Thursday, September 1, 2016

Novel Reset

I've had some false starts and a few stops since I began working on the sequel to "Old Ways and New Days," earlier this year, but sometimes life simply gets in the way. I suppose I'm making excuses -- and don't we all when things aren't going along smoothly?

And whoever said that writing was easy? OK, I'm sure there are a handful of writers out there who find it easy, or at least they make it appear that way. I found some of my previous novels easier to write, but again, I didn't seem to have the distractions that I've had the past few months.

Dad as a young man
Several personal issues came up, the biggest one involving the failing health of my father. I found it difficult to stay focused on my writing. In the past, and I've written about this, working on a novel has been somewhat of an escape for me. I could get lost in the world of words for a few hours. But when a loved one is involved, I'm not looking for an escape.

My Dad, GT Dale Embry, passed away last month, at the age of 89. He lived a full life, seldom complaining about things. He liked a sausage biscuit from McDonald's in the mornings, those sugar-filled circus peanuts and orange slice candies to snack on, and mini-pecan pie from Wal-Mart for dessert. He watched "Comment on Kentucky" and "The McLaughlin Report" on television. He enjoyed talking with me about the newspaper business. He was a fundamentalist Christian. He was a devoted Republican. But he was also very tolerant and accepting of others because he liked people, regardless of race, color, creed or whatever. And they liked him.

And Dad loved his dog, Brownie, his faithful companion the past four years as he suffered through failing eyesight and hearing loss.

Dad's last couple of weeks were painful after fracturing his hip in a fall -- and it was difficult as well as for me, my siblings and caregivers who tended to his needs -- but when he passed on the morning of Aug. 9 in a Louisville hospital, it was peaceful. He was no longer in pain.
Dad at 81

My father was my biggest supporter. Whenever one of my novels or nonfiction sports books was published. he'd be the first to purchase several copies and give them to friends, co-workers (he worked until he was 83), and relatives as gifts. Whenever we talked, he always asked me how my writing was coming along. He cared. He was proud that I was a writer.

Now that he is gone, only to live in the memories of those who really knew him, I can return to my writing with renewed energy and fervor. And I'll keep in mind that he would like that my writing was coming along -- again.

Until the next time....

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