新修 (revised) December 4, 2011!
Windsong, my autobiography, is now for sale!
RMB30 or $5USD. Covers 1952-1970, from birth through high school.
Ode to a Cold Night
RMB15 or $2.50 USD. Preliminary version on sale for a discount! Covers 1952-1970, my college years and early marriage.
[to be named later]: in draft form, 1975 to 1985.
[to be named later]: 1985 to 2008, in draft from through 1993.
Moose Creek: fictional book based on my forest fire fighting experiences (in draft form).
Kisatchie: fictional book based on my work on the Kisatchie National Forest and other experiences. A love story
Fayetteburg: fictional book based on the life of a fictional Chinese student at the University of Arkansas.
What is Windsong, how did it come into being, and how did it change over time? Windsong is my autobiography. I completed the first edition in 1991, after starting it during the summer of 1980. The 1991 version tells stories from the first 18 years of my life. I plan to write a version of Windsong in Mandarin Chinese as well as expand Windsong to cover my entire life and not just the first 18 years! In 2010, my Chinese friends motivated me to complete my planned expansion of the story.
As I expanded Windsong I realized I needed a new book. Ode to a Cold Night blends my college life into my married life. My readers will have to await further writing and proofreading for the third part of the story of my life after 1975. Writing Ode to a Cold Night later chapters has proved to be much more difficult than writing Windsong itself. After a wild but stable childhood, my life encountered rougher roads soon after I graduated from college. To discover what I mean, you can just keep reading.
Here's a sample from Windsong:
"Why a book about me? Not because I've done anything great. Sure I've traveled widely but not highly, coast to coast but not border to border, I've been from the lowest in Death Valley to the highest on Mt. Whitney. The real reason I write is because I don't know much about my dad, Richard Hyatt. And I've always wanted to. But nobody tells me much. I guess they never had the time."
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The cover of Windsong
I paraphrased this original first paragraph. Why? Let's let Windsong tell you. When I read it, "my Chinese friends would ask, 'What do you mean?' Let me write it again more clearly, to preserve the original and to clarify it. Why should I write a book about myself? It is not because I’ve done anything great or unusual. I’m not famous. Yes, I’ve traveled to many places from coast to coast in the United States, but not “highly” in the sense of north to south, from the Mexico border to Canada; I’ve been from the lowest elevation in the contiguous United States in Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level to the highest elevation on Mount Whitney at 14,505 feet above sea level (–86m and 4421m, respectively).
The real reason I write is because I don’t know much about my dad, Richard Hyatt. And I’ve always wanted to. Specifically, I don't know much about my father's childhood. He didn't talk about it much. What was it like for him to grow up? What was his world like? What did his brothers and sister like to do? What did he dream? What would he have told me, had we both taken the time? My father’s 100th birth date is coming up soon. He was born on April 16, 1914. I want to make a comparison. For me, his birthday can be compared to 100 years before my birth, April 20, 1852. To today’s children in 2011, 1914 is ancient history. Even 1952 was long ago. Nobody told me much about my father’s childhood. They never took the time or perhaps wanted to think about it.
That's typical of this little world you know, the idea of concentrating on our own lives. I'm guilty too. I spend all my time on things that are either productive or interesting. That usually leaves out helping people. I'm trying to change that (in 2011), as I approach retirement.