The Insistent Whisper of Our SoulAs the story unfolds, it becomes evident another factor is influencing everything he thinks and feels. Much of Clay’s conflicted state is anchored in his experiences and how they have shaped his present state of mind. Has he confronted and conquered his past, or has Clay allowed the politics of the immediate to crowd out the necessary? The answer to this question has profound implications for the story. For Clay, as for most of us, life has proven to be a full contact sport. Clay has enjoyed success at a price. A price of which he’s aware at multiple levels. The life of a career Marine infantry officer with multiple combat tours takes it toll, physically, emotionally and spiritually. That toll keeps cropping up in a variety of forms. Like Clay, most of us have gotten the memo. Life litters our path with challenges and pain. We all recognize these as part of life. But recognizing them is not the same as dealing with them. If we’re fortunate, thoughtful, attentive parents have cultivated healthy coping skills. They’ve armed us with a road map for processing our frequent disappointments, pain and loss, as well as (hopefully), constructive ways to channel our passions. A fortunate few of us find ourselves equal to most of it. Others of us get by with a little help from friends or spouses. But somewhere along the way, we discover pieces of the road map seem to be missing. Our parents didn’t teach us everything. They couldn't. It is at these times that quiet reflection help us puzzle out those missing pieces in our sanity road map.
Half-an-hour West of TomorrowIn chapter two, Clay stands on this summit of uncertainty. He finds himself confronted with a new landscape, at once seductive and terrifying. Clay has reached the edge of the map. He's now half-an-hour west of a sun rising on an uncertain tomorrow. A glance over his shoulder confirms what he already suspects. There is no way back. He (and we) must choose, and in our choosing, define, or finish ourselves. For now, he has the illusion of options. But his past will force choices that will lead him over unfamiliar ground. For Clay, it’s time let that unfinished map slip from our fingers and choose a new direction, with all the possibilities…and perils...that go along with it.
West of Tomorrow is a cross-genre work of corporate intrigue, betrayal, misplaced love and the phoenix living in all of us, now on sale on Amazon. In this contemporary tale, Dirk leverages his experiences as a retired marine officer, corporate trainer and district manager to bring us this thoughtful story of self-reinvention in our turbulent time of shifting paradigms and runaway change. Dirk is the organizer/facilitator of the Advanced Fiction Group, an collection of published and aspiring authors living in South Orange County. His current projects include Through the Windshield, an anthology of short stories and Tier Zero, Volume I of The Knolan Cycle, a story of first contact between Earth and the Knolan Alliance.