November 22, 2014
Thanks to all who have expressed interest in our book Hiking Without Dave. After three and a half years, Bonnie and I are ready to release it. Be advised that when you open it things may get messy: Bonnie and I will both come pouring out. If you want a head start, sample chapters can be downloaded on the Hiking Without Dave page.
If you know Bonnie, I am sure you will whole-heartedly agree that she is a sweet and loving person. Here is a little secret just between you and me: as an editor she can be quite de- manding. She went through the manuscript at least six times, encour- aging me to expand, clarify, reconsider, cut, take a writing course . . . (kidding about that last one). She developed spreadsheets and countless checklists. And she ruthlessly extracted almost all the clichés I loved. She said good writers don’t use them—and you can take that to the bank!
Bonnie did more than edit. She shot the cover photograph (see my, ahem Bonnie’s, blog “It Takes More Than a PHD to Shoot a Book Cover Photo”), drew the graphics, formatted the manuscript for publishing, designed the company logo, composed the press release, figured out how to get over all the hurdles to self-publish, and finally ran the 100 in ten seconds (just checking to see if you were paying attention).
The hard part for me was baring my soul. It was up to me to try to explain why I had to hike without Dave in the first place. I made major mistakes and should have known better. These are not things I like to admit about myself. I’m not in any way regretting writing the book, though. To borrow a line from an old hymn, “God washed my eyes with tears.” The tears I shed were from reliving both my brother’s and my son’s deaths, and they were tears of healing. Just maybe a life or two will be saved as a result of Bonnie’s and my efforts.
I can’t wait to get our final proof delivered to our front door, probably today. If it’s OK, and we think it will be, Bonnie and I will push the publish button together, and Hiking Without Dave will magically appear for sale on Amazon!
We truly did pour ourselves into this project. Little did we know that it would take all this time, but I believe this must be the right time. If you read it, I hope you find much hope and humor. If you are a suicide survivor in need of some healing, maybe just knowing you are not alone will help to lift you up.