The posts here at Augie’s Adventures have been lacking here lately, but for good reason. I’ve been spending my time finishing and preparing my first book for publication.
We’d Rather Be In The Woods is a tale of two boys who grow up in the suburbs of Baltimore and much rather go fishing or hunting than hanging with the other kids of the neighborhood. The book originated as a series of short stories I wrote for the Hunting and Fishing Journal over a 3 year span. I then compiled the stories together, added a few and reworked much of it and bam! I had a book.
Lee and Jimmy is roughly based on myself and my best friend Jeff. Some of the stories have a grain of truth, but for the most part are totally fiction. The names Lee and Jimmy come from my grandfather, Lee and my father, Jim. The two real heros in my life.
When writing the book, I had taken my computer, printer and copies of each chapter to a hotel in Oakland, MD the week between Christmas and New years in 2010. I stayed in the hotel for a full week, writing in the mornings, and deer hunting in the afternoons.
On the last day, I finished the book around 1:00 pm, ate a big lunch in the diner and then went for a deer hunt. In the deep snow, I sat and waited for a deer to pass by. One never came and as I went to leave and return to the hotel, the Jeep got stuck in the snow and I had to winch it out. All the while I was out of cell service.
On the drive back to the hotel, my phone went crazy with messages. My father was in the hospital and the end was near. That night I drove 250 miles through the back country roads of West Virginia and North Carolina, arriving at Duke Univeristy at 2:30 AM. A brake line on the Jeep had snapped on the drive and on the last 75 miles I had no brakes on the Jeep. Each red light I came to was green. God was watching over me that evening.
I was there with my father in his last minutes, told him that I loved him and at 8:30 am the day after I completed writing my first book, my father passed away.
Life for me hit a hard patch that year. I got divorced, lost my father and my job of 21 years all within 10 months. But God was there and walked me through the hard times. And somehow through it all, I found myself. The person he, God, wanted me to be. And all the while this book about Lee and Jimmy sat. I knew one day I needed to finish it.
So, here it is, finally done and marks the next stage in my life. The future looks awesome. I’ve got a few more books in the works and I’m planning a huge trip in the near future.
God bless and thanks to all those family and friends that have been with me through the hard times and the good times.