I relate big time to Rodney Dangerfield’s line, “I don’t get no respect.”
I’ve given several people a free copy of my book, The Red Jacket, hoping of course that they’ll read it, tell me how terrific it is, and recommend it to others.
But that doesn’t seem to be happening. I’m not sure I could even get Sam to read my book, he’s so independent. A couple of people have read my book and a couple have even bought an e-version of it to read (thank you Cindy). But many people are typical of my own daughter who told me she started reading my book then set it aside when a friend gave her a copy of Hunger Games. She said Hunger Games was so exciting she couldn’t put it down.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Who sang that? Tina Turner? It’s a tough thing to come by, especially from people who know you.
But is it really necessary to have the respect of others if you respect yourself? In theory no. It’s that ego thing Freud talked about that keeps getting in the way. I try to tell myself it doesn’t matter what others think of me and my book. What’s important is how I feel and I feel pretty darned good.
I spent parts of the last 30 years writing The Red Jacket. It changed a lot during that time. I had to keep asking myself, “What is it you really want to say?” I even took a year off work and nearly learned the true meaning of starving artist, to finish the first version of it. I nearly got thrown out of my house because I couldn’t pay the rent (this was before I married Kathleen and got a real job). That was years ago and I chipped away and chipped away on honing my writing to come up with the recently published version of The Red Jacket. The last couple of years sitting down to my home computer to write after sitting at a computer all day at work to create legal real estate documents was tough, but I did it.
I’m happy with The Red Jacket. I finally learned that I had this compulsion to write about the relationships of sons with their fathers or stepfathers. I grew up with a stepfather, never knew my real father until I met him at the age of 40 and only got to spend a couple of hours with him shortly before he died. I have known a lot of young men in the same situation and I know that some of them handled that well, but many who didn’t are in prison as a result. That’s just too sad.
My next book, The Wine Red Road, coming out hopefully by the end of this month, portrays a good father/son relationship - about a young man who helps his journalist father solve a crime. Once The Wine Red Road is out, I plan to finish North Star Mountain - about a young man who goes deer hunting with his stepfather and winds up accidentally killing another deer hunter to protect his stepfather. Then, I’m also working on a book titled The Ditch Rider - about a young Montana man who rides irrigation canals with his father and the two of them discover a body in one of the canals. A book I have planned but haven’t worked on much yet is The Marble King - about a young neighborhood marble champion and his relationship with his stepfather.
If I don’t get no respect at least I can leave a written legacy that hopefully will speak to a problem I think isn’t talked about nearly enough. Maybe it will help. Who knows?
Until you read my book though, a bag of poop on ya’. I know that’s bad. It’s my ego speaking, you know?