The Journey to Connectedness

AVAILABLE NOW! Cows in the Fog can be purchased at Amazon.com, then click on, or type in, “books.”

When I was young, I wanted to be rich and famous. As I got older, I just wanted to be rich. Now, I simply want enough money to get buy, comfortably, when possible, and to enjoy life with family and friends, as I meet life challenges.

You see, writing a book is about much more than seeking wealth or notoriety. It’s about making connections. I never suspected that such satisfaction would come by developing those with people who write or enjoy books. That’s especially important to a guy like me who has spent so many years working in residential construction with usually a handful of people. When I had my own business and small staff, sometimes things got lonely for this one-time journalist.

Working with the members of the Mahopac Writers’ Group gave me friends with a common interest. Working creatively with others to design a cover brought more. How satisfying it is when people approach after library or café readings, smile, and say. “Your poem was wonderful. I know what you’re talking about.” Bonds grow out of this sort of thing.

And, of course, being of help to others who are working on fiction, poetry, or non-fiction is gratifying.

Thinking back, there have been some especially satisfying moments:

I hoped with my comments, and those of others, we could help a woman who had been dramaticizing the mannerisms of the handicapped in an unsavory fashion she never intended. After she worked on the piece, she made readers feel the good times and satisfaction one can have when we spend time with others whose lives are not about winning races, being top employees in a fast-paced business world, or hunting for glamourous spouses. Handicapped and normal by our standards. Who is helping whom?

Working with an editor for my book, Jeff Edrich, who wrote, Dream of Broken Feathers. During the past two years, we developed a lasting friendship.

I had read some poems at the Pawling Shakespeare Club, and sold many books. A woman who looked a bit worn sat next to me at a luncheon. With a blank expression, she pulled out some bills and handed them to me. She began reading and a few minutes later, her eyes lit up. “I only bought your book to be nice,” she exclaimed. “But it is good. Really good.” We talked about my writing, and chatted about our lives. I made a new friend at the club.

An older teen, new in the job market purchased a book. The next time I saw her, she gave me a bright smile. “I loved your poem “Turkey Vulture.” In the way young people discover new insight into life, she said “Your poem about the dark side of that bird has helped me understand people at work.”
Isn’t that the poet’s mission?

Lastly an acquaintance came to me, animated with happiness, and exclaimed, “Your book is impressive. I can see in my mind the places in your poems.” It feels good to give people a bit of happiness.

And so… after a few month break, I start the next book, a memoir of my summers from thirteen to sixteen. A suburban Connecticut boy coming of age in a remote village of Vermont socializing with dairy farmers whose ancestors lived in the same houses back to before the revolution, swimming in mountain rivers, and trying to blend in with Vermont locals. This takes place in the same setting once enjoyed by Norman Rockwell, Grandma Moses, Norman Rockwell, and Robert Frost.

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