As I wake up every morning feeling more and more foggy-headed and lethargic, more like I barely managed to survive the night, I am aware I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I even passed out for a few minutes as I wrote this intro. I don’t know how long I actually have left. I no longer have the funds to get tested by the cardiologist, the urologist, or the endocrinologist every time a pain or a lightheadedness concerns me. I may not still be here when morning comes around again. But I fear no evil. When I finish reading the last page of a good book and close the book, I don’t mourn that the reading experience has ended. I exult in the wonderful story I have read or marvel at the lessons and learning the book has taught me. The end of my life will be like that. My life is not one that must be regretted.
The thing about having a shadow hanging over you is that it can be totally defeated by adding a little sunshine. I have never been a better writer than I am now. I am nearing the end of what seems to me to be the best novel I have ever written. I felt that same way as Catch a Falling Star was being written, and it proved to be true. I won the Rising Star Award and the Editor’s Choice Award from I-Universe publishing which has them on the phone with me again trying to find ways to fund the marketing they think it deserves in spite of my total lack of money. I also thought Snow Babies was the best thing I had ever written, even better than Catch a Falling Star. And the publisher I found for that one thought so too, right up to the moment when my curse as an unknown writer killed their little publishing company. I feel really good about Sing Sad Songs as it continues to basically write itself. So what if I never live to see any of my books yield success? The fact that I have caused them to exist is enough to fulfill me. It is enough to satisfy me. Of course, I do have more stories in me that need to be told. That is motivation enough to stay alive and keep writing.
It is the valley of the shadow of death, however. A novel character I love is about to die. It seems there are a lot of my novels that end with a death even though they are all basically comic novels, full of things that at least make me laugh. But I fear no evil. Thy rod and thy staff, the stick that whacks me when I misstep and the shepherd’s crook that rescues me from dark crevices, they comfort me. I will continue to pass through.