Updated: Dec 26, 2018
(Editor's Note: Free book contest is at end)
My Sudbury/Nova Scotia friend, Colleen Humbert, learned about my book project, offering to "polish" the manuscript. She wanted to thank me for a long ago, pastoral favour that she treasured but I had forgotten. This editing was after four family beta readers encouraged me forward. What a polishing from family and especially Colleen, a former academic editor!
Then, with son, Adam, inspiring us all, Colleen passed the 75,000 words to a Toronto music entertainment genius named Jody Colero who looks like Groucho Marx, knows a lot of people and, yes, is funny. He brought my story in the side door to a prominent publisher where, alas, six months of silence ensued, with no signs of love.
Finally, I looked up the publisher's senior story editors who each with picture and script told wannabee writers what they liked to read. One confided not to send her "sad stories". She didn't do sad! I laughed. Smart lady, eh, knowing what she wants in life.
Why can't my life be that way? "Dear God. no sadness, please and thank you!"
So Peter Lockyer, a friend from university days, introduced me to Dundurn Press vice-president, Beth Bruder. Her first two questions announced clearly to me that Soar, Adam, Soar had found a home.
"How did Adam come out to you?" she asked.
"That's in Chapter 4, Beth", as I gave her the Coles Notes.
"Did you really name your kid Rebecca Adam?"
"That's in Chapter 1." I said, harnessing my father salesman's DNA, sealing the deal.
A friend recently reminded me of that publisher editor, the one who does not do sad.
"Is the book sad?" she asked.
Well, I said, there's a few sad parts, one cruel weekend to account for, cruel the right word my friend, Lorraine Berzins, gave for that January, 2016 weekend. But sad, no? Adam didn't do sad either. A friend at Adam's Celebration of Life called him the life of the party, lighting up rooms he walked in. Except when I didn't, I liked his crazy, “SNAFU normal”, his wicked humour and his refusal to stay down on the canvas. This Rocky picture I chose for this blog, my prizefighter, so captures Adam. The picture here is actually still Rebecca years, days after the first 2011 eight-hour brain surgery to better control his seizures. Bandages and smile. What's next, life? He chases normal in life, and on every page of Soar, Adam, Soar --- normal for him meaning no more meds, seizures, surgeries, a chance to get on with life's other epic journey, the coming out, coming in, coming home to himself.
"...He’s back in his own apartment, posting on Facebook that he is happy to be in his own bed and reunited with his girlfriend and his dog, Dallas. He is eager to have his stitches removed on December 4. Indeed, Adam looks like a prizefighter. He has this inner steel. Epilepsy smacks him down and then he gets up off the canvas to smack it right back. Whether from seizures or mistakes, he gets up, smiles, and carries on. He vows to stay strong. Family and friends surround him in support. He wants nothing more than to be seizure free.
Adam shared a photo
December 1, 2015
If robbers ever broke into my home and wanted money, I'd just laugh and search with them" (Chapter 4, Facebook Dad and My Home)
No. sadness is not THE pivotal word to capture Adam or his story. I'd go with courage.
" ...In a final tribute, Lindsay captured Adam’s outstanding attribute: “Courage is a word we have long associated with Adam. Over and over again, friends and family have spoken of his courage. Adam’s transition wasn’t one of solitude, but one which invited so many to witness both his struggles and his victories. He openly shared his intimate thoughts and feelings with the world.” Adam got back on the horse after every tumble. His mother wrote this tribute in a thank-you letter to family, friends, and colleagues after the wake and Celebration of Life: “His life was not easy, but he always pushed on. I loved his open spirit and was in awe of his courage. "
Our book is chock full of epic stories on hockey, tattoos, his loves, work, a Capital Kings burlesque troupe and, yes, a wedding, all to tame the sadness.
I want to tell you to make and keep your friends, like Colleen, Peter and Lorraine. You can order Soar, Adam, Soar on this site here starting in November, with delivery a week before the Feb. 2 publication date.. If you can`t wait, there`s a pre-order button on the home page too. Now, THE CONTEST! I have a free copy of my book for the winner of a draw among those who have already or will by Sunday (Oct. 7) sign up here for book email updates. (no other use of your email!). An extra chance to win if you comment below ---anything, on book, this blog, Adam, life, whatever! #transgender #epilepsy #beadonor