Writing has been my main career since 1995. In the first decade, I self-published two books and two Internet sites about Iowa high school football along with submitting freelance work for several Iowa weekly newspapers and Luke Feddersen’s excellent IowaPreps website.
In March of 2005, I was hired by Woodward Communications to be a sportswriter for the Cascade Pioneer and Dyersville Commercial. During the 11 years I was with Woodward, I covered 14 different sports and the teams from Cascade, Western Dubuque, Beckman, Edgewood-Colesburg and Maquoketa Valley. I also covered some stock car racing, running races and semi-pro baseball. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing many terrific and interesting people including Creighton University basketball coach Greg McDermott and San Diego Padre pitcher Colin Rea both of whom are from the Cascade area.
Three separate years I was a place winner in the Sports Columnist category of the Iowa Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contests.
In the spring of 2016, I left Woodward Communications to concentrate on my freelance writing career and start writing Everything Love Brings.
Why did you decide to tell your mom’s story?
I’ll start with the selfish reasons. I’m hoping that enough people enjoy this story and word spreads and I make a little money with this e-book. I also hope people in the creative industries see this e-book and open some doors I’ve been knocking on.
There are also less material reasons involved with telling people about Mom. I spent many months after Mom’s death wandering around aimlessly. I did my work, I went through each day, but there didn’t seem to be any meaning to my life. I had many people who loved me and gave reasons to keep going, but I just couldn’t find anything that made me feel as if I was contributing something, that I had something special going on.
I can always improve at it, but writing is the one thing I do well. I thought if I spent time telling Mom’s story, I could feel as if I was contributing again. I could tell everyone there was something big coming. That my loved ones would have a new reason to be proud of me. That people would actually have something to have conversations with me as if I was the belle of the ball again.
I also wanted to tell the story of Darlene Carpenter. She wasn’t famous, but she was somebody worth knowing. Her bravery in her final months was something I wanted to share with you. But you also should know about how caring a person she was, her mischievousness and understated sense of humor. I expect you might see much of her in me as you read this story and I’m totally cool with that.
I also wanted to tell the story of Cascade, a community of about 2,000 people in northeastern Iowa and how they kept me going during the most difficult time of my life. I want people to know what they did for me and what they mean to me. You will also learn about a bunch of Goofballs, the coaches and their parents and how those folks gave me something I never had before.
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This is the story of the most important person I had in my life and a community which loved me. A community which did everything it could to help me recover from the death of my best friend. It's a story of decline, loss and grief. It's also the tale of love refusing to let someone go and helping recovery come. This story is a memoir about everything loving someone brings.