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On the same page, but reading a different book

“I’ll be glad when you are through with this book,” my Sweet Al said. “You have spent a fortune going back and forth from here to Chimney Rock three times a week. How are you going to get back all the money you spent on gas from that book?”

Good question. I dodged the bullet and went on. It will be finished May 1, then it will go to press and be ready to buy on May 15.

Al was still calculating how many trips I took to Chimney Rock from last September until now. I felt like he was calculating how to feed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fishes. He was on the right page but a different book.

So, I decided to drop the bombshell. I’m not planning to make money on this book. In fact, I am making this book a sacrificial lamb. I’m selling it for the price of the printing. If I could afford it, I’d give it away.

Sweet Al was sitting in his big brown leather chair; he grabbed the overstuffed arms on his throne, he stiffened up, set his jaw, and his eyes went wild.

“What? You’ve spent two years on this book, you’ve been gone ten hours a day, you are consumed.”

I got spiritual on Al, but he didn’t buy it. You don’t understand, this is an anointed work; that’s why I’ve driven through snow and sleet all winter to get it done. It will be the finest work I’ve ever done to date.

He wasn’t through with this conversation.

“I want to go camping in the spring. When are you going to sweep the floor? I’ve been doing all the housework so you can finish your book.”

Yes, Cinderella.

I didn’t think it was the appropriate time to tell him when the book was finished, the work of marketing would begin.

Mikey, my market coach, called.

“How’s everything going? How’s the book going? Are you on target?”

“Everything is good, but Al is feeling slighted. He just plays with his new puppy.”

Mikey whipped back a comment.

“When the dog is a better friend than you are to your Sweet Al, you’ve got a problem. I don’t want to be morbid, but what if something happens to Al and you are alone. How important will the book be then?”

“You’ve got a point, but ...”

“You need to take care of Sweet Al.”

“I hear you. OK. I’ll stop at 6 p.m. every night to be with with him”.

“Don’t look at it that way. Be glad to run to the most important person in your life.”

“OK, but, I just got a new iMac, I’m trying to learn all this stuff.” I went on to tell him, we found a place on Echo Lake perfect for the movie trailer. It looks like the Sea of Galilee.

This chapter is almost over. For now, I’ve got to finish the book. By the time you read this article, the book will be finished. Al will have a smile on his face again.

Everything will be back to normal.

Al will still be playing with his new puppy and I will be thinking of my next book. His eyes bugged out when I told him. What do I say? He married an artist, turned writer.

Final brushstroke: It’s one thing to have a book offered on the altar, it’s another thing to sacrifice a marriage on the altar because of a book. I’ve got some adjusting to do.

Artist’s quote

“Self-disciplined begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do.” — Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and Grow Rich.”

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