I have been putting a lot of effort into attracting interest through social media this spring, in preparation for recommencing serious writing. A cross-country move, a new home, a daughter’s wedding and other events kept me occupied for years longer than I wished after publishing Waiting for Westmoreland and the essay in TODAY. The essay is here, on Views from Eagle Peak, in the form of a static page, but in commemoration of the renewed push to write, here is that essay in the form of a post.
Reprinted courtesy of TODAY at Minnesota State, May 2008 edition.
Path Lost, and Found
For many years listening to classic rock, watching movies made by fellow boomers or reading their books, I sometimes felt pangs of regret. I had missed realizing my own creative potential. Why couldn’t I have been like Crosby, Stills and Nash? They were a commercial success and spokespersons of sorts for antiwar sentiments that I held dear. Why could I not have been at least as much a literary success as Donald Fagen was a musical success? Fagen, my unimpressive classmate from South Brunswick High School in New Jersey, had gone on to found and co-lead the very successful Steely Dan.
For years, I felt somehow cheated by the politicians who’d engineered the war in Vietnam and by the generals who had conducted it. Their actions had forever altered my college and career trajectory.
Since the second grade, when I received my first rejection slip from Scholastic, I cherished the goal of being a writer. I expected college to provide me with the tools of the writing trade, essential for fulfilling my childhood dream. Not only that, college would lead me to that all-important day job, providing food and shelter to otherwise starving authors.