Working with your hands, you can clear your heart...
The words that keep coming as feedback from listeners are "humor, joyful, down-to-earth, warm, heart-healing, humane." I thought I was more serious than that, but I'm usually the last person to understand what I've written. Apparently, Clear Heart is a down-to-earth, heart-warming story about getting nailed. Or something like that.
Anyway, it's a story of carpenters and craft, love and friendship and comedy. It's about working hard for people who don't seem to work at all. It's about taking pride in what you do, putting your hands and your body at risk to make something worth keeping. It's about loving a good tool - loving it beyond reason, beyond caution and good sense. It's about growing up - whether you're 18 years old, or 55. One word of warning: It's about rough characters who use rough language.
Wally and Juke are building a mansion for a dot-com multimillionaire in the Silicon Valley of California. As the dot-com's stock keeps rising, the size of the house - and the owner's ego - keep growing. Wally and Juke may be into something that's over their heads. When little guys work for bigshots, who gets nailed?
Wally meets Opal, a newspaper photographer with puppy eyes who catches him at a painfully embarrassing moment. Juke meets Lenora, otherwise known as Lenora from Gomorrah. When carpenters meet women who won't be treated like boards, who gets nailed?
Wally hires a couple of teenage apprentices for the summer. One is Abe, a preppie on his way to Princeton. The other is FrogGirl, a dropout runaway who believes "Cute people suck." Can opposites attract? Can they even get along?
From bungling to burglary, from demolishing concrete to racing beltsanders, from love of tools to falling in love, a colorful crew of characters come up against Wally's Laws of Construction - or are they laws of life? Each house, it seems, is a miracle.
Order the book:
Some people have asked for signed copies. Happy to oblige. Send one crisp twenty dollar bill, or send a check for $20 to
PO Box 249
La Honda, CA 94020
Yes, it's low-tech, but it works. If it's a check, make it payable to Joe Cottonwood.
Read a sample from Clear Heart:
Read a sample of Clear Heart (308.6KB)
Download an e-book of Clear Heart:
Clear Heart is available as an e-book — in any format, for any e-reader — and can be purchased with this link.
Hear an interview:
Hear an interview of Joe Cottonwood. Joe explains why he made a podcast and how he dealt with special problems - such as finding a quiet spot in a town that is a motorcycle hangout. John Nemerovski of MyMac.com conducts the interview.
Learn about the podcast:
Subscribe to the podcast:
Subscribe to the podcast here
It's free! (Note: this is an RSS feed. If you don't know what an RSS feed is - and no, I don't understand it either - you can subscribe through iTunes.)
Get it from iTunes:
Even on iTunes, it's still free!
Go the the iTunes Store. Then in the iTunes Store's Search Window enter "Joe Cottonwood."
The search results will show Clear Heart and a "subscribe" button.Click the "subscribe" button, and the first episode will download to your computer.
Go to the blog:
This link will take you to a blog where you can join a discussion about Clear Heart.
This other link will take you to a different blog, which is my general-purpose anything-goes blog.
For the podcast-impaired:
If you want to hear the audiobook of Clear Heart but you don't have an iPod or you hate all that high-tech gadgetry, I will send you a set of good old-fashioned CDs. Then you can listen from your car, your home stereo, your boombox... As a bonus, the CDs have even better sound quality than the podcast.
If you want the set of 16 CDs, send an e-mail to email@example.com. I'll have to charge 40 bucks plus the cost of mailing. Or you can plead a hardship case. I'm a soft touch. We can work it out.