My career as a professional pianist and teacher ended in 1996 when my third brain tumor started. In 2005, after 43 years of marriage to an emotional abuser, he became physically threatening so I'm now divorced. in the last months of the marriage, I had started writing for my own personal reading. Without consistent use of the computer, most of my book was handwritten on copier paper then transferred to the computer to be printed so I could then add to it or make changes.
Somewhat transient for twenty months through a state of impoverishment, unable to work, I finally ended up in Libby, Montana. The Kootenai National Forest where the novel had been set. Having never been there prior to that, I was gratified that my vision of the area was so accurate that only one mistake was made in Safe in All Things - Russell turns left when he should have turned right. All of the places I mentioned are there except the beautiful cabin on the mountain and its private cutoff. Well, and Thorns Peak is fictitious. They exist solely in my mind and my artwork.
In November 2008, the tumor that had been dormant became active and the rest of my life was decided. After many rejections and the accumulating debt while trying to become published, I finally followed the admonition of a professor friend who told me to self-publish. That little process added to the debt! My intention to destroy all of my books when I die has become a legacy of sorts to my family should they ever read my work. Yes, I have hundreds of readers around the world, but I sell few books. I cannot sustain my medical expenses, thus making choices that impair my ability to a long life.
However, the tumor cannot subdue me. It has created much laughter in my life, especially in situations when I require immediate help or an ambulance. The Lord always sends me gorgeous-looking, muscled types who laugh when I tell them they're the best thing I've seen in weeks. Or even the best-looking man I've ever met! I tell all of them how wonderful they are and thank them for giving my day purpose. Eye Candy is Always welcome! At my age... I can say anything I like. And I do.
If my work is as good as the critiques state, then perhaps I won't mind leaving my books behind. Right now, I have twelve on Amazon.com, with four more to finish. Unfortunately, both my impoverishment and my illness prevent me from doing much promoting of the books even through the internet. Consequently, all I have to leave behind are the books, my professional photos, and pencil paintings. And, the CD of my own compositions. And, a published Christmas Cantata from years ago.
However, as with so many lives that come and go, I expect that mine will be forgotten quickly. Unless, you visit the mountains in Northern Montana and listen for the echoing laughter I leave behind. It will remain as long as the earth remains; my view from the mountain tops, the laughter produced simply by being alive, and my love of the Lord permanently imbedded in the Rockies.
It never gets better than that.
Jane Austin, Tolstoy, Steinbeck, Agatha Christie, O. Henry. Even western novels of the silver sage. I read every book in the Post Library between ages 13 and 14, including the encyclopeadias.
How to Screw Up Five Lives in One Easy Lesson
A Week at the Ranch
Safe in All Things (Bk I)
The Fight for the Mountain (Bk II)
The Pennington Wars (Bk III)
The Voice of Christmas Present... (Book IV)
Death on the Mountain (Book V)
Poor Harry (Bk VI)
The Flame of Auburn on the Mountain (Bk VII)
The Christmas Storm (Bk VIII)
Murder on the Mountain (Bk IX)
The Diamond Symphony (Bk X)
A Tanda of Tangos
Performing on the piano or keyboard isn't possible anymore so I pretend to sing. I pencil paint inbetween books, and am an avid but illiterate photographer who accidentally gets the right shot even with cheap equipment, and I was an avid Birder. I also danced in my stilettoes.
The Slumcode Group, a Community Based Organization, located in the heart of Huruma, a densely populated residential town in Nairobi - Kenya...
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