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The Return of Teddy

Reality of the Unreal Mind has a strange effect on people. Before I released Teardrop Road and Normal Street, I sent it to a lot of different people to read. Writers call these beta readers, and they let you know how they feel about it and what problems they might find in your work. As you can imagine, I was nervous. Handing my life over to people to just give me their opinion. A lot of the people I chose were in the book itself. I did this on purpose. I wanted to know how the people I was talking about were going to receive the book. I got a varied response. Some people could handle Teardrop but Normal Street was too intense for them. I get that. One person in particular was furious. He thought he should be in the book more. That’s just his personality.

I started finding out that some people thought they knew the story. They had lived such a rich experience with me that they expected there would be very few mysteries. But Reality has stories no one had seen. And even though me and Bekah had spoken extensively about the experiences of my life, there were still surprises for her to find. There are people who actually said, “I already know this story.” But the youngest story I have in Reality starts when I was five. And now I’m 45. So I can safely say that anybody who thinks they know the story of my life, you don’t.

I made out a bunch of postcards, sending them to people I thought the stories would be special to. I could have sent out 400 postcards. But who can afford that, right? I ended up sending out about 97, and there’s still two here I don’t have addresses for. Anyway, one reached a character in the book whose name is Teddy. It spoke of special times the two of us had shared together, and it left him with questions. And that postcard left him with a desire to know. To know a friend that he thought he had known. Well, he ended up reading the books. He ended up enjoying the books. There’s so much he didn’t expect. And the main premise of the autobiography, I guess I say premise because I’m a fantasy writer. The main topic of the autobiography wasn’t known to him at all. He told me when he got here that he had devoured the books, when he completed his seven-hour trip from Texas, just to stand before me, look me in the face, hug me, and know that I was real, that he had been unable to put those books down. He described an experience in which he was not able to read the books in the morning. It put him in a headspace that made navigating the rest of his day nearly impossible. But when the story had been read he came to see me.

So that was my weekend. I got to hang out with Teddy, who I had not seen since 1995. And I got to find out who he turned into. Showed up Thursday at 6. He left Sunday at 10 in the morning. The trip straddled his birthday, so on the 12th, which was yesterday, Teddy turned 45. Well, I’m not one to let a birthday go by and I’m not one to miss a chance for a celebration. So in less than four days I threw together a goat party. I expected five people, maybe six. Eleven showed up. One couple came purely out of magic. They had been invited in November, my son was spending the night at their house this weekend, and the woman said she had wanted to come but the date had been wrong for her in November. Willow piped up right away and said, “We’re having one tonight. You should come.”

These parties always get rowdy. I guess it’s kinda the point. A two- to three-hour drinking party styled off of a barbarian drinking hall is meant to get rowdy. But last night’s party was crazy. The couple who dropped into my house last night by a miracle had a quiet man who said he would hold back quite a bit because he was reserved. Ended up creating a new aspect of the song I never could have seen coming. It just lifted The Goats of Breastion to a new level.

Reality of the Unreal Mind brought Teddy to my door this weekend. Reality of the Unreal Mind gave me back a friend I thought I’d never see again. And Reality of the Unreal Mind brought a new level to a different piece of art I had created. I wonder what Reality of the Unreal Mind would do if you read it. I wonder whose doorstep you would land on. If you were friends with me, maybe mine. If not, then maybe my story would lead you to a long lost friend. If that happens, the music is on my website.

The Goats of Breastion

Here is a link to The Goats of Breastion. If you go to my website you’ll see samples of parties that we’ve sung. You’ll also find the guitar chords. Using that music, explore it on whatever instrument you play. And at the next party I’ll take another video of the new aspect that came to my song last night.

The Silent War of the Sour Eye

Here's your access to The Silent War of the Sour Eye. The updated short story collection includes "The Banshee," "The Slave," "The Gilded Mares," "Son of the Demontser," "The Forge of Souls," plus the newest chapter of the Sour Eye, "The Master of the Hoodsmen."



Jesse Teller


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Jesse Teller, 2443 S. Ventura Ave., Springfield, MO  65804 USA

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