After losing Rocky, having his story as a computer file provided an easily accessible way to for me to continue to spend time with him. Simply powering on the computer and opening up the file became the cheap substitute of opening the door and seeing him patiently waiting to greet me. Each edit of his manuscript was simply another venue where I could continue to hang out with him and, thereby, comfort my sense of loss.

Years of pecking at the keyboard and challenging myself to make his story shine kept me in close contact with Rocky.  I labored to make his story authentic and thorough. Embellishing bullshit to make him look better was forbidden and I kept it real by openly admitting to my mistakes. Everything written accurately represents his life.

And, I had an unforeseen discovery that I had to accept and overcome.  Although his story was meant to be shared, I privately kept it all to myself. Perhaps I never wanted to really see his story in print as I selfishly protected it from a looming concern.

FEAR.

The fear was not concerning sales because I am a realist and have reasonable expectations.  I fear all my efforts will downplay such a magnificent animal’s life. I will always question my ability as a writer and I question all the decisions I had to make while slowly inching towards publication.

Well, I confronted those fears and moved forward with decisions and recently held the Production Proof of Rocky’s book. His story deserves perfection and, since I’m an imperfect human, I know errors in the script are inevitable. Those errors will be disappointing.  But, he looks grand on the cover and I somewhat cringed as I held the 300 page book and told him, “There, I did it.”

But, the big release is here.  I hope readers forgive my imperfections and enjoy Rocky’s story.

He was something very special.