My brother and I write. We create stuff as a way of navigating our days. We've been doing it all of our lives -- making up characters to enrich the childhood games we played, creating imaginary baseball leagues because just playing catch wasn't sufficiently fulfilling, naming the cows on the ranch and then giving them personalities and stories of their own.
Years ago before e-mail and fast computers (or even personal computers for that matter) we decided to write a book about a small Arizona town and two kids who grew up on a ranch about an hour's drive from that small town. He'd write a section, make copies of that section, and mail the copies off to me. I'd review what he wrote, add my own section, make more copies and mail the whole thing off to him. So it went for about a year. It should probably be noted that during that time the nation experienced no increases in postage rates because the two of us were underwriting the United States Postal Service. At the end of all this we had our story. It was a really long story -- almost a thousand pages. We submitted it to a couple of places and then onto the shelves it went in each of our homes.
Neither of us ever stopped talking about our writing projects and neither of us ever stopped writing. Several months ago I finished the first draft of my soon to be published novel 'But This Is Different' and as has been my life long practice handed it over to Tom for his diligent consideration and editing. He gave it, as he always does, his full attention. I took his suggestions to heart and launched into the second draft. Inspired, he says, by my accomplishment, he took his copy of our first novel off of the shelf and started chipping away at it and restructuring it. No longer burdened by hefty postage expenses, he always kept me in this new loop with e-mails sometimes with and sometimes without attachments. One recent holiday weekend he came to visit and together we created a web site of which we are both quite proud.
And now - because he refused to let our dream novel live out our lives boxed up on shelves -- 'Contrary Creek' has been published by WheatMark out of Tucson.
I am so proud of my brother.
He says that I inspire him. He can't imagine how much he inspires me.
Thanks, Tom, for - like the little sister I will always be - letting me tag along on this project.
Step into Contrary Creek. The water's wicked.
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