Next update January 20
For my Father.
This is my last post of 2014. I haven’t updated my blog in a while because it’s been a very rough time for me and my family. On December 15th, my father passed away unexpectedly at the age of only 69.
I’ve always had a great relationship with my father; he was kind and supportive and loving and – along with my mother – he made me into the person I am today. He gave me my passion for golf, first teaching me the game when I was only 10, and we played many, many rounds together over the years.
The day my father passed away, I was on a golf course in Texas. He was in the hospital up in Canada, and we knew it was serious… but we didn’t realize how serious. During that round I was thinking about my father a lot. I was playing with two other guys, but I was walking the course and keeping mostly to myself. On the back nine, I actually began to imagine my father was with me as I played, acting as a caddie and commenting on my shots. (And trying to get me to take 4 foot putts as gimmies, a trait he was well known for!)
It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the wind was warm and I felt very calm and peaceful as I played. On the 15th hole one of the pros who works at the course approached us in a golf cart and said my wife had called the clubhouse and I needed to call her right away. Even as I dialed the number, I knew what had happened – he was gone.
I’m not a particularly religious man, but it really felt like he was with me on the back nine, and I will forever treasure the memory of those last holes. It has been only two weeks since Dad passed away, but it feels much longer. Between the funeral and the Christmas holidays, it seems like we’ve been going non-stop. Fortunately, we’ve had lots of support from family and friends, but it’s still been a very difficult time. But my father was a joyful, positive person, and I know he’d want us to carry on and seek happiness even in his absence.
He was always supportive of my writing, and he was so proud of both me and my sister. He loved giving my books to everyone he met, and he always wanted to know what I was working on next. So the rest of this update is for him, too.
The manuscript for Chaos Unleashed, the final book in my Chaos Born trilogy, is with my editors – I expect they will give me their notes in the New Year. Right now we are finalizing the map that will be included with the third novel - something my father has been asking for since book 1.
I have a couple other ideas I’ve pitched to my agent, and I’ll be fleshing them out a bit over the next month so she can start shopping them around. I don’t want to say too much about them, but one is a historical action novel, and the other is a contemporary sci-fi/spec fic story with a bit of an X-files vibe. (In my last conversation with my father, I was able to tell him about these ideas. As always, he was eager and excited to hear about what I was working on.)
I’m also putting together a collection of short stories I have kicking around. Some of them have already been published in magazines or anthologies, but most have never been seen in public before. Because publishers don’t make a lot of money on short story collections, I’m going to be self-publishing this. (Another thing my Dad always wanted me to try.) I’ll have more details about this in my next update, and I expect it will be ready before the end of February.
I guess that’s about it. 2014 ended on an awful note, but I know Dad would want me to remember all the good things that happened in the year, too. That’s the kind of guy he was. And I know he’d want nothing but good things for me, my sister, my Mom and all our family and friends in 2015. So on his behalf, I wish the same to all of you.
Goodbye, Dad. I’ll miss you.