Where Do We Get Such Moments?

We are finished.
Done.
Finito.

Get the beer, pop the cork, light the firecrackers…whatever you do to celebrate, please celebrate with us tonight!

Our manuscript is on its way to New York City (NEW YORK CITY???) and from there it grows its wings and flies itself. I like to use another analogy that describes the protectiveness a writer has towards their work, from my favorite author Liz Gilbert who said, “Put that kid on the bus already!”

Pops is 88 now. We started working on this book two years ago, sitting for hours…days…over endless weekends in these same spots on their couch, even when my friends said, “Wanna go to the beach/come over for drinks/go to the movies?” and I would always say, “No, I need to work on the book.”

…and trust me…since last summer it was often terrifying for all of us in certain moments as Pops had numerous surgeries… with complications…and heart thingies… and hospital vigils… and days when he said “I just don’t feel good today.” I’m not kidding when I say there was a huge WHEW! as I hit “SEND”. I always said to him, “Pops, I can’t finish this book without you.” and it was always truer than I wanted to admit.

And now we are finished.

An incredible man, an incredible life and now an incredible book, too.

Where Do We Get Such Men?

And here’s another little teaser for you:
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Hoa Lo Prison, Hanoi, North Vietnam, 1967-1973

So one evening as the sun went down and the cell grew dark, the prison rats assumed their place at the top of the chain of command. In came a big mama and four babies, the babies weighing in at a respectable 1-2 pounds each. I’d never seen babies come in before. Mama was easily 10-15 pounds all by herself. Anyway, they were cruising around looking for scraps of food and in our boredom, Fred and I discussed our options and decided to have a little fun with them. As the critters skittered brazenly across the middle of the cell floor, Fred inched his way ever so slyly towards their entry hole. They didn’t take much notice of us and so we went undetected as Fred wadded up a handful of our toilet paper and plugged up their entryway. They noticed this immediately and Mama calculated correctly that her girth would not permit escape underneath the door. Their frenzy was alarming and we enjoyed it for a few brief moments until we began to worry about what her desperation might cause her to do to us. We unplugged her hole and out they all went. If only it were that simple for the rest of us.

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About Dawn Quarles

Dawn Quarles is a high school political science and American history teacher who moonlights as a blogger and writer. She lives on Pensacola Beach, Florida.

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