My novel begins and ends here at this very beautiful Bertha Lake.
I think some of you might enjoy following along as I make my way from having finished my first novel through to having it published.
I intend to use this blog, in part, to record that process.
And I think you might also enjoy my two main characters. Each has a concern that I suspect most people have. Independent of each other, they’ve both realized that their lives are not as full as they could be and should be. They feel an emptiness. And my novel is about their attempts to fill that emptiness and to create meaning for themselves.
Jillian says at one point:
“Over the past six years, I have gradually come to understand that deep down inside me is a real Jillian, a real Self, that I have to find and get to know. My deep-down Jillian exists on a much higher plane than I do. A plane with real values and with the potential for real happiness. A plane well above that superficial van Slizen swamp [her family] that I have been floundering around in all my life.
“My socialization has buried that true Self, has alienated me from her, and has made my life superficial and insubstantial.
“And, of late, absolutely unbearable.
“But I am going to find her, Randy. I have to. She is waiting for me. I just know it.”
And Charlie says elsewhere:
“For a million years now I haven’t carped even one diem. Jeez, BJ, not even one.”
He tried a sip of coffee. He shook the mug. It was empty.
“My life is clearly just as empty as this mug. And I have no idea what to do about it. I haven’t been doing any of the important stuff. And you’re right. How can I work on the important stuff if I don’t even know what it is?
“Maybe it’s just easier to keep drifting.”
. . .
He’d struggled all his life with all kinds of fears. He’d been especially afraid of rejection and of being laughed at for trying something and failing.
He’d worked really hard at not being afraid, but most of the time he was.
Up until he retired, he’d always been able to hide behind busyness, lots and lots of superficial busyness. It had been so much easier to escape into busyness of any kind, didn’t matter what, than to take control of his own life and become the man he really wanted to be.
But in retirement, that kind of hiding was getting harder and harder to do.
Now a couple things about me:
This is one of the hikes I did the year I turned seventy. It took me almost eleven hours. I also did sixteen others, though only one of them was as grueling as this one.
I mostly like to be outdoors photographing landscapes, when I’m not writing, but occasionally I’m lured into macro work when a new batch of my wife’s orchids calls out to me.
A bit of my history:
My first foray into social media. As of January 23, I knew nothing about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, or Google+. I didn’t even have a smart phone or a television. Still don’t. But I do have Apple’s most recent 15″ MacBook Pro and their 10.5” iPad Pro cellular, fully loaded and accessorized, and I love them both.
My wife and I both turned seventy-five. We celebrated our fiftieth anniversary. And I finished my first novel.
Pre-2016, in no particular order
Construction worker. Trout fisher. Canoeist. Western University. Judoka. Road Captain in a Harley Davidson HOG group. Hiker. University of Waterloo. Rainbow trout fisher. Queen Scout. Hippie. United Church minister. McGill University. Students’ Council, McGill University. Stock photographer. Karateka. Competitive runner. University of Saskatchewan. Factory worker. Highschool teacher of English to both gifted and modified grade ten and twelve students. University lecturer. And a very enthusiastic rainbow trout fisher (he says for the third time).
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