There it was. My signed first edition of Govt Cheese. I thumbed through the front matter. I read the first blurbs and dedication. I read the note on the card in the Thank You envelope. I was ready and anxious to peal through the book.

I set it next to the slipcover for my own book. The synchronicity was poignant to me. I was bringing Ruinwaster’s Bane into the world. I was embarking on the formatting and the assembly of that front matter and back matter. All the collateral that would make up a book beyond the manuscript.

His works had gotten me here. His emails of support and encouragement allowed me to believe that I could do it. Allowed me to believe I could continue to do and repeat the process. The story that spans multiple books. The nonfiction that was writing. It was coming to fruition after my own time in the wilderness.

The Annals of the Last Emissary is a kind of memoir in a way. A fantastical allegory draped carefully over the hero’s journey. In some way, every story is in some way about writing a book. Writing a book is a hero’s journey. Underneath the plot and story is the coal engine room of writing a story. It’s not easy. When I talk with another Steven – Steven Piskula, the author of The First Harm, he wonders why we embark on such an exercise. Here again Pressfield provides an answer from Henry Miller. We can’t not do it. Our mental health and well-being depend on it.

When we are living the memoir, we don’t know where it will end up. When we send the book out into the world we don’t know what will happen to it. Here again Pressfield gives us an answer from Buddist teachings. We have a right to labor of our work, but we don’t have a right to the fruits of our labor. That, we cannot control. I didn’t want to accept that bit of wisdom either. Now I enjoy what I control and the labor of bringing Ruinwaster’s Bane into the world. I’ll do what I can to market the book and I know I can’t control what may happen with it.