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Tesserae by Mathias B. Freese Book Tour

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Book Synopsis:
“Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers stands above much of the crowd in its
commitment to ask, ‘What is it to remember?’ Mathias B. Freese,
tenderly plaiting a web that spreads from Woodstock, Las Vegas, Long
Island, and North Carolina, locates friends and family, lovers long
since gone, desire and passion sometimes quenched sometimes unrequited,
and the harrowing agony that comes from that most soul-crushing word of
all, regret. But Tesserae is not a work of sadness and grief. Rather, it
is an effort from a trained psychotherapist adept at understanding the
feelings that we all have. The quiescence found has a staying effect
upon the mind; this memoir lingers in the reader’s memory for some
time.” — Steven Berndt, Professor of American Literature, College of
Southern Nevada

As I reflect now, Woodstock instructed me in how to be open to life. I
remain open until this day. I revel in it. I draw sustenance from it. It
brings power and meaning to all my writing. And I have observed that my
expansiveness, my being alive and reveling in that, make some
Schmidt “lived” on Ohayo Mountain in Woodstock, and what I have
discovered is that from 1940 to 1972 he worked on erecting his home,
Miracle on the Mountain, as he named it. The house itself burned down in
between the winters of 1968 to 1969. I was told that it had covered an
entire side of the mountain, that it had many levels and glass windows,
and myriad mirrors as well, for in the sunlight the entire house
flashed. When I first came upon it the house was in shambles, fit for
Miss Havisham. He is now labeled by the art community as part of the
found-art movement, and here we can think of the Watts Towers built by
Simon Rodia and parts of the buildings built by that Barcelonan genius,
Antoni Gaudi (Parc Guell, for instance). In the sixties Schmidt was the
subject of a documentary which I have never seen nor choose to see, for
he stands out beyond celluloid.
I was told about him by Hal, and I decided to take a look. Hal also
informed me that the price of admission to his property was a six-pack
of beer. So Woodstock. Unfortunately I was slow on the uptake and
thought that a bottle of beer was sufficient; it proved not to be.
Walking through the brush and flowering summertime saplings and scrub, I
came upon a circular place that had been cleared. In this oval was a
“nest,” a kind of gothic Lego interlocking contraption that a child’s
brilliant mind might devise. As I dimly think back I recall that beer
bottles and cans elaborated themselves upon every surface of this
“house” in orderly fashion, a crenellation.
Indeed, I learned later that Schmidt slept in a casket-like part of his
“nest.” So he had made another piece of found art to substitute for his
destroyed masterpiece on Ohayo Mountain. I gave him one bottle of beer
(schmuck!) and he commented about my niggardliness, which was apt.
Schmidt had a long and scruffy beard and he was clothed in carpenter’s
overalls. I asked if I could look around and he agreed. By this time
everyone from down under flocked through Woodstock, and perhaps he had
tired of the notoriety. I had no idea what I was looking for, but I
found it. As I browsed through many yards of trees and shrubbery, it hit
me: Schmidt had broken off legs, arms, torsos, and faces of every
imaginable kind of children’s doll and had painted them in a dull silver
paint. I wouldn’t call it eerie; it was like a bad night in The Shining
(“Redrum”). I’d walk a foot or so and another silvered and weathered
grotesque would pop into view. Schmidt apparently was a kind of Johnny
Appleseed, seeding his woods with art. All was random and happenstance;
it was a “happening,” to use the term coming into the American lexicon.
It was not a Dantesque hell, but more of an outer expression of an inner
artistic disturbance. I will not label it. I will not place it into
some movement. It was Clarence Schmidt tiptoeing through the tulips with
a sculptor’s hand. Certainly different and outré, I took it in without
interpreting it, which was a better response than any other I could
think of. I was learning to look at everything as if for the first time.

Title: Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers
Author: Mathias B. Freese
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Formats: Paperback & eBook
Published by: Wheatmark
ISBN: 9781627873536
Pub. Date: Feb. 15, 2016
Number of pages: 236
Content Warning: 19+ for mild sexual and graphic content
Purchase at:,, and Barnes&

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Author Bio: MATHIAS B. FREESE is a multi-published, award-winning author, writer, teacher and psychotherapist.

Also by Mathias B. Freese:
I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust, 2014, ISBN 9781627871617
The i Tetralogy, 2005, ISBN 1587364042
Down to a Sunless Sea, 2007, ISBN 9781587367335
This Mobius Strip of Ifs, 2012, ISBN 9781604947236

Book Awards:
> The i Tetralogy: Allbooks Review Editor’s Choice Award 2007
> Down to a Sunless Sea: National Indie Excellence finalist Book Awards 2007 & Allbooks Reviews Editor’s Choice Award 2007.
> This Mobius Strip of Ifs: National Indie (Winner) Book Awards, 2012 & Global Ebook Award finalist, 2012.
> I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust: Finalist in the 2012 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest out of 424 submissions
> Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers: 2016 Los Angeles Book
Festival Honorable Mention & Great Northwest Book Festival Winner in
Biography/Autobiography Category

Find and follow Mathias on his: website, Facebook and Goodreads.

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  1. Pingback: LIVE! Nurture Book Tour & Giveaway! – “Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers” by Mathias B. Freese – Nurture Your BOOKS™

  2. Thank you, Kristy, for hosting my book. Your readers should know that
    I have published THE i TETRALOGY (2005), a novel about the Holocaust, DOWN TO A SUNLESS SEA (2008), a book of short stories, THIS MOBIUS STRIP OF IFS (2012), a collection of essays, I TRULY LAMENT: WORKING THROUGH THE HOLOCAUST, 27 short stories from different points of view in 2015 which has garnered several important awards. And TESSERAE (2016) which was awarded honorable mention, 2016 Los Angeles Book Festival and 2016 Great Northwest Book Festival winner in Biography/Autobiography category.
    Always open to engaging readers with their questions. Interested in give-a-ways. They speak of social media, but I am a retired clinical social worker and relish working with my ever-growing fan base. I write to share.

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