In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love, the 50th Anniversary of the High School Graduating Class of 1967, and the 48th Anniversary of Woodstock, the eBook version of By the Time I Got There is yours for free from today through Sunday (Aug 11-13). You can click here
Erik Munson and Chan Chau. Erik designed the cover of D. E. Munson’s new novel, In Search of Space and Thyme
The long-awaited sequel to D. E. Munson’s first novel, By the Time I Got to Woodstock: Or Space Meets Thyme in the Shadow of Atlantis, has finally been released! It is the second book in the Chronicles of Space and Thyme series.
Titled In Search of Space and Thyme, this book is a tapestry of two interwoven love stories that unfurls into a compelling romp through time with Thyme and me. We’re tossed into a distant, mysterious past, then reemerge in the magical, mystical years of the 1960s and 70s. Our stories splinter in 1978 when the fiendish interloper, Atlantis Haden steals Thyme away to his underworld, like Hades of myth.
The fabric of our perfect world being rent, I’m flummoxed by the questions, What did I do to make her go? and Can I fix it? and most importantly, If I can fix it, will Thyme want to return? The search is on, a new quest begun. And it’s not only a quest for meaning and lost love. It reaches into the heart of everything. It is an essential, spiritual quest.
The Book Launch
The author kicked off the first event in his book launch tour at the Cup of Carver Coffee Shop on Saturday, Oct. 8. He read an excerpt from Thyme’s narrative where she’s trying to explain to me why we needed to go our separate ways.
He then sang a song of my ranting at the opening of Chapter One of the new book. Looking back on it, I had a lot to learn. Maybe that’s why it took him seven years to finally finish this sequel. Hey, but it’s not my fault it took him so long to write the darn thing. I don’t know, maybe it is. But things have to happen in their own time, right? Anyway, if it’s true that anything good is worth waiting for, here’s the test.
Munson apologizes, “I feel awful about keeping everyone in suspenders so long. When By the Time I Got to Woodstock was published on the 40th anniversary of the famed Woodstock Music & Art Fair, I ended it in a cliffhanger, fully intending to follow immediately with the sequel.
“Four years later I finished writing the manuscript, dubbing it A Brief History of the End of the World. It was slated by a publisher to be an eBook-only release. Then I had the opportunity to enter it in two contests. A number of you read the whole book, some read part of it. And to those of you who had insights and suggestions, I can’t thank you enough. I learned a great deal and incorporated many of the changes, including two title changes. I am now thrilled with the result. Especially since our son Erik, acclaimed graphic novelist, did the cover illustration and worked with me on the redesign.
“This story needs to be told, especially today,” he continues. “Too much has been trivialized about the awakening that took place in the 60s and 70s. The spiritual seeds planted in these times have blossomed into a consciousness we take mostly for granted today and often joke about. We can’t afford to lose perspective and forget.
“Though most of the characters are fictional, some are historical. The stories are based on what I experienced. I hope to help some of the essential truth of the times survive. We live in a time of magic realism, and Magical Realism has become my genre of choice.”
Now the whole Chronicles of Space and Thyme series has taken on a new look. Erik Munson did the illustration and helped redesign the first book as well. It’s titled By the Time I Got There: or Space Meets Thyme, and this revision is available as an eBook right now. It’s kinda cool how each chapter opens with Erik’s illustration of little me on my trusty Rollfast 10-speed looping around the inside circumference of the circle like Evel Knievel or an ADHD hamster.
Once the current print version of the first book has sold out, it’ll be reprinted in its new format.
Keep your eyes open because in the coming few weeks you’ll be able to get the eBook for FREE. The next stop on D. E. Munson’s tour will be The Twin Cities Book Festival at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in Saint Paul.
As more events are added to the book tour venue, I’ll be announcing them. Again, thanks to so many of you for your phenomenal patience and support during this grueling birthing process. Both Munson and I’ll do our best to make it worth your kind attention.
So, until next time, enjoy your journey. Be spiritual, be happy, and keep reading!
More about Space Larrabee: I was made manifest in a book called By the Time I Got to Woodstock—or Space Meets Thyme in the Shadow of Atlantis. I am Space Larrabee, and in Lunch on the Moon I share tasty delicacies I’ve found in the experiential arts. Join me every week or so and share your experiences, too!
Find out more about the author at demunson.com
This year marks the 46th anniversary of the famed Woodstock music festival at Yazgur’s farm in Bethel, New York. Nearly half a million bodies were in attendance that weekend. I and millions more were there in spirit. This is apropos, because strange as it sounds, this was a pivotal spiritual event in the lives of people around the world. I’d fully intended to attend since Bethel was just a few hours away, but it just wasn’t in the cards . . . until five years later. In the meantime I met Thyme, and by the time we got to Woodstock we were ready for it.
In honor of our 41st anniversary of Woodstock, here’s a peek at what happened when Thyme and I finally got there. It appears as chapters thirty-five and thirty-six in the novel By the Time I Got to Woodstock: or Space Meets Thyme in the Shadow of Atlantis by D. E. Munson.
Woodstock at Last The dirt road to the campground was steep, rocky, and rutted. It was in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, which loomed above us. It was pitch black and pouring rain by the time we arrived at the campground. We checked in at the main building, which was also the kitchen. We had no idea how to find or even to see our site.
“Welcome.” A smiling, dark-haired woman in sweater and jeans approached us. “I’m Katherine. I don’t think we should send you out in this tonight. Why don’t you just spend the night in the loft. It’ll be much drier that way. You can find your site and set up tomorrow. Did you have a good trip? I bet you’re exhausted.”
We introduced ourselves and thanked our welcoming host. Following her advice, we dashed out into the rain again and grabbed our gear. We set ourselves up in a corner of the loft and crashed. A woodchuck outside the building mumbled and scratched. Trying to get out of the rain, no doubt. These were the last sounds we heard as we drifted off to sleep.
Thyme and I awoke next morning to clattering in the kitchen. On our return from dreamland, we discovered we were near the original intended location of the famed festival. It was an hour away from Yazgur’s Farm in Bethel. The air—and everything we touched—was damp. Looking outside, we could see a mist still enshrouding the clearing in the trees. People started setting up tables, folding chairs, and a huge clear plastic dining fly.
We rolled up our bags, stowed our gear in the car, then Thyme found Katherine and asked, “Can we help with breakfast? We’re so grateful to you for letting us sleep in here last night.”
“Oh, sure,” Katherine replied, “there’s plenty to do. We’re still working on the duty roster. According to Sufi doctrine, for want of a better word, there’s a clear delineation between male and female roles in the chores at the camp.” She turned to me. “You can help with the eggs for the time being. But this will be the last time you do kitchen work here. This, as well as watching the children, will be the responsibility of the women.” I wasn’t too heartbroken.
After a tasty camp breakfast of oatmeal with nuts, scrambled eggs, and orange juice, Thyme and I set out to find our site. We met someone along the way who said they had wooden pallets available. We could use them as platforms to keep tents high and dry. I found the stash, got two of them, and set us up nice as can be.
That afternoon they called all the guys together to erect a huge geodesic dome. We bolted two-by-fours together at each end. In teams, we created large pentagons, triangle by triangle, on the 1600-square-foot wooden platform. We erected scaffolding to handle the height. Within a few hours, we had a twenty-foot-high dome to keep us dry as we danced when it rained outside. Two deja vu-like thoughts passed through my mind at the time, too. I’d admired Michael at the UNH commune for his ability to help build a geodesic dome, then, there I was, able to do the same. Also, as I’d walked the trails to the platform that morning, I noticed there were yurts! In fact, I’m quite sure Pir Vilayat Khan stayed in one of them. Cool.
Dancing with the Sufis We discovered, once we’d assembled the dome, that it was not centered on the platform. Teamwork, again was the answer. We all spaced ourselves out, grabbing hold of the two-by-fours forming the great circular base of the dome. On cue, we lifted then repositioned it where it belonged. Two things happened during the procedure. First, it blew me away that together we could raise and move that gargantuan structure. Second, while we still held the dome suspended, across from me in the circle, I saw Atlantis . . . and he saw me. I was so stunned, I didn’t know what to think.
We all cheered once we set it down, then we bolted it to the platform. I shot him the peace sign. He smiled and waved back. Neither of us approached each other. I let it go with a sense of relief. That evening, I finally got to be with Thyme again after she’d finished kitchen duty. We relished our well-earned rice and beans, salad, and watermelon. Vegetables never tasted so good. Pir Vilayat welcomed us that evening, then we broke into dance and song. Music, dance, and body movement are integral to the Sufis in helping to make a connection with divine spirit. It was a beautiful experience.
Next morning, and every morning thereafter for the rest of week, rain or shine, we rose at first light to do yoga. We started the hour with the greeting-the-sun asana. This we followed with a mixture of other asanas and eye exercises. The instructor said he used to wear glasses, but after practicing the eye exercises, he wore them no more. After breakfast, the men gathered at the dome for work detail. Ahmed, a bearded Sufi who looked a couple years older than me, spoke to the assembled. “I need a volunteer who is not afraid of heights.” My hand shot up without a thought. We reassembled scaffolding in the center of the dome, from the platform, rising to the apex. Ahmed walked to the scaffold and started climbing.
“Follow me,” he instructed. I followed. I’d noticed a little old man who’d been hanging around, staying in a little old trailer. I could see him far below us as Ahmed and I set to work. “The rain last night rotted the joint in the crown of the dome,” he explained. “We need to replace these six two-by-fours, bolt them back together, and cover them so this doesn’t happen again.”
We each used a wrench and screwdriver to undo the bolts on the ruined lumber. I then held each new replacement board in position for Ahmed to bolt and fasten. As we sat there working, I looked down below, “Who is that old guy who’s been hanging out in the trailer down there?” I asked. From the look on Ahmed’s face, I knew I’d goofed up.
“That’s my dad,” he said. Through the embarrassment I learned a lesson about judging others that I’d never forget. Ahmed was gracious and didn’t hold it against me. I’m sure my profuse apologies didn’t hurt. At lunchtime, they’d announced that showers were available. There were specific hours for male-only and female-only showers. And this surprised the heck out of me—there were also coed hours, should anyone so choose.
“Hey,” I said, “If we go during coed hours, we can shower together.” Thyme smiled, seeing right through me.
“Okay, we can go then.” And so we did, and it was fun. There were a couple other pretty girls in the shower, too, but of course I didn’t peek. Then, while we were toweling off, Thyme said with a wry smile, “I didn’t know you needed to wear your glasses in the shower.”
We left, and as we descended on the trail back to the main encampment, Atlantis approached us. He wore a black T-shirt with an inverted silver pentangle on the chest, black jeans. Black silk cape and hair flowing behind him, he smiled through his signature pointy Vandyke beard. He greeted me like an old friend. I could feel Saturn rising. I didn’t trust it, but I tried to be as gracious as I could. He entranced Thyme. I could tell.
“Hello Space,” he said, giving me a quick, slick New Age man hug. “And who have we here?”
I grimaced and forced a smile. “Atlantis, this is Thyme.”
“Powerful magic, Thyme,” he said. “You look familiar. Haven’t we met somewhere before.” Then he kissed her hand.
Damn! I muttered deep inside, Why did he have to go and do that?
What was your Woodstock or Woodstock/Not Experience?
Taking Woodstock movie (Director Ang Lee)
Woodstock movie (Director Michael Wadleigh)