We are close to publication launch of “First Friends: Love, Loss and Life in Humboldt County.” The last few months have been collaborative: working with Mason McCann Smith (www.madscavenger.com) on structural editing and interior design; Jim Whiting on final detailed editing (grammar and style); my sons, Christopher (on perspective and storyline) and Alex (content edits, website design [www.paburgess.com] and cover design), and Glory Gale (cover design and creation). Eileen Wilson has read numerous iterations of this story and has been one of my greatest cheerleaders in getting it to this stage. Now the manuscript is in the hands (or algorithms) of CreateSpace, turning my 40,000 words of reminiscenses, into a paperback book and an Kindle e-book, soon available on Amazon.
My story began many years ago when I was a young woman finding my footing in the incredible beauty of the Northern California coast—a neophyte attorney fighting the wrongs and injustices endured by senior citizens and the poor; running the logging trails of Humboldt County with my faithful dog, Bessie; meeting strangers during those runs who became compassionate friends; suffering the hardship of separation, while pregnant, and then divorce, shortly after my first son was born; and then, with the help of dear friends and family members, working my way up through the depths of despair to find strength and independence and ultimately, a new geography and family.
I do not regret those years, especially the friends made and the birth of my incredible son. I learned through the hardships, the betrayal, the loss and the loneliness. I survived, even ultimately thrived, with the background that too many of us share. My story has been told many times. Maybe this little memoir will provide some hope to others who have faced personal hardships, too.