Life, Death, More Life
I'm briefly back again. Back next to the lapping shores of the Mississippi River. Back where I once sat in Hannibal's popular little coffee shop, watching the sun shine on the yellow canvas overhangs, early September breeze whispering through the trees they planted along the sidewalks when I used to go to college here.
Coming back to life after certain death is a strange thing. No one ever tells you how strange until you're sitting, a ghost still in your own body. Things so familiar and yet distanced all at once. Does this make any sense? I don't just write this post because, either. Currently, as I henpeck Rienspel's long-awaited sequel (yes yes, I know I know...) I write similar scenes (no, I won't tell you which ones or with which characters... you'll just have to wait and see).
Everyone always talks about how death is a part of life. I always passed that sentiment off as blaise. Now, I have unexpectedly stumbled into a place in my life where I can jump back at worth, more or less at will, between lands of old death, of heart and family and homespun normality with distant deserts of spirit and unlooked for success - culture and speed and glitz. Neon palms flickering in the expired heat of late summer nights.
How can both things, both worlds so placidly co-exist at once?
How can life and hope and dreams all blur together as one with such ease and clarity?I never thought I'd get here - where ever Here is. I never thought I'd live (and live and live). We take tomorrow for granted so much. We take trips to the grocery store without a blink. We visit or don't visit family out of duty or love or frustration - but never because we might not ever see them again. Not on this side of things, at least.
Surrounding me now is death and life in so many forms. Now that my own veil has been lifted and the scales have fallen from my eyes, I cannot help but see it here and there. How death and life touch people's hearts and thoughts and prayers. And not people in general. Specific people. People I can name. People who's houses I have dinner at.
My books keep disappearing from little coffee shops. The apple trees I planted when I thought I wouldn't see this fall are still there, growing, even though I don't own their earth anymore. There is such a sense of deep moving wonder it staggers me. Doesn't everyone see this too? Can't everyone else know this as well? It's right here and there.
I can't help but feel my eyes drift up streets where houses sit which might have been mine - could have been mine - if not for a different, far better way at work in the world. A way which works through death and life. A something which, like a great confluence, gathers and arranges souls and hearts and lives together in an endless ring of light.
What am I to say? Nothing. It is too great. I am too small. Sometimes, as I have learned, Silence is the best thing to say. (And, with any luck, you'll get to meet a character I've written, called Silence, in a book called Nameless, whenever the right publisher comes along, too!) For now, I keep writing. Whole days at my disposal for silly things. Little choices. Like stones piled atop one another along mountain paths. A little tiny mark to prove that I had passed this way. Quiet nudges which might change and add to the destiny of towns and families and people. Or not. Who knows?
Writing update: I'm continuing to work on the manuscript for That Dark Battle (Rienspel II). The re-edits and revisions for Rienspel's anniversary editing ought to be finished by around the end of this September - then I'll be sending it off to the good folks over at Evolved Publishing. In addition, so long as all continues according to plan, I'll have my first non-fiction releasing next month! Virgin Author: How to Do Your Book Right the First Time releasing via major online channels, with signings at Organic Books in Albuquerque, Main Street Books in St Charles, MO, and up at Quincy Books in Quincy, IL. With any luck, I'll have pre-orders available for you soon as well. If you or someone you know is writing or wants to write a book or three, this one's for you.
Work also continues with my other novels-in-progress as well: If I Could Go Anywhere and The Class of '46. I'll also have a Day-By-Day quote book ready to go this December, just in time for New Years as well.