Rich Fritzky – September 2016
I write because I love to and because I can and because the sharing of thoughts and ideas, of memoirs and stories, of hopes and dreams and wonder – especially wonder – is ultimately an act of giving. Yes, to write is to share what Robert Frost looked upon as a Gift Outright, one that is freely and forever given.
One writes because they love or because they care or are fascinated or are committed or are devoted or determined or convinced. Without a reason, without a mission or purpose, without an end or an objective in mind, one simply cannot write.
My third published work will soon be released and I will briefly focus upon all 3 of them shortly, while pausing now to note that which is in process.
With a working title of The Lake Beckons, I write about some 75 years in the life of Crater Lake and the people who frequented it when it was little known to the world, before the government of the United States of America stepped in, via eminent domain, to remove the people who had settled there and to bulldoze the homes that they loved down. It is a story of joy, celebration, loss and remembrance. It is driven by the love that was extended there and the natural wonders that daily amazed.
While on hold for a bit, there is another work in process with the working title of Conversations with Old Abe. As exhibited by the 2016 presidential election, it is clear that we are broken and struggling in America today, in that so many – so very many – no longer give living expression to or even understand what the American Ideal or the American Dream is. We, fellow immigrants, have forgotten who we are and from where we come, we of “Give me your tired, your poor, your hungry, your struggling masses yearning to breathe free.” We need the greatest mind, the greatest writer and the greatest soul to ever reside in the White House again. We need conversations about the great issues of our age with Abraham Lincoln and it is my intention to have them. A most prolific writer, the words we need were passed down to us.
And while not yet in motion, I also am thinking about revisiting a book that was, in another lifetime, self-published, my It Isn’t Cheaper by the Dozen Anymore. The father of 12, it would be both fun and compelling to dive back into this.
As to what is already published and out there, I am satisfied and content. Proud is just a bit too strong for my taste. Two of my books, while entirely different, focus upon suffering, service, sacrifice and commitment while the third focuses upon leadership, devotion, sacrifice and transformation. And each of them is wrapped in a touch of the extraordinary.
As to Tidings of Great Joy
“And it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the Knowledge,” wrote Charles Dickens of his resurrected Scrooge. He added, “May that truly be said of us, and of all of us,” challenging us to live in the bright light of Christmas as well. In Tidings of Great Joy – Keeping Christmas Well, we explore the depths of A Christmas Carol’s “If any”, “May that truly be” and “Keeping Christmas well”.
25 moving Advent Reflections give way to 25 Memoirs or musings upon gifts given when neissseria meningitis and imminent death and catastrophe reigned, gifts that shed light into the darkness of a 15 month exile from hearth and home and Maggie and their 12 children — gifts of goodness and grace — spiritual, emotional, inspirational — gifts tendered in words and in deeds, in laughter and in tears, in both the everyday and the ordinary and the miraculous — gifts that tempered unbelievable suffering, trauma and loss — gifts that reclaimed.
Out of the darkness of October 4, 2005 and into the light of December 21, 2006, a Homecoming for Christmas, these gifts worked their magic and living expression was given to “If any man alive” and “Truly keeping Christmas well”. Oh what it is to finally be worthy of Christmas and its unbridled Tidings of Great Joy.
As to What Must Needs Come – A Legacy of Gettysburg
Four great historians and Civil War News kindly and positively reviewed this work. Here are just two of them:
“This vivid novel views Gettysburg, and the climax of Pickett’s Charge, through the eyes of the men in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and most of all through the eyes of their commander, Robert E. Lee. It is dramatic, at times cinematic, and compelling. It also is quiet, reflective, and moving. The author’s intensely personal musings on his and his family’s history and on the grand and awful sweep and meaning of American history remind us that neither history nor historical fiction are anything like simple stories about what happened long ago, but instead continuous dialogues with the people who inhabited that past. I admire Rich Fritzky’s passion and creativity and his desire to share this story with everyone interested in examining some of the deeper truths of the Civil War.”
J. Tracy Power – Lee’s Miserables: Life in the Army of Northern Virginia from the Wilderness to Appomattox
“Richard Fritzky, writing with a love and passion for–and knowledge of– his subject, has crafted in this novel about Lee at Gettysburg a hybrid-mix of events anchored on solid fact, words actually spoken and made up, and acts, thoughts, and emotions inferred. This mix is salted by occasional detours between chapters for personal reflections on words of meaning to Lee–family and heritage, faith, freedom and liberty, sacrifice, duty, and home. All in all this work of fact, fiction, and reflection combine for a compelling account of Lee on the third day at Gettysburg.”
John C. Waugh – The Class of 1846: From West Point to Appomattox–Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan and Their Brothers
As to A Pilgrim’s Song – Mary Varick and her Theology of Suffering
“Today, all of these seemingly debilitating disabilities have not slowed down Fritzky, who spins around on the main level of his house in his special wheelchair. He has written several books and he teaches three online courses at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He types away on his computer with the nub of one of his fingers. He calls “A Pilgrim’s Song” a “labor of love” and expressed hope that the book could help to “breathe new life and energy” back into Mary Varick’s ministries.
One of those at the retreat at St. Jude’s was Mike Sabella, the parish’s evangelization coordinator, who called Fritzky’s extended presentation “a powerful, moving and welcome witness.”
“It’s an incredible story. Rich should have died,” Sabella said. “Even with everything he went through, he is positive and happy. He demonstrates a level of gratitude to God that most other people never do. Rich feels that he is blessed to be able to bring this message to other people,” he said.”
Mike Wowcik – The Beacon – Paterson, NJ
The seeds of the above were long ago planted by Rich’s Aunt Mary who served the disabled community with relentless abandon. She started an organization that brought them together to both pray and to celebrate monthly and she took them on retreats and pilgrimages. To Rome and Fatima and Lourdes and elsewhere, but every summer to the great shrines of Quebec. She taught them that suffering could and should be a joyful path to the cross and Christ, via prayer, grace and sacrifice. As a boy and young man, Rich was a regular volunteer or Simon on her Canadian pilgrimages. How to deal with what he came to live, the being broken and the suffering and the pain, was learned from her and the disabled he then served.
All of Rich’s books are available at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble Books. What Must Needs Come – A Legacy of Gettysburg is expected to be available at all Visitor Center bookstores at National Park Service Civil War Battleground sites in 2017.
Any questions, comments or observations, all you need do is email Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org.