At a very young age, Sydney Regan made a promise to her elderly neighbour. She promised James Baylor, a man who she routinely sought solace and comfort from, that she would find her destiny. Ever since that day, she has struggled to find an answer to one lingering question. How will she know when she has found it?
Unfortunately for Sydney, growing up in a small town was merciless. Living with an alcoholic mother weighed down by declining mental health subjected Sydney to a belief that her upbringing defined her. Moreover, many adversities outside of her home caused Sydney to assume that she was irrelevant to the world around her. Despite her struggles, the gift of a small, ornamental dog always gave Sydney hope and an imaginary box buried in the depths of her mind ensured her survival.
A quarter of a century later, Sydney has found herself to be an invisible partner in a once happy marriage. In reflection, she begins to contemplate whether she has truly fulfilled the promise that she made so long ago and questions the reason why the pathways of her life have complicated her ability to do so. Fortunately, life can often provide a juncture that isn’t easily recognized. For Sydney, it occurs early one morning when a phone call places her on the highway to be with her critically-ill mother. During her journey, a song with significant meaning plays on her radio and opens a door to a pathway that will lead Sydney to a life that she could never have imagined.
For some, destiny may have a reason of its own.
|File size:||444 KB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
My journey to becoming an author came more by chance than by design. By profession, I am a respiratory therapist. I am also the former editor of Airwaves, a quarterly journal published by the Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario. In that volunteer position, I independently coordinated a plan that transitioned Airwaves from a four-page newsletter into a full scientific journal. During my tenure as editor, I also contributed many historical, opinion, and scientific articles that opened a door to enhancing my ability to write but the idea of being an author of contemporary fiction was never something I ever imagined. The evolution of that pathway began a number of years ago. One dreary, winter evening when my wife, Gloria, was out; our two German shepherds were both asleep, and there was nothing worth watching on television. Earlier that day, Gloria had detailed an altercation that had occurred between her parents when she was very young. To say the least, Gloria had a very "colourful" upbringing. As it happens, I just sat down and wrote a short story regarding what she had told me. When Gloria came home and read what I had done, she encouraged or rather insisted that I keep writing. Consequently, “Sydney’s Promise” eventually evolved from that simple beginning. Much of the storyline is inspired by Gloria's childhood and the challenges that she faced being raised by an alcoholic mother weighed-down by declining mental health. The short story I wrote that winter evening was actually streamlined and became the second chapter of the novel. The template of the storyline follows our lives but there is a significant proportion of artistic liberty that will narratively draw a reader in. Today (May 1, 2019) marks the six-month anniversary for the publication of "Sydney's Promise". Last month, I received notification that it was a Canada Book Awards recipient. This is a private program that was developed to recognize the accomplishments of Canadian authors for their “creative achievement and contributions to the world”. Essentially, it is an award of merit that examines the quality of writing, the storyline developed and the timeliness of the book based on social context and its ability to broaden the understanding of current social issues. Since this journey as a writer is so new to me, I have had experiences that I never anticipated. I'd be lying if I said that the number of positive reviews and comments that I have received thus far haven't been extremely rewarding. However, on a deeper level, I’ve had two individuals who both had traumatic upbringings similar to Sydney’s. Each of them contacted me directly after finishing “Sydney’s Promise” to say that the story had had a great impact on their lives. It did so by offering a better understanding of what they had endured and provided acceptance of why certain experiences occurred. One gentleman told me that reading my book literally changed how he reflected upon his life for the better, as well as his way of thinking regarding his pathway for the future. For me, that was a moment I never expected and it was certainly a humbling yet powerful experience. The experiences detailed above show the power of words. Hence why my tagline on my website reads "Words that pull on your heartstrings…because we were all meant to feel something." Funny thing is though, I wrote those words with the ideology of the emotion that I was hoping to create within my readers and not by what I would feel by what they said to me in return. As a result, I look forward to where the rest of this journey is going to take me.