About Drift and Hum by Robert O. Martichenko
“In love – of friendship, family, romantic partners, or career – we find the peaks and pits of human experience and move on under the energy-bleeding sun to the next day, richer for having lived the last. Drift and Hum proposes this through a gentle story-teller’s voice that readers willingly grant sporadic philosophical digressions to because, with a sense of urgency that may have ebbed since youth, we’re along for this ride and we want to know everything. ”
— BJ Ruddy, Amazon Reviewer
When I set out to write Drift and Hum (D&H), I had a goal of writing 72,000 words, the approximate length of Catcher in the Rye. When D&H was finally complete, it was over 190,000 words. Truth be told, I’m not sure what happened. I simply sat down at my laptop in airports and hotel rooms, and the story poured onto the screen. At some level, the two-year lead time was really a function of my inadequate typing abilities and having limited time to get back to the story while living a busy life.
Prior to writing D&H, I read a couple of books on how to write a novel. I think I then quite unintentionally set out to break every rule that the books advocated. D&H may be too long for the average attention span these days; D&H may have far too many themes throughout the story; and I am unsure who the target audience is for the book. That said, this is the book that was calling me to write it. It took on a life of its own.
In my mind, it’s simply a story. A simple story about growing up in Canada, moving to the USA, father-son relationships, dealing with tragedy, attempting to find peace of mind, friendship, coaching, mentoring, prospecting, business, gold, road trips, poetry, writing, music, hockey, God, the northern lights, lodges, addiction, dogs, vans, winter, summer, spring, fall, mental health, love, spirituality, entropy, life, death, and the art of surviving in the midst of it all.
Mostly though, it’s a book about beavers.
I’ve received a lot of questions about the book from my readers:
- Am I Sam?
- Who are Hats, RC, Ray, and the other characters in real life?
- Is this truly fiction, or is it an autobiography?
- Regardless, what parts are true, and what parts are fiction?
For the record, I am not Sam, but there is a lot of Sam in me, and there is a lot of me in Sam. To be sure, the characters are not specific individuals, but rather a healthy blend of many people I am proud to call friends. Yes, the narrative is a book of fiction, but, as Sam would say, there are some things you just can’t make up.
In short, the story is fiction, but each and every part of the story is based on the truth. At least the truth as far as I remember it and as far as my own self-narrative plays out in my mind.
In many respects it would have been easier to shelve D&H after its completion. Or perhaps to publish it under a pseudonym lest people confuse my fiction with my professional business writing. But life is short, life is to be lived, and living means taking risks and having the courage to put oneself out there.
In the end, my true goal is simply to provide readers with an entertaining story, one in which you laugh and you cry and you feel as if you get to know those very interesting Beaver Brothers.
Robert O. Martichenko
At 35,000 feet somewhere over Colorado, USA
The writing of Drift and Hum took over two years. In hindsight, I suspect it would never have been completed if it were not for the encouragement of many people, in particular my very early readers. Thanks so much to Ron Kulker, Jane Young, Linda Angove, Roy Mould, and Judy Schultz.
Then, with encouragement in place, I relied on a secondary group of readers. Thanks so much to Marcia Jones, Matt Melrose, Ann Maniacci, Mike Stoecklein, Mel Myers-Rickerby, Glen Wright, June Wright, John Nycz, Tom Focco, Brad Bossence, Corinne Martichenko, and Carole Boyd.
A huge call out to Rob Knox and Bert Veenendaal for their service in the policing industry and for educating me about the world of protecting us. I hope I got it close to right.
A huge thanks to Larry Allan, the Animal Photographer, for taking the best book cover picture ever taken.
And last, but not least, my sincere thanks and eternal gratitude to the late Robert Service for writing the best poem ever written.