|Philip Simmons, writer and teacher, started working on his first novel, Rattlesnake Ridge, while still a professor at Lake Forest College in Illinois. Early drafts were read to friends and colleagues, and they loved it. But in 1993, Simmons was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease, a degenerative neuromuscular condition, always fatal. Simmons was warned that he would live only 2-4 years. Suddenly, all his attention focused on coping, moving the family to a familiar place, to his beloved woods of New Hampshire. He had little time. This book was put on the back burner.
|He beat those odds, and lived nearly 10 years. In that time he devoted himself to his writing. He wrote a book of essays, Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life; he founded a community arts group, the Yeoman's' Fund, in his hometown of Center Sandwich, NH; he wrote essays and poems, still unpublished; he gave speeches at universities, colleges, and churches; did radio interviews nationally and locally, and managed somehow to squeeze time in to complete Rattlesnake Ridge. Rattlesnake Ridge was finished but never edited or published.
|Simmons died on July 27, 2002 at the age of 45. His wife, artist Kathryn Field, picked up Rattlesnake Ridge and decided to get it published. David Reich, former editor at UU World, the national magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association, who had been editing Simmons's work since the mid 1990's, was contacted to prepare the manuscript for publishing. It was originally published by Wasteland Press in Louisville, KY but is now only available from Amazon.com.
To use any printed information, contact Kathryn Field at firstname.lastname@example.org