A fish story

“Barc Shif!”

-attributed to Fishy Man

I saw it today. It happened at a chance meeting with the artist who is doing the cover art for my first novel, Tripio. I loved it of course. What I saw was a mock up for the cover of my book. My name was on the cover. It looked like a real book from a bookstore or online page. My name was on it. My name as the author of a novel.

 I spent a good deal of the rest of the day going about my blue collar job. From time to time I tried to recall when I first I dreamed of being a writer. My oldest surviving effort is a cartoon entitled “Fishy Man”, a fish that resembled a carp and who changed into a superhero after saying the magic words, “Barc Shif“. The phrase was intended to be crab fish spelled backwards. It’s not. But I was nine years old and so hiring an editor has not yet occured to me.

Fishy Man never made a splash, so to speak, but the desire, wish, hope, dream of being a writer stayed with me. I can’t recall waking up one summer morning and rushing to the kitchen and saying to mom, “I’m going to write novels!”

As I got older I ditched Fishy Man for The Beats and wondered through my post college years into parenthood, stopping for four years to work at Starbucks in Chicago. During those years, I wrote novels and kept journals as time presented itself. Parenthood suddently became all the time I had for the next twenty years left but I did continue journaling. The day on the job that brought me to the chance meeting with the cover artist was a typical day in my life now as a single parent of four grown kids.

Now headed home from the work day, I wondered if not for the 20 years of raising kids, of wathcing them create every day, would have forgoettne my childhood creation of Fishy Man.?Fishy Man who was born in the moment of pure creation from it’s own sake. Fishy Man who was swimming free of intent, the desire to impress, the condition he be edited and monetized. Fishy man, who couldn’t spell, but whose superpower was to create for own sake, for the imagination for the fun of just being able to do it- no string (of hooks) attached!

I dont’ know for sure of course. I just hope the some of Fishy Man’s superpower made it into Tripio and all my other writing. I hope adulthood didn’t force me to take it all to seriously.

“May I help who’s next?”

Comment now or think it over-both would be appreciatiated.

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