True Stories

Right before I released Just This Banjo, I sent my friend Aaron a copy. A day or two later he texted me back:

The book is great. If I did not know you, I would think you were full of shit. Great job. WOW!

Back in 2003 when I wrote The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo, people were a tad more eloquent in calling bullshit on the stories within. They used the word apocryphal.

All of this makes Dear Old Dad and I laugh because I doubt I could write fiction with a gun to my head. All of this really happened. As crazy as the events in the book get, I have really only scratched the surface of my past. There is more to tell. A lot more.

Don’t take my word for it. Call Dear Old Dad (410) 968-3873. Ask him about any of the people, places, and events in Just This Banjo. He will tell you what he saw and heard with his own eyes and ears.

Just This Banjo is now available in print around the world!

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Pik-Ware Publishing (October 8, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974419079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974419077
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

Ebooks:

If eBooks are more your thing, we have plenty of options! Just This Banjo is available for purchase or as a free download at these locations:

If you do download a free copy and enjoy the book, think about paying us $6.95 for the PDF. It will help with my next book: I loved the book! Here’s $6.95!

If money is tight, please share this book with a friend, write a review somewhere, sponsor us on Patreon, or anything else you can think of to spread the word.

About Just This Banjo:

Desperate for a way to communicate after losing his hearing, young Patrick Costello set his heart on becoming a musician. Ignoring the odds, empowered by his family and a karate grandmaster, Patrick won a banjo in a bet, salvaged a guitar from the trash and wandered into the city of brotherly love looking for a teacher. What happened next is an unbelievable true story of chasing improbable dreams, the kindness of strangers, the IRA, the Philadelphia Mummers, and unconditional love. Just This Banjo will make you laugh, cry and maybe inspire you to pick up an instrument yourself.

Help Spread The Word!

If you enjoyed Just This Banjo, help us spread the word!

You can download the PDF and share with friends, post the full text on your own site or some other creative idea that lets folks know about the book. if you are worried about copyright, drop us a note.

Just This Banjo Now In Print!

Just This Banjo is now available in print around the world!

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Pik-Ware Publishing (October 8, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974419079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974419077
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

Ebooks:

If eBooks are more your thing, we have plenty of options! Just This Banjo is available for purchase or as a free download at these locations:

If you do download a free copy and enjoy the book, think about paying us $6.95 for the PDF. It will help with my next book: I loved the book! Here’s $6.95!

If money is tight, please share this book with a friend, write a review somewhere, sponsor us on Patreon, or anything else you can think of to spread the word.

About Just This Banjo:

Desperate for a way to communicate after losing his hearing, young Patrick Costello set his heart on becoming a musician. Ignoring the odds, empowered by his family and a karate grandmaster, Patrick won a banjo in a bet, salvaged a guitar from the trash and wandered into the city of brotherly love looking for a teacher. What happened next is an unbelievable true story of chasing improbable dreams, the kindness of strangers, the IRA, the Philadelphia Mummers, and unconditional love. Just This Banjo will make you laugh, cry and maybe inspire you to pick up an instrument yourself.

Today

Today Amy and I would have celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary.

The hurt is indescribable.

Rather than sit around moping, I decided to do something I love. Right now I have a honking huge pot of beef stew on the stove. It will simmer all day. Tonight Dear Old Dad and I will be sharing stew, biscuits, and baked apples (with ice cream, naturally) with our neighbors.

In the face of loss, I will continue to give. I will challenge sorrow with joy. The pain will never truly go away, but maybe that is okay. It would be foolish to end a perfectly good love story by falling into despair.

So, good food, fellowship and the chance to dote on my extended family here on Potomac Street. A sad day made easier with love put into action.

I love you, Amy Costello. My darling. My bride. My rose. My Virginia girl. Happy anniversary.

Getting Back To Abby Normal

Just This Banjo is out in the wild as an eBook, could soon be available in print and an audiobook is in the works.

We have accomplished a great deal. Now I have to get back into teaching mode.

I know most authors do the whole guerrilla marketing thing, but I have never been comfortable marketing myself. I am a person, not a product! So, if you enjoyed the book it would help us a lot if you spread the word. Share the files. Post an honest good, bad or indifferent review somewhere. It will get Dear Old Dad off my back and give me space to keep on working.

October 10 is going to be a hard day for personal reasons. I will not be posting new videos this week. Hell, I won’t even be online. I would spend the day at Assateauge, but epilepsy and neuropathy make driving impossible. It has been so long since I have been physically able to get someplace myself to spend a day taking photographs that I am seriously thinking about selling my cameras.

Next week we will be back with new workshops for our Patreon sponsors. Right now I am organizing a stack of blank legal pads, sharpening my pencils and getting ready to start writing again. I’ll worry about what, exactly, I am writing about once I am a couple of pages in. I love writing the first draft longhand.

I still have some space in my lesson schedule. If you want to schedule a video lesson, give Dear Old Dad a call: (410) 968-3873

See you next week.
-Patrick

#1?

When I set up Just This Banjo for sale on Amazon I found myself in an interesting dilemma: how do I classify this book?

You see, Amazon seems to loathe small publishers. I won’t go too deep into it, but things are decidedly set up to make things hard for the little guy. One example of this is categories.

The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo has been selling well on Amazon since 2004. This is amazing because I do not know how people find the book. Amazon’s janky categorization system has the title listed under Arts & Photography.

A big publisher can get a title listed under musical instruments and banjo easily. Small presses like Pik-Ware Publishing get dumped into Arts and Photography.

With the release of Just This Banjo, I was trepidatious because the book is unclassifiable. Music was not an option, so I chose Taoism. It was the best option available, and the book does have a vein of Taoist philosophy running through it.

Well, this morning, Just This Banjo was the #1 New Release in Taoism.

Just This Banjo on Amazon

Read Just This Banjo!

Jim

Jim and I were friends in high school – which is amazing because I did not have friends in high school. He always seemed to enjoy the chaos the surrounds me.

Well, Jim is getting the storytelling bug. For a few months now he has been taking part in the First Person Arts StorySlam in Philadelphia. He hasn’t won yet, but he gets better every time.

I really want to do one of these with Jim, but travel is hard for me now. Epilepsy makes driving an impossibility and the neuropathy pain slows me down.

I have not seen Jim face to face in over thirty years.

The next StorySlam is on October 29th. If some kind soul is willing to give me a ride to Crisfield and back, give Dear Old Dad a call at (410) 968-3873.

I really would like to see Jim – and maybe give my storytelling skills a shot. I have not been on stage in ages, but I do have some spooky stories. For example, once, on a dare, spent an entire night sleeping in the historic Bradford Cemetery in Marshallton, Pennsylvania when I was nine. Happens to everybody, right?

Now On Kindle!

Just This Banjo is now available on Amazon Kindle!

Head over to https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YNT8G68/ for more information.

Just This Banjo is available for purchase or as a free download at these locations:

If you do download a free copy and enjoy the book, think about paying us $6.95 for the PDF. It will help with my next book: I loved the book! Here’s $6.95!

If money is tight, please share this book with a friend, write a review somewhere, sponsor us on Patreon, or anything else you can think of to spread the word.

About Just This Banjo:

Desperate for a way to communicate after losing his hearing, young Patrick Costello set his heart on becoming a musician. Ignoring the odds, empowered by his family and a karate grandmaster, Patrick won a banjo in a bet, salvaged a guitar from the trash and wandered into the city of brotherly love looking for a teacher. What happened next is an unbelievable true story of chasing improbable dreams, the kindness of strangers, the IRA, the Philadelphia Mummers, and unconditional love. Just This Banjo will make you laugh, cry and maybe inspire you to pick up an instrument yourself.