Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Life Changes

At the end of this week, I’ll be moving on from PowerTalk 1210.  The purpose of this update is to let you know why that is happening, what’s next for me, and how you can continue to tap into the fun we’ve had on the show.  

What I have to share is personal and rather difficult, but I’ve been keeping readers and listeners up to date on my life journey to this point.  Those of you who’ve been following along deserve to know what the next chapter will bring.

To recap the tale so far in words of one paragraph:   For the most part I vastly enjoyed my 33 year career in TV news, but the whole time I had two sharp regrets.  The first was that, due to the very demanding nature of my chosen profession, I’d never found the time to give fiction writing, my first love, a real shot.  The second was that I had not tried my hand at radio, which was my second love and the reason I studied broadcasting in college.  Two years ago I began to have very strong premonitions that if I were to wait until retirement to pursue those things, time would run out.  I was having no symptoms of any kind, mind you, but the thought weighed on me that none of us is promised another day.  So, with the full support of my wonderful bride and life partner, Deborah, I left my day job on good terms, and then plunged into writing.  In less than a year I had published two novels and started on a third—and then, just like that, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer.  After three months off to undergo surgery and recover from it, I started a blog, resumed efforts on the third novel, and joined PowerTalk 1210.

Last week I went in for a CT scan, and the news is not good.  The cancer is back and it has metastasized.  I will meet with an oncologist next week to review options, but obviously they’ll range from not-so-good to really bad.  The five-year survival rate for this category of cancer is rather bleak.

Me doing my thing (running my piehole) at PowerTalk 1210
Writing remains the most important thing to me.  Therefore, I’m going to leave the show, effective at the end of my shift Friday (April 10) to focus on that, and also to deal with whatever medical treatments might lie ahead.  As much as I have loved working at PowerTalk 1210—and I really, really, have—writing has had to go to the back burner during this period, and as a consequence work on that third novel has progressed much more slowly. I’m anxious to get it finished (it's 99.99% there).  Given my health, more than likely I will not try to go through the lengthy process of finding an agent and seeking a traditional publisher, but will put it out myself like I did the first two.  Judging from the excellent reviews I’ve been getting for the previous works—especially for A Journal of the Crazy Year—I hope, and believe, that I’m starting to build a readership base, and that this will be the best course of action to keep that momentum going (as opposed to making readers who are asking for more—and to my delight there have been many—wait another year or longer).

In addition to that, I hope to publish at least two more novels plus a non-fiction collection devoted to those personal anecdotes I’ve been bringing you involving strange coincidences and bizarre happenings that may or may not be paranormal in nature.  It will be a race against time to get it all done.  But it’s what I’ve always wanted to do since I learned how to put pen to paper, and I’m going to give it my absolute best shot.  This is my way of not going gentle into that good night, and all that.

I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had doing the radio show for you.  Would you believe I produced more than 80 comedy and satire skits, most of which are still in rotation?  Those have been an absolute blast.  The commentary has been fun and rewarding.  And I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and interacting with our callers live on the show.

So, I’m going off the air, but I am not going away.  You can find me here on the Bashful Bloviator blog.  Among other things, immediately I’m going to begin uploading those skits, at the rate of about one per weekday.  (They'll go on the main page and also be collected on my skits page).  That alone will keep the blog going with daily entries for about two months. Also, I’ll post updates on my writing projects and my personal status.  I have plenty of snarkograms left in store.  And I’ll be weighing in, from time to time, on this issue or that.  The results may or may not be interesting, but be forewarned:  given that I’m now the Walter White of bloggers, there is no telling what may come out of my mouth.  (What do you thinkshould I change the name of the blog to Bloviating Bad?)

If you’re wonderingand in case you can’t tellmy spirits are excellent.  I have considered every single day of my life past the age of 19, when I had a very close brush with the eternal due to my own idiocy, as bonus play.  I’ve enjoyed every minute of it (well, okay, I could have done without those two kidney stone episodes, my last two surgeries, several dozen dental visits, and the time I spent trapped in an overturned car idly wondering if it were about to burst into flame.  And all those hours I spent waiting in DMV lines over the years? I really would like that time back).  I plan to continue embracing every sunrise.  Cancer certainly is a challenge, but in a way my situation is not radically different from anyone else’s.  You have the whole rest of your life ahead of you, and so do I.  Plan accordingly.

I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to station manager Jim Parisi for giving me this opportunity, and to the many listeners who’ve tuned in and shared their thoughts on the air.

You know where to find me, and I hope you will visit here often.  And don’t forget my author’s page on Facebook.  I would love it if you'd “like” the page.  Don't make me beg!  An author can never get enough “likes”!  :-)

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Post Script:  The sheer number of people who've read this blog entry has blown my mind.  It's jumped to the top of my "most popular" list on a blog that continues to grow and which now has about 200 posts.  I'm sure some of those readers are folks verifying that the news is true--no TV news director fails to make at least some enemies, LOL.  But I have been absolutely floored by the volume of positive feedback I've received.

If you've read my story this far, two more blog items might interest you.  Go here to find out why, despite the devastating medical news, I would not trade places with anyone on the planet.  And then if you're a writer and are thinking about going the indie author route like I did, read this item to give you a look at the landscape that lies head.

Post Post Script:  I now have my first update and you can find those details here.   Continue to watch this space for updates.  I will continue to be heard from.  I hope you will be, too.

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You can find the entire series of blog posts on my medical journey on this page:  My Medical Travails:  Adventures in the Toilet Zone.  And of course, I invite you to check out my author's page, where you can learn about my novels, see critic and reader reviews, download sample chapters, and find purchase links:  www.forrestcarr.com.





7 comments:

  1. Good Luck and be well my friend!

    William Mitchell

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  2. Thanks, folks! I appreciate your kind words. Watch this space--I ain't done yet. :-)

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  3. Forrest; saddened to hear of your departure from the show; deeply saddened to hear about your diagnosis.
    I would like to believe that God can visit with you on your next doctor visit, and reclaim your health. Trust in your heart that the best is yet to come, and that you have a long life ahead of you. Just believe...that's all He asks!

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  4. My every prayer is with you.

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  5. Thanks, everyone. My spirits are excellent. I'll know more next week. Watch this space.

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  6. I am stunned by the news!!! But if there is something I remember about you....you're tough, determined and there isn't a problem or obstacle that you can't overcome. On top of it all, you have a lot of people praying and pulling for you. Now, go beat it!!!
    God Bless. Ray

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  7. Thanks, Ray. I appreciate your kind comments, and support.
    Cancer, like life itself, is not something you "beat" but you can bend it to your own purposes. I plan to do that. I promise you I will make the absolute best of what lies ahead. Watch this space for proof of that. And I will keep folks updated.

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