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The Book: Fulfilling Its Higher Purpose

jim and dan stories 2.png My book, “The Jim and Dan Stories,” started with a poem I wrote about being with my brother Danny in the hospital when he was taken off life supports – like taking Jesus off the cross he was nailed to… He died 3 hours later.

After the poem, I wrote a tribute about the deaths of both my brothers, Jim and Dan. Jim died in August of 2001 in a machine shop accident, and Dan died a month later from liver failure. The tribute was published in the town newspaper in Hull, Massachusetts where my eight siblings and I grew up.

After the tribute, I got out my notebook, thinking I would write some more poetry to help me process my grief; instead, “The Jim and Dan Stories” poured out of me. The original poem and the tribute got incorporated into the new writing, which I didn’t realize would end up as a book.

Once I knew it was a book, I didn’t know I was going to publish it.

After I knew I was going to publish it, I thought I would do so in a small number for family and close friends.

When the first printing of 300 books was done, I thought I was going to get stuck with lots of extra books.

When the first 300 sold in a few months time, I had another 300 printed up. Again, I thought I was going to get stuck with a lot of extra books.

When I sold that 300 and invested in a 3rd printing of 300, I thought I would surely get stuck with those.

I’m now more than half-way through the 3rd printing and wondering about a possible 4th.

Will the day ever come when someone asks about “The Jim and Dan Stories” and I say, “Oh, I don’t have any copies of that anymore?

Post Note: The cover design of “The Jim and Dan Stories” was done by my brother-in-law, Nelson Pidgeon. For more information about the book, how it came about and what has happened since it’s been published, visit my website, Silver and Gold, which Nelson is also the creator of. Also, if you haven’t checked out my sister Kathy’s post, "Flowering Expression," you can do so here. It’s about a message from beyond, a new installment of “The Jim and Dan Stories,” from those that continue beyond the book. She also has the poem I wrote about Jim and Dan on the first anniversary of their deaths posted.


I love your writing and understand completely why your books are selling :) Here from Michele's

I always travel with one or two of your books in my car - seems when I don't, is when someone wants one, so I've learned. Last one I sold was someone who lost her sister 5 years ago. She is still in pain. I suggested your book. She LOVED it.

Go for the 4th printing! I have my 40th class reunion coming up in August and I'm sure I'll seel some there.

I'm looking forward to reading it.

Colleen, I'm so excited for you that your book has really taken off. Though it's no great surprise (because you're such a superb writer and thinker), it's nice to see that bits of "Colleen" are floating around the universe in the form of words. Yay you!!

"Will the day ever come when someone asks about 'The Jim and Dan Stories' and I say, 'Oh, I don’t have any copies of that anymore?'"

In a word, no. This work will always find a way to help others, to be a natural extension of the empathetic soul you have always been. It's the kind of thing that never ends. There's always someone else out there who can benefit from it.

I am thrilled that you are finding this worthy audience. Again and again.

Beyond the surprise, it must be so gratifying to see print run after print run.

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