The process of publishing this first book has been cathartic in a sense. The first step in moving on is to leave the past behind. The trick is to not bury yourself in the purging process. All people of a certain age have lost part of their identity when they left their career on a hook in the closet along with their coveralls and gloves. The world at-large really doesn’t care who you were or what you’ve done. How you present yourself in your day to day situations is what matters now. Publishing is like any other industry. Everybody involved wants to make a buck. No one really cares about the content except the end users. Getting from here to there is the hard part. So it has been for me. But the process itself has been educational if not inspirational. I am getting closer to publication, having been sidetracked by a truly unexpected event. The content of my book was challenged on a moral issue. So, in the eleventh hour I decided to change horses. But I will get “Black Witch” published on my own, answering to no one and the intervening time has allowed me to improve it. And in the process, I learned what cathartic meant.
I find it strange that I should start my writing career by talking about something lost when this is really a new beginning for me. My first book is about lost opportunities, lost loves and lost days. When I think about it, something lost will be a re-occurring theme in my next few books. But if you choose to examine life in the light of your own personal history, you will find that our lives are really about a succession of the dead days behind us and the dying day at hand. All else is speculation. Dead is a descriptive term for that which has passed. Prose offers us many ways to symbolize or glorify those past days, but the fact is those days are gone, never to be retrieved. Unless you write them down. I choose to do that and in that process extract the joy of those days and try to fabricate in my mind and yours, I hope, the blazing of the sun and the heat of the passion that once was and can be again.
For me, this is the carrot and donkey syndrome that will let the sun rise on a new passion before it sets for good on those passions of the past. My first book “Black Witch” is simply an attempt to exorcise those things in my head that proved to be unacceptable. The attempt failed but I move on. Join me, if you will. Together we can chase the setting sun and maybe stumble on a nugget of gold somewhere as we stumble along our path towards the western horizon.
The picture was provided by Jerry Chisum. It symbolizes for me, the death of four of our co-workers, who died in a plane crash in Alaska many years ago. And who is to say that the sun is not rising?