A Disclaimer, Sort of ...
So my first blog post was a little misleading. It wasn’t about my book; it was about my son Simon. I hope that those of you in the parallel universe of disability aren’t disappointed that The Climb doesn’t even mention fragile X syndrome. My memoir ends in 1988; Simon was diagnosed in 1989.
When I set out to write a book, I wanted its focus to be Preston County. That place. My work as a journalist. My outlaw years. (I hope those of you who are shocked by my behavior are prepared to forgive me.) A tidy package of stories with a restricted timeline.
One of my teachers at The New School thought my book should be about my entire life. He wanted me to include my Simon stories. But that seemed a gigantic task. So I stuck with the time frame of my years in Salt Lick Valley.
When folks ask me how long it took me to write The Climb, my usual retort is “Forty years!” The truth is I started working on the book when I moved to New Jersey in 2001. When I no longer was employed. (I try not to say, “When I didn’t work.” Because I work. All of us who have family members with a disability work.) I started writing in earnest when I started taking not-for-credit classes at The New School in 2004 then got serious in 2006 when I entered The New School’s MFA program.
I mark my life “on the eights:” my first wedding in 1978, my divorce in 1988, my second wedding in 1998, my graduation from The New School in 2008. Now my book is coming out in 2018.
I guess you can expect the sequel in 2028.