Awaiting book edits is equal parts agony, anxiety, and anticipation.

Back in the 1990s, I got my cousin to listen to an abstract, coffee house hip-hip band from New York named Soul Coughing.

Back in the early 2000s, my cousin came to visit me when I lived in a place my world dubbed The Corn Crib. As we were playing Cornhole in The Corn Crib, he asked me a question:

“Hey, do you remember Mike Doughty?”
“Should I?” I asked, unalerted.
“Yeah. He used to be the leader of Soul Coughing.”
“Used to be?” I asked, alerted, as I missed the box with my next bag.

Mike Doughty is easily my favorite lyricist from the 1990’s. Ahead of Vedder, TuPac…My cousin’s line had me fearing the worst.

“What happened to Soul Coughing?” I asked, concerned.
“They broke up,” my cousin said, nonchalantly, “Mike Doughty has since gone solo.”
“No shit?” I was bemused.
“Yeah, can I go play a concert he just did in Minneapolis?” my cousin asked just to be polite as he commandeered my stereo.

These are how our conversations go.

My cousin and I are fiercely competitive with each other, yet we are always on the lookout for each other.

He’s carved a nice niche for himself in Minneapolis. His heart used to be in theater. He’s been apart of some world-renowned productions including the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival. He worked the festival on more than on occasion. He met his wife at the festival. His wife is a sweatheart. Only person I know with a Master’s Degree in Puppetry.

He now dives heartily into the world of games, anywhere from poker and chess to games found at Gen Con.

I have a feeling his theatrical fire mixed with his competitive spirit will explode upon the Book of Blues when he read it.

The manuscript will be saturated with my cousin’s red ink. He’ll be harsh, he’ll be critical. He’ll hate it and then he’ll give suggestions, direction and then he’ll tell me how to publish a book of blues. I will listen. It will be a battle, but after we exhaust each other, if Book of Blues is still standing, it we’ll be galvanized and ready for anyone.

I’m looking forward to driving up to Minneapolis, pulling the manuscript out of my blue Jansport backpack, and dropping it on his table.

Let the games begin.

I just wish I was already on the road.

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