Friday, November 4, 2011

Paperbacks, Proofs, Fire Stations and Banjo's

It is an enormous relief to have something I've worked so hard on out of my hands and, hopefully, into yours.  It has definitely been a process that stretched my expertise, and while exciting (and at times tedious) the process of getting a book to print feels a whole lot more like work than writing it did.  That being said, as many of you might already know, Scarlet and the Keepers of the Light became available for sale in its physical form, a trade paperback, at around six this morning.  For those of you who were waiting, I apologize for the delay between the Kindle and paperback release.  As I've hinted at above, I underestimated how much more was left to accomplish before the book could be fully released.  It has been a week of transitions and bitter sweet moments for me, and while releasing the book was a highlight, its completion had to take the back burner a couple of times.
I received the final proof at the beginning of the week and also had to leave my fire station and crew of nearly four years, get promoted, and work through a scare with Banjo, the Labrador who inspired Cricket (more on that later).
Although writing is my first and most constant love, I also have the privilege of serving as a professional firefighter.  I have been fortunate enough for the past four years to work out of the same old, moldy fire station, my first coming out of recruit school.  This week, I begin paramedic school full time and with the promotion, I was officially transferred away from this home away from home.  Speaking with my wife, who put it in perspective for me (she has a habit of doing that) as I worked 24 hours on shift, 48 hours off, I have spent a third of the last three years at that station.  Normally I avoid looking at life that way, it can get a bit daunting...you spend a third of your life asleep...you spend three whole years commuting to work...you spend 40 whole days of your life brushing your teeth, if you have cavities, maybe 30...  It starts to make you feel like you waste a lot of time, and as the only resource on earth that we simply can't have more of, that can be a bit of a downer.  But as far as its related to the fire station, it brought a smile to my face.  If you ever have the chance to be a firefighter, take it.  There is no better job in the world.
Banjo (aka Cricket)
For those of you who have read Scarlet and the Keepers of the Light, you will definitely be familiar with Cricket.  Without giving anything away, Cricket is the Hopewell family's black Labrador.  Well, I will confess that she is not entirely my invention.  The West family has a Cricket, we call her Banjo, and she is the inspiration behind the Cricket character.  Over the past six years, she has been there with Angela and I through some of the most significant moments of our lives.  She was there at the birth of our second daughter, at the death of our first dog,  she was there when I graduated the fire academy and was in my lap with I finished reading the proof of Scarlet.  For six years, my superdog, who I had begun to think of as invincible, ate things no dog should eat, played rough, loved hard, nurtured our children and made us laugh.  And for the first time in six years, Banjo is very sick.  Now, I don't want this to be a depressing post, keep in mind I did mention that she is a superdog and will no doubt shake this off and be right as rain.
So why post this news at all, well, hopefully, I'm going to bring this all together.  While I don't think you should spend your time counting the hours you spend wasting time cutting your toenails or the years you spend in the shower, a little bit of healthy recognition that time, for us here on earth at least, is not infinite.  So...if you have a Banjo, go give her a big hug and if you don't, go to the nearest shelter and get you one.  If you have a dream, start chasing.  And you have to spend 40 days of your life brushing your teeth, buy the tasty toothpaste.

1 comment:

  1. Well you did it again.. I have yet to read your blog without crying. I am inspired by you

    ReplyDelete

Scarlet Hopewell