Posts Tagged ‘Book’

It’s twenty days into November.  I feel as though my brain is in hyper-drive.  My story is moving so quickly I can’t seem to keep my fingers typing fast enough to keep up. These are the days when I wish bio-connectivity to my laptop was possible.  Then all I’d have to do is think and it would type the words automatically.

I understand that my brain doesn’t think in words and the amount of processor power and training to understand this fevered mess I call my mind would be overwhelming to build.

But still, there are days when I wish it were so.

According to my word count, I’m 67% of the way through my novel.  If my novel ends at 50,000 words.

I’m just going to tell you now, so we can be honest with each other.

I don’t think it’s going to end there.  I’m two thirds to my goal finish and we’ve just found out that Stevie is involved in the mystery some how.  But more importantly, Lee’s disappeared.

Every muscle in my body aches.  I feel what Stevie’s feeling right now.

I don’t know if it’s capturing your attention or not, but I’m so involved right now, I couldn’t stop if I tried.

I think my heart would burst.

I want to know what’s going to happen.

But more than that, I need to know…

Keep watch, will you?

‘Cause I’m goin’ in!

Stevie excerpt...

Stevie excerpt…

For those of you following NaNoWriMo, according to the calendar, today marked 10,000 words, if you have written every day at 1,667 words.  I’m happy to report that I’m actually at 10,171 words this evening.  I’m still trying to decide if I want to continue or not, because the story, at least as far as I can see at this point, is unfolding quite nicely.  Stevie and Lee have had their first kiss and people seem to be vanishing without a trace and leaving their belongings behind at the camp.  Two characters I never thought would play a vital role have come to the forefront. They have this chemistry with each other  that makes me laugh and endears me to them.  I hope you’ll like them, too.

I had a very interesting question today.  A close friend of mine said, “Lee is going to die, isn’t she?”

I replied, “I don’t know.”

She huffed and exclaimed, “I need to know!”
I exclaimed right back, wide eyed, “Me, too!”

It’s true, I don’t always know what happens next.  Ultimately, I have control where the story goes, but in the end, the characters control the outcome just as much as I do.  Do I control the characters?

Maybe.  Maybe not.

I don’t really think I do.  I just picture them in my head, they take on a life of their own and tell me what they will do.  Based on that, the story unfolds.

So what happens in the next 10,000 words?

I don’t know.

But I can’t wait to find out! How about you?

Stevie Excerpt 3

Some very interesting predictions.  I wonder how they will turn out.  Mark is a very astute observer and I believe it will play out much as he says.

What are your feelings about Indies quitting in 2015?

It’s obvious the self publishing trend is slowing down, what do you think of his advice about time management and getting back to basics?

I want to know!

Smashwords: 2015 Book Publishing Industry Predictions: Slow Growth Presents Challenges and Opportunities.

11022013 193Yes, today is release day for my collaborative book with Troy Lambert.  I am excited to realize my dream of becoming an author.

I know we all say that if we write, we are writers, and this is true.  I know that’s what helped me keep moving forward, exactly what Kristen Lamb keeps saying.  We Are Not Alone.  We are writers.

But…

There is something about seeing your name on a cover.

There is something magical about going to Amazon, searching for your name, and seeing this:

This Is What It Looks Like

This Is What It Looks Like

It’s amazing.  It’s Magical.  It’s scary as hell.  Because now the responsibility kicks in.  I’m an author.  I have published a book and I plan on publishing a lot more!  And that’s scary.  All the what if’s come to play.

That’s why I posted that picture of my mother and my brother above.  My mother died of lung cancer a couple of years ago.  It took my life into a tailspin that only in the last year, I’ve been able to recover from.  But that’s another story.

I posted the picture of my brother and mother to remind me that life is short.  Happiness is fleeting.  But Joy, deep and lasting, soul filling joy can be found.  You just have to believe.  And trust me, sometimes it’s damned hard to do.

I dedicated this book to my brother, because, well, he deserved it.  He has been my best friend since I can remember.  He and I shared secrets and tears and everything I would imagine a best friend does.  He is my “Bud”.  And for the record, again, I really did NOT try to kill him while we were growing up.  It may have seemed that way, but, most of the time, I was right there with him, cheering on his courage (or naivete) to try the stories and adventures I came up with.  He is the strongest, most amazing man I’ve ever met.  We raised each other right.

 

SO, here are the links to my first book.  I look forward to hearing from you and I’m glad you’re coming with me on this journey.  We Are Not Alone.

And where we are going… that’s a VERY good thing.

Welcome to Ridge Falls.

It’s already too late.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MPWXXGO

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/467228

Please feel free to comment and share this post.  I would actually love to hear from you and gain new friends.

You all take care now,

M.

 

Launches 08/15/14

Launches 08/15/14

Discovering your Mission Statement

Discovering your Mission Statement

Do you remember in second grade when the teacher would ask you to draw a picture of what you want to be when you grow up? I know I’m going back to childhood on some ideas. The reason I do this is because when we were children, we had this amazing ability to see everything as reachable and attainable.

I remember drawing a picture of an alien. Because, I knew that aliens traveled the universe and saw these amazing things. An astronaut just wasn’t enough. I wanted to be able to breathe another atmosphere without a helmet. I wanted to experience things that were normal to a human with an alien’s eye.

So I drew an alien.

My teacher smiled politely and gave my work an “A”.

It was the best day of my life up till then.

Then I grew up and as a grown up, learned to put away my childish dreams and face reality.

Cue the music....

Cue the music….

Your Mission Statement, should you accept…

Your business plan mission statement is the dream that you started with when you first decided to go on this path. It is a sentence. Just one, that says exactly what you want to do with your small business life when you grow up.

Your mission is your second grade drawing. It’s why you decided to do this.

For me, it’s why I decided to write. I want to help people.

To help others by writing stories that allow people to feel when they read them.

There isn’t enough feeling in this world any more. There is plenty of passion, but no one feels.

Because it means accepting where you are in this very moment and FEELING through it.

Sometimes it hurts so much you want to curl into a tiny ball of hedgehog and disappear  under a mass of prickly spines.

Sometimes it is so good your body can’t contain the joy and you swear the rays are going to pierce out of your skin and spray the world with light.

Sometimes it is so fearful that you are sure your heart is going to burst out of your chest and run ahead of you screaming like a banshee.

Passion doesn’t encompass those kind of emotions. But Feeling does.

That’s why I chose the word for my mission.

Here is a different one for you.  The Mission Statement for my small business coaching is this:

To assist small business owners in realizing the potential of their dreams and help them achieve it by giving them the tools and inspiration to succeed.

Now it’s your turn. I’ll leave a space for you below to picture it and you can put it in the comments.

My Mission Statement is:

 

 

 

 

 

There is the space, fill it up with tbe drawing of what your business is going to be when it grows up. Don’t hold back and don’t be afraid. If you are worried that your statement isn’t good enough, talk to you business friend. If you have no one to bounce it off of, contact me. I’ll help in a post. No names of course. And if you want to retain my services, well, then, lets talk.

Tomorrow should see me on track with the A to Z Challenge now. The letter is “E”. Wanna guess what it’s going to be?

Have a great day/night, my friends.

M.

When I grow up....

When I grow up….

Create

Create

So we’ve talked about the fears of a business plan.  Today’s post is about starting to create one.  If you go on the World Wide Web, you can search for “Business Plan Template” and come up with a nice long list of helpful templates.  Next Post will include the links to those templates I’ve found helpful.  But first, take some time and search for them.  Use your favorite search engine.

As an introvert, I want to be able to cut through the hype and understand what each sections mean to me.  So I’ve come up with a list of key ingredients for a workable Business Plan for a small business.  I will focus on a writing career, but I will also throw in a few suggestions from other small businesses I’ve encountered. Here it is:

  • It must have the following sections – Vision, Mission, Objectives, and Goals.  If it has more than that, well, you decide if you want to spend the time understanding them.  If you get lost, feel free to contact me, I will try to help.
  • You must have a SWOT template.  Remember yesterday?  Strength’s, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats?  I have to tell you that I have a hard time remembering that last “T”.  Because, when you start to understand the SWOT, you realize that the “T”, Threat, is actually an “R”, Risk.  Because, threat’s are outside risks to your business and risks can be managed.  Threats make it sound as if you are in a castle besieged by bandits.  You’re not.  Those bandits outside your business are risks that can actually help you and you can help them.  I’ll talk about that a little later.  As an author, other authors are not a threat to me, they are an asset and aligning myself with them makes us both better!  Trust me on this one.
  • Finally, you need a good friend or business partner to help you get through the tough parts.   This last one is important.  None of us live in a vaccum, although, I’m sure there are times when I’ve wished with all my heart this were so.  Everything and everyone around us can help us.  We don’t have to find more than one person to bounce our ideas off of, but you need at least one.

As an introvert, that last bullet is really difficult.  Because it is easy to look up an extroverted business partner who doesn’t understand your way of thinking and you will be discouraged before you’re five minutes into the conversation. Not that anything like that has ever happened to me… Okay, maybe once or thrice. Take your time finding the right person/people to help you..  This isn’t a 2K sprint, this

Marlie Sprinting.

Marlie Sprinting.

is a 1,000,000 mile marathon.  Your business will be with you for the rest of your life, hopefully.  You don’t want to burn yourself out before you’ve even caught your second wind. Please understand, I am NOT saying you can take a very long time.  Services and products need to be offered in a timely manner.  What I AM saying is take the time YOU need to do it right.  Trust yourself to know and trust those you surround yourself with to know. Later I am going to post D.  I want to catch up to the monthly challenge.  I don’t think I can safely say that I’ve succeeded at this, however, I’m not giving up just because there was a minor setback.  This isn’t do or die, this is helping you.  At least I hope to help you. Let me know in the comments.  They are in the upper right hand corner of this blog.  The speech bubble.  Click on the red number. M.

 

A

A to Z Challenge

There is a myth about Icarus and flying too close to the sun. This story is about hubris. But I look at this story from an introvert’s point of view and I see something else there, too. I see Daedalus, the father, worked hard to fashion the wings and actually tested them himself. Then as he was flying off to freedom, he told his son, don’t do these things because I know they will be disastrous. Daedalus was an introvert. A person who wasn’t looking for glory, he just wanted success.  He wanted to be free.daedalus 2

I, personally, am getting pretty tired of being told I can make a million dollars in two days without any work. I am getting tired of someone telling me if I work twenty hours out of twenty-four each day, I will succeed and be free. If I push myself beyond my limits I will grow and learn freedom.

For awhile, I actually believed in what people were telling me. I worked long hours, consistently, and fervently. I was driven to succeed. Did the business I worked for succeed? Yes. Did I succeed? No. I made myself sick. I lost everything and I had to start over again and again and again. Every time I pushed beyond my limits, I fell.  That’s when I realized I was attempting to be Icarus, when in fact, I was actually more like Daedalus.

How many times does a person have to ram their head against a wall before they realize than can turn? Well, the answer for me was over twenty.Hit your head here awhile Over twenty times I rammed my head against the ceiling of extroversion. Over twenty times, I fell flat.

Why am I starting this series off by telling you about my failures? Because each of those failures brought me closer to accepting who I am. I am an introvert and it took me too long to realize it and use it. I don’t want you to be like that. Ramming your head against the wall of sales pitches that tell you if you don’t do it their way, you will fail. Tell you, if you don’t push yourself beyond your limits you won’t succeed. Don’t make yourself sick like I did.

We are exploring introversion in small business. We will start to understand that nothing is perfect. No extrovert method is exactly right for you. We will begin to understand as an introvert, you have the freedom and confidence to take time to be alone, recharge yourself, and still make a successful business.

For me, writing is turning into the lifetime dream I’ve always yearned for. For you, it might be crafting widgets for woogles. Whatever it is, the skills to make it happen lie inside you. In all your wonderful, amazing, thoughtful, alone but not lonely, introverted self. Tomorrow, we explore B – Business Plan for introverts. I hope you join me.

M.

DonotenterThe one thing you should never say to a child, “Don’t do (whatever you don’t want them to do).” The first time my mother said those words, we were living in Fallon, Nevada on Mesquite Lane.

On this sunny, summer day in mid June, my mom said to my brother and I, “Don’t go out into the desert at the end of the lane. There are mines out there you could fall into and we would never find you.”

What we heard was, “There are mines out there.” Mines with gold in them. Mines with amazing jewels. Mines with Pirate’s treasure like on TV. That’s all we heard.

“There are mines out there.”

The call of adventure was just too much to turn away. My brother, Brad, and I decided…

— okay, let me pause here and say, to be honest, my brother never really decided anything. He would agree with pretty much any hair-brained idea I could come up with. —

…that a fast jaunt out into the desert with our bikes wouldn’t be a bad thing. And, I reasoned, we could be back in plenty of time so that no one would know we were gone. The story we told Grandma was we were going down to the twins’ house to play for awhile.

The first problem was, we neglected to tell the twins we were pretending to be at their house.  The second problems was we also neglected to tell them where we were headed.

THE ADVENTURE

Because of this, no one knew we had gone to the end of Mesquite Lane and out into the desert, with its grease wood, sagebrush, scorpions, and lizards. Where the mystery of the mines waited for two industrious kids to find the millions in gold doubloons hidden out there.

I was a very imaginative child. I lived in the stories of my mind. The bubbles that floated inside my mind were half formed and not as rich in texture as they would later be. However, they were still just as vibrant as a nine year old girl could imagine. I was an avid reader since the age of three. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. Dr. Seuss started me out, then the Berenstain Bears, but it was the Hardy Boys who captured my adventurous spirit.

We rode our bikes to the end of the gravel road and then past it. The line was crossed between the real world and my imagination. There was no going back now. The late morning sun beat down and warmed the sand to a temperature that would blister a bare foot. Summers were easily in the high nineties by June and mid one hundreds by July and into August. It was normal to have a day that the temperature would reach one hundred and fifteen degrees by two in the afternoon. The heat waves were stifling and the sand was scalding. Living in the desert, we learned not to go outside without a light colored long sleeved shirt on. The shirt would protect us from the suns rays. Water was scarce. It was a desert after all. But we learned to live in it. We always carried water.

My grandfather had given us an old, metal, boy scout canteen encased in a canvas BS Canteencover. If you got the canvas wet, put it in the refrigerator overnight, the next day, it would keep your water cool as long as you left it in your pack away from the direct sunlight. It was a faded army green color and I imagined that we were army soldiers. We were trudging toward the battlefield, with sticks of grease wood for rifles. I said as much to my brother. He looked at me with big, wide, hazel eyes, “What kind of battle are we going into, Belly?” Yes, he called me Belly. That’s another blog post in itself.

“We are in World War Two in the desert in France. The Nazi’s have invaded. Our unit is under attack and we have to save them. The battle is just over that little rise. Can you hear the gun fire?” I pointed toward the little bump that seemed far away in the desert, hoping it wasn’t a mirage. He nodded, his small seven year old hands gripped his rifle tighter.

“Our soldiers we are pinned down over there. We have to find them and help them. But first, we have to look for the mine where we hid guns and ammo out here last year.” I squinted my eyes, feeling the sweat trickle down my cheek, and scanned the horizon. There was no way I was going to tell my little tattle tale brother about the bags of Spanish gold doubloons I imagined lay out there in a mine. He would go tell every kid and adult he could find. No, I would keep it secret and be the great adventurer who found it. My name would be in the Stillwater Gazette.

“Lets go, soldier.”

We started out again, walking with our bikes because the sand was too deep to ride them. Within minutes, Brad started complaining, “I’m tired. Why is it so far out there?” His tanned face was squinted up in an ugly whining mask. “I’m thirsty. Can’t we stop for a drink?”

I sighed and kept walking, not bothering to answer. He wouldn’t be satisfied with what I said anyway. The grit settled into the creases of my face. It felt grainy, but also made me feel like I was a real soldier. Just like one of the Magnificent Seven.

It seemed like hours, but, finally, we reached the small hill and trudged to the top. There we stopped in wonder. Both of us put our hands above our eyes to shade them from any mirages. This was better than any mine, or battle, or anything I could come up with. I grinned and looked at my brother.

“Do you believe this?” I asked in excitement.

“No way!” His smile crinkled his face and the muddy sand cracked around his mouth.

Before us in a small bowl-like structure. It was the biggest, best, motorcycle track we had ever seen. It had hills and bumps and hard pan. We could play for hours on this. It was a bicycle rider’s heaven. This was so much more fun than a mine. We had found a playground in the desert.

We raced each other down the hill with our bikes. This was a kids nirvana and we played for hours, although it only seemed like minutes to us.  Not only did we save battalions of Army Soldiers, we won Grand Pris motorcycle races against impossible odds.  We jumped the Grand Canyon like Evil Knievel.  We were heroes for that gorgeously hot day.

THE AFTERMATH

The sudden chill in the air alerted me that evening was upon us. I looked up and it seemed as if the sun was setting much faster than I realized. The pink, orange, and deepening blue of the sun set was beautiful, but ominous. We were out in the desert, needed to get home and get home fast. I barked out, “Bud, we have to leave, now!” He looked up at the sky and without another word we both started running with our bikes toward home.

I didn’t know exactly what time it was, but it was probably close to ten p.m. That meant, we had missed dinner. Oh this was bad. My stomach growled and cramped, not in hunger, but in fear. There was no getting around the fact that we would be in trouble. We were much later than we should have been.

The trek home seemed to take a long It was full dark by the time we walked our bikes into the dirt parking lot outside my grandparents’ house.

My heart started beating faster when I saw that there was a police cruiser sitting there. Every light in the house was blazing. The porch screen door was open. This was definitely not good at all. I looked at my brother standing next to me, his bike leaned against him, his arms down, resting his hands on the banana seat of his bike. He face was ghost white in the pale illumination from the house. He looked so small and fragile in his fear. I felt guilty. The kind of guilt that you have as the oldest child. The one who always gets us in trouble and has to find a way to get us out. Only this time we both knew there wasn’t any way to get us out of this one. We were late, the cops had been called. We were in it deep.

I took a deep breath, walked my bike over and leaned it against the chain link fence. My brother did the same. I went first up the steps. I was the oldest after all.

What happened was a blur of adult activity. Questions were lobbed at us like hand grenades. So fast, direct, and explosive that we couldn’t answer them. So I just stood there, nodding occasionally, looking as scared as I felt.

Mom said quietly controlled, “Where the hell have you been?”

“We were out in the desert at this track…”

“Don’t you lie to me, young lady. You were out looking for those stupid mines I told you not to go after.”

I hung my head, “No, we found a motorcycle track…”

“Stop it! You know what happens when you lie. Dad, please talk to her. I’m so mad I can’t think.”

Grandpa – “Punkin’, you know you scared the hell out of all of us, don’t you?”

I nodded.

“You could have killed your brother. Do you want that?”

“No, sir.”

“I used to make your mother go get her own switch when I had to spank her, but we don’t have switches out here. I am going to have to use a belt.”

I cringe inside. “Yes, sir.”

My brother starts to cry softly.

Mom interjects, “See what you’ve made your brother do? He’s crying because of you.”

I look at him and then look up at my grandfather, feeling the responsibility completely. “Don’t whip him, Grandpa. I was the one who made us go out there. I wanted to see the mines and find the gold.”

Grandpa sighed, shaking his head, “There ain’t no gold out there, Punkin’. They would’ve found it by now. There’s just holes in the ground. You can’t even see ‘em until you walk right into ‘em. And they’re so deep that no one would ever find you or your brother. I don’t want to do this, but I have to teach you a lesson. You’ll get a spankin’ in the morning, before breakfast.”

My back end started hurting as I imagined what was going to happen. I wouldn’t cry though. I never cried. Hot tears burned in my eyes. I blinked rapidly, still looking at the linoleum floor. “Yes, sir.”

“Now take yourself and your brother to bed. I have to talk to Gary.” The officer took a step closer and stood straighter.

“Mr. Blakney, it looks like it’s all okay. I don’t have to make a report if you don’t want me to.” Officer Gary was mom’s friend. He was a boy friend. She sometimes spent the night with him. He owned a police dog so we couldn’t go see him, because his dog was mean. In 1979 he was shot in the face by a bank robber he had pulled over for speeding in Carson City. He didn’t know the guy had just robbed a bank. I heard they had to put down his dog because no one could control it. Mom went to his funeral. I never saw her cry though.

That night was sleepless and scary. I had heard stories of my grandfather whipping my mom. He wasn’t exactly easy on the task.

THE SPANKING

When morning came, I got dressed. My brother came in with a stack of his underwear, “If you put on a bunch of mine, maybe it won’t hurt so bad.”

I seriously considered it, until I realized that number one, his wouldn’t fit me and number two, grandpa would know. Parents always knew. “Thanks, Bud. But I will just get it over with.”

His hazel eyes filled with tears. “I don’t want you to get a whippin’. We were just playin’. Nothing bad happened!”

I awkwardly patted his shoulder, “It’s okay, Bud. It’ll be okay. When I’m done, we’ll go play in the wood pile. Does that sound good? I think we should go to Mars, what do you think?”

He straightened up, smiling brightly and innocently. He was such a good kid. So trusting and loyal for a little tattle tale brother. “Yeah, that would be great! I’ll wait for you outside!” He ran out, slamming open doors as he went.

I stood from tying my shoes and smoothed down my shirt. I was ready. Walking quietly into the kitchen was easy. Grandma was at the stove, frying bacon. It’s sizzling and popping sound so familiar. The smell was overwhelmingly delicious. I wondered if I would ever enjoy the smell of cooking bacon again. I walked past the kitchen bar and out to the side porch where grandpa sat, a brown leather belt draped over his knees, smoking a cigarette.

“Morning, Grandpa.” I said, as I walked up and turned to face him. I set my shoulders squarely. I might as well stand tall. It was gonna hurt like hell either way.

He looked at me with eyes so blue the sky was jealous of the color. “Mornin’, Punkin’. You ready for this?”

I didn’t look at him, but I didn’t look down either. I looked over his left shoulder at the mountain lion skin hanging there. “Yes, sir, I am.”

He nodded and stood up creakily. “Then turn around and bend over. Put your hands on your ankles. This is gonna hurt me more than it’ll hurt you.”

I did as I was told. The spanking hurt like hell and I never understood how it hurt him more. It stung, bled, and I grunted a few times as the slap of leather burned over a previously hit section. His aim wasn’t the best because he hit my back half the time.  I think I got twenty lashes. That’s what Mom told me when I was older. I don’t remember, I took my mind to a thought story bubble, of a girl running in a field of dandelions in the sun. No pain, no fear, just running and playing.

When I came back, it was over. I straightened up, hurting everywhere.

“Go have your Grandma look at that back and butt. Have her put some Mercurochrome on the cuts.”

I did as he told me. The cure was almost as bad as the cut.  I was stiff and sore for a few days and I also learned a very valuable lesson.

THE LESSON

Was it a lesson on how to listen to your parents when they tell you not to do something?

Short answer – No. Long answer – Oh hell, no!

I learned that if I was going do something I wasn’t supposed to do, I better pay damned good attention to the time. I asked, begged, pleaded for and was finally given an old windup pocket watch my grandfather had.

I cherished that watch and we were never late for dinner again. Our adventures took just enough time to fill the day and then we were done. It was a child’s version of the short story.

I think I learned it pretty well!

_________________________________________________________________________________

Thanks for reading and follow me for more interesting tales.  The links are below.

Until next time…

M.

2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover

I usually don’t toot my own horn, but this month has been an amazing journey for me.  As you know, I started a novel with the intention of forming 50,000 words in 30 days.  That meant writing 1,666 words, at least, for 30 days.  Every day.  No breaks.  1,666 words.

It’s a lot harder than you would think.  And over the course of this last month, I’ve learned a lot about myself personally and as a writer.  See, I can honestly say that now because I feel it.  In the end, on November 27, 2013, I clocked in at 53,441 words.  So, I am a writer.  I realized that I had won, but I still was. or rather am, in awe of it.  I’ve still got the ending to finish, also.  Which means… I am not done.

Yes, That’s right.  I. Am. Not. Done.

But here is the real interesting part.  At the beginning of the month, I was naively proud and cocky that I would succeed.

It’s not that hard to write 1,666 words in a day.  I’ve read blogs where professional writers are clocking in at 3,000 even 5,000 words in a day.  I can puke up a mere 1,666.  I laughed heartily…. HaHA!

Yeah…

Well….

It’s a pretty humbling experience to sit in front of a screen and stare at that blank page.  It’s like standing up to give a speech.  You shake.  You try to picture it in it’s underwear.

You get up and get a drink of water and come back.  Stare some more.

You poise your fingers over the key board the way it was taught in typing class (back when they had typing class).  You take a deep breath.  You close your eyes.  You picture the scene in your head.

And you type.

You keep typing, until typing is the only thing you can do.  Your mind breaks open like a watermelon hitting the pavement from a ten foot drop.  It bursts into a million tiny pieces of imagination.  and you type.  Furiously, until you feel as if your hands won’t ever move again.

Finally in exhaustion, you stop.  Your fingers are cramped and crooked.  You are so very proud of yourself.  You say, “I have written a novel!”

Then you look at the word count.  You stare at it in disbelief.

1,642

Your parched throat constricts.  If you weren’t so dehydrated, you would feel tears drip down from your lashes onto your pallid cheeks.  Your chapped lips form each of the numbers, cracking and bleeding as they do.  One thousand, six hundred forty-two words.

You hang your head, your greasy hair falling around your face.  You look like a girl from those Asian horror movies.  You feel even creepier.  Your mind can’t seem to get around the fact that you haven’t written enough.

“Maybe I should quit.  Just give up.  There is no way I can do this for 30 days.”  You shake your head slowly, defeated.

But your mind has already been opened.  You realize that, while it seems that you’ve just poured your soul out into a bottomless pit.  There is more.   There is more where that came from.  The story has just begun.  You aren’t done.  Your mind has already started thinking and processing what comes next and then after that.

You raise your head and look at that number again.  1,642.    When you had started this day, it was zero.  Now it was much more than that.   So, it wasn’t the exact amount needed.  So what?

Did word count really matter?

To quote an author I admire, Scott Sigler, “It’s all shite anyway.”  Just put it down and worry about the rest later.

So I squared my shoulders, shook the hair out of my eyes, took a long drink of water, and I started again.  Every day.

Halfway through the month, I realized I could type more and faster.  So I prepared for the holiday, ‘cause we all know they ain’t gonna be no typing when your belly is full o’ turkey!

And here I am.  53,441 and still going.  I’m okay with that.  I’m more humble.  But also, much more determined.  If this were easy, there would be a million of us doing it.

Oh wait, have you looked on Amazon lately?  Let me rephrase that.  If it were easy to write well, there would be million of us doing it.

I aim to write and I aim to write well.  Or at least tell the stories that are in my head well.  But that’s for another post.

Now that my first goal has been reached, saying, “I am a writer.”  My next goal will be to say, “I am a published writer.”

By the way, I’ve started a couple of short stories, too.  One is a horror story called “Emil’s Boat.”  I hope to have it published in an anthology I am submitting to.  But, again, that’s for another post.

Hope you join me.  See ya soon, right here.

M.