One of the questions I am asked most often since last December when I said goodbye to my comfy office and friends at the Midland Reporter-Telegram is "How's the writing going?" Since taking the plunge and deciding to go it alone by pursuing a handful of writing opportunities that had made themselves available, things have gone better than I could have ever imagined. And since many of you have been so kind to ask, I felt it OK to provide an update.
The opportunity to go it alone was first made possible when a friend told me she could use some help with a writing project she was in the middle of. That project is going well and, we would like to think, nearing completion.
A second project has actually turned into a personal love-hate
relationship with my inner writer. One day I wake up loving what I am
doing, another day, not so much. It's a pretty common occurrence with
writers, I assure you. The simple fact is that a friend commissioned me
to write a novel about elements of his professional life, and so that
project takes much time as well as a great deal of emotional and
intellectual effort. I am 42,000-plus words deep into the novel today,
well into the middle portion of the story. It will still require much
effort to complete but our story of a drifter who shoots two cops in the
Big Bend region -- and may or may not get away with it -- will be, I
would hope, a page turner. My desire is to have that project in the
rewrite stages by summer and published in some manner by the fall so
that I will be able to easily slide into the second novel that is in the
early discussion stages.
The final two projects are themselves turning into labors of love and longer term assignments. In just over a year, "For Christ and His People: A History of the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo" will be submitted for publication. It is fascinating what you learn when working on a history project. Religious affiliation aside, there are some great stories to be written -- and will be written -- in the coming months.
Finally, thanks in large part to the generosity of a handful of
Midlanders with deep roots in our community as well as a couple of dear
friends, funding for "A History of Character: The Story of Midland,
Texas" is a project that will recount the definitive history of Midland
and will hopefully be viewed as a go-to source for those who are
interested in reading about how we have become who and what we are in
the 21st century. The stories I am hearing and reading about are truly
memorable and I look forward to sharing them with you.
The name of the book, "A History of Character," sprung from one of my many conversations with the Honorable John Hyde, a student of this town, an invaluable resource and a simply wonderful and giving man. It was at one point in late December of last year that Judge Hyde said, "In the history of Midland, I am struck by one over-riding theme that runs through every person and virtually every story that has helped build this town: the high character of the men and women who have made us who and what we are."
And that is truly what I am discovering. We don't yet have a
publication date on the book, but there will be a web site in the coming
weeks and months to begin chronicling some of the more fascinating
stories I am hearing along the way. Our circle of supporters have all
agreed that Midland's story must be told, warts and all. And that is
what we will set about to do. By the end of the summer, we'll share some
of those insights into our town's story and I hope you will look
forward to the complete story when it is published. I also ask you to
bear with me if this once reliable blog simmers down to occasional
updates. I am finding myself quite busy these days, but will update when
I look forward to meeting up with you on the street and around town
over the next several months. Drop me an email any time at