September 14, 2002:
Well, the sun is rising, just as it was the morning I finished writing the Book, and the morning when I posted it, a few hours later than I had promised. All over a can of air, I swear my floppy drive has become addicted to it; it won’t write to a single disk without getting its “cleaner” fix…
Anyhoo, it’s largely done, as far as my part is concerned. Now that I have the full story written, I’m going to do a little revising, polishing, and then the long-term plan, as I mentioned over a year ago, is to try to create an actual “Book of Hondo” site. [author’s note: never quite happened] My friend Hans (Yoco) has spoken several times about succeeding me as the Second Apostle of Hondo, and writing a “New & Improved Testament: the Book of Latter-Day Dudes” as it is currently being spoken of as, but no solid plans have been made, so I’m not promising anything. [author’s note: never happened]
I know near the end I felt a certain reluctance to finish. Part of it is that now I’ve taken the final step, I’ve written an entire book, and now, for better or worse, I can call myself a writer. But I think it was mostly because I knew it would spell the end of an era. It’s hard to believe it’s been over two years since I started this thing. I had a friend, my best friend in the whole world, who was very much alive when I started this, but though Leona couldn’t be here in person to see me type the final words, as she had been when I typed the first, I knew she was there in spirit, for she wouldn’t miss it for the world. We came so far, me typing, and watching “Dragon Ball Z” and cracking jokes with Yoco, she sitting on my bed, big feline eyes watching me with adoration, as if she knew before anyone else that I was really on to something this time. By Christmas Break, I knew beyond all shadow of a doubt that Hans was the most harmless creature in the Universe; from the first time she met him, Leona wasn’t the least bit afraid of him, and I had never seen that before or since. I felt like I was outrunning more than my Halloween deadline when I finished writing The Book of Spooky Doors, a sense of urgency, and now I know that I had also outrun her deathwatch. Leona died in my arms one sunny Saturday afternoon, November 3, 2001, somewhere between here and the emergency vet in Springfield. And The Book nearly died with her. For months after, I couldn't write anything funny. I didn’t resume work on “Macabre” until after I wrote “Paradigm Shift” and it was slow going at first, but picked up momentum over the summer. Unfortunately, my schedule picked up a lot of complications while I was at it.
The irony being that when I wrote most of The Book of Hondo, I was working 30-40 hours a week, attending college full time, hanging out with my friends and running several miles almost every night, and by spring I was also working on the pictures I showed you guys earlier [in the thread], virtually living in Pershing Hall from March thru May 2001... Hell, I wrote The Pointless Tale of Pippin the Bastard in TWO NIGHTS! Not that I didn’t enjoy every minute of it, but it took everything I had-- and more. Though now I realize where the rest of it came from… all those nights hanging out at the B’s… meeting, one by one, the people I had written about… the Riverdances… publicly messing with people’s minds… it was the whole “Hondo” scene. Since then, our bizarre fellowship has parted ways, and I could sense, even before I started writing it, that that Spooky Door was slowly closing, and soon it would become harder and harder to find my way back into that world, so I knew I had to finish writing it. I owed the Dudes that much, and that debt had expanded with every person who has read this book since then. I knew if it was no fun for me writing it, then it would sure as hell be no fun for those who sought to read it, so I’m glad I got a few more snapshots before the door closed.
I know this is a somber note to post-script such a humorous tale with, but I felt I owed those who have waited so long some kind of explanation for why it took as long to write the final book as it did to write the first ten. When I first started this tale, I was seriously questioning whether or not I had any business being a writer; I had been frustrated for many moons, and Matt had suggested “writing something else” for a while. It’s been a long, strange trip, as the old saying goes, but I think it was well worth it. I hope you enjoyed the ride!
-Standing backwards, Scoot.