L. Kris Gowen, Lee Barkmann, Philip Kenney (Inkwater Press)

L. Kris Gowen has a prosperous career, a loving partner, a strong circle of friends … until tragedy strikes. She turns to karaoke: a source of joy. With a half-formed plan and a need to sing, she takes off on a 17,774-mile karaoke road trip through America. She reconnects with old friends, makes new ones—and heals. Each time Kris takes the microphone, she sheds a little more grief, stepping into a world where everyone is accepted simply for singing a song they love. In One Nation Under Song: My Karaoke Journey Through Grief, Joy, and America, readers gain an insider’s look at the unique culture of karaoke while riding and singing along with the author on her once-in-a-lifetime journey.

In Digging Up New Business: The Swiftpad Takeover, GG has a plan to capture the whole world’s attention. She hooks up with local pothead Kip to create SwiftPad, a renegade social media app that promises to convert the world’s fascination with itself into billions in cash for the crew and their backers. But when a sadistic killer’s handiwork is uncovered, new clues to an old crime point to Portland’s IT community. He is out there, using his high-tech talent to mock efforts to catch him. Digging Up New Business is a raffish, satiric account of how we are coping with the sweeping changes of recent decades.

The Writer’s Crucible provides a map for navigating the turbulent, emotional waters of a creative life. It does so by helping writers understand the psychology of vulnerability. Perhaps the most common vulnerability we face is the persistent sense of not being good enough. This troubling insecurity is often present in even the most successful writer, who, despite success, is subject to episodes of self-doubt that undermine creativity. To help authors manage this core experience, The Writer’s Crucible offers an in-depth exploration of the psychological underpinnings governing the internal narrative, “I am not enough.” That knowledge enables readers to begin undoing emotional constrictions and connect with an inner source of spiritual nourishment, allowing creative energies to move with greater freedom. The Writer’s Crucible is not a book that tells you how to write—it is one that shows you how to be a writer.

L. Kris Gowen, PhD, EdM, received her doctorate in Child and Adolescent Development from Stanford University and her Master of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is also the author of Sexual Decisions: The Ultimate Teen Guide, a book for youth. She lives in Portland, Oregon–despite her dislike of gray skies. Her favorite artists to karaoke are Donna Summer and Olivia Newton-John.

Lee Barckmann was born in South New Jersey in 1951. He played little League baseball, fished and hunted and otherwise had a Huckleberry Finn childhood. He went to college at the University of Kansas with a track scholarship, but was injured freshman year. Lee then became involved in the anti-war movement on campus.
He graduated in 1973 with a BA Economics and in History. Lee moved to Utah, then Oregon, and wrote his first (unpublished) novel in between learning Mandarin and working several jobs. Lee was invited to teach English in China, where he taught for 2 1/2 years. He returned to the US in late 1987. Lee started an IT career, changing jobs frequently for 25 years until retiring in 2015. He now lives in Wilsonville, Oregon with his wife, Mary, as a fulltime writer.

Philip Kenney has practiced psychotherapy and meditation for over thirty years in Portland, Oregon. In addition to these practices, he writes poetry, fiction, and essays on culture, psychology, and the spiritual challenges of our time. Mr. Kenney’s understanding of the many emotional vulnerabilities facing writers and artists is based on his own experiences as well as those of the creative people he sees in his psychotherapy practice. Having worked with these talented people through hours of intimate psychotherapy, and having heard and felt their considerable pain—the pain of feeling not good enough—he was moved to write this book.