Preston Grant

Writer, Artist, Traveler, Guide

Writer

Forty years of journaling

I learned writing from the habit of keeping a journal. Very quickly it became a form of therapy, a place I could work out my most intimate thoughts and confusions. I learned to write through the process of trying to put my feelings on paper.

When I started working for international non-profits in the 80s, computers were new and I found myself writing down instructions for co-workers. Strangely enough, this developed into a career when I moved to San Francisco in the early 1990s and started riding the waves of internet growth. Over time I became a technical and marketing writer for both scrappy startups and big blue chip companies like Sprint, Charles Schwab, and Bank of America.

I knew I wanted to write something of my own some day, and as a gay man of a certain age I saw an important niche that needed filling. People across society had strong opinions about gay people, based on very little information. The modern ideas around gay lives are relatively new, mostly arising since 1969, but our roots are ancient. So I wrote a book that includes that history. As variations in human sexuality came into focus, the scientific understanding expanded as well, so I included that too – things like the way genetics and the mother’s womb environments affect sexuality. All of this information is freely available, but I pulled it together into one comprehensive text, and wrote it in a friendly and accessible way for a mainstream audience. For much more about the book, Gay, Explained: History, Science, Culture, and Spirit, see: www.gayexplained.com

My larger interests are wide-ranging. Current activities include:

  • The Both-And Project: An attempt to understand the world in non-dualistic ways. I believe the Us versus Them, With us or Against us mentalities are ruining modern societies, so I discuss how to move to more integrated and practical solutions. See www.thebothandproject.com
  • The New Story: With the arrival of Brexit, Donald Trump, and other anti-establishment trends around the world we may be ending the period of peace and prosperity that resulted from Pax American after WWII. More accurately, it appears we are entering a period of chaos as we throw out the old, and no one knows what new thing will arise from it all. I want to be part of writing that New Story – helping define what kind of world we want to live in and figuring out how to get there. [in development]
  • Self-Driving World: My geeky side is fascinated by the coming revolution in self-driving cars. I’m not so interested in the automobile or gadget aspects as the effect autonomous vehicles will have on our physical and social worlds. The arrival of automobiles changed everything, and I believe self-driving cars will change everything again. For more see www.selfdrivingworld.com
  • Freelance: As a writer with generalized interests and broad expertise I am highly available for freelance positions. Contact me here.
Amazon Worldwide

Amazon.com USA – paperback and Kindle editions

Amazon international – Kindle edition: CanadaUnited Kingdom, AustraliaEspaña, Mexico, BrazilDeutschland, NederlandFranceItaliaIndia, and 日本. (Paperback can also be ordered globally, but it is printed in the USA and shipping costs apply)

Barnes & Noble – Click Here – paperback and Nook editions

For Kobo – Click Here. (Halo Canada and Australia!)

Bookstores

Bookstores in the US and around the world can order Gay, Explained through their regular ordering systems. For Ingram details see here.

Artist

I’ve always had an artistic eye, but believed my talents ended there. Then one day I picked up a brush and acrylics and just started sloshing them around a canvas, and suddenly art appeared, and I liked it. Here are some of my pieces I have around my house:

Most of my art is just for fun, but when I wrote Gay, Explained I decided it needed illustrations, so I created some of my own. Each section has a pictorial image in a simplified woodcut style representing a timeless LGBT archetype, and chapter has a minimalist icon representing the concept discussed. My inspiration came from woodblock prints and the ancient Anasazi petroglyphs of the desert Southwest that I’ve loved since my youth.

To see my eclectic taste, here is my Tumblr where I scavenge things I find beautiful or inspiring. It is constantly refreshing and includes art with adult themes: SpiralMirabilis.tumblr.com

Traveler

Being well traveled is part of who I am. I lived in Japan for two years when I was younger and used to speak the language fluently, and I have traveled the world ever since. I ascribe the philosophy of JRR Tolkien: “Not all those who wander are lost. Traveling is my education. Understanding humanity in all its variations is core to my understanding of the world – the things we have in common, and the colorful ways we differ.

Traveling for me is not always about physical distance. The most exciting part is getting out of the expected and finding something new, an experience that can happen around the corner from my house, or meeting a new person, or simply groking a new paradigm. I love to learn new things, feel new things, and have my assumptions upended by some new experience. I’m a nester and homebody by nature, and then I travel as far away from the familiar as I can to expand my perspectives.

Guide

It’s easy to feel a little lost in the onslaught of modernity, but one of my gifts seems to be an ability to help other people find their way. For lack of a better term, this makes me something of a Guide, a role I enjoy playing.

To be very literal about it, I always stop and offer assistance to lost looking tourists. There is something about helping people find their way I find very satisfying. I get nothing out of the transaction except the feeling it helps my karma and the universe will help me when I feel lost.

Life is a path, not a destination. There is no magical endpoint to reach. Instead, wherever we are right now, we have to find our guiding stars and head towards the light. As a native Californian I speak fluent New Age, but I’m more interested in the practical – how we take our values, and feelings, and the realities around us, and transform that into something workable and supportive of ourselves and our communities.

I have no singular solutions, as I believe each of our paths is unique, even as we share the common roots of our humanity. The old answers of antiquity, the great religions and cultures, created powerful paradigms to understanding the world, but they are not proving adequate for the new questions.

As mentioned in the Writer section above, the world needs a New Story, new paradigms, myths, and answers to modern questions we can rally and organize around. With no certainty about what can be achieved, it is my goal to help guide us there, as individuals, and as the All Of Us riding around on our little spaceship Earth.

History

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Contact

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