April 21, 2002
We would like to be the first to congratulate you on this very auspicious event. How many have said, I will do this great thing, yet they never accomplish any small, not to say great thing. It is not for us to say who among us will be the ones who finish what they start. Who can say that anything will ever be accomplished. Yet you, the venerable Bear, have completed something, and not just a small thing, a very great thing. A thing that cannot be put easily into words. Yes, there were naysayers and nattering nabobs of negativity. But, you persevered and in persevering you have done a great thing. Not a small thing, like opening a coconut, but a very large thing; finishing a large book.
And how does one go about finishing a book? Well, it is not easy. From brain to finger to keyboard, I would think. Sitting up late at night and not watching television, I would think. Sitting bony butted at the computer day after day, hour after hour, I would think. This is the way, I would think.
But many have attempted such a thing, and few have completed this thing called writing a book. For what else can one call it? It is not singing, no. It is not dancing, no. It is writing a book and it is now done.
Now he is called The Novelist and he will be designated The Novelist in the house and while in the woods or any other place he may choose, and it will be his choice to go or to stand or to sit, if he so chooses.
This book shall be bound with hemp and placed on recycled paper and the ink shall be soy based and no animal will be tested in order to look at or read the book.
The Novelist, the man formerly known as Bear, shall be allowed–on one or two occasions designated as such–to read from his book short passages, and the guests shall be encouraged to listen and not smile or laugh.
This day, the 21st day of April, shall be known as “Novel Finishing Day,” and shall not be called by any other name or date. Novel Finishing Day will now be a day that people are encouraged to finish at least one thing, so it will be a good day.