'Runaway Empire' Manifesto: entry #2 / by Andrew Yorke

I decided to dig out my journal and show a more uncensored version of myself. I will warn you though. Whenever I read much of what I write in the late hours of many nights, I think to myself, "If anyone reads this, they're going to think I'm delusional. Or at the very least egomaniacal. Hah, or just a dumb asshole". 

Looking at the following two entries, I may be right. I may have been delusional. I may have been egomaniacal. And I mean, everyone has been an asshole at one point or another. But whatever the case, these feelings I had throughout the journey of making this book were the very fuel that got me to this particular point in my life. I don't necessarily believe everything I believed in years past, but I think that's pretty normal with most people.

Before I lose my nerve…

The first came at the beginning of 2013. I talk about finishing 'Runaway Empire' and also my hopes and dreams for this novella and my first full-length novel 'The Rabbit'. 


7.January.2013

I finished the first draft of a novella entitled 'Runaway Empire'. It happened yesterday evening at 2300 hours.

If anyone reads this (this included myself later in life) I am proud of what this story will become. I am proud of what it will do.

I feel this is the year I make a move. I'm sure I said that last year, and the years before that. If this isn't the year, then it will still be a special period. This year, in 2013, I will make a giant push forward. It's hard to admit but I have been afraid of doing something big. I know it sounds stupid, but there's the truth on paper.

But this is the year I change. I make a strong push towards establishing my own home. I must add this. I owe it to myself.

I looked at my entry from 31.Dec.2011. I mentioned 'The Final Phase of the Unknown'. I didn't know what that meant. I think I may have a better idea now (although I'm sure it's not complete).

2012 kicked my ass, suffice to say.

No longer am I unknown. I'm not desired by a large audience. That's my fault. 2012 was about the creation of a nuclear bomb. I needed an incredible weapon. I think I got it with 'The Rabbit'.

Still difficult to say conclusively. The people I want to help so badly, doing what I do best. I couldn't ask for anything more. Here's to 2013.


'The Rabbit' is still being edited, and it's mostly due to the amount of time 'Runaway Empire' has taken to fully realize. It irks me that my novel is still unfinished, but it will be at some point. And a big part of me still believes that it is a powerful story. In many ways, it's the most honest work I have. It probably is not a "nuclear bomb". I think that was the insomnia speaking out. 

The next entry comes roughly a week later.


15.Jan.2013

Yesterday I found out that an old friend of mine from Austin College - Josh Draper - died. Rumor has it he committed suicide.

This hurts. For the last year of college, he was a dear friend of mine. Many evenings I would to go to his apartment, puff on pipes, drink a few beers and relax. He was a quiet man, with little room for bullshit. Because I was surrounded by it, his world was a much needed escape.

He took my graduation photos out at the lake campus. We were the only ones out there. Two dudes who enjoyed solitude. It was a great. Hell, it was as close to a perfect day as one could probably get. To be in a place void of distractions and worries. They never last. But they do happen.

The last time I saw him was the morning he left Sherman. 2008: both new graduates. I worked in Plano until about 3am that night. Still, I headed over to his place. Stayed with him until around six. We honestly talked about the next time we would see each other, and I promised him that I would do my best. Life really did get in the way there. The downsides of ambition and circumstance, I suppose.

Even though it's been nearly five years since I saw him, his friendship was something special to me. Unforgettable.

He would never let me mope, so for his sake I won't. I will push forward, faster and stronger than before.

And I'll take a piece of him everywhere I go from now on.

See you on the flip side, Josh.


I still think about that guy every day, and I ended up listing his name at the beginning of 'Runaway Empire'. It really is crazy how quickly life changes for each of us, and how little control we have at a given moment. Life really is a roller coaster, and we just have to hold on tight. I thankfully realized over the last several years to not be as afraid of the loops and curves this ride takes us on. I'll admit, I did not used to be that way. And it was scary as hell breaking that habit. But I suppose anything worth fighting for is scary. Plenty of people have said that, from Sophocles to Danielle Steele. There's probably some truth in it.

 I'm on the left. Josh is on the right. Although slightly blurry, it's one of the last times we saw each other.

I'm on the left. Josh is on the right. Although slightly blurry, it's one of the last times we saw each other.

 I had no idea his middle name was Dalton

I had no idea his middle name was Dalton

To try and end this on a positive note, I have one more little treat. Originally, I planned on recording a song based on the novella that bears the same name. I worked on that sucker for damn near a year. We recorded a demo, but I disliked my voice. At the time, I was trying to mimic a louder version of Bob Dylan in the 1970s. In the end, I thought it sounded awful.

This particular demo was recorded on another occasion, probably in the wee hours of the morning. Playing it softer, I think I like it more. Writing a song like this was somewhat Josh's doing. In a way, the song's lyrics are based off of a story he passed along to me. I hope you enjoy. 

Until next time!