Saturday, May 23, 2015

**Spotlight** Heaven Enough

Heaven Enough  
Is a poem about longing, about wishing for something more. "What would it be like if I had heaven enough?" it reads.
Matt Murphy reads these words for the first time at his wife's funeral. After a death shrouded with mystery, it is the first time he learns that she wrote poetry. He and Diva were married for nearly twenty years, yet he did not "know" her. A poet and lover of culinary delights, she is struck by a car and killed instantly—randomly—on the wrong side of town.
When her brother, the "monk," appears for the funeral, Matt is set on an unprecedented course. The two find Diva's computer filled with preparations to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Over 2600 miles from Mexico to Canada...and she was leaving without her husband.
Matt takes it upon himself to hike the trail and sprinkle her ashes along the way. What happens in the first two hours is dumbfounding.
What happens next changes his life forever…

Here's a short article I wrote about why I wrote Heaven Enough...
Somewhere off of Highway 79 in Southern California, just outside of the little town of Warner Springs, you'll find an intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail. From this intersection, you can hike south-east through lovely, rolling hills under the bows of huge, California oaks until you reach the massive collection of rocks and boulders that has been well-named as Eagle Rock.
When my wife and I took this hike, I had long been considering my own Pacific Crest Trail (or PCT) voyage. This consideration had all been in my head, however. The PCT is not a journey taken lightly or without considerable planning but I was in love with the PCT before I'd ever walked on it. I had interviewed a PCT thru-hiker named Mindy Dunham for my podcast, So Dream Something. I had followed the YouTube videos of folks who had attempted the journey. I even planned out my own PCT trek, which will come together when I have the time and the money in April of 2017.
One of the perks of being a writer is that even if I couldn't take the trip myself I could write about others taking it. And I knew just who I wanted to go. It was a character based on a question my friend Sean and I had debated years ago. Sean had lost his wife to leukemia (which I talk about at some length in my forthcoming book, Climbing Maya) and I had lost mine to divorce. Those who lose their spouse to death are expected to mourn but those who divorce are expected to make the best of it. What is the proper response to loss, anyway?
And so, I put a man on the PCT who had lost his wife to a death he could not accept. I had him meet a woman named Heather, who had also lost so much. I put these two, lost souls out in the middle of nowhere in the hopes of finding some humanity in the desert - and was heartbroken by how they found love.
The resulting novel, I titled Heaven Enough. I took the name from a poem I'd written. The first line reads, "What would it be like if I had heaven enough?" I believe that's what most of us are looking for, not all of heaven, not the most expensive things or the most amazing adventures. When you suffer the loss of someone you love, sometimes you find yourself satisfied simply by heaven enough.
And, as it turns out, heaven enough is still heaven attained.
I hope you'll pick up and enjoy a copy of Heaven Enough, available in ebook and paperback from Limitless Publishing.
Ken La Salle

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