Memoir of an Unlikely Savior by Peter VanDenBeemt
A book for everyone’s Christmas List
” The success of our journey in the wilderness of the world depends on whether our heart walks forward – towards people – instead of backward, away from them ”
~Anasazi Foundation – The Seven Paths ~
Peter VanDenBeemt brings a touching story, engaging and inspirational, exploring the motivations for the choices we make, a book which in a way may helps all of us to recalibrate our thinking.
A book about personal development, full of emotional and spiritual matters. The book is filled with wisdom and teaches us to seek more out of life, to pursuit a meaningful life.
From an autistic child with impaired vision to a young adult who tries to make sense of his relationships and overcomes his fears and complexes. Frank embarks on a self discovery journey and finds his answers through his writing, dreaming to become one day a published author.
Along the way he discovers how to develop his relationships while he helps others to face their obstacles as well.
Frank would like to be successful with women and with writing, but his autistic childhood, visual impairment, dismissive parents, and narcissistic brother are too much to overcome. Then on vacation in Hawaii, Frank has what feels like a paranormal experience on the Arizona Memorial that starts him down a path of psychological and spiritual self-discovery. In making the transitions from weird to respected, awkward to insightful, brainy to wise, his relationships with women shift from fearful to erotic, and through them doors open to unexpected opportunities with his writing. Lifting himself from the purgatory to which his past had banished him, he inadvertently helps free those he connects with from their own shadowed depths, making his story the Memoir of an Unlikely Savior.
About Memoir of an Unlikely Savior – The author’s words
In a 2003 writing class I wrote a “word portrait” of Rene Magritte’s The Mysteries of the Horizon, an interpretation of the person and setting of the painting. Then as a later exercise I wrote a “wrapper” story about the writer of the word portrait and how it reflected his life.
I liked what I’d done and wrote more. I began to connect them into a set of linked short stories. Then I decided that the word portraits themselves were bogging down the read and removed them. The protagonist still wrote word portraits but the content was now only intimated.
Then I read an issue of Time Magazine about autism and realized the autistic nature fit my protagonist. I read books that taught me more about the attributes of an autistic childhood and about how some were able to overcome their limitations.
By then the collection was becoming a unified piece, finding its own life probing the boundaries of social, psychological, and spiritual understanding and how they fit together. My goal became the expansion of these boundaries for the protagonist, the author, and hopefully the reader.
Then I took a job that kept me from home twelve hours a day. All writing stopped until I retired and moved to Thailand. Once here I reworked what I had and now want to try it out. It’s still set in Los Angeles circa 2003. Too many references put it in that timeframe. My hope is that the story is timeless enough to endure.
The protagonist’s name is Frank McCoy, first and last name chosen to represent honesty and truth.
Peter VanDenBeemt about himself and his main character
– Like Frank, I’m visually impaired and spent first through third grades in a boarding school for the blind.
– Like Frank, my father was transferred to Switzerland where I spent my high-school years.
– Like Frank, I earned an MA in physics at Boston University then left after two years in their Ph.D. program.
– Like Frank, I’ve spent a good bit of my adult life pursuing psychological and spiritual awareness.
– Like Frank, I worked intermittently as a software engineer between bouts of creativity.
– Unlike Frank, I wasn’t an autistic child (though we had plenty in common).
– Unlike Frank, I’m now retired and living in Thailand so I can write full-time.
I must emphasize, though, that Memoir of an Unlikely Savior is a work of fiction. While aspects of Frank’s life parallel mine, the novel is not an autobiography. All characters within it are creations of my imagination and not meant as a representation of anyone who is or ever was alive.
Keep moving forward! Seeking peace and fulfilment in isolation is not the solution.