American born L Dalton White lives this chapter of what has been an amazing journey in a small village in the Westerwald region of Germany. Since 2007 Dalton has had the opportunity to focus on fiction. With The Book of Jake and Complicity published, he continues with several other novels. They include Playing In The Band, Crackup, The Carpenter’s Companion, and So Long As It’s A Glass.
Reborn in December 1954, I arrived in the soon to be suburban northwest Connecticut. More like hopping off the tail feathers of that big stork coined the baby boom.
I was very average––C, C+––much to my parents’ misgivings. Thank you, Mom and Dad. Cognitive dissonance is the fancy way to say not fitting in was my bag. My bus driver described me best. “You’d kick if you had both feet cut off.”
I’m good with that. Always trying to find the ground.
School was a nightmare in general, and I never read an English assignment to completion until college in the Autumn of 1973. I was happy working on the farm and being a hippie, but applied to college to stop the incessant nagging that I should “go to school.” At a loss for what to study, I wallowed in a liberal arts curriculum. Something clicked. I loved it. The mental challenge, the diversity of ideas. I thirsted to read and write, and so was spawned my interest in literature and all things writing.
Couldn’t finish my undergraduate degree in four years, though. Had
to go it alone and write. The “nobility of the quest,” however, swallowed me. I worked for five years and went back to college after my son was born, graduating in 1983 from University of Connecticut.
After 1983, life fell apart before the other alter—drugs and alcohol. Divorced and out of luck, I worked as a carpenter and wrote very little during those “maintenance” years. A major change occurred in 1989 when I had to call it quits on the drinking. Putting aside drugs wasn’t an insurmountable problem, but alcohol was.
Living a sober life redirected my search in richer directions. Still immersed in work and child support and “Life Skills 101,” I remarried. The adventure became plural. The world expanded––exponentially––even living outside of Connecticut for several years.
In 1999, my wife was diagnosed with lung cancer, dying four months later. My world was shattered. While picking up the pieces, I reacquainted myself with writing daily, all in an effort to keep going. It was mostly poetry.
In 2007, I met my beloved Regina at a Sundance in South Dakota. I followed her to her home in Germany and never left. My relative seclusion in our little village has left me plenty of time to catch up on all the writing I didn’t do.
I may be late to the game and there may not be the time to launch a career, but I am thrilled and grateful to live this life. It feels like completion, a dream come true. At last, ground—a universe where my feet finally touch.
Thanks to all who have taken the time to read. I hope you find something that resonates and delights.