If you are like me you wonder about works published after an author’s death, especially when it
is more than one unpublished work. I wonder why did they not get that off to the publisher? Was there
something they were going to add? Was the author not happy with it?
Now I am not using this space to make you believe that I think of myself as author that will
achieve greatness post funeral, but I had a bit of a revelation as to how this can happen last month when I
was cleaning the space I normally work in, loosely refereed to as an office.
I happened upon two full length volumes of roughly 50,000 words each that I have written but
never saw the light of day. They are complete down to mock ups of the covers and would appear ready to
go to press, but they never did.
The question that begs asking is why? Two complete books sitting on my shelf that I had
The first is a recounting of my trip to Burma and an expose on the work that IDE does there. This
is a group that provided treddle pumps to some of the poorest people in the world. These pumps allowed
farmers to bring water to their field and increase production 3 fold, a huge accomplishment.
I was commissioned to write the books on work done in Nepal and Burma. The one on Nepal
was published on my return but the one on Burma was shelved because it was determined that some of
the language I used in the book might be considered offensive to the regime in power in Burma and might
make it more difficult for them to continue their work.
If I remember correctly the offending phrase was something to the effect of me describing a very
thin man “with chicken legs” happily working the treddle pump and bringing water to his field. The book
was put on hold indefinitely and since I did not own the material it stayed on my shelf.
Mystery 1 solved.
The second was a book about a trip I took across Morocco. It recounted a 1,500 kilometer truck
and camel journey and the day to day adventures Across the Sand. I kept a diary during the trip and
turned it into a book on my return. The book was the intent of the trip, it was during a time I took one
major trip a year, and regaled people with the stories in an attempt to make a living.
Well, something happened that changed my career path and I never published that book either.
So, I saved someone the trouble of finding them after my passing, and I am going to use a apart
of them in a book I am beginning this week.
Notes from the Field will be a weekly post here on Facebook and Lesthebookcoach.com about
my travels to a different country. I have been to about 58 countries and if I can keep the pace of a story a
week by the end of 2021 there should be a book waiting to print.
I hope you join me on my travels, and no you won’t have to leave your chair, as Friendly Giant
used to say, “a rocking chair for someone who likes to rock.”