Young people are dying pretty often these days. That's a dark way to start a happy post, but a few months ago there was a short span of time when a handful of people between the ages of 22 and 47 passed away. They weren't people I knew personally, just in memoriams that popped up in my Facebook feed. Since I'm edging ever closer to 37 and always able to make everything about myself, I started to wonder. What would I be doing different if I only had ten years left?
Travel? More education? Finally learn to play guitar?
The only thing I came up with for my next decade's bucket list is my book. I "finished" No Room For Honda three years ago. I read it and re-read it and couldn't figure out what the point of publishing it would be. Did it have some great message the world needs to hear? Was it going to earn critical acclaim? Would it make a fortune?
I couldn't answer any of those questions in the affirmative. The book does have a message, but I think the world will still turn without it. My lackadaisical attempts at finding a publisher turned up empty so the acclaim and the money will be quite nonexistent. Having no compelling reason to put my work out into the world, I shelved it.
It bothered me though. It became a question of why not. Why not let people read it? For that I have no good answer.
So I used Create Space to self-publish my first novel. I typeset and edited and messed with the thing for weeks in an attempt to shed the amateur appearance of a self-published book. I didn't get it all right. You'll be able to tell. And the entire process has been terrifying. Most of the time I spent inserting page breaks counted as exercise according to my fitness tracker. Microsoft Word can get my heart pumping!
The book is out now. It tells a story of mental illness, bipolar if you have to be specific. It gives an honest, albeit factionalized, account of diagnosis and the frighteningly trial and error treatment of the body's most important organ. The story captures how very embarrassing sicknesses of the mind can be and how this infiltrates every part of a person's life. It tells about families and what it means to love and be a part of that most sacred group.
I only feel good about my work when I'm actually reading it. The rest of the time I'm plagued with doubt. Did I tell the story too fast? Did I leave threads that were never picked up again? Is it affect or effect? Was there enough of an ending?
I don't know how readers (gosh I hope there will be more than one!) will answer those questions. Now I will get to find out. No Room For Hondo is now available on amazon.com in print and kindle editions.