Every walk in life is harder than it looks, talk is cheap. Step in to the daily routine of a bus driver, cop or a preacher; it should be a real eye opener. For that matter, walk a mile in the life of an inmate, a grieving widower or a teen rape victim, paradigm shift for sure.
Patty and I feel we have a humble story that might provide hope to those incarcerated and to their families. Next logical step, write a book. Reality check; the process is not that simple. You don’t add water, stir and voila, there is your New York Times best seller story with Oprah seeking an interview.
As literary neophytes, we have doggedly pursued our quest to get our story told, but how? Who would write it, publish it and at what cost? So many questions and so little time and money. Here’s the bottom line. We have been blessed in many ways. Through the annual Speak Up Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we have been educated on the literary dance. How to pitch your story to editors, how to draft a proposal to a publishers specifications, how to actually write a book or find a collaborative writer and of course expect rejection.
Presently we have 12 chapters written by a collaborative writer who grasps our judicial journey, including the heartache, humiliation and faith fueled victories. It’s a huge trust thing and Lorilee Craker, our co-author, gets it with literary precision and brilliance. As this is written, 11/22/15, Patty and I are waiting to hear from a large publishing house editor, as to whether our proposal and written chapters made the cut with an editorial committee where it was presented. After that, it would be off to a publishing committee, it’s quite a literary gauntlet we’re running.
We are nervous, optimistic and resolute in our determination to get a published book instilling hope in those beaten down, broke or broken. This isn’t a get rich scheme to build a new garage and pay off Patty’s restitution which exceeds $130,000. We want to help others survive and thrive against all odds, those who have been swept up by the judicial system be they inmates or their family.
If you haven’t been there, it may be hard to get your head around celebrating Thanksgiving in a prison visiting room 500 plus miles from your home and being thankful you’re there. Why thankful? Well, you haven’t seen your wife in a month, the 9 hour drive in poor conditions was uneventful, your loyal dog is being fed and watered back at home by friends, you have the best seats in the visiting room and you got to the vending machines first for the good food.
To be clear and straight to the point, this is not a pity party, martyr trip nor puffing up and posturing. This is real world for those in prison or their families on the outside. Walk a mile in those shoes, it’s quite something.
For those who believed in Patty against all odds, thank you, your trust was cherished and not squandered. Somebody said the pen is mightier than the sword, we believe that is true. We are thankful to so many family, friends and even strangers who have helped us along the way. Happy Thanksgiving and may God bless you richly!