

Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It’s the only way to live
In cars

Here in my car
I can only receive
I can listen to you
It keeps me stable for days
 
so, yeah, i like sitting in the car more than being in the house.

it’s safer.

i remember that feeling i got ….

i was in college, or just out

and i’d been to a family funeral that left me feeling so alone, so lost, so unloved, so disconnected that i wept the whole drive to new york in my shitty volvo

i was staying with friends that night - but barely friends, college acquaintances, a handful of poets and musicians that i’d spent some times with - in a strange loft

and i found the joint, walked up the many stairs and into a wooden church of company

wine was poured, i shed a few more tears, told them how sad i was, how tired, how lost

and my poet friend set me up on a futon in the other room, and pointed a space heater at my head (the loft was cold)

and he wrapped me in a blanket 

and as the space heater blasted rays of warmth onto my body and the blanket shrouded me
he walked back into the main kitchen
where 3 people played guitar and laughed
and sang 
and talked

and their voices sent me off to sleep

and i felt
perfectly

alone

and perfectly

at home.

i like being alone around people.

we all need to find home

and

it isn’t a house
but it can be

it isn’t a cafe
but it can be

it isn’t a relationship
but it can be

it is a space you must define

and only you know what it is

and only you know what it looks like.

i don’t have any songs for you….
i’m not sure where they are

i’ve only written two new songs in the past two years.

all i have for you right now is this blog.

it’ll have to be enough.

i’m homeless right now.

and i need to get home.

i want to get home.

i have to get home.

i have to get home.

there’s no place like home.
 
that’s where the music comes from.