A Young Hockey Player’s Retirement Letter

So I’ve been doing the literary equivalent of rearranging the throw pillows in the house, organizing my sock drawer, wiping down the counters. Hunting for an agent is a little like fishing… at least the fishing I did when I was a kid. Most of the time I sat on the riverbank (the French River) and watched my fishing pole, and that was about it. It rarely involved any actual fish.

Well, one of my pillow arranging tasks was tarting up the Butterfly, a novel mini-site a bit more.


Based on some advice from an agent (not directed at me, necessarily, but useful, nonetheless), I decided to make the website/trailer website more presentable. I added a bio, the bio I’ve been sending to agents, a picture (good God help your eyes). I also added some more context about one of the main characters, William Murphy*. He’s an ex-hockey player who happened to be an enforcer — that brutal role where you stick up for your teammates and take and give a beating on nearly a nightly basis. When we were last in Ireland there were a number of articles, even there, about the concussion epidemic in rugby, a few players speaking out about the condition they were left in once their playing days were over (and usually much quicker than they’d have thought).

Over the last few years most of the attention has been on the National Hockey League and the National Football League, and the New York Times have an excellent documentary on Derek Boogaard, the Boogey Man who died a few years ago and whose brain has been studied to help diagnose the symptoms and severity of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encencephalopathy) in athletes who often withstand blows to the head regularly.

The Hockey News had a link yesterday about a Swedish player who has been forced to retire at the age of 20. This is very similar to the type of stuff I was trying to dig up to highlight one possible theme to Butterfly, a novel. While he’s enjoyed a little more of a career than the kid who wrote this letter, and his playing days ended a few years ago, I think he’d identify with the sentiments in this letter.


At any rate, swing on by the new trailer site, let me know what you think, because I haven’t had interactions with any other human, and have vowed not to until I’ve got my claws into an agent.












* By the way, you may recognize William Murphy as my longtime partner and co-writer at Sane Magazine (though the content from that site is now here). For those of you (hi, mom!) who’ve been following along for a looooong time, indeed.