Fun and funding for Belarus!
Last Friday evening, we staged a launch event for my funny new novel, with proceeds from sales of the book going entirely to New Thing’s work of compassion in Belarus. I was thrilled to see people’s strong interest and great response — we raised $700 in 2 hours! Now there’s a way you can get in on the fun too.... On the final weekend of this month, we’ll stage a novel-reading marathon to benefit New Thing. I’m going to perform the entire crazy book, end to end, over the course of 2 days. Local folks can drop in anytime in person, but the entire event will also be carried on Facebook Live. Mark your calendar! 1-9 pm EDT Saturday and Sunday, August 28-29, at https://www.facebook.com/dougbrendelipswich. I’m including the press release below. Please forward the news to all your friends! This past Friday evening proves it: The more folks who start looking at New Thing’s work, the more support we’ll generate for people in need in Belarus! Let me know if you have any questions about the “Mombasa Marathon.” Thanks for journeying with us! Much love, Doug Brendel ---------- News for Release Ipswich, Massachusetts 2-Day Novel-Reading Marathon As if the new book isn’t crazy enough already, now its author will “perform” the entire novel About 10 hours, over the span of two long days. That’s how long it will take for a free public “performance” of an entire 261-page, 78,000-word novel. North Shore humorist Doug Brendel says he’s ready for the challenge. His new book Praying for Mrs. Mombasa has been making waves since its recent release — Dogtown Books in Gloucester calls it “a surreal, riotous trip” — but now the author will attempt to take his novel into the record books. “Well, Guinness World Records says a guy in Nepal read aloud from 17 books for 113 hours back in 2008,” Brendel says. “But I don’t find any record a novelist reading his own book aloud, start to finish. Why? Probably because it’s nuts.” The marathon will take place from 1 to 9 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, August 28-29, at Ascension Memorial Episcopal Church, 31 County St., Ipswich. (The event is recommended for mature audiences only, 18+, due to the novel’s sensitive themes.) The public will be free to come and go while the author “performs” the book. “This story is so insane,” Brendel says, “you can’t really just ‘read’ it; you have to ‘perform’ it. So I’m going to perform it. I hope it won’t be too intense for the faint of heart!” The “Mombasa Marathon” event is planned for two 75-minute segments, followed by a meal break (the event will be BYO), then two more 75-minute segments — and then the same schedule the following day. It’s a total of 16 hours, end to end. “We don’t want anyone to die during this marathon, most of all me,” Brendel says. “I’ll be packing a boxed dinner each day, and I invite others to do likewise. Or they can head down the hill to visit one of Ipswich’s fine downtown eating establishments.” The novel-reading marathon will also be carried worldwide on Facebook Live, via Facebook’s DougBrendelIpswich page. The Mombasa Marathon event will benefit NewThing.net, a major humanitarian effort in the former USSR led by Brendel with his wife Kristina Grundmann. “Mombasa Marathon” visitors and online viewers are invited to pledge $2 or more to NewThing.net for each hour of Brendels’ reading time, $20 or more for the entire event. The church has set aside its “St. Matthew’s Parlor” for the event. “The parlor of a mainline church is perfect for this,” Brendel says. “Praying for Mrs. Mombasa is the story of a woman unhappy in her marriage, and when she turns to the church for hope, weird stuff happens. Like an angel. But a Korean angel. Aw, sorry, I’ve already told you too much.” Brendel describes his new book as “a Mexican, a Korean, and a bigot walk into a novel.” “It’s not a politically correct novel,” he adds, “but at least it’s a novel about political incorrectness. I think that should count for something. If somebody kills me during the marathon for being politically incorrect, please mention this in my obituary.” A serious inspection of the novel indicates that it’s a rollicking fantasy about an inner-city church, where the pastor falls in love with a married woman in his congregation, and an angel steps in to help sort things out. Along the way, the novel addresses the question of “how hope happens,” and what hope accomplishes once it appears. Brendel is known on the North Shore for his humorous Outsidah.com blog, a commentary on life in small-town New England from the standpoint of a newcomer. (He grew up in the Chicago area and spent a quarter-century in Arizona.) “The Outsidah” is carried in the Ipswich Local News, the Chronicle & Transcript, and occasionally in the Salem News and other North Shore publications. Brendel has also made impressions as a serious writer, a fundraiser for various charitable causes, a community theatre actor, a member of the clergy, and more. His adventures can be explored at DougBrendel.com. The paperback edition of Brendel’s novel Praying for Mrs. Mombasa is available in Ipswich exclusively at Betsy Frost Design, 4 Market St., and in Gloucester exclusively at Dogtown Book Shop, 132 Main St., as well as on Amazon. The Kindle edition is also available on Amazon. The audiobook, which will be released on Audible, is in production. # # # FAST FACTS: WHO: North Shore humorist Doug Brendel WHAT: Free record-breaking public novel-reading marathon WHERE: Ascension Church, 31 County St., Ipswich, MA & on Facebook Live WHEN: 1-9 pm, Sat.-Sun., Aug. 29-30 WHY: Benefiting NewThing.net humanitarian work in Belarus HOW: Suggested donation in person or online at NewThing.net