I stopped writing in my own voice and under my own name almost 20 years ago.
When I left my job as a reporter and columnist at a regional daily newspaper, I thought I was moving forward to writing a novel. I started several, with cool working titles like Burning Fast , A High Wall and Pepere’s Tools, collections of essays, music – mostly for my own enjoyment, including a lullaby for my daughter. I wrote a couple of children’s books, but never connected with an illustrator to bring them to visual life.
So more accurately, I suppose, I stopped publishing.
Then on a January morning, I got up well before the sun and started writing a story about trauma, betrayal and salvation. On 139 of the ensuing 140 mornings, I wrote what I could. Eventually, I walked into the kitchen, put my arms around my wife and said: “I wrote a book.”
As I type, I am coming to the end of the editing process and have started, and paused, my second novel. It will likely be called Postmarked in Paris.
This blog will be about all that, about reconnecting with something I put aside; I’ve always been partial to Joan Didion’s assertion that we should remain on nodding terms with the people we used to be. It will also be about things that shape me. My wife and daughter. Cooking yummy food. Music. Using the wind to move across the sea.
Like the book, one thing this blog will not be about is my day job. If you are here for that, you may wish to move along; here I am spokesman for no one but myself.
I have a front row seat to incredible trauma and pain and dignity and hope in my day-to-day. But it is not mine. And I do not plan to bring it here.
Please feel free to disagree with me and tell me when I’m wrong, blind, privileged, entitled – but then educate me rather than being satisfied in pointing out where I’ve stumbled. Do so respectfully and gently, and you will get respect in return. There is enough conflict in my days. I’m not in the market for any more.