Thursday, January 14, 2016

Written for my Wife

In the coming weeks, I will be posting about a book that I have written.

I just wanted to talk about it outside of itself a little before that. The purpose of it and what joy it gives me to release it online.

Several years ago I was homeless, unemployed, nonplussed and depressed. Living an a small loft above a very (VERY) generous couple's garage, I sat around trying to figure out what to do with my life. And while those were by and far a couple of the worst years in my life, I none the less was born out of them a better man.

Three things happened almost simultaneously, seeds of things that have born great fruit and I pray will continue to do so.

The first was when My dad called me over to his house, to experiment at designing a few shirts for a MMA athletic clothing line. I will spend little time on this, but the fact is it made me realize how much I enjoyed graphic design. And I continued to design my own shirts since then. Starting a (terribly unsuccessful) clothing line, and then starting a shop that is doing kind of, slightly, some what... well.

Second was when I applied for a job at Fred Meyer in Canby, Oregon. Now when I say I applied, what I really mean is that I demanded a job. I had literally been out of work for about a year and a half (despite the one month I spent in a place that I can only describe as hell, so I don't count that). If you have ever been out of work, then you will know how if feels when every single person you know only has one thing they talk to you about, and it's always the same question, over and over and over.

The fact was, I had found a lot of jobs that were good, but they didn't think that they had found anything good themselves, so I was never contacted again.  And thus, I continued on my trajectory of failure in the employment sector. But then I had finally had enough. I heard that there was an opening for the Starbucks in the Fred Meyer in Canby, and I thought... I could do that.
 I walked up to customer service, after getting the name of the HR lady, and simply told the CS associate that I was there to speak to Deb in HR. I was dressed to the nines and had my resume in hand. As well, I wasn't taking no for an answer.
Luckily, the nice lady at desk called Deb on the phone and told her that I was there to see her, she smiled, hung up the phone and directed me on how to get to Deb's Office.  Confidently, I walked back to the office and opened the door. As I peered into see Deb, I could see her shuffling folders about her desk and looking for something.

"Hi, I'm Tyler. I'm hear to speak with you." I said confidently, yet  light and quietly.

Deb looked up and seemed a little deterred. "Hi Tyler," she said getting out of her chair to shake my hand. "I'm so sorry, but I can"t seem to find your application anywhere in my stack. What was your last name?"

I laughed slightly. "Clawson, and it's OK cause I don't have an application in. I'm sorry about that."

We both sat and I looked her directly in the eye as she started to calm down. "See, I wanted to speak with you before I put in the application online. I know for a fact that you're hiring for Starbucks and I want to make sure you know who I am when I put in my name."

Deb smiled a sly smile... an approving smile.

"Anyway, I just thought I would introduce myself and give you my resume and make sure you know that I will apply as quickly as I can."

She told me to fill out the application, and then two days later called me in for an interview. I didn't know it, but the day I walked in and demanded attention, an opening in the Electronics Department had arrived. (a dept. that I was much more capable of working and my resume showed that.) They interviewed me... Deb the HR lady, The Manager of the Dept. and then a third interview with the Store Director all with in an hour. Then before I could walk out the front door of the store, they were calling my phone to offer me the job.

This was a win, and while I complain and have lost a lot of devotion to my job at Fred Meyer, I will never forget the fact that they saved me. This was the second thing to happen that started to turn my life around.

The third thing was this:

Five children were sitting in a field. They sat looking at the world around them from the peaceful grasslands of their grandmother’s backyard. It was ten acres of green grass and sporadic trees, with a narrow road driving down the side of the property and a small collection of maple trees mixed with firs, and some oddly colored trees that would forever be uncategorized following along the path. On the far side of the field an orchard of apple trees sprang to life, creating a home for wild animals. Their grandmother's home sat behind them with a large tree off to the side, supporting a tire swing hanging down.

Now, at this (dark) time in my life, I knew I wanted to write comic books and movies and all that jazz. I have always been a dreamer and tried to tell stories. But I never wanted write a novel. It was too much, to big. It was work. But nothing was working out for me. Movies are expensive and I would have to start at the bottom. Graphic Novels require an artist, I have no illustration skills. But Novels would require only writing my ideas on a page.

I had even taken an old comic book that I had written and I began to add to it to turn it into a novel. Because I thought "I have already written most of it, now it won't be to much work to adjust it a little." So if I was going to write a book, then it was going to be the easy way. But then, as I was getting pretty far into it, I suddenly found myself without the flash drive that had stored the entire piece of work. I had literally lost my "novel" and would have to start over.

In a deep and dark depression one night, within my cave in the forest (my loft five miles outside the nearest town.) I wrote this small passage. Then I wrote an entire page. Then I had finished the chapter. Then the first act of the book, and soon things had started to come around. I moved back into town in a shitty mobile home, which I paid way to much rent for, I started fixing my car up and I started to have something close to a life.

I then finished the first draft of the book, and God provided an editor and people around me that helped me craft it a little more. And soon (though it really took a very long time) I had a finished book, that I was querying agents for representation. And that's where I sit now.

There is one piece of this that I haven't mentioned yet, because it's something very special to me. My wife, Rebecca. Through everything, literally everything, she was there. Encouraging me, helping me, freeing me. Despite my terrible situation, she stuck it all through with me, on a promise that we might one day be wedded. If you have never had dark and terrible times, then it's hard to explain how much the encouragement of another person is.

Even the one time I tried to break up with her, for her own good, she wouldn't have it. (we weren't married at the time.) I tried to give her a life with out me, with out my pain and hurt and darkness. And she refused to accept it, she wanted me for every thing I was. Dark parts and all. It's a wonderful and moving thing to have in my life, a person who loves me like that.

And she does.

So (and I promise I'm almost done.) when I started thinking about a small book I could write, to try and self-publish so as to get more attention, I had to think about what it was I wanted to write about. Naturally I thought about the wonderful and unbound love of my wife. And that's what this book is. This is a book that tells the world of the love that I have been given. It is a book that shows my wife, that I have seen her greatness and it has inspired an entire book. This book was written for her, and inspired by her. She is my dream come true.

She is my Rebecca moon.

"Yummy coffee and a good book, written just for me. Thank you Tyler!" - from Facebook post.

T.W. Clawson

1 comment: