I like a good story well told. That is the reason I am forced to tell them myself.
I have subtitled this blog A Good Story, Well Told, based on a quote by Mark Twain from his Watermelon Speech of 1907. What does that have to do with me?
I am a big fan of Mark Twain. Not only his stories, which I adore, but also his outlook on life. Mark Twain is categorized as a humorist, and his work is often funny. However it is the deeper meaning behind many of his quotes and stories that I adore.
I have a dream. To write ‘a good story well told’.
Why? For one, I need a victory. An accomplishment that I can be proud of. A few years ago, I quit my job as the Executive Director of a local historical society. I was very good at my job. But the stress was killing me. Two years of non-stop 60-80 hour weeks with only one 4 day vacation burnt me out. I broke out in hives. My doctor put me on anti-anxiety medication. One night, during a particularly heated board meeting lasting over four hours, I thought I was having a heart-attack. I quit the next day. It was either a really brave or incredibly foolish thing to do. Since that time I’ve been the finalist for a half-dozen national museum positions, but no offers. I feel a bit worthless.
None of this is meant to be a complaint. I’m blessed in that my lovely wife has found a job that can support the family. Times are tough. We’re pinching pennies. But we’re surviving.
I get to be a stay-at-home dad. Though I’m a total failure at keeping up the house (I swear I try… I really do), I’m having fun with it. I coach my 11 year old son’s baseball team and get to spend time playing Minecraft with my 8 year old daughter. I substitute teach when jobs come up and pick up work on the side.
Life is good. But not perfect.
There is a story inside of me seeking a voice. A story based loosely off my three history passions – Irish mythology, the settlement of the Great Lakes region, and the lives of everyday women in the past. This is a character driven story, and focuses as much on the people that populate the Farwaeld as the story itself.
As Mark Twain said, “It is no use to keep private information which you can’t show off.” Well here is my attempt to show off that information.