As a writer, the story never really ends, even after the final sign off. I signed off on this baby, November 16, 2014. I began writing this story in 2006 and then again in 2012, with an intention that was unclear to me at the time. Over time and after each draft, not only did my intention for the book become clear, my intention for the way ahead also became clearer.
There were four stories written in all: Died of a . . (2006), Standing Up and Standing Out (2012), Learning to FLY (2013) - all of which were more like 'histories' of a time past, and finally Painting the Sky, which carries elements of the 'histories' but only to provide context for the story of living in the present and in possibility.
In 2012, the first draft of over 90 pages flowed like water off a duck's back. But it was all the bad water. I had to rethink my intention, and find purpose in the telling of the story.
People ask me what this story is about. This story is a journey, like all stories. Stories are the very fabric of our collective journey. Stories are what connect us to each other over the history of humanity. Stories are filled with culture, belief systems, principles and emotions. They are constructions of intention. This is a story of all those things.
Every story that has ever been written or told has a purpose - to engage, to entertain, to inform, to inspire. The good stories do all those things. Every story has a voice, and every voice has a perspective. Each time a writer puts words to paper, we are offering a voice, a perspective. Nothing more, nothing less.
As I was writing "How to be Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond", the words became my journey. Writing this story came through a process of seeking to understand the answer to the question, 'who do I think I am?'
As a writer, voice is just another word for freedom. This is a story about finding voice and ultimately freedom. It began in one place and ended in another that could not have envisioned on the day that I began writing. I wrote over 36 drafts (82,000 words approximately), over more than two years. Then I threw it away and I started over, and three drafts later, I had found the story.
This is our story - the story of flamingos and ducks, set in a journey that began in Nirvana, into the Belly of the Great Whale, onto the Precipice from which I learned to fly and found the courage to once again paint the sky.
The next step in this journey is to determine how and where to sell the book. It's funny. When I began this journey, I never thought about the money side, but then again, I am a flamingo and not a duck. Stay tuned for launch details, and where to buy the book.