These were the dormant years. After the “failure” of my Vietnam novel in the mid-80’s–that word shows how ignorant I was about what constitutes the success or failure of a writer, as measured solely by publication–I didn’t write fiction again for nearly twenty years. The novel sat on a shelf, and the fire in my belly cooled. These years were filled with teaching, coaching baseball, raising our two young daughters, remodeling our home, renovating two other homes as rental properties and, beginning in 2000 and lasting until 2005, building a brand new home on the McKenzie River, where we planned to retire. During most of these non-writing years I was focused on material “success” rather than artistic fulfillment. However, I began to miss writing and came to realize that one day I would write again. In 2005, the cold embers in my belly rekindled, fanned by passions I never imagined I possessed.
(Part V later)