Creating the identity of the biography (Viking Funeral) by fire that I’ve been writing about my brother’s life under duress has been a challenge.
He’s permanently unavailable to interview.
I have had to rely on memory for everything.
I have to decide how to tell the story, what to leave in, what to leave out.
I have struggled for seven years with the ending. SEVEN. YEARS. SEVEN! I don’t talk too much about the book with my darling husband, because it makes him sad. I promise it’s not a sad story, my DH is very tender-hearted.
Ok, maybe there are some moments that tug at a heartstring here and there. Anyway, I’ve written 100k words. I wrote 35k right after Dave died. Then writer’s block. Then the balance was written two years ago. It’s a biography, so I can’t just make shit up, plus I’m not a creative writer. Unable to decide how to finish, I have filled my time with reading biographies, just so you know what I’ve been doing the last seven years.
Tonight I told my husband of my struggle with the ending. In less than 10 minutes of Q&A, a few moments of silence while he was “thinking about it,” he made the perfect suggestion.
I initially thought, no, I’ll have to rewrite everything. Then I realized it was the perfect ending and I could not stop laughing. My husband saves the day… again! He is a natural visionary. Man I could have had a Pulitzer YEARS ago! hahahahahah.
The process is addictive. Or maybe it is me hanging on to my grief for fear of forgetting him? Not every person we come in contact with or, in some cases, not all those we are related to leave a gaping wide hole in your life when they are gone, like a category 5 hurricane.
I’ve found a few more biographies to read thanks to my constant cruising around Instagram. I’m convinced my continued search for more books to read is all part of my subconscious avoidance of finishing this Viking Funeral biography.
I swear I’m almost done. My foundational metaphor was there all along and now, with the gorgeous artwork featured on the cover by Doug Cavanaugh @celtichammerclub ,
I really understand why I was so drawn to this gorgeous Norse mythological creature Fenrir. DOUG!
I really should get back to work and stop finding diversions already. XO
Check out the sweetest video of @tonyhawk helping his daughter drop in on a baby-sized pipe.
Tony Hawk grew up two houses north of our house in San Bernardino, CA. From our kitchen window we could watch a young Tony fly in the air. Best way to do dishes ever.
As sweet and supportive as he is with his daughter, his dad, Bob Koston, was always kind to my brother Dave.
I’m sure his dad built Tony his first half-pipe for training, in their driveway because before Tony was born, his dad helped modify our house by helping create and install a gorgeous wrought iron spiral staircase in the back of our house near Dave’s room so my parents could hear him if he called for their help in the middle of the night. He also helped install a back door that made it 100% easier for Dave to come in and out of the house. Whenever there was an interesting project going on at our house, Bob Koston was the brains behind the solution.
Tony’s dad was a proud salty vet who was not only a very hard-working commercial painting contractor, but a man who could build or repair just about anything and always offered to help our family solve problems, especially when Dave first came home from the hospital and our house needed modifications.
Seeing this sweet video of Tony with his daughter, seeing what a lovely dad he is, reminds me of his dad, Bob and the kindness he always showed our family and I’m so grateful. Bob was among the many people who always encouraged Dave to write his story. If Bob is still alive @tonyhawk please thank him for me and tell him the book Viking Funeral is FINALLY coming.
Life After Life
Raymond Moody Jr. M.D.
My brother had several encounters with a being he knew to be God.
I have mentioned that in my sophisticated method of procrastinating working on his biography, Viking Funeral, I felt compelled to read NYT best-selling autobiographies and biographies to figure out HOW TO WRITE A BIOGRAPHY. It’s been seven years of finding another reason to continue researching. I’ve enjoyed so many great books. I swear, I’m almost done!
One of Dave’s friends shared with me that Dave told him excitedly “You know I died briefly when in the Intensive Care Unit!?” This was one of the first things Dave told him once he was off a respirator following his paralyzing accident. This took the interview down a much-unexpected rabbit hole.
There was discussion of a book that Dave had been given a few years later. I set out to find the book, but it is out of print. I found this book instead.
This book was a compilation of interviews conducted by Dr. Moody of people (patients) who had experiences of something beyond this life. The book is technically well written, but it didn’t exactly go anywhere, just a clinical compilation. That may be the nature of the subject matter and the difficulty of writing about life after life without actually having been there. I am not sure what I was expecting. I gave it four stars for the interesting nature of the subject. I felt compelled to share some of the stories with my darling husband as I read.
Anyone have a life-after-life story to share or a suggestion for another book on this topic? I’m open and still looking for any excuse to continue procrastinating! Bring on the ghost stories!
I don’t make any claims to know anything on this topic other than reporting what I’ve heard as a reluctant biographer.
As you may have read previously, I’m stuck writing my brother’s unfinished autobiography Viking Funeral. It’s a daunting task because he barely started before he died very unexpectedly.
Like any GREAT procrastinator, I felt like I needed to read every other biography on the planet to figure out how to do it correctly. You have to read if you want to write, right? I’ve read some fun stuff along the way. I thought I would share my own reviews and observations I’m picking up along the way.
Becoming Michelle Obama
🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
I always love a story of triumph.
Becoming Michelle Obama is a lovely story of triumph, of consistent well thought out choices beginning with her mother moving her from a less than adequate classroom early in elementary school. That move began her trek of hard work that propelled her from the Southside of Chicago deservedly to Harvard. I related to the way her family enjoyed and celebrated with music as well as to her frustrations of piano lessons and trying to please a perfectionist teacher. Y’all know the culmination of her story as the former FLOTUS… The book is very well written from a technical perspective and it’s a lovely introspective work of both grit and inspiration for everyone. I give it a five-star rating. Love your comments.
This blog will discuss the process of creating a biography under duress, grieving, the research, reading, laughing and writing therein.
Beginning March 13, 2019 I will be sharing direct excerpts from the upcoming biography Viking Funeral The Epic Failed Autobiography of Dave Linane Who Unexpectedly Woke Up Dead…
Summer 2019 Viking Funeral will be available on Amazon and other book sources everywhere.