…sits down and orders a shot of Jack and whatever cheap beer they have on tap. Dispensing with Jack, he takes a baby sip of the beer to rinse the palate and, like he always does, he takes in the crowd not by rubbernecking the room but by staring straight ahead into the mirror on the wall above the bar with his own reflection staring back at him along with everyone else.
That was not the first paragraph of a fiction novel. Rather, it is a general description of where my head is at in my own tiny speck of sand on this spinning blue ball in the cosmos that I am forced to share with the rest of humanity and is more or less the canvas upon which my words are painted. And I can still vividly remember, starting all the way back to my childhood, that I have always been fascinated with words and have always loved playing with them, sorta like we all did as toddlers in a high chair, mashing cut-up spaghetti between our fingers and getting as much on our face as we did in our mouths… And not giving a fuck about what anyone thought of us.
I have wanted to be a writer as far back as I can remember and was egged on by my high school sweetheart and even told by my senior year English Comp. teacher that I had potential if I kept at it. Who knows how much either one of them was just blowing smoke up my skirt, but either way, I pushed that all aside after college and focused on my work as an electrical engineer and classroom instructor. Decades later, blind and moderately cognitively impaired by three Strokes, I wrote my first book almost singly because I needed to prove to myself that I could and, after the second book (written solely because I had left things unsaid in the first), I sat down and wrote the book I have always said I wanted to write.
It’s not that I said to myself, “When I grow up, I want to write a book called “Hermit Chronicles”… Hell, it could have been called “The Subtle Art Of Watching Grass Grow” for all I would have cared… It just needed to be the real me, talking the way I really do and leaving behind some sort of fingerprint that I actually existed once or that I might have had something witty or entertaining that others might find interesting long after I returned to room temperature and turned back into the dust from whence I came.
All of this is to say that I have finally survived Amazon’s gauntlet for cover image requirements and am proud to announce that Hermit Chronicles is published and available for purchase. For now, it is only available in paperback and is comprised of 276 pages broken up into two sections and formatted as a collection of essays… Think of it as a Reader’s Digest where you can read a story here and there, not necessarily in any particular order, and can pick it up or put it down at your own leisure. It is as suitably placed in your bathroom (and I know you know what I mean by that) as it is on your coffee table. The cover image is a photograph I took of a building I built years ago when I lived in Texas (there is a story about its construction and intended use somewhere in the book), and it’s the best visual representation I can offer about my worldview in one photograph.
Please consider buying the book and telling your friends to do likewise; seriously… How many chances will you get in your life to tell your friends you know a blind guy that figured out how to write a book, even though he can’t read or write, and get it published on Amazon? Besides… Coffee is pretty damn expensive these days, and I could use your help.