As always, thank you for reading and sharing my blog! I am an independent poet, author, and singer/songwriter and I have my own ebay business to keep me as flexible as possible. But, writing takes time and if you appreciate what I do, if you have been moved or made to think by my writing, OR have just enjoyed something on my blog, please throw a buck or two in my tip jar! Your kind contribution may buy me a cup of coffee out at my next writing session. Click my easy paypal “tip jar” link that follows and THANKS! -Luke
As always, thank you for reading and sharing! Please visit http://www.lukeaustindaugherty.com and find me on social media. -Luke
My friends, be human. And tell those who mean something to you that they do. -Luke
This is another “poetry happens” type of thing from my recent trip to Michigan. If you look around the steel columns on this pier in Holland, Michigan, you’ll find lots of names and miniature works of art done in permanent marker or scratched into the paint. I decided to add my own “mark” as it were…
This steel column
The real poetry
Lies just beyond
In the tempestuous
In the deep
In the white-foam breakers
In the distant
Pulled taut (Forgive the use of “taught” in the pic. It’s hard to proofread marker on-site 🙂
By Michigan wind
As of today, I am half way through my final edit of, “Love is the Middle: The True Story of a Father and Son.” It was January 2014 when I wrote the first words of the book. Now, other than some final tweaks, it is nearly finished. When I started writing, I did not know how long it would take me to write the book or how long the book would be. My main priority was that I didn’t want to rush it. I waited nearly five years after my dad died to start writing the memoir of our relationship. It took years for the reality of his death to sink in and for me to grieve that loss as fully as possible. Through the writing of this book, I have grieved his death even more— and in ways that I did not anticipate.
Now that the book is almost ready to publish, I have a different priority. Perhaps it is more of a hope. I truly desire that this book grows legs and does some “walking around.” Once my work shifts from writing editing to publishing and publicity, I’ll do my damndest to make that happen. My father and I went from being miles apart in our relationship with a burnt bridge between us, to genuinely saying “I love you” again. The story of how we did that is a hell of a tale. I hope you look forward to reading it.
It was a very strange feeling that I had just minutes ago…
I have been working on the first draft of my new book, “Love is the Middle,” since January. It is the story of how my deceased father and I grew far apart during my teens and then restored our wanting relationship during my twenties. I also cover the few years after when we were very close, his battle with cancer before dying, and how I adjusted to life after his passing.
As my custom is for writing this book, I go to Steak ‘n Shake where Dad and I spent untold hours bullshitting over coffee after we became close again. 100% of my writing of this book has been done at various Steak ‘n Shake restaurants, spread out between two states. I have been writing the first draft since January of this year. Since I am not a full time writer, I work in writing sessions between running my own small business, being a husband, father, and singer/songwriter. The flexibility I have has lent itself well to being consistent with writing the new book over the course of the year. Other than during a much needed emotional hiatus from writing the book for a bit over the late summer, I have worked on it between one and three times per week all year.
It may seem strange to write such a personal book in public. I chose to do so for two reasons: 1. Being in the atmosphere of a place that my father and I spent so much time together has been crucial to facilitate the mood I need to tackle this book now that my dad has been dead for over five years 2. Since I am writing so many difficult and personal things for others to read (and hopefully learn and be encouraged from), I figured that it would be appropriate to do so in the company of my fellow humans.
Writing this book in public has not been without its difficulties. Nearly every writing session, I tackle something that makes me want to cry. I can never anticipate or predict what specifically will cause that. It just happens. As my face sometimes leaks a bit and I become visibly emotional, I trust that my fellow humans around will not judge me as too much of a weirdo.
When I left the house this morning, I was fully purposed. I knew that I was within perhaps only hundreds of words left to write to complete the first draft of the book. With my Harris Tweed overcoat on to protect me from the cold, November morning weather in Indiana and my fully-charged laptop in tow, I lit out from the house for a writing session. After arriving at Steak ‘n Shake, I popped up the book file in Word and started to review a bit of the last sessions text before jumping into a fresh writing session. As I did that this morning, I had a strange realization; other than some “afterword” type stuff that I will not write until the book is completely edited and proofed, the book is finished. Well, the first draft anyway.
And then it started to sink in. The book that I anticipated writing for five years, felt that I NEEDED to write, decided to tackle this year, and have now been working on for ten months… is finished. That took a moment to absorb.
I have cooked since I was very young. I love working on a tasty dish: adding the primary ingredients, adding a pinch of this, a dash of that, and tasting for flavor development as it goes. Then, at a certain point, you realize that the dish just tastes “right.” Everything that needs to be in it is in it. Adding anything else would mess it up. It takes maturity and experience as a cook to know when your dish is at that point. All you have to do then is let it finish simmering and serve it up for all to enjoy.
After I re-read the last half of what I wrote during my previous writing session, it hit me like a brick that this book is done. The bitter-sweet recipe is complete.
Not to be “all dressed up with nowhere to go” so to speak, I just decided to write a blog about finishing the book as I sip my hot coffee with one cream and one sugar 🙂
Writing, “Love is the Middle,” has been one of the most difficult and rewarding creative tasks that I have ever engaged in. Actually, it has been THE most difficult and rewarding creative task that I have ever engaged in. Now that draft one is finished, I look forward to the editing/proofing process that comes next, as well as formatting and graphics. Self-publishing is an adventure! I truly hope that when finished and published in print and online next year, “Love is the Middle,” will “grow legs” and walk around this world a bit. That would make me very happy.
All that said, for the last time reporting from Steak ‘n Shake- Luke