The suspense of the story was building. The child had been the last survivor of a marooned party and was destined to die from exposure. But, despite being inferior in every measurable way, he was adopted by a great ape and raised as one of their tribe. It came as no surprise that, as the boy grew, there was a growing animosity toward him from Kerchak, the leader of the great apes. Resentment turned into anger. Anger became animosity. And animosity grew into deep hatred which generated threats. The threats continued to build until ... it was time for dinner.
I loved it when Mom read us cool stories. But why did she always pause the stories in the middle of a crisis?
As a kid, growing up in a world with lots of fun things to do, I did not take to reading automatically. It seemed like reading a story was an interruption to my fun. I associated reading with school lessons. And said lessons were viewed by me as "questionably" necessary evils that I had to endure to gain an education. Furthermore, whoever selected those stories had a profoundly boring, or perhaps vengeful, sense of literature.
If those schoolhouse stories were carefully crafted to inspire my imagination to remove a couple of floor tiles and tunnel out of the classroom into the free air, it worked. I can't count the times I rescued my fellow inmates from the oppressive boredom of the classroom, in my mind, of course.
Back to Tarzan.
To this day I don't know if Edgar Rice Burroughs was the most brilliant storyteller of all times, or if my mother had the most impeccable timing of all readers. I suppose it could have been a combination of the two. And, upon further retrospection, it may have truly been pure happenstance. But it ultimately bore fruit.
One day I woke up and realized, Hey, I don't have to wait for Mom to get around to finishing that book she's been reading to us kids. I can pick it up and finish it today! And the rest, as they say, is history.
I've read just about everything I could get my hands on. I have even been known to spend hours reading the encyclopedia. My wife and I consider it a great date to go to a library in a new town and just browse. We have done so on numerous anniversary outings.
Not every reader turns into a writer. But this one did. Perhaps it was genetic. My mom is a writer. Or perhaps it is environmental. I always loved to hang around with the old guys and hear their stories of days gone by. Whatever the cause, I have been infected.
This year I expect to have several more titles published. Four of them have already been written and are in the proof-and-edit stage. Those are all children's and young audience books. I am getting close to finishing a novel tentatively titled Time Zone. And, who knows, there may be enough year left to get the last book of the Falcon series out.
In all, I don't know if it's legitimate to blame my mother for all of this. It seems like moms get blamed for everything bad. Why not throw in a good blame on mothers every now and then?