The formal launch of Wisdom From a Father is now history. It made its sort of debut on a snowy Sunday afternoon in Seneca County, NY, and on line at facebook.com/wisdomfromafather/
Wisdom From a Father. That’s a high bar and not to be confused with “Wisdom From the Father.” This is “a” like one of many, not “the” like the head honcho, the Big Guy.
Now that we have that settled, let’s talk about the book. But before I do, I’m going to share – what else? – a story with you.
Waaay back in the ‘70s when I was a newby production manager at a newspaper/printing house in Illinois, I came across a promotional piece from Kodak. It was a slick, full color piece featuring vibrant Easter eggs in a colorful basket. Kodak was asking newspapers to incorporate the artwork in an ad, with cash prizes going to newspapers of various sizes for their presentation.
Hmmm, I thought. Why not participate?
So, when we had our production meeting, I asked the crew what they thought. But instead of using it in an ad, I reasoned we could make a statement with a front page presentation. Skepticism is probably the best word to describe the idea. Lukewarm might be another.
It was explained to me – remember I was relatively new to the position – it couldn’t be done. You see, we had just four units on the press and traditionally, each color would take up a unit – black, cyan, magenta and yellow. The most we could run would be four pages, hardly worth the effort, even for a Saturday when we usually ran an eight page, all black ink paper.
I listened and moved on. After the meeting, I left the slick promotional piece on the conference table.
Later in the day, when I went into the conference room, the piece was missing. And the next day, Andy, my lead pressman, walked into my office and asked me if I had a minute. We walked toward the press and Andy proceeded to explain how we COULD print an eight page paper with full color. Complete with animation, he described how, by re-wrapping the rolls, we might be able to print the yellow on the fountain of one unit, wrap the roll to pick up the magenta off the other fountain of the same unit, then pick up the cyan and black, thus using just two units for the color instead of three. That freed one unit for the second black impression.
Of course, we never did it before, so we weren’t sure it would work. And in announcing our grand experiment, I remember writing a lead-in stating our “faces may be ruddy, ruddy red, but we’re hoping the colors will pop and we’ll be able to embark on a new era for the BDR.”
As the first paper came off the folder, the experiment worked but was out of register. Andy and his crew methodically adjusted the settings and within a few moments the color registered perfectly.
We didn’t win the contest, but we learned a lot about what could be done when we think collectively out of the box … when we were willing to take a chance. I was a winner because it showed my production crew I trusted them. Through the years we worked through challenges – not as boss-employee, but together as a team.
I thought of that story as I prepared for this launch. Unfortunately, my face is “ruddy, ruddy red”. Wisdom From a Father is a no-show. I was expecting delivery Thursday, but my grandson tells me the shipment of hard copies is sitting in my living room in Maine, delivered Saturday. Forty-eight hour printing turnaround apparently doesn’t include transit – especially to the Maine Highlands — which tacked on an additional few days.
So, first bit of wisdom from a father. That’s life. And this is just another challenge to be dealt with.
I dedicated the book to my children. Through the years, they gave me reams of material to share – and some better off not shared. They have always given me their love and support. For that, I will forever be grateful.
I am also proud of the cover, which features a photo I took of Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde, ME. The long planks hopefully invite readers to the lighthouse and, in turn, to open the book and choose their own path and pace. The type — Edwardian Script — was chosen to be personal and intimate. The combination blends the illumination, resilience and comfort of the lighthouse with words that hopefully guide, build inner strength and give hope.
The text in Wisdom From a Father deals precisely with the unpredictabilities of life – the twists, the turns, the highs, the lows, the struggles and the glory. The essays are down-home reflections on life, love and family.
There are joys. There are tribulations. There are reflections. There is every day life. In each essay I try to reflect a greater Power who colors my perspective and show His extraordinary presence in the ordinary. My comments are always filtered through the lens of my Judeo-Christian values and largely based on 40 years of marriage raising five children. All were written from my heart, sometimes seriously and sometimes with a touch of humor.
There are 52 essays in Wisdom From a Father. They are independent, so they can be read any way you choose – sequentially, randomly, in a few sittings, once a week. Topics range from Conversations with God and Because He Lives to The Silly Season and The Game of Life. It includes a few book reviews, remembering 9/11 and Amazing Grace. Some of the essays are dated – I refer to the presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney – but with universal insights. It is liberally sprinkled with anecdotes from life with Karen and five kids. And each essay ends with the signature Thought To Remember.
Look for the extraordinary in the ordinary … every day!
Wisdom From a Father is available at Amazon as both a paperback and e-book.
Just as a reminder, this my second venture into the world of book publishing. I released a novella, Heaven Shining Through, last March. The novella has been receiving mostly solid 4-5 stars and positive reviews. It remains available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and is listed at GoodReads.
I’m also offering a special Christmas promotion — a copy of both Wisdom From a Father and Heaven Shining Through (a $9.99 value) for $20.00 plus tax. Drop me an e-mail at email@example.com if you’re interested in a signed copy of either book or both.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Share your knowledge with others.