September 28th 2014
I’m coming slowly out of a four month nightmare that took me to depths of depression and despair that I never dreamed I’d ever visit. It all started back in early July, funny I don’t even have a glimmer of anything that happened on the 4th of July this year. The only memories I have are those that I recorded in my Journal. It all started out with an infection of some sort in my lower jaw. I went to a dentist and he prescribed an antibiotic and a strong pain killer. I got over the infection on the left side of my jaw and then I got the same thing I thought on the opposite side. I went back to the dentist and he referred me to an Oral Surgeon. The Surgeon extracted a tooth and I continued to take the drugs for pain. By the time the pain was all gone I think I was addicted to the drugs. It took me a week or two to get free of the drug dependence. Just as I started to feel better I took a header over one of my dogs and I landed full force right on my forehead. I broke my left wrist, and one rib on the left side. At first I thought that was all but it soon became evident that I had a concussion as well.
It first manifested as dizzy spells, then lapses of memory, and forgetfulness. I couldn’t even think of names of people who were old friends of mine. I even forgot my wife’s birthday, but thanks to my family I was reminded in time to make a nice memory for her and a very vague memory for me. This head-on collision with mother earth also brought on a reoccurrence of my spinal Stenosis. I am going through therapy for it, but I may have to have surgery and some serious hardware installed to hold it all together. This is all fun stuff but the real downer is I lost interest in my writing for quite some time. Previously for me a day or two without writing something whether good or not was of serious consequence, I just needed to write yo feel alive.
I’m one of those people who can express myself better with the written language rather than the spoken word. I am convinced that the need to write and the gift of the Muse is in the DNA or the genes of the writer when they are born, but does not always come out immediately. The catalyst that urges the writer to first sit down to write the great American novel is when that potential writer reads a book that ends the wrong way and they say to themselves “I could write it better.” Of course the wannabe writer only thinks they can. Once the writer’s bug bites the process begins and the need to write is insatiable. After the writer fills several large dumpsters with pure literary trash, finely something emerges which is fit to share with a close friend. Then slowly but surely the newly emerged closet writer learns to swallow and digest the bitter pills of criticisms, that are sure to come, even from your best friend, or spouse.
My literary epiphany came on when I was first assigned to write Legal documents for the Land Acquisition Department of the Utility Company I worked for. When I began to see how wording in a document could be used to describe a piece of real-estate so that it could be distinguished as no other piece of real-estate in the world. And also limit the liability and the conditions of use for both parties to the deed or agreement; I learned to appreciate the power of words. I also learned to appreciate the right word in the right place.
Prior to this time the only writing I had ever done was some homework assignments from school, letters home while over seas in the U.S. Navy, and a journal that I started when I was 30 years old back in 1966. I’m still making entries in those journals. I’m almost finished with volume 24.
Never-the-less I have long since classified myself as a writer fully equipped with the genes and the DNA to support the claim, because now I have self published two small books, and I have the completed first draft of my first and maybe only novel. It is over 500 pages and will need considerable amount of rewriting and condensing to get it launched. I also have another non-fiction book ready for some serious editing and rewriting. I’m thinking that I may have enough short stories to start an anthology or two, and a few creative nonfiction essays to submit to literary journals once again. My first creative non-fiction essay was published back in 2007 and It made me feel like I was a serious candidate to call myself a writer. Up until that time I only had 50 or 60 news articles published in a small weekly newspaper.
The only problem I have at this junction of the road is to find a way to drag my head out of the nightmare and sit down at the keyboard and WRITE! This is hampered by the conglomeration of cobwebs that have gathered in the wake of the happenings since the end of June 2014.
I’m tying really hard and my Son-in-law Cordell Rich has set me up on this blog in order to get me back on the writer’s road, and recovery.