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Guest Post with Author John Cooke

Welcome to my guest blogger for the month of October, Author John Cooke. I first met John, in person no less, back in September at a Writers’ Ink meeting. John is just beginning his journey and by the excerpts he shared with us from his book, Your Snake River Skirr Travel Guidebook, I’d say he’s well on his way. Thank you, John for being this month’s guest.

Are We There Yet?

Are we there yet? The question can drive you crazy. When I was a kid the answer always seemed to be no. I would be told when we were there, by an adult.

As an adult, I never studied eastern philosophies but I have read enough of Facebook to know that the key is to live in the moment. All time is now. In my regular life I think I do a pretty good job of existing in the present. It is only recently that I discovered life as a writer is not a regular existence.

Not too long ago I was talking to someone whose opinion I hold in high esteem. We both agreed a project I have been working on for years now is 'not there yet.' Will it ever be there? And where is there?

Right now digital technologies have changed the idea getting there. In the past, you had to get around an army of adults who would tell you when you were there. Now with a computer and an internet connection, you can tell the world, 'There it is, you can find my work here,' with no adult supervision.

Right now I am looking at a proof of my book. It came from CreateSpace. A mere two weeks ago I got an email that said 'Congratulations! Your interior and cover files meet our technical requirements for printing.' I don't think a human was ever involved in the process of approving my book? Maybe Amazon hires children in some far off land and pays them pennies a day to approve the thousands of books that Amazon generates? Maybe a little fellow read enough of my book to see that it was no modern Mien Kampf and the cover page did not include naked violence?

Or maybe somewhere in the Far East I made a fan?

Regardless of how it got approved, here it is, it's in my hands. I can read it and once done I can put it up on a book shelf. It would not look out of place there. It is a book and books do not look out of place on a shelf. Now that the idea has come to me, I am conscious of exactly where I will place it. My books are never really in any sort of order, so if my book sits between Steinbeck and Vonnegut does it belong there? Maybe, maybe not?

Now I just took the time to put my books in alphabetical order. My book now sits between Arthur C. Clarke and Douglas Coupland. Does it belong there? Inside my own private library I can safely say yes it does belong just right there. Now my book lives there between A Space Odyssey and Generation X. Any day now it will exist on Amazon, butting itself up against millions of books. Does it belong there? Sure, why not?

Why not, because in my writer’s heart it does not seem like it is there yet. It could always be better. It will never be done. I am not there yet, but am I close enough?

Look for John F. Cooke's Your Snake River Skirr Travel Guidebook: A Trilogy in Four Parts on Amazon soon.

You can find John Cooke here:

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