Tag Archives: starting over

Twenty-Four Hours to Procreate…I Always Thought There’d Be More Time

In my latest writing endeavor I have four different story lines, all supposedly converging near the end of the book in order to bring about a grandiose conclusion. I have a habit of writing myself into inescapable situations; as though a painter spreading a fresh coat of polyurethane on the floor would ignore the door and paint himself into the nearest corner.

Mayfly in May

Mayfly in May (Photo credit: servitude)

 Now at first glance this would seem to be a futile strategy. Imagine an author using this formula to construct a coherent plot while attempting to tie the numerous loose ends together, forming a smooth ball. Ultimately this ball must convey your story to the reader in a simple yet entertaining fashion.

 In other words you want to jerk the reader into your story on the first page and then spit them out after the last word; on the last page, believing that they were the hero in this fantastic journey and that numerous worlds are in their debt.

 I choose to view my present situation as having my “back to the wall,” with just enough room on the floor for my feet… Yep, I’m stuck in the corner again.  Surprisingly, this is the place that I strive to find myself with each new work I create. I have found that when I’m able to free my characters from these desperate situations in which there seem to be no options that my writing is at its best.

 Even though it takes a while to conceive the perfect strategy to exit these literary traps, I don’t consider it to be any form of writer’s block. Rather I view it as a brief respite, if you will, to ensure my writing is the best that it can be and so, I take time to post a blog, which in turn gives me an idea.

 Well, I guess it’s back to the novel, but before I go, I would be remiss if I didn’t pass along a tidbit of totally irrelevant, useless information.

 Since we’re in the firm embrace of the fall season, I’m going to spring forward. Take the Mayfly for instance. No one creature does so little to achieve so much in the world of insects. Since there are many species of Mayflies with varying habits, I’ll do a brief summary that will give a general idea of this insect’s exciting and dynamic life.

 After the egg hatches, the larvae spend anywhere from a couple days to two years living and feeding under water. Once they emerge from their moist living arrangement, they dry out and take to the air.

 In a show of tenderness and affection the male snatches the female from the air, gently molests her and then tosses his love to the side to make her way back to the water, where she will lay her eggs and die, before or after being ingested by a fish. The male then flies off into the sunset to die on dry land. It kinda gets ya right here (hand covering heart) just knowing that romance isn’t dead.

 And to think, they mate for life!


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…was how the spider introduced herself to Wilbur in E. B. Whites’, “Charlotte’s Web,” that along with, “The Enormous Egg,” was my introduction to the wonderful world of literature… oh!…and I mustn’t forget, “James and the Giant Peach.”   Now that I’m older, my literature preferences have changed but my passion still remains and even that has taken a different direction.  You see, I went from a carpenter to a published author………………………(I’m pausing so that you can fully appreciate my accomplishment)………………………………..Okay.  I’m done, now back to my introduction.

First I’ll tell you a bit about myself.  I’ll skip the first forty-some years and get down to the good stuff.  In 2006, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  As if that wasn’t enough fun, two months later, I was informed that my department was closing and I was losing my job of sixteen years. In the months that followed, I began a drafting business that was going gang-busters.  I was working fourteen hours a day.  When the economy tanked, so did my business. ( Side note: if you really look for good stuff, you can find it anywhere.)  Thank God for a sense of humor!  It will get you through some of the darkest times.

Now for the really, really good stuff…….

On a fishing trip with my son, he made the off-handed remark, “Dad, why don’t you try writing?”  I had written several short-stories years before.  He was in high-school at the time and into creative writing himself.  Something clicked and I began penning short-stories after we returned home.  (In case you were wondering, we didn’t catch any fish.)

Now you have to understand, I have the patience of a beer guzzling monkey with a three-hour wait at a port-a-john.  So when I begin a story, I wanted to hurry up and finish it. That’s why the thought of writing a novel never crossed my mind until the idea of “Rising Tide,” (which is the name of my first published novel) popped into my head.   It took me four months to write, about eight months or so to edit and re-write, all with the help of my (lovely) wife who is typing this for me now.

When you have delved into the world of writing and publishing and marketing, not to mention agents, it’s enough to send you running and screaming in the opposite direction, but since I can’t walk anyway, I stayed there against my better judgement.  You see most publishers will not accept unsolicited manuscripts.   Which means now we get to throw another pile of castings into the can of worms by trying to find an agent.  Now to make things even more interesting, most agents do not want to represent writers unless said writer has been published.

Exit to my saving grace……..I found a publisher who was more sympathetic to first time authors (I say sympathetic because by this point, sympathy is needed with my sanity hanging by a thread).  This publisher receives thousands of manuscripts a year but only accepts a few.  I submitted my manuscript March of 2008 and against all odds had a contract by May of that same year. It took a year  to edit, develop front and back covers, and interior designs. “Rising Tide” was finally released April 2009.

So that’s my story up to this point; or at least part of the story, since I’m now working on my forth novel.  I’ll be using this blog to tell the rest and create more in the weeks and months ahead.  I look forward to making new friends and having some fun along the way.  I invite you to share with me as well.

Your buddy, (even though you may not know it yet)


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