I’ve written a book!
You read that right. I have written a book.
I didn’t plan to. It wasn’t my intention. But isn’t that what life is? The things we do while meaning to do something else? All I know is that I am really proud of it, and I can’t wait for everyone to read it.
Here’s what happened:
Back in 2016, Jaimie and I decided to leave Charleston. The problem is, there weren't that many places we could move. It’s not like we could settle in Sioux Falls, SD and let the entertainment industry come to us.
Here were the options:
New York- Already lived there.
Los Angeles- Rule #452 “Don’t go to LA until you’re asked.”
Chicago- Average temperature: One.
Dallas- I’m not moving to Dallas.
Seattle- Can’t even.
Minneapolis- Average temperature: Negative One.
Nashville- Don’t like boots.
DC- Don’t like the Nationals.
New Orleans- Don’t like voodoo.
There was one city left:
Jaimie was thrilled. At 16 years old she started college in Atlanta and had the time of her life. She was going to be able to take acting classes, audition for film and TV. She got a full time job two weeks before she moved. All signs were pointing to this being her place.
I was excited too. I had spent a lot of time in Atlanta during my previous life. My ex-wife was from Stone Mountain, so during our visits I would take a night or two and go do stand up around the city. It was a blast. The comics were good. The crowds were amazing. I did a show once that billed itself as an “open mic” that had 100 real audience members. There were never 100 real audience members at an open mic in New York. Those were more like a small gathering of under employed crazy people plying each other with their inane ramblings. So when I walked into that “open mic” with 100 real audience members, I was like, “screw these new jokes. I’m about to tear this room to shreds.”
Which is exactly what I did.
So Jaimie and I moved to Atlanta on a Thursday. That following Monday I hit the ground running. I was writing jokes every day, performing 5-6 nights a week. Perhaps the best thing I did was revive one of my old habits from my NYC stand up days. Once every couple weeks I would run jokes with my buddy Nick Cobb.
Nick is someone I met in New York. We hit it off immediately. It was as if I had known him my entire life. He had a good run of things- he made it a couple of rounds on Last Comic Standing. He did a spot on the Craig Ferguson show.
Nick and his beautiful, talented wife Amy moved to LA in 2012. We still kept in touch, but me doing stand up again gave us an excuse to talk on the phone every week. It was so great. We would work on setups and punch lines, suggest call backs and edits.
Then in January of 2017 I started to feel bad.
Then March of 2017 I was diagnosed with cancer.
Then April of 2017 I was started chemo.
One day, at the start of one of our sessions, Nick asked me how a new bit of mine was working. I had to tell him I hadn’t tried it. You see, despite of all the things that were happening to me, I was still writing. I was still doing a hour and half in the morning and an hour and a half at night. The problem was I couldn’t try any of it out. Being on chemo made it difficult to go to the open mic at Frank’s Chuckle Hut.
“Ah man that’s too bad,” Nick replied.
“About the cancer? Yeah I know.”
“No, that you aren’t using any of your new stuff. It’s really good. Have you thought about writing a blog?”
“Not really. Blogs are for losers.”
“A friend of mine just got a TV pilot from of her blog.”
“I am DEFINITELY starting a blog.”
So I did. And much to my surprise, people read it. Newspapers wrote stories about it. Magazine published excerpts of it. I turned that blog into my show Stages, and now I’m turning it into a book. It’s called Hope in the Time of Chemo.
Hope in the Time of Chemo is a David Sedaris style collection of blogs and essays that focus on the joys and challenges of living life in the face of cancer.
The book will be available to purchase on Friday, May 1, but you can pre-order it now through by sending $25 to my PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Venmo (David-Nelson-12). Upon payment I will send you a confirmation email and get your mailing address. The price of the book includes shipping.
To celebrate, I am doing a Book Release/Book Reading performance in Charleston, SC on April 26 at 34 West, (200 Meeting Street.) We have two shows. One at 3pm show and another at 7pm show. Tickets are $35 and that comes with the hour performance AND a copy of the book! Link to tickets is in the comments. I’ve been doing these blog reading shows for the past couple of months and they have been going really well. April 26 promises to be an exiting night in the theatre!
That’s it! As always, information about shows and upcoming projects can be found on my website. Go by a book and a ticket to a show!