Diary of a Layman #2 (Spring 2006): Feedback!


LaymanCover1d72dpi.3.5x5Hello, and welcome to another exciting installment of The Layman’s Answers To Everything book update! When we last left our hero, he had just passed out copies of his three-part book to friends and family for feedback and was taking a short break from working on it so he could move from Queens into Manhattan.

Well, lots has changed since then. I now have the first part of the books back and I’m preparing to begin chiseling out the “brilliant” masterpiece that’s hidden within its pages. (See below for why I’m allowed to put brilliant in quotes.) I’ve also moved and have a new email address: marc@orowriter.com. Feel free to use it to say hello, drop me some encouragement, or to tell me to take you the @#$%&* off the list. Any of those options will only serve to make me work harder. (Of course, if you choose the latter option, you just won’t get to hear about it.)

If you aren’t familiar with me or why I’m writing to you, well, I’m that guy with the insane look in his eyes who passionately told you about some crazy book he was writing. Remember? You gave me your email address. Hence, the reason you’re being contacted now. You seemed to get what I’m doing and so I’d like for you to share this journey with me. Yes, I’m serious.

The book I’m writing is called The Layman’s Answers To Everything. It’s a spiritual comedy—or spiromedy— about an unlucky guy who’s searching for what he’s meant to do with his life. After experiencing many challenges and meeting a bizarre cast of characters, he stumbles upon secret messages hidden in TV, movies, and music that are aimed at guiding humanity. Eventually, he uses these messages to start a new religion which changes his life, and ultimately, the world. Really, this is so much more than just a story though, because throughout the journey, we learn how to discover and fulfill our own destinies using the clues of the universe that are all around us.

Ringing any bells? Regardless, I’m going to give you the newest update anyway. You’ve read this much.

Since Update 1 (Now a collector’s item already fetching upwards of $1,000.00 on eBay), I’ve had all three parts of the book copyrighted and I just finished collecting the critiqued versions of the first part. The purpose of these are to help me figure out what to cut so I can eventually get this thing to a publisher. Because I spent over three years of my life working on this, I was quite curious what people would think of it, and since you are still reading, I’m guessing you are too. So, without further ado, I give you the feedback highlights (long, yes, but trust me, this is just the highlights) that I’ve gotten so far—The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. This is only the feedback people have sent/told me on their own—not the comments written in the book(s) which I haven’t even looked at yet. To protect the identities of the reviewers, only initials have been used. (If you don’t have time to read all this, skip to the summary at the end.)


Book 1 Only

“The chapter entitled “A Day In The Life,” well, bordered on brilliance!” –U.H.

“Really enjoying it so far! Wish sleep wasn’t so important, so I could read more at one sitting…This story could change your life.” –J.U.

“I am enjoying it and continue to find pieces of brilliant off-planet perspectives (just a term for it, could be others) peaking in certain places that just elevate my own vibration reading it.” –U.H.

[Had just finished Book1:] “You have taken on an enormous task with a true wish to help the world awaken and elevate its collective vibrational field. That passion comes through in the character and in the spirit of the book. , I enjoyed the metaphysical stuff the best and found about 6 of the passages…absolutley beautiful, accurate, and at times brilliant, clear information. The original major opening session with [character name] was AMAZING and all of the others including the big bang, …and the meaning of life raps were just fantastic.” –U.H.

“I wanted to let you know that the book is fabulous.  I am not talking in a sycophantic way that you may expect from a friend or a relative, but in an independent sincere one. I have had the book for only a week, but I am already on page 222.  This is phenomenal for me because, like the protagonist, I am a S L O W reader… Thank you for your wonderful gift.” –J.B.

“It’s weird calling it ‘good’ because it’s beyond that. It’s already changed the way I think and I’m not even kidding you. The whole thing is f*%#king hysterical. I wanted to highlight the whole book yellow. [I had the testers use a yellow highlighter for what they liked and red for what they didn’t]. … I’m usually not one for long books but this one is different because it’s not just a piece of fiction. It’s already changed the way I look at the world….It’s very raunchy at times …But I liked the raunchiness. I’m so shocked and had no idea that you had all these things working in your mind that all work together and can’t wait to read the next one. [She’d just finished the first book by this point]. I laughed out loud every third or fourth page. The page and a half about 9/11 made me cry. I find the writing very good. Some parts are beautifully written. So many times I wanted to hug [character name]. I felt so bad for him. I love [his] mother, she made me laugh. Knew it was gonna be good, but didn’t know it was gonna be so deep. The book is fantastic, my mind is blown.” –A.B.

“I finished Marc’s first book last night.  It is always very satisfying for me to finish a book, especially one as long as this.  430 pages in just under 4 weeks is amazing for me. I usually have 3-4 books in various stages of reading completion, I read them halfway, and eventually abandon them, but not this time.”–J.B.

“What I like best about the book is that you take chances.  This is not a safe way of writing—you put it all out there: the good, the bad and the ugly.  It makes the story so much more intriguing.”–J.B.’s girlfriend, LB

Books 1-3 (The complete trilogy)

“While I rarely laugh out loud while reading books, I did laugh out loud at the ‘Kumba Chedda’ sex position described in book II.” –F.L.

“I have always enjoyed reading your writing when you and I have e-mailed over the years. I have delightfully studied and read so many pages of your writing that I am very accustomed to the rhythm and tone of your prose. I often pick up that same rhythm or tone in the book and soon I am sucked into the conversational siren song that my mind labels as Marc-speak.” –J.U.

“ [I’m currently] at the beginning of Book 3. Loving it. The talks with [character] are amazing, accurate, real, and fantastic. Your book has some amazing pearls and gems…I think you have a really good work here and I totally honor what you have done….Your book has so much darn wisdom, grace, truth, and higher vibrational consciousness in it and I just know with some editing and rebalancing that it can be a great success and that it will serve the very healing intentions you have…It is really an honor to be connected to the book in its early form.”–U.H.

[Had just finished the entire 3 books] “First things first, I loved the ending…The book and its energies uplifted and moved me. At times to tears, at times to my own spiritual clarity. The [Edited to prevent spoiler] which begins the Third Volume and covers almost one third of that books was/is/shall be amazing and some of the best channeled work I have come to read over my many years, … [For example] ALL of that spiritual “truth” stuff that I found myself eagerly waiting for and drinking in like nectar whenever it appeared. To then find one third of the third volume totally filled with a dense packing of this stuff was nothing short of a delicious smorgasbord for me… if there are things I can do to help along the way, please do let me know as the presence of this material INTO collective consciousness is something I, for reasons of my own journey, destiny, [etc.], would have to get behind, would want to get behind, and would need to support.” –U.H.

“The book is very good for people who don’t usually read. My dad isn’t a reader, but I think he’d read this…I comprehend very well usually, and every time I pick these [books] up I find more cool stuff that I missed before. I think when I read these the first time the major events of the story so enthralled me that I didn’t always see or “get” the cool but less obvious things I was reading…I strongly believe in this endeavor of yours and think it will have a monumental impact on many people, so I am happy to help any way I can.–J.U.


Book 1 Only

“My only first concern is the possible losing of the female audience early on because of some of the guy diatribe stuff.”–U.H.

I don’t think that females reading the first book would want to read the rest because it’s all from such a male-perspective… I think that some people may be offended by all the cursing. (paraphrase)–F.L.

The book seems to be biased against women. I don’t think they would want to read it after the beginning…The books needs a hook. Something to keep readers interested enough to keep going.–B.O.

“The voice sounded more or less the same in different people…My main concerns or recommendations have to do with a few major things like, obviously length of the book, variable chapter lengths, the time it takes to get to the big turning points, the possibility of condensing and leaving out some stuff or telling it in back story or memory or flashback or retro, depth of character and story, repetition, sexualized comments, and believability problem passages…The book took a while to get going…at times, the story lagged and at times it felt more like a letter or extended email to friends than a book/novel story…At times I just kept feeling like, okay, get on with it. But of course, this is a problem of the character, so I am not sure if what I was experiencing was what you wished the reader to experience in identifying with the frustration of [character’s name] own struggle and journey to find himself… The sexual obsession stuff is simply overdone because it did not go anywhere, and seemed like a broken record and did not add anything to the story. What kept me going was more the metaphysical raps and not the story…The overall character and story development lacked a certain quality of depth.  Like they are all two-dimensional…Just think more depth, less words, more feeling and intensity, get to a different level or something, less details and data and telling. The material I loved most is embedded and could potentially get lost or not out there due to the container it is being presented in not being quite compelling enough. It isn’t totally off the mark, just needs a tune up of about 15% to make the change necessary to make it, the story, and then, the characters, more compelling.”–U.H.

“I just felt that there’s a lot of cursing. It was almost overwhelming.” –A.F.

“Sometimes during dialogue portions, it is hard to keep track of who is talking.”–J.B.

“Tenses seem to be off…the concept of ideas/people etc. continually repeating themselves can be gotten across in a more concise way…  Dialogue gets confusing…Accents need to be cleaned up …  Despite the fact that it is intentional, the characters/conversations seem too similar to one another….At times the story line seems forced through dialogue.  It is as though one character is pulling the story along as opposed to it just flowing. …As far as reading it from the female perspective:  I don’t feel as though the sex or the awkardness surrounding his problems with females is necessarily alienating to women.  In fact I think some women might find it endearing.  What I do see as being an issue is how flat the female characters are up until [character name].  While this is developmentally appropriate ([Character] wasn’t ready to see them in this more complete light), it is somewhat alienating to not have any round female characters for over 300 pages. …All in all it was well written, the plot did not have any holes and it is very unique.”–J.B.’s girlfriend, L.

Books 1-3 (The complete trilogy)

“And while I still have some of the same feedback from book one about the tits and ass stuff, I can see how if condensed just a bit, and with some really minor editorial decisions about inclusion and exclusion, how the book can flow from one major incredible visionary chapter to another… although I loved it as dense as it was, that for other less exposed readers that some of it would need to be broken up either in form or content in such a way as to make it more digestible and less overwhelming…I kept feeling that there was something weird about a guy who has all of this information, knowledge, and contact and who does not seem to be changing or allowing his own full transformation BY the very stuff he is writing/channeling etc”–U.H.


“You need to take out the word ‘midgets’ It’s not nice.” –B.O.


Overall, about 25% of the people loved it. 50% liked it. And 25% weren’t too keen on it at all. Not bad for an early draft. Obviously, there’s still much work to be done. The biggest complaints were that the book was too long or didn’t flow, of course, this can be fixed with editing. Some of it will require a professional editor. But eventually, I believe I’ll be digging out this diamond in the rough. Only two people so far have finished all three books, and both felt passionately enough about it to volunteer to help me get this thing out there. If that isn’t a powerful book, I don’t know what is.

Thank you for reading. And now, I’ve got some editing to do.

Love, light, and all that good stuff,


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The Layman posted at 2006-5-21 Category: Diary of a Layman

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