Those of you that have travelled and paddled with me likely can remember my campfire stories about Merlyn Carter. He was the bush pilot with over 25,000 hours of flying the Canadian North until he was killed, by an unprovoked charge of a bear in 2005.
He lived life large and his story is more than his story. It’s a bigger story. Merlyn’s life spanned the opening of the Canadian Far North. It’s a story that is kept alive by people talking together around campfires, kitchen tables and in northern taverns. Unfortunately, the people that knew Merlyn and experienced that uncommon place called the NWT, at an uncommon time of change and turmoil, are growing old and dying. There is a danger that the story will be lost. Someone must write it down.
That someone is me. I have wanted to write Merlyn’s story for several years, but I have procrastinated and postponed this dream for two reasons. Number one was self-doubt. Could I do it? Am I a good enough writer? How do I weave all these random yarns into a biography that does the man, the time and the place, justice? When The Carter family asked me to do the eulogy at Merlyn’s memorial service I had similar fears, but there was a time crunch, I had to just step up and do my very best. The same is now true for this biography. If not me, who? I was one of his best friends, I am a pilot, and I have written 72 magazine articles and two books. It is time for me to step up.
The second thing holding me back was more pragmatic. Merlyn touched the lives of many. They now live hell and gone across northern and western Canada. You cannot get the stories over the phone. I need to sit down with them face-to-face and listen. That will take two things: time to search out these people, and money to travel. I am going to invest my time I need some help with the expense money. It might seem logical that a publisher would be willing to support this initiative, and maybe one might, but I have been unable to find one. Those of you that know how the publishing world has changed in the Internet era will understand this. Less than 6% of these types of books ever turn a profit. Backing for this project won’t come from a publisher or a grant. It is up to us. This one is going to be a success. We will get this book published and into every Canadian public library, and on coffee tables across the continent, but first, it must be researched and written.
I am going through Kickstarter, an Internet company that brings dreams to life. Here’s how it will work. Go to the link below. Read my proposal, watch my video, and become one of my backers. It will mean a lot to me that you are behind me in this effort. Your backing really means more to me than the amount, so please do not pledge more than you can afford. Getting the story of Merlyn Carter written down is a worthy goal, and together we can make it happen. Don’t forget to check out the rewards. I will treat my backers well, and you shall never be forgotten.
PS I must add that events have happened in the last couple weeks that remind me that life has no guarantees. The realization of a dream is promised to no one. I am going to write this book, and I am going to do it this fall, no more postponing. I have 35 days on Kickstarter to get the backing I need. You are invited to join me in the adventure; the clock is ticking, loudly.