My Point Is...

 So life in publication land goes on despite COVID-19. I continue to market and promote Cretin Boy and my other books albeit mostly virtually or through emails and social media. It's been kind of a cool week from a feedback standpoint so I thought I'd share a few of the bright spots.

I heard from my cousin Judy today who gave the book to her husband as a surprise Christmas gift. She snuck a picture of him reading my book. He was a grad from 1970, and she thought he's enjoy recalling some of his days at Cretin. He said that many of the teachers I mentioned were there when he was, so that was convenient. The book has helped me connect with a few family members who I don't hear from often, so that's a nice intangible benefit, I guess.

A friend and writing colleague posted a picture of the book and mentioned how she was looking forward to it. She is a poet and a great source of light and inspiration to not only me, but to all writers and poets in Wisconsin. We've become good friends, albeit from a distance most of the time, but our mutual support has been yet another intangible blessing coming out of my writing journey.

In the past week, I've had the book acquired by both the Minnesota Historical Society (under the Gale Family Library) and the Ramsey County Historical Society. (St. Paul is in Ramsey County, MN.) As it turns out the acquisitions person at MNHS is a Cretin Grad from 1970 as well, so he not only said he'd stock my Cretin Boy book, but was looking to get The Portland House book and perhaps some of my poetry as well.

Today I got a short email from my old friend, Michael, who lived across the street from me on Portland. He makes an appearance in both books, Cretin Boy and The Portland House and wanted to tell me how much he is enjoying Cretin Boy. Outside of that he gave me the most encouraging words I've heard from anyone in quite a while. He is struggling with health issues at the moment, and I told him how much all of it meant to me. He is one of those friends of a lifetime, and I cannot say enough about his character. 

And finally, I had a person who went to school at St. Luke's with my brother Paul, order her second set of books. She loved Cretin Boy and wanted to give it to a friend who went to St. Thomas, the rival military boy's school across the river. He is going through chemotherapy for cancer and she thought it would be a good read for him. When she ordered it, she also bought The Portland House book too. She actually works at St. Lukes, (Now, St. Thomas More) which is literally across the street from our house on Portland.

This post is not intended to be boastful about my sub-atomic micro success. I am just having a week where I am blown away by the beauty of the people in my life. Good, purposeful, well-meaning, supportive people. I suppose I'm wistful because of all the COVID tragedy around us, knowing that any of us could fall prey to it and suffer at any time. But as bad as it has closed us all in, I continue to see the preciousness of those people around me. My daily walks during COVID allow me time to think about how I got here and how lucky I am to have who I have in my life. And when all is said and done, I realize I am a rich man.


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