"The Lone Argonaut" began as a few vague scenes I imagined while attending a dull lecture in ninth grade. Not until a year later, in October 2004, did I write the first few paragraphs of the book, and another year had passed by the time I'd finished the first chapter. I found, and nearly always did find, writing the book to be incredibly painful―it just didn't come naturally to me. But by eleventh grade, I was determined to see it through. My few vague scenes had grown so numerous and vivid that I hated the idea of them dying with me. And so the book was written. I'd planned that it would be of average length, and that I'd finish it before I turned eighteen (and thus be able to brag my book was "about a child, for children, by a child"). Instead, it turned out to be a two-hundred-thousand-word epic, and I completed the first draft in August 2008, at the age of nineteen. As long and troubled as the composition had been, I consoled myself that, like "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", it had turned out all the better for the years of effort that had gone into it.

Once I'd taken my sweet time producing the second draft, I crossed my fingers and began sending off requests for representation to literary agents. I expected I wouldn't get "The Lone Argonaut" published easily, and I wasn't disappointed. Over the latter half of 2009, I amassed almost thirty rejections. History has seen no shortage of writers who overcame seemingly even worse odds to get their work published and earn lasting fame. But I was well aware that for every misunderstood genius there are a thousand people who wrongly believe they are one, and that "The Lone Argonaut" is in many ways less than it could be. Besides, my intention from the beginning had been only to get people to read my story, not to make money. Thus I took the path of least resistance and put "TLA" on the Web. As a believer in free software and free culture, I'm happy to copyleft my work. And as a stubborn oaf, I'm glad that I don't have to relinquish control to some publisher over the content of the official version of my book.

So here's "The Lone Argonaut" to do what you like with, subject to the terms of the license. All I ask is that if you read it, drop me a line. How do you like it? What do you think of the message of the book (or rather, the messages)? Is there anything you'd like to ask me? Would you like a properly bound hard copy of the book? (I could set up a printing-on-demand service, if there's a reasonable amount of demand for printing.) Even if you have nothing to say, I'd be gratified to hear that someone read my book.

Have the appropriate amount of fun.