An Incredible Day

About three years ago, I was deep within the darkest days of my life. I was quite ill, feeling miserable with every click of the clock. It was more physical suffering than I thought a human could bear. My future ws defined in months, not years. It was at the beginning of the pandemic and I was put on “house arrest” by my doctors at the same time, Denise as a hospital administrator was working 16 hour days … only to come home and crash before her next grueling day. There was no better environment for sadness than that situation.

I spent those days, besides talking to my Saint Bernard, pleading with God, “Please help me, have mercy, or please end my life.” Day and night it was the same, usually in tears. I was praying a good 12 hours per day and it was subsistence prayer. Not as a pious exercise, but I was compelled to do so, out of desperation. But I knew that something had to give, or I would take matters in my own hands.

It was at that moment I decided that I had to dream again, even if those dreams could be cut short. I had to occupy my mind and soul with something or I would go insane. It was then, I decided to write another book. Such grueling work in the word-smitery mines, saved my life.

It was about the same time I decided, while my previous dreams of restoring an old stone cottage in Scotland or around the Mediterranean would never be realize in my new state of health, that I would attempt to build a stone cottage here.

Both of these endeavors had their challenges and in this situation, challenges were a good thing. A mind occupying gift of problem solving and imagining (in case of the book writing).

It is hard to imagine how each of those project, through their ups and downs, twists and turns, that they both culminated on this twenty-third day of January, 2023. For it is on this day, The Stones of Yemen officially went to the presses, and my foundation guy broke ground on the new cottage. So while I spent seven hours inside, doing the complicated work of setting up my book with Ingram (book distributor), Adam, my foundation guy has been digging up your yard into mountains of black dirt.

Now Denise is on house arrest, having been suffering from COVID since last Friday. It was only a matter of time as several of her students have had it. So, she is living upstairs and me down, not being in the same room at the same time since she tested positive. She is recovering from something like a bad cold. I am still at a very high risk of it or any infection.

It has been hard for her, confide in the upstairs while her yard is being dug up. She had concerns about me building the cottage, due to risk-taking at this juncture in our lives. She agreed to let me do it because of my insistence and what I thought it would mean to me. I have promised her that if I am not able to finish it, it will become her goat barn.

I am sorry, thinking about those dark days, as things are so much better now. I’m not in pain or suffering except for constant fatigue from the chemo, which is nothing compared to 2020. But I share these things as a moment of jubilation, not sorrowful reminiscing.

On a last note, I was hoping so much to have my paperback book priced low, say $10.99. However, as we set up a contract with Amazon today, they want 60% of the book’s profits and the presses demand about 37%. That leaves 2% fo the author. While I do not write to make money, I would have to pay Amazon for each book sold, unless I charged about 15 bucks a book. Anyway, the book is worth it. It is a good read … or at least that’s what others are telling me. It will appear on Amazon in a few days. I will do an official launch after I’ve ordered one myself and made sure the printing was of quality.



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7 responses to “An Incredible Day”

  1. Blessing abound…except for Denise’s COVID at this time of celebration and compromise….happy to hear all the good news and joy in your ‘voice’


  2. Super Congrats Mike, a hundred fold!! What an outstanding achievement for you, given almost insurmountable obstacles you had to overcome, to finally birth your Stones of Yemen into the World.

    Glenda Charman here from Auckland NZ. My apologies, due to health crises of my own these last few years, I haven’t kept in touch and responded to your fascinating blogs.

    Absolutely loved your recent Postmodernism work, as I too have an amateur interest in philosophy but your grasp of historical developments are streets ahead of me. I have drafts, oh sooo many of them for a chapter on philosophy in my own book, Worn Traveller: Carving New Pathways when our Beliefs Fall Apart. I’ve been working on this for over a decade and it may not see the light of day as I had given up. Was too discouraged, it’s not good enough to get in the door for any publisher, and I can’t afford to have it professionally edited before self publishing.

    But thanks to you Mike after reading your recent Postmodermism article, I dug out my own chapter, Philosophical Routes, and hey, I realised my writing is not too bad! Maybe, I can even just work toward completing the editing chapter (most chapters have up to 200 drafts!!!), finish the book myself and pay someone to format it to get the book at least online. Seems a shame that no-one has yet to read what I’ve written (never thought it was good enough). I take inspiration from your courage, and returning back to you: I am in awe of what you have accomplished, given the Mount Everest obstacles, heartache and pain (mental and physical) clawing your way up, speaks volumes of your depth of character and the hope of the human spirit. Can’t wait to have my hands on Yemen and view the world through your characters.

    Kind regards, and hope Denise is well on her way to recovery from Covid, and, the digging up of your yard for your stone cottage foundations continues to progress.

    Go well.

    Glenda Charman

    your health


    • Thank you for your kind words. I hope it sees the light of day. You have nailed the difficulty in writing these days. The big publishing houses–which only makes sense–look for books that will make them money. The best bet on that is the author’s reputation. They do due diligence on the author before they ever look at a manuscript. And you are right, it costs a lot of money to have professionals edit, graphic design, proof-read, etc. I’m afraid that the really good writing by unknown people will never get published due to the obstacles as you’ve described. My, The Stones of Yemen, may very well be my last book. I enjoy imagining and writing a great deal, but it is too expensive and the vast majority of writers, including myself, never make a dime. I would have to sell about 5,000 books to come close to recouping my expenses and the average book sells just 500 copies. Good luck with it.


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