In hindsight, great progress on editing the second draft of the manuscript today.(373 out of 465 pages done). Many hours of work this morning on it and throughout the day. My back gets so stiff sitting. Cannot believe all the errors a closer read has fixed. Or, is fixing. A special word of thanks to Grammar-Man himself, my father, Alan Tong. I appreciate his grammatical input and suggestions. Much more chapter revision and division tomorrow. This is the real task that awaits, putting it all into the computer with all the changes.

Happy to have found a great church body, Ocean Church. With permission, I am referencing and analyzing their church mission statement in THE BOOK OF JAMES and applying some of the points from various messages. Just last night (Genesis 45.3-8), which applies so clearly to the book:

1. Form your character to be rightly ordered like God’s
2. God’s power is bigger than our mistakes
3. Set your course to be faithful
4. God determines the direction of our lives; you determine how far you go.

Also saw Sunshine last night. She is my dear friend and offered to be a proofreader of the manuscript for us. Happy, also, to speak to another dear friend, Pastor Kyle. He said he would give an endorsement of the book. That’s called belief, baby. Trusting things to fall into place. Working on chapter division, at this point figuring to have 27.

Wonderful week, wonderfu day, especially. Thought the first several drafts of THE BOOK OF JAMES: THE LIFE, BRAIN INJURY, AND LEGACY OF JAMES CLARY, JR. were good. Not a bit, I am finding as I have been spending 5-8 hours a day editing and revising. My friends at McDonald’s know me well, me and my Diet Coke ($1.07) nearly every morning. Time gets away as you’re doing stuff. Often the managers and workers come over and want to chat with me. In my mind, I’m like ‘Not now….I’ve got a good thought in my head.’ By the chance we’ve visited, it may be gone. Sometimes forget, sometimes remember. Am putting that McDonald’s in the Acknowledgments section, my fabulous friends. Wilbert had fun one day playing catch with the football with me on the way out. Couldn’t believe one-handed man could do it. What up, Wilbert? This book is almost going to be bigger than life. Taking a lot of work. Want to do James, my beloved and late friend, and his parents, Jim and Debby, proud. One day we’ll get it. Got ahold of another sweet friend that made me the offer of a lifetime. I met Yeniley Garcia. This young lady offered to be a proofreader of the manuscript in the upcoming months, or years. I believe she also will help determine which publisher to use. We want the most exposure for the book to spread the word, the dual message we wish to proclaim. The social media component is huge, glad for her input. Sometimes days end on a high note. This would be one of them. The words I long to hear in 45 minutes: “Welcome to Applebees.”

Exhilarating experiences with Jim and Debby Clary in Sacramento. Precious time and interviews with them and many of their family members. Besides their input to the book and direction of the manuscript, I am equally grateful to Lukas and Summer, James’ brother and sister-in-law. I have grown so close to the Clary family, so blessed. Wonderful during an off-day there to golf with Jim at Lake Tahoe. An experience of a lifetime.

Happy to report the manuscript has developed into twenty seven chapters. Editing, plus chapter development, would be the name of the game right now. “He who hesitates is poor,” and “You can’t steal second base with your foot still on first,” and “Progress involves risks,” three quotes I learned in high school, which would apply. It is taking gumption, eliciting feelings. This is evoking a lot of emotions from us all as we compose, read, and edit. Do pray, please, for my beloved friends: recently overwhelmed by another loss in the family.

So, “The Book of James: The Brain Injury, Life, and Legacy of James Clary, Jr.,” does not figure to be small. Currently 465 typewritten pages. Proud to be a part of this expose’ on brain injury juxtaposed to real life and marital (dis)harmony. Happy to have two publishers interested in the project. A lot to do but we’re getting there.