When you launch a book, you are sending out a product of years of blood, sweat and tears into the world – and it’s a nerve-wracking experience at best. With the work complete, the waiting begins.
And in the case of “Floating,” the very personal nature of the story opens you up even more and the fact that it is non-fiction, makes you wonder if people depicted in the book will appreciate the depictions?
As the reviews and input started to trickle back in, and then sales started to come, I appreciated the positive note from an editor at Vanity Fair and the kind words from Forbes but so far, it has been a simple, small piece in the latest edition of the Groton School quarterly that has made me happiest.
With all due respect to New York City, if you can make it on the Circle, you can make it anywhere.
Groton is never far from my mind. The lessons that I learned while there impact me on a daily basis in a positive way. They become even more prominent when the lessons intersect with my work such as a current project which features the current state of the Democratic party when compared to the leadership of FDR and his Presidency.
On daily basis, of course, I get to see what my fellow Grotonians are up to thanks to Facebook. There can be arguments for and against the intrusion of technology in our lives but Facebook certainly helps the Groton world stay in touch.
I know from Facebook that Jake Congleton’s life evolves, as it should, around family, New England sports teams and beer (not always in that order.) I know that if I think of what Jake was like when I played for him, his son is a spitting image of him.
I see the next generation of kids going to Groton – Bobby Han’s son plays lacrosse and I see Bobby play the role of proud sideline father. I stay in touch with friends like Chris Wu who lives on the other coast and with whom I had dinner for the first time since 1983 a few weeks ago. I also appreciate more and more the random moments such as last Friday when I ran into Rex Thors at the playing fields at Dexter.
When I made the decision to sell the limited edition of “Floating” to benefit three nonprofits operating in Burma, Girl Determined, MyMe Educational Project and Hla Day, I received a lot of questions about why.
The first part of the answer was my father’s love of the country, but the second is buried somewhere on the Circle.
Following the lessons of my youth that my mother instilled in me, to always help others, Groton cemented that core concept deeply in me. Within those walls of the Schoolhouse, Hundred House and Brooks House, there exists a very real, and true concept of serving the larger world around you.
I see it in so many of my fellow graduates – from Francie Randolph and her healthy food initiatives in public schools on Cape Cod (among many other things at Sustainable Cape) to Anne Mosle and her work on poverty. I see it in our own class especially when tragedy and hard times have struck our form mates that we rise to the occasion.
In a few weeks my son will graduate from Milton Academy – Ted Little, my Third Form study mate and the first official purchaser of the book and I marvel often about how fast the time has flown. (For good added measure, Ted is Oliver’s godfather.) Like many alumni, I appreciate the time at Groton more – I would give anything to play one more game of roofball or lounge on the Circle on a warm spring day with everyone – goals for the next Reunion I guess. And as much as I appreciate the time there, I appreciate the lessons learned even more.
To read “Floating” for yourself, click here and remember to pick one of the nonprofits to benefit from the limited first edition.
EARLY PRAISE FOR “FLOATING”
“There are memoirs and then there are memoirs. James Cannon Boyce’s tale reads more like a suspense thriller than idle recollections…a brilliant read.” Patrick Hanlon, author Primal Branding and The Social Code; contributor to Forbes and Fast Company
“This elegant and insightful memoir of James’s six-month journey to Burma to retrace and rediscover his father’s last days will enthrall and entrance you while also answering the burning question of what happened.” William D. Cohan, author of four New York Times bestselling books and contributing editor, Vanity Fair
“As he grapples with loss, ensnared in a hunt that pulls him across countries and continents, James manages to pull off the rarest of tricks: plunging himself into mystery, only to emerge with a richer sense of purpose. This is a lovely tribute to a father who disappeared too soon, and a story of finding meaning in those narrow spaces where hope feels dim.” Mangesh Hattikudur, co-founder, Mental Floss