I’ve cancelled my plans to run for President.

     Dear Sandy,

     I’ve cancelled my plans to run for President.

     I am tired of trying to be important.

     And I have better things to do.

                                                  Sincerely Papa

Those three lines are as telling as a DNA test - I am undeniably my father’s girl. Just like my Dad, I strive. My ambitions are not as grand, but I do try to accomplish meaningful work. For instance, writing this blog to support my book, and submitting my novel, WHAT YOU CARRY to literary agents and publishers, because getting this book into the hands of readers may have value to people who grew up in the 70’s or have a mentally ill family member or are interested in the Florida wilds along the Space Coast near Cape Canaveral. Vying for a home for my book is kind of like asking for votes. It requires a pitch and a platform, and it can wear a girl out.

For as long as I can remember, my Dad had industrious plans, often thwarted by an array of obstacles that would plow most of us under and eventually did our family in.  Yet, even with a debilitating mental illness, he managed to co-create four humans, hand-craft a working fishing boat, remodel our weird old house, and by himself, in a pair of waders and armed with a jackhammer, build a dock in front of our Cocoa house that spanned 30 feet over the Indian River. 

My “Papa” is exceptional, and incredibly important to me. Letters like this one gave me good reason to bestow the central character in my novel, Lyle Thompson, qualities of my father. And, it’s interesting just how sane this letter seems today, a mere five weeks away from a really important presidential election.   

He only attempted running for President twice, as far as I know. Currently, he is writing a book about his life and philosophy entitled, NO BEGINNING, NO END. Maybe we can team up on book tours.


Chop Wood and Carry Water

Chop Wood and Carry Water

My exact nature today is shaky. I’d like to start over but I can’t move. I must have been born with this sadness because I do not remember a time when I wasn’t ankle deep in mealy black dirt. I’ve never minded. I love the smell of earth. Even the smell of my cat’s kidney-failing pee reminds me as much of eucalyptus as her impending finish. She’s my vanishing girl, on her way of out, becoming slighter and slower as a tumor webs her organs together and blocks her colon. Just in time to mingle with the dead and transition through the part in the curtains that opens with autumn.