Author's Note

A snapshot in time

For the past decade, the volume in your hands has languished on my bookshelf at home, shunned and unloved. Having published it briefly in 2008 in paperback form, I had a handful of copies for a while, but they gradually disappeared into the pockets of visitors at the behest of my beloved, until only one remained. This became my prized possession, the typography and cover art a source of pride, reminding me of my former life as a book designer, before the drudgery of the nine to five set in.

The actual words on the page though—I have avoided these for years. Whenever my wife boasts of a book I once wrote, I shrink away, denouncing it as a product of a time long gone. If ever it is brought up in conversation, I turn away embarrassed, wishing that I had had more wisdom than to put pen to paper back then. If I were to write today, it would be a different book entirely.

Nevertheless, a mentor of mine advises that we should leave our works as we first presented them, even if we have subsequently changed our mind or altered our positions. In his view, that is the honest approach. As a man of perpetual regrets, I have long wrestled with this notion, more likely to disown and obliterate all that I once put forth, than to embrace it as a part of me on my road to maturity.

As it is, I have just re-read my book for the first time in over a decade. Perhaps it is not quite as I remember it: some of it I can still stand by; all that makes me cringe, preserved in the name of authenticity. Such is the curse of the writer, whose youthful words remain long after time has imprinted lines of his forehead.