No Way Forward

Teardrop Road sign

I’m very good with deadlines. They are never a problem for me. I see a job from far out and I get started on it weeks ahead of time. Usually the post you are reading now would have been done a week ago at least. Maybe even longer. This time though, it is late on the night of my due date, and I am just getting started.

This is the third-Wednesday-of-the-month writer blog. The day of the month I use to talk about any writing issue I might be facing. I almost wrote about due dates and deadlines. But that would be a cop out. That is not the problem I am struggling with right now. Deadlines are not a thing that will plague me after this is done in thirty minutes. It is not deadlines I should be talking about right now, it is Teardrop.

Teardrop was born one day when I was a junior in high school and I was at the bridge with Ty. I was telling him a story about a werewolf and he looked at me afterward and grinned.

“Good shit, Teller,” he said. “You have to write these down one day. Call it Tales from Teardrop Road.”

I promised him then I would write that book and, a few years ago, I started. I began telling the stories I used to tell on that bridge on my blog. When I was done with that, Teardrop expanded. It became more about me and my life and the abuse and the recovery I went through to become the man I am today. Within a year, Teardrop became my autobiography.

I started writing a year’s worth of Friday blogs in December so I would not have to worry about them during the rest of the year (see top where I talk about not having a problem with deadlines). I put out a different theme every year and I was making it happen. The blogs began to pile up and I realized I was going to have to do something with them eventually.

This year when I started looking at the new blogs and what I was going to write, I realized that when I was done with the job, my autobiography would be over 650 pages long. It was time to consider putting them together in a collection. It was time the book I had promised Ty over 25 years ago became a reality.

Well, me and Bekah started compiling and rereading the day before Thanksgiving, and we found out it was a very intense story. When the weekend was coming to an end, and Bekah had been reading the book to me out loud, she finally reached the last short story and she was weeping so hard she could almost not get through it. It was not the story but the collection. Reading through it so quickly had brought to the forefront so many emotions that by the end of the book she was overwhelmed. Teardrop was an intense experience that rocked us both to our core.

So we found an editor and we found a cover designer and we looked at what was missing from the book. We realized there was a chunk missing and, when Monday came along, I got started filling in the gaps.

I have never done writing like this before. Never had an experience like it. The finishing of Teardrop was so intense it was like dragging a river where my life’s memories had been sunken. Things I had never remembered about my life and the abuse I suffered came up. Dots I never connected rose to the surface and things came into startling clarity that I had never seen before. I learned so many things about myself.

The writing process for this book was beyond belief. At one point in the morning I had, in the story, suffered a defeat so bad I could not end for the night there. I could not close the document having suffered so badly. I needed to write until I got a win. That day I ended up writing for twenty-six hours. I wrote 18.5k words in that time. I would like to say that was my most laborious day, but by the end of the book I surpassed even that.

The last day of that book I was up for 38 hours. The final three chapters had to be written by dictation as my eyes had become so tired that my dyslexia prevented me from being able to read. My fingers would not answer my command and I lost the ability to type. I was beat. And I sat in a chair in the dark, speaking the story out into the air with Bekah typing it.

Now Teardrop is done. It is finished. And I am left in a hole. I have come to realize that at this point in my life I am not interested in fantasy any more. I am not interested in writing anymore. I want to pack up everything and go home. Toss it all over the side of the bridge and walk away.

My only hope is that my love comes home to me. That fantasy seduces me again and I begin to chase her. My love of fantasy has changed me in the past. It made me who I am. It was a major part of my therapy to put me back together and it was the base I built my life on. Fantasy has always been my home. It is the path before me. I just need to find a way forward.

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