Friday, March 27, 2015

Some Stories Need Passion

All this week, I have been surprising myself with overwrought emotional reaction to each new facet of dealing with the impending (June) commercial publication of my book, Maggie's Hammer.
I mean. I've been building towards this for twenty-seven years. Why the tears now?
At the same time, I'm also noticing how I seem totally to be dragging my feet about promotion. I keep remembering things I could be doing, but don't yet have on a list.
C'mon. I'm the king of self-promo. Not to mention lists. What gives?
Then, my eye wanders over this morning's headlines. The co-pilot who killed 150 passengers who had placed their trust in him. What anguish this must be. For people who want their lives - and deaths - to be more than someone else's exclamation point.
The tear shed by the 17th great niece of Richard III at his re-interment in Leicester Cathedral. Even kings and historic villains are human. And leave behind those who seek truth and final comfort.
The tear I shed knowing that this week will see once again the miracle that is the marvel of Britain's unwritten constitution in action. As the Prime Minister of Great Britain offers his resignation to the Queen, and she instructs him to call a General Election. In what is the greatest voluntary act of democracy in the world today. The democratically-elected government of the UK giving its power away to a monarch, who then reminds the world that UK monarchs are villains no more, by straight away handing the power back to the people.
I wonder at the tear. And it is then that twenty-seven years of passion come flooding back.
You know me as the jokester. The silly guy. The Pop Voxx even. But more than anything, I am passionate. Romantic. A dreamer. The boy who built dams in streams. And then rescued the good people of Muddy Bank from the evil of the Lurking Tree Branch.
I had a friend. He died. He told no-one why. Not even his children. Especially not his 11 year old daughter, whose hands I held, whose pain-filled eyes never left my face, as I sought, fought to convince her that her father loved her, and that there was reason to his death.
No-one wanted the truth. No-one sought answers to the obvious anomalies. So, I asked questions, in what quickly became apparent were the wrong places.
Hopefully, you will buy the book. You will read a gripping adventure story. Guns. Spies. Powerful people. Gone crooked. Transatlantic conspiracy. And covert wars fought by the British for the Americans. Tragedy and treachery on a Shakespearean scale.
But you will not come across passion. Loss. Grief. Anger. Because, in order to get here, I had to suppress those many years ago.
My friend was no angel. He was a cheating, lying, arrogant son of a bitch. He had no business getting into dangerous matters when he had a young family.
But he was a loving father. And he was the one who instilled in me a love of country and democracy. Not a belief in institutions. But in people. In their ability to design their own lives for themselves.
And the bastards killed him.
I care not for myself. Or for him. I care for his children. Who will know the truth. And I care about the bastards. Who will be exposed. For failing. For failing in the trust we placed in them.
I have stopped myself thinking like this for twenty-seven years, in order to see the job done. That job is almost complete. And I now realize that life is giving me permission to feel about this story again. To feel passion about a story of monumental human tragedy and treachery. A story which ends only when I may hold the hands of a now grown woman and say, I kept my promise.
As life re-opens my heart, I shed the tears. As the filters are removed, the brain slowly grinds into action. And as the engine of promotion gathers steam, this time, there are no brakes on feeling, no stopping the pain, no hiding the grief.
For this is once again a story of passion. And stories of passion deserve to be told with passion.