The memoir that I started in 1991 is complete. A preview published by my friend Jake Siegel, a captain of infantry who fought in Iraq, appeared in the Daily Beast in October, 2013. Four years later, I am polishing the infamous chapter 33, the prologue, and the afterword. The book is finished.
The memoir is now titled Idioms of Dreams: A Tale of the Grenada Raiders. I may change this title. If you have ideas, please say so. I long called this work Language of Nightmares. That felt too much like H.P. Lovecraft. The work is weird, but it is not in the Lovecraft tradition. Then I called it Dialects of Dreams. Now I call it Idioms of Dreams. Maybe it should be Idioms of Nightmares. I go back and forth.
I envision two editions: the Ranger Edition, and the Hafftka Edition.
The Ranger Edition of Idioms of Dreams will be a mass market edition with maps, photographs, foreword and afterword. It will be available in both physical and electronic versions. I think that the electronic edition may make sense for most readers, as there are so many photos in it that it will be difficult to publish in physical form. I think that pricing it at $9.99 for an eBook license is fair.
I talked to Michael Yon yesterday, and he told me that one of his books ended up costing $100 a copy for a physical edition, and he still sold thousands of units. At least there is a precedent. Another of his books sold tens of thousands of units. Alas, I am not Mike Yon.
I made the Ranger Edition to preempt critics. Some folks will dispute my narrative. It is personal, and nobody experiences combat the same, so I included photographs that support my representation of combat. The narrative is not history, but it is historical. Many will consider it history, no matter what I say.
Finally, the artist Michael Hafftka completed art for an illustrated edition of Idioms Of Dreams in 2013, and he continues working on its tapestry. It is a big job, illustrating a book like this. You can see Hafftka's preview on the Huffington Post.
I talked to Hafftka today, and he will publish another preview on the HuffPo after his next illustrations are complete. I hope that Hafftka creates a modern Through the Looking Glass, but about war, with a dash of kabbalah. There is no telling what will actually happen. Even Hafftka himself cannot know. This is art.
So that is it. My lawyer has Idioms of Dreams, and soon, The Rosetta Stone of Memories, and we shall see what happens. It is miraculous that I was able to complete this manuscript. Divine intervention played a role, and it will be even more miraculous if my lawyer finds an agent, and that agent a publisher. The odds are stacked against me.
So we will go step by step.
I dared many times over my lifetime to do what others insisted were impossibilities.
I no longer remember all the people who told me that I could never be a Ranger or a Green Beret or a writer. I proved them wrong, and I published in the New York Times. Twice. So this is familiar ground.
Never accept it when others tell you that you cannot encompass your dreams. You just need to visualize your future with your eyes wide open, as T.E. Lawrence said.
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, 1922.
I am convinced that we project our existence. Modern science does not know what 90% of the human brain even does. We project reality. So if you want to do something, visualize it.
Obviously, gravity, death, sequentiality, are all implacable laws. But much depends upon decisions, and you make the decisions that determine your life.
So dare greatly.
I will buy the Ranger version for sure! If you sign it
I served with Ron Tucker briefly in 1989 at Fort Riley (US ARMY ROTC ADVANCED CAMP) and later served with Rex Holden (FO in 1/75th, Urgent Fury). Ron told me the story of Mark Yamane's death and, as I retold it years later, Rex said it was the most accurate version he has ever heard. Needless to say, I was and still am honored to have brushed by them, no matter how briefly. Thank you for your effort in making this history known. It is because of my encounter with Ron that I hold my tab so dear - I was a very young 21 year old in 1989 and still choke up when I remember his tear-filled account of that fight. He described so vividly that I almost felt like I was there. Will look for your book. Thank you again. RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!
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