Just to catch up:
Upon finding out that I’d written a novel, one of my friends in the office where I work my daytime job once commented, “I don’t know how you do it. I have trouble knowing what to write on birthday cards when they come around.”
I just sort of smiled and nodded. The truth is: I’ve always had the same problem. Without a plot, a character, and a setting, I’m lost.
For lack of a better idea, we’ll just launch into life on the road so far. With the book not being officially released until August, I’ve been hitting various writing conferences across the region, that being the Mid-West. The tour began April 29 in Oklahoma City with the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation Conference, more commonly known as OWFI around these parts. My wonderful wife, Kathi, joined me for that event, and we met up with some writer friends, Charles Sasser and his delightful son, Michael. Together we enjoyed good restaurants and lively conversation, as well as taking in the conference. Nothing crazy comes to mind, so I guess it was a good trip.
After that on May 26, came Mayhem in the Midlands, a well organized, beneficial, and entertaining conference sponsored by the Omaha Public Library Foundation. Held in downtown Omaha with plenty of interesting sites to see, the conference energized my spirits, and left with me with a feeling of having experienced something worthwhile. However, just prior to and just after this event is where all the fun began.
Now back to the story:
When I got to her house, my fellow writer showed me the minivan she’d just purchased for the trip, a good, though slightly used Ford. She had a lot of luggage, so we took the van and left my brand new Neon in her driveway. Since I was sworn to secrecy, I cannot divulge the name of my cohort, so we’ll call her, the nice lady. On the way up, we began to talk, and the nice lady told me something I feel compelled to share. It went like this: “My husband is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Yeah, it’s sad. But you know sometimes he says to me, ‘Everything will be all right when my wife gets here.’” She paused then continued, “That would make most people sad, but not me because I know he’s remembering that skinny twenty-two year old he married, and not the old hag I see in the mirror each morning. And it’s kind of nice that he lives there in that special place we made together years ago.”That brought tears to my eyes. If you’re out there reading this, nice lady, I saw your grandson in that movie. He’s quite the cyclist.