Thirty-odd years ago, circumstances pulled Ronnie Bart from college, swapping his hopes for a journalist’s career for the grit and gristle of life running his family’s ranch. For a fortieth anniversary surprise, Ronnie commissioned a Denver artist to capture the country his wife loved on canvas. Otherwise inconvenient if not impossible, Ronnie arranged the transaction using email, starting a “conversation” lasting more than a year. For whatever reason, Ronnie stuffed records of the conversation into a desk drawer.
Veterinarian Doc Jensen, Ronnie’s almost life-long friend, discovered and introduced that conversation. More than records of the painting’s commission and anticipation of its delivery, it’s a forty-year glimpse into everyday ranch life and the personalities and places around Ronnie as he saw and understood them. His delivery, anecdotally factual, peppered with observation and wry analysis, suggests journalism missed a unique if not talented professional. His notes are all we have.
Part 1 – Anniversary 34 Chapters ~105,000 words, 265 pages
Part 2 – Snow 33 chapters ~108,000 words, 271 pages
Metaphor is out for reading and review. Seven people have volunteered to read and comment. Four are still working on it, the presses of work, family life, and such slowing their progress. It is my hope “life” is the overriding reason some have not yet finished. When I have heard back from all of my gracious volunteers, good or bad, Metaphor will wait upon my decision – whether to abandon it, serialize it on “Ramblings,” or try to convince a publisher it is worth a shot.
The work took over ten years to complete. It sat for years in that oft-alluded-to file cabinet, only recently to be pulled out and finished. When major characters started telling me where the story would go – outside the central “plot” – the most difficult part became keeping its size manageable.
I am anxious to see what happens. It would be interesting to know if anyone out there is also curious.