"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
I remember clearly how this journey began. I was on the phone with my best friend, Casey. Casey's first child, Mason, had just been born, and I was calling him just to check in. I was anxious for him, knowing that having a child was such a huge life change for both him and his wife. When I began talking to him, he asked a question that I didn’t see coming.
"Do you want to write a book with me?"
Write a book? He didn't know this at the time, but the idea of writing a book had long been a secret dream of mine, one that I kept locked deep within the dark corners of my mind. It was a dream that, I had convinced myself was impossible for me to achieve.
I had tried to write several years before, even what I would consider a phase where I was getting serious about it, but my attempts were false starts. The plots I devised were watery thin, and the characters were wholly unoriginal. I wasn't very confident that I could offer anything of value in the ways of a story. Somewhere along the way, I resigned myself to give up on this dream, storing it deep behind a locked door. One day, I thought, I would turn the key and begin again.
That day came sooner than I thought.
Friendship is an odd thing. Whether for good or bad, it changes who we are. Another good friend of mine says that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. I believe that this is true. Working together with a friend was the missing ingredient that I needed to accomplish the goal of writing a book. Relationships are powerful things in our lives, and they change who we are. The Keys of Candor would not have been written had it not been for my friendship with Casey.
Two years have gone by and Casey and I have worked tirelessly on our project that began so humbly. We both dared to dream, and decided to jump all in. Whether we succeed or not, it makes no difference to us. We write for ourselves, and our success, in the end, is only defined by us.
The third draft of The Keys of Candor: The Red Deaths is nearly complete. By the end of August 2014 we hope to have a draft ready to present to some lucky (?) beta-readers for their input and feedback. This website, will serve as the hub for all things Keys of Candor based, and any additional projects we decide to cook up.
Thanks for stopping by. We hope you’ll stay awhile and see what's in store.