It is hard not to wonder about the inevitable day when all that you are, all that you know, and all that you have comes to an end and all that is left is the great void. Death, whatever it is, is bound to happen to each of us and facing down that mortality is as much a journey as each living day we face is. Now, this isn’t meant to be morbid so much as a way to examine the idea of legacy. For me, I can’t see my lasting legacy right now. I mean, sure, I hope that as a person I am remembered and all that but, as a writer, and especially as an artist, I can’t see any legacy. I can’t see anything that lasts.
What I hope is that the books live beyond me, that the people that have them will pass them around and that with luck people will discover the newest couple of books and anything I have floating out on the web.
I hope that I have inspired people.
I hope that I will be remembered as a good storyteller.
I hope that the paintings I have (and brother, I have a lot sitting around here, which, you know, you can buy, wink, wink) will be given to friends and loved ones and to anyone who would have a genuine interest. I know what I can do, and what my limitations are as an artist but I like the stuff. It makes me happy. I would just want people to feel the same way.
Ah, but what of all the crap that is left? What of the novel, the three story collections I never put out, and the several hundred (I was in the four hundreds at last count) of stories? I would never want or expect anyone to go on some silly crusade to get my work out there. I have had a whole lifetime to get stories and art to the world, and whether I was successful or not rests wholly on my shoulders. No, I would love for people to read the stuff I have written, most of which has never really been seen beyond a few friends, and some things never. If there was one thing I’d like to see get released it’s the novel, but that would be a job. You could do it the way I did these most recent two books, and just put it out as it is, warts and all, but as for a cover, well, I dunno. I have always had ideas for that but have never done art. I figure that until/unless the book gets picked up by a publisher there’s no point in obsessing over that. But I really love the novel, my book A Shadow Over Ever. I love the hell out of it and out of old cantankerous Pete Anders and would really like it to get out to people. Though, unless it’s picked up or I just put it out myself, it seems unlikely.
It’s a weird idea, leaving a legacy. I mean, If I was a famous author it might be weird to think of all the people scrounging for story scraps in the hopes of finding the rough gems that can be put out to make a last few dollars. Or worse, finding scraps and half-formed notions which someone else would finish. For me though, a no one, I would love people to discover what I have written. I have been writing for around twenty years now and I am proud of all of it, good, bad, and ill. The worst thing that can happen is to be forgotten, utterly and completely. Immortality lies with how you touched people and affected them. Your legacy lies on the lips of others. I would like to think that when my time is up, whenever that is, someone out there will think fondly of me and at least say – that guy was a pretty kick ass writer. Or at least not want to pee on my grave.
One can hope.
Feel free to browse my saleable goods and contribute to my legacy.
(hmm…book cover release tomorrow? hmm…)