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In 'What If,' Burroughs asks tough questions ... and turns a new leaf

Mike Lauterbor, Westport News
Published 5:42 pm, Tuesday, December 11, 2012

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  • Westport graphic artist and photographer Miggs Burroughs stands in front of the porjected image of the cover of his first book, "The What If Book of Questions," which he discussed Monday at the Westport Public Library.  Westport CT 12/10/12 Photo: Mike Lauterborn / Westport News contributed
    Westport graphic artist and photographer Miggs Burroughs stands in front of the porjected image of the cover of his first book, "The What If Book of Questions," which he discussed Monday at the Westport Public Library. Westport CT 12/10/12 Photo: Mike Lauterborn

 

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What if ...You wrote a book and friends and new fans came to hear all about it and buy copies like hotcakes?

That how Monday night unfolded at the Westport Public Library when Westport graphic artist and photographer Miggs Burroughs gave a talk and signed copies of his new book, "The What If Book of Questions," his first venture in publishing.

One person in the audience called out to Burroughs, "What if your book made the New York Times bestseller list and made $10 million dollars?" to which the fledgling author riposted, "Yeah, like `50 Shades of What If.' "

The library's Marta Campbell introduced Burroughs to the gathering, praising the book, "This is a great little book; I have already decided it's the perfect holiday gift for certain people on my list. One of the `What If' questions asks `What if after reading this book, you unlock one brand-new positive thought?' I can guarantee that more than one brand-new positive thought will occur, as you read this book," she said.

That question and dozens more related to love, health, wealth and happiness are featured in the 193-page volume, published by Easton Studio Press. Each question appears opposite black-and-white vintage clip-art images to look like a "remnant from the past, a found object," in Burroughs description.

The popular area artist said he didn't set out to write a book. "Except for a few ransom notes in college, I haven't written anything," he joked. In fact, the book was a therapeutic exercise suggested by a counselor helping him through a painful divorce.

"When we are going through a crisis, often we tend to act like little kids," Burroughs explained. "We ask questions like, `What if I can't make new friends?' My counselor told me to write down my worries -- my `what if's.' "

Burroughs said that he realized, "We have the infinite power to do whatever we want. Of course, there are consequences, but we do have options. These questions are mirrors for all of us."

Burroughs was asked if he's gotten answers to his questions, to which he replied, "There are no absolutes. I answered some questions, but the questions continue to change."

Fellow Westport artist Sholeh Janati was impressed by Burroughs' decision to test the literary waters. "Miggs has been a great artist for many years," she said. "It's enlightening that a graphic artist could write a book -- it's something different than he's been doing."

Levitt Pavilion Marketing Director Carleigh Welsh was pleased to be on hand to support the book launch. "Miggs is family to my family, the Levitt Pavilion and family to Westport."

Will Burroughs make another literary foray anytime soon? "I tend to one-off everything," he said. "I tend not to push my luck. I don't have a bucket list. If I did, I'd trip over it."

For more information about Miggs Burroughs' book, visit: www.whatifthisbookcouldchangeyourlife.com