Mark is a young man born into a bad family situation. He lies about the reality of his life to hide his shame. Mark escapes from the chaos of his home by spending time in some nearby woods. He keeps a canvas bag hidden close to his house. It contains blankets, a flashlight, cans of food, a transistor radio, things to read, and more. The canvas bag makes his time in the woods possible.
Mark’s life is a constant struggle to avoid the judgments of his family being placed on him. He feels helpless against his parent’s unstable relationship constantly bringing him into embarrassing situations.
As he gets older, Mark’s anger and resentment toward his family increases. He makes some bad decisions. There comes a time when he must choose a path for his life. This begins Mark’s tremendous struggle to separate himself from the dysfunction of his family and his past mistakes.
Mark discovers his ability to write and then discovers himself.
When he graduates high school, Mark realizes he is not his parents. He no longer has to pay for their mistakes in life. Mark knows his struggles have made him stronger and more determined than anybody around him. After making peace with the past, Mark is able to move forward into adulthood
Targeted Age Group:: Over 18
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I have spoken to more than one person who has overcome growing up in a dysfunctional family. Some are worse than others. I've been inspired by certain people and the things in their past they had to survive. Many have been able to find a way to succeed in life.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I have listened to stories from many people telling me about their childhood. I've heard many painful stories and things that truly upset me from very brave people. These characters are based on stories I've heard and things I have read. Many of them have impacted how I view things.
It is autumn and I'm standing at a window in my bedroom looking at the long pasture in front of our house. The sun is rising slowly. The light of the day is getting stronger and brighter. Leaves that have served their purpose during the summer months are now hanging like old, wrinkled ornaments on trees. As I look outside, I soon realize that leaves don't get to determine their final resting place in this world. It's the wind that makes this decision. The wind will sweep dead leaves from tree limbs or gutters and make them move across roads or dance in the air. The wind will then choose where the leaves should be to start the process of turning into soil. The land seems like the wind's canvas and the leaves are its paints.
The year is 1970, and I am an eleven-year-old boy looking forward to the day. My friend John calls my house the night before. He tells me he'd like me to come to his house and play with the new cars and plastic race tracks he has gotten for his birthday. We set a time and I tell him I will be there. During our phone call, John asks if it is okay with my parents. I tell him they said it would be fine.
I didn't dare mention the reality of what is happening. After John hangs up, I go into the kitchen. My mother is there in one of her phases of drinking. She always sits in a chair at the kitchen table with her beer in a small glass and a can of beer next to it. The ashtray on the kitchen table is usually full. Holding her cigarette in one hand, she has her other hand cradled around her glass of beer. I ask if I can go to my friend John's house the next day. She is annoyed with my question and seems to ignore me. After she looks away, I ask a second time. I hear the sigh and the look of anger on her face as she carefully places the ashes from her current cigarette into the ashtray with all the other used ones.
“Whatever. You're just like your father. You're going to do what you want no matter how it affects anyone.”
My half-sister is at the table and motions for me to leave. I take my mother's response as telling me it is okay. My half-sister is five years older than me and knows how to handle my mother's drunken episodes. She's been doing it much longer than me.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Buy My Canvas Bag Print Edition at Amazon
Buy My Canvas Bag Print Edition at Barnes and Noble
All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.