The Year from the Rearview Mirror

Mojave Desert Spring 2011

In June I completed the manuscript to Bankrupt Heart a project I’d been working on for some 21 months. This was the first of firsts, the vow to see to the end the finishing of the second novel.

Bankrupt Heart my second novel has a tighter plot, memorable characters, sharp dialogue, and unrelenting pacing. With all that in mind I’ve spent most of the rest of the year searching for an agent. That search continues.

I have been guiding my performing dog through the twilight years. She is 16 years old. She is mostly deaf and blind. She enjoys a good bowl of food. She is stiff in the morning. By the afternoon she enjoys warming her old bones in the sun. She’s a profile in dignity.

Show business was good to me this year. Tempe Festival of the Arts had staged me in the premier venue at their event and had kept me in that location for an unbroken twice a year appearance beginning in December of 2000. The show played to record breaking audiences for most of the rest of the decade, but between the financial crisis, housing bubble bursting, the recession and tepid recovery, and of course the retirement of Lacey in 2009 the show that had worked so well at this venue had somehow through all of those changes no longer suited the space. It was hard to let go.

Lacey flying in Tempe circa 2003

Still the year was full of new opportunities: appearing for five nights at the legendary Olympic Club inSan Francisco for Father-Daughter Night, the Stanislaus County Fair, the many library programs I had an opportunity to play.

This year’s favorite audience award goes to the Chocolate Festival in Berkeley, California where I was able to attract a rather cerebral-liberal-scholarly-sophisticated-urban-international-family oriented-clan of like minded people and be this years best street audience. What does that mean? It is the quality of their being with me, their surrender, their interest, their willingness, their getting it, and wanting it. This was one of those moments when I believe we all walked away from the thing feeling as if we all got what we always wanted from one another.

The Great Ones

I said goodbye to Hokum W Jeebs, Steve Hansen, Vince Bruce and Stuartini the Magnificient. We’ll leave the ghost light on for these great showmen.

The personal and fascinating dinner with the Tony Award winning choreographer Bill T Jones who had just come from rehearsals for a show that he is mounting on Broadway in 2013! Jennifer Bain a great painter and friend for showing continued artistic courage. The reincarnation of Steve Aveson who was a few years ago flat on his back now back on both feet! A daughter who seems to get any grade she wants now in her second year at SeattleUniversity. And the brilliant Uncle Milt Gonsalves who helped make all those last minute edits and bring grammatical elegance to Bankrupt Heart.

What is just ahead? Bankrupt Heart is just now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I’ll be trying encourage some thousands and thousands of you to read while I continue to try and find a literary agency that can help me take my work to the next level. Next week I’ll begin outlining the story to my next novel Hot Spring Honeymoon. With luck I’ll be set to begin drafting the manuscript by March.

And finally I want to express my appreciation for the love my wife Eileen gives to me each and every day. Whether I am alone on the road traveling from town to town presenting shows, or in my office with the door closed writing from early morning until late into the night. Nobody does it alone. Eileen sprinkles that magic fairy dust over my dreams…helping me vanquish doubt and firing up the torch that lights my way.

Sunset on Las Trampas solstice

See you all in the new year…

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