Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments


In the lean early days when the greatest treat we knew was Dream Whip from a box, my parents drove us to the public library every week. When I turned five, there was no kindergarten, so my mother opened one in our living room. As a family, we attended every free Louisville Orchestra concert and went to hear President Kennedy speak. My parents’ love and commitment all these years is the foundation on which I stand.

            It was only in 2009, after I was taken off Lithium Carbonate which Mom had forced me to be on for 31 years, that I began to put together the meaning of the small pastel swastikas on our dinner plates and the daily beatings -- as well as Mom's prime connection to three Catholic Popes, planning and passing messages to some of the highest leaders in the Republican Party and Fox News. This story is too big to include here, and is told in my blogs: http://scottkenan.blogspot.com and http://theweathercontinues.blogspot.mx, written in Mexico where I now live in Political Exile from the United States.

 First, I want to thank all the members of the writers’ group at the Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta. They provided important feedback as I wrote the first two drafts of Walking on Glass. Special thanks to Ken Wilcox, the founder of the group, and to sustaining members Kirsten Haas, Richard Allison, and the fabulous Diamond Lil.
After I had completed only one chapter, John Mackey’s blunt criticism of my writing skills caused me to read every book on the subject I could find. I followed his advice on form as I shaped the book. Later, he introduced me to Cynthia Zigmund, my agent. There’s no way I can adequately thank either of them. Cindy has been a tireless advocate and negotiator, as well as hand-holder when I was discouraged. She is more than an agent—she is a friend. (Cindy turned out to be allied with those who tanked the Alyson publication of this book, but see: http://scottkenan.blogspot.mx/2011/12/letter-to-scott-rudins-personal.html ). Rich Merritt heard about my project and sought me out while I worked on my second draft. His first book, a courageous memoir, was soon to be published. The enthusiastic encouragement of a ‘real’ writer was huge for me. Semper Fi, Captain!

If there is a heart at the center of all things Tennessee Williams—and there is—it is Thomas Keith. Editor of many of Williams’s books, speaker at, and supporter of Williams festivals (as well as others), Thomas has been generous with advice and support since I first met him in 2005. Also, he connected me with my publisher, Don Weise of Alyson Books. (And he was a TOTAL CRIMINAL in league with Sewanee, the Episcopal Church, and the Republican Party narco-traffickers. See my Old Blog for details on ALL OF THAT: http://scottkenan.blogspot.mx .)

It is such a privilege to work with Don. (DON'T ASK; DON'T TELL!!! -- or read about it in the above mentioned blog!!!) His immediate excitement for the book, respect for it, and care in the shepherding of it leave me in deep gratitude. Michael Fusco designed the perfect cover (the original one). And thank God for Paul Florez, Don’s assistant. Don and Thomas distilled the final title from an idea offered by my friend and writing buddy Christal Presley, who now laughs when she tosses me told-you-so’s. Christal’s faith in the merits of this book was my anchor when the sea was stormy. (And since she turned out to be SEAN HANNITY OF FOX NEWS'S CO-CONSPIRATOR WITH MY MOTHER, ETC. TO ACTUALLY MURDER ME, we LATER had troubles.)

Few other people alive today have had the privilege of spending a significant amount of time in the day-to-day presence of Tennessee Williams. And only they could really understand what a gift that continues to be. John Uecker and I had no contact from 1982 until 2009. We later, for most of a year, shared a bond that nothing could break. (John Uecker actually MURDERED Tennessee Williams by smothering him with a pillow on orders of Maria St. Just -- nee Britneva -- and Sewanee. Check my Old Blog on all these things: http://scottkenan.blogspot.mx .)

Mary Kritz offered weekly encouragement as I volunteered beside her in the bookstore at the Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta, and she delivered me to Phyllis Mueller who edited the fifth draft, shaping it and relieving the manuscript of my writing errors. Williams scholar Allean Hale gave early encouragement. Hollis Gillespie bragged about me to important ears. And as I write this, Don Weise has contracted Thomas Keith to do final edits to the manuscript. Who could ask for more? (REALLY!!! But Thomas added a LIE about Tennessee Williams, and his editing of punctuation in the last half of my book was extremely sloppy -- he missing much of what he got in the first half.)

            John Bolinger and Nancy Babcock gave invaluable chapter-by-chapter criticism during the year and a half I spent on the first draft. As I continued, many friends critiqued at least part of it. Many gave other support in ways they may or may not realize. All of you are greatly appreciated: Pam Agababian, Janee Barrett, Mark Beard, Bill Copeland, Kimberly Craft, Bob Davis, Allison Dowd, Lissa Dulany, Gerry Flynn, Tom Hambrick, Phillip Hardigree, Sue Hobbs, Chuck Hyde, Marc LaFont, Gavin Lambert, Alex Whiddon, Dan Lotten, Jeff Lux, Patricia McKelvey, Joel Miller, Gregory Mosher, Steve Oden, Steve Poynter, Chuck Pritchard, Kelly Ray, Paul Robinson, Hilary Russell, Patrick Stansbury, Mary Wyatt, and Susan Zoller. I apologize to anyone I have left out here. So many people helped in various ways and I am grateful to you all.

 Finally, there is Tennessee. I thought the writing of this book would be my gift to him—but it has been his gift to me.


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