In 2007 our family packed up our bags with two kids in diapers and drove cross country to a home we bought that my wife had never seen. Our reason for leaving Philadelphia, to be closer to my wife’s aging parents and to help them out in their ” golden years.” The other reason was a change in scenery after living in big cities for 20 years. That is another story.
It was in Missoula, Montana where I woke up in the middle of night, in a cold sweat, at 2 am in the morning I got the idea to write Leaving Cleveland. I was having a nightmare of running in the dense woods being chased by Nazi’s. That was not my life, it was my fathers, so why was I dreaming about the terrifying event. Then my mind started racing and I was awake. So I headed down the basement to where my office was , looking outside at the temperature was reading -15 degrees F. I turned on my computer and started to write and write and write. Before I knew it the time was 6 am and time to prepare lunches for the kids and send them off to school. This seemed to be my writing pattern for the next 4 years and 800 pages later.
It must be in the water. There are a lot of creative writers in Missoula, the University even has a great creative writing school. Even the famous writer, director David Lynch was born in Missoula and it it inspired him to write his popular TV show, Twin Peaks.
My specialty and true passion was photography not writing so why I chose to spend so much time writing this book is still a curiosity in my creative world. As I wrote the story it started to make more sense to me and I felt it was a great story to share. I do understand why there are so many writers in Missoula, the winters are long, there are very few sunny days, the access to mountains are sublime and there is no shortage of bars or places to drink coffee. It is enough to drive a sane person crazy, in a good way.
Back to the book, Leaving Cleveland is now a fast paced, emotionally moving page turner and now 293 page book…in other words a fun and adventurous read..Thank you Missoula and support your local artist!!!!
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