THE EXCITING JOURNEY OF Writing
a Fictional Book
"IT'S A LUXURY BEING A WRITER,
BECAUSE ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IS LIFE."
BECAUSE ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IS LIFE."
Glen placed his cell phone down on the desk in the living room and picked up his detective's badge, number 3511. He held it in his hand, staring, somewhat in disbelief, his thumb massaging the gleaming emblem. Recently promoted after scoring one of the highest marks on the detective's test, tonight, like so many nights, he sat alone in his house celebrating with his favorite French beer.
His eyes slow danced around the room stopping at each indentation and scratch on the walls. There it was the four inch gouge. Of all the marks this one was special. He remembered it as if it happened an hour ago. The gash caused by Glen and the boy's rough housing while Sandra was out shopping.
“What do we do dad?” asked Jimmy, “mom's going to be home soon.”
“I know, let me think. I got it.” Glen moved a potted plant away from the window.
“There, that'll cover it. Mom will object―”
“What's object mean?” asked Matty their younger boy.
“Hmmm, complain,” said Glen.
“Mom's in the driveway,” said Jimmy looking out the window.
Glen sat the boys on the sofa and squeezed in between them. “Okay guys, just act cool like nothing happened and let me do the talking.”
Sandra opened the front door and before both feet were inside the house she noticed the plant.
“Why did you move the plant it needs to be by the window? It doesn't look good there, let's move it back.”
“Honey, we wanted to surprise you and change things around. We like it, don't we boys?”
“Daddy said you'd complain,” said Matty.
“Oh he did did he, what else did daddy say?”
“That he would do all the talking and we should act cool.”
“And I was going to make our favorite cookies, but I guess I won't.”
“Dad scratched the wall, and he didn't want you to find out,” said Jimmy.
“I could arrest you for blackmailing your children.”
Sandra moved the plant and examined the damaged wall. She glared at her husband. “Could I get away with murder?”
“I'll take the fall, the boys actually did it but I didn't want you to yell at them. We don't want mommy to yell do we boys?” The expression of innocence on her two small boy's faces made her laugh.
The corners of Glen's mouth crept upwards as he reminisced about the indentation. Next month would be three years since it happened. For Glen it remained a memento of a family that once was. He glanced at the only picture, in its rosewood frame, sitting on his desk of Sandra and the two boys at Big Bear Lake. He wished they were here to celebrate this achievement, but they weren't.
One morning before Glen went to work Sandra announced she no longer chose to compete with his job and took the boys and left. He wondered, even to this day, if that was Sandra's real reason. He loved her and the boys, but he was afraid Sandra was right. She couldn't compete, he loved his work.
The only consolation prize they remained good friends. Sandra's new husband was a decent person and a great surrogate father to his sons.
Behind Glen, on the muted TV screen, a reporter from a local station interviewed Sergeant Kipner, Glen's field sergeant. They were discussing the cold case murder of Susie Watson, a young girl who went missing five years earlier.
One night, while off duty, Glen was sitting at Toni's Lounge, his favorite bar watching a football game on the overhead television. He overheard two men discussing the crime two bar stools over.
“Charlie, the guy's a mechanic with a shop over in the Valley. We shake him down for a grand and promise to keep our mouths shut.”
“We go back next month and grab another grand, that's what.”
“Hey, I'm sorry, but could you two take whatever you're talking about somewhere else, I'm trying to watch the game.”
“We'll sit where we want.”
“Yeah, but see I got money riding on this game and I need to concentrate. I can't afford to drop another $500, wife will kill me.”
“That's your problem not ours,” said the skinny man with a crooked mustache.
“I know, I'm sorry, but I'll make you a deal. Let me buy you two guys a drink and you let me finish the game in peace. If I lose, drinks on me until closing time. What do you say?” said Glen.
“And if you win?”
“I can afford to buy you two more rounds, so you come out winners either way, deal?”
After half an hour and only thirty seconds left in the game, Glen and his two new friends, Charlie and Mike, were sitting together cheering for different reasons.
“Damn it, I thought tonight would be different. I don't know why I thought that team was any good.”
Charlie looked over at the bartender. “Hey Danny, set us up and keep them coming. Let's see, oh look it's only 10:30 and Danny doesn't close until one. Sure hope you've got enough money Glen.”
“I'll put it on the card, they won't grab that for another couple of weeks. Either one of you knows how to make quick money. I could sure use some.”
“Go ahead Charlie tell Glen what you were telling me.”
Disgusted with his friend's remark Charlie said, “Shut up, Mike.”
“Tell me what?”
“Nothing, Mike's just got a big mouth.”
“Hey Danny, give Charlie and Mike another, in fact, make Charlie's a double. I know how you feel Charlie, sometimes we talk about things we don't know anything about and get embarrassed.”
“What are you saying?”
“Nothing, drink up,” said Glen. Still holding a glass full of whiskey he said, “I knew a guy once who talked shit, and that's just what it was, shit.”
“Mine ain't shit, it's real.”
“Okay, if you say so,” said Glen polishing off his drink winced as the brown liquid burned his throat.
“Tell him Charlie, what's he going to do, nothing. Charlie knows a guy who killed a girl and got away with it.”
Charlie slapped his friend's shoulder.”Shut the fuck up Mike.”
“Sure you know someone, bullshit, and my father knows who shot Kennedy.”
“Hey man, it's not bullshit.”
“Charlie if you knew someone he wouldn't talk about it unless you helped him. I'll tell you if it's bullshit. Hey Danny another round.”
“I didn't do it, this guy I know did it and I, I mean, we're going to shake him down.”
“For how much?”
“Charlie says we can get a grand from the guy.”
“Shut up Mike.”
“You shut up, I'm going to the bathroom.”
“I hope you die in there with your big mouth.” Charlie turned to Glen. “Fuck he's got a big mouth.”
“If this story were true, you'd be shaking him down for more than a grand.”
“You cut me in and we'll split a minimum of ten grand. That's thirty-three hundred for each of us and trust me, I'll get it cause I can use the money.
The TV flashed a picture of Fred Jackson, an auto mechanic with a shop in Woodland Hills, being taken away in handcuffs and placed in a black and white. Jackson abducted Susie Watson late one night five years earlier when she was coming home from a friend's house. The first time he met her was when her father dropped off the family car for repairs. Several nights later, he drove out to the desert, raped and killed her, and buried the young girl's body.
If not for Glen, the case would have remained unsolved. For his testimony against Jackson, Charlie was found guilty of extortion and received one year suspended sentence with two years probation.
With the badge in one hand and a beer in the other Glen contemplated tomorrow. A kid starting a new school. Tomorrow he'd report to the Hollywood Division as Detective Glen Barton.
5 years earlier
Hillard College, a small institution of higher learning, rested on over one hundred acres of prime Northern California land. Home to fourteen hundred students from the wealthiest families on the west coast, Hillard lived up to its reputation. The architecture and manicured grounds seemed more suited for the cliffs overlooking the Hudson or the Chesapeake Bay. One could always spot someone from Hillard, the attitude and haughtiness of both faculty and students were dead giveaways.
Today, hundreds gathered in Watterson Auditorium to say goodbye to one of their faculty members. Dean Charles Rothman, wearing a three piece dark gray suit, looked more like a banker than an educator. His six foot five inch frame towered over the podium.
“Thank you all for attending. It is not often I have the privilege of congratulating and sending one of our faculty members out into the cruel world. I’ve known Jonathan Dunsmore for almost five years and honestly I am not surprised at his achievement.
When not busy teaching, he has been busy typing non-stop on his laptop. It paid off for Jonathan. I am sure many of you know he is a number one best-selling author. Sadly, he is leaving Hillard to pursue his career as a writer. Jonathan, for myself and for everyone here today we wish you the sincere best, congratulations.”
Following Dean Rothman’s lead, everyone stood and applauded the young teacher turned author as he shook the Dean’s hand before walking over to the podium. He held the edges of the pedestal for security more than balance and stood motionless until the audience quieted. He stared at the auditorium's back wall. The teacher turned writer found standing in front of three hundred people unnerving.
“Thank―” He cleared his throat and began again. “Thank you Dean Rothman, thank you everyone for being here. It is a bit overwhelming, but I wonder if you're all gathered here because you’re happy I’m leaving and will no longer have to deal with my homework assignments.”
“Hey professor, you were tough,” yelled a student which elicited laughter from the audience.
Jonathan emerging from his shell reacted to the heckler. “That has to be William Paxton. Mr. Paxton, since I’m not leaving for two more days I think I’ll go over all your turned in assignments just to see if I might have been too generous in my assessment of you.”
“That’s all right, if I don’t get a chance, Miss Landor will be taking over for me.”
The crowd moaned in unison as the young teacher scanned the hundreds of faces. Miss Landor's reputation for being a difficult teacher was legendary. Jonathan's demeanor changed.
“And there's a lesson about life. It's not easy is it? What happened, did life throw a roadblock in your plans? The only way you're going to succeed when tough obstacles get in your way is to face them head on.”
In mass, the young audience's enthusiastic faces faded listening to Jonathan's criticism.
“Don’t groan or bitch, stand your ground and dive headfirst into your problems. Those of you foolish enough to think my newfound success is something born overnight let me correct your wayward thinking. This is my fourth book, and when finished it was 350 pages. All totaled I've written close to 1500 pages, almost 700,000 words and spent 10,000 hours sitting at my desk writing.
So you see Mr. Paxton, and everyone else here today let me tell you that no, life is not easy, in fact, it's difficult. Most of you sitting here are just wasting your time. Those rolling your eyes thinking you have it made because mommy or daddy left you a trust fund maybe you do. Those of you obsessed with your Instagram or Tumblr or whatever shit it is you do because you're looking to find someone to take care of you, get up now and leave. Go get those jobs at Starbucks or wherever you’re going to stumble to, but don't expect more because you're not giving more.
“Hey professor,” said a young male student standing, “Fuck you!”
“You are right whoever you are. I should have told you life was a cakewalk and everything will be fine, but the real answer is no, fuck you. Thank you.”
Silently heads turned to one another as Jonathan Dunsmore walked off stage.
Jonathan glanced over his shoulder to put a face to the voice, but no one was there. He looked over at the Dean Rothman who was seated several feet away, his face contorted, staring at the author. It must have been someone in the audience he thought to himself as he exited the auditorium.
Several minutes past eight that night Jonathan entered the plush lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown San Francisco. He was directed to the upstairs terrace where Dom Vargo, his agent, and seventy other well-wishers applauded as he stepped out onto the veranda.
“Where have you been?”
With a quick stop at the hotel's bar downstairs and the help of two shots of bourbon Jonathan said, “Had to make an entrance Dom, smile everyone is looking at us.”
Two plain looking women wearing matching black dresses and belonging to one of the city's major book clubs approached congratulating the young author. His smile made both wish they were twenty years younger. Cordially thanking them the writer was about to say something when Dean Rothman gently grabbed Jonathan's elbow and pulled him away.
“Excuse me ladies,” said Jonathan.
Death rays jetted out of the women's eyes towards Rothman who countered with a fake smile. “That was quite the speech this afternoon.”
“I didn't say anything they didn't need to hear.”
“I know Jonathan, but that wasn't the appropriate time or place.”
Jonathan's gaze cut through Dean Rothman as if he were a piece of clear plastic. A tall beautiful woman stepped out onto the patio. She was the most gorgeous woman Jonathan had ever seen. Standing motionless in her tight sleeveless satin dress, which perfectly fit her model's willowy body, Jonathan along with the other guests couldn't help but stare at this stunning woman. She had liquid blue eyes and perfect short raven-black hair that made the dead of night appear to be high noon. Her smooth olive skin made her flawless. The type of woman thousands of words were written about, where King's would abdicate their thrones and men's fortunes were easily surrendered.
“Excuse me Dean, but a goddess just walked in.”
Jonathan sauntered across the room, lost in carnal desires, but she paid no attention to the oncoming novelist. All eyes watched and waited for the looming train wreck. Every man wanted to be Jonathan, even if it meant a disastrous outcome, while the women, some with cell phones at the ready, smiled and waited for merciless justice.
Before the young woman spoke the writer wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her body close to his, and passionately kissed her.
She whispered in his ear. “I hope you got us a room.”
“Why, we'll just go back to our place.”
“Tell Dom to put it on tonight's tab. You're a big writer now you can afford to spoil me with more than pizza and a rented movie. I'm not leaving this hotel without us sharing one of its beds.”
Dom's eyes shot around the room noticing a shift in the crowd's demeanor and needed to avert losing the guests. “Hi Nisha.” Dom kissed her on the cheek. “Exciting time for your boyfriend don't you think?''
“Hello Dom, yes very exciting.” She smiled melting the agent's heart, but her eyes were on her boyfriend. With an attitude befitting royalty she glanced around the room. “Who are all of these people?”
“Disappointed, but they'll get over it.” Dom stopped a young man, the hotel's catering manager, as he passed by. “Hey, Randy, make sure everyone's glass is full.”
“Yes, Mr. Vargo.” Short staffed, he stopped long enough to serve Jonathan and Nisha a glass of champagne from his partially full tray.
“These people can only help make your boyfriend a lot of money. Critics, bloggers, book club fans, all the right people. If you don't mind Nisha, I need to steal him away for a while. He needs to meet them.”
“Not without Nisha.”
“Jonathan it's your night, I'll be fine.”
He grabbed his girlfriend's hand and whispered in her ear, “The faster we work this room the sooner we have our own room.”
Like two guilty teenagers hiding a secret they laughed and smiled. Hand in hand they followed Dom from one guest to the other. Half way through the pleasantries Jonathan's cell phone rang; it was a call from Glen Barton.
“Hey Jonathan, sorry I couldn't make it up there.”
“It's okay you would have just lowered the party's standards. Hell, I don't even know if they would have let you into this fancy place.”
“Are you kidding, I'm the only friend you have. I don't know who those people are standing around telling you how great you are, but believe me they're there for the free beer and pizza.”
“Buddy let me tell you something, the beer and pizza are not free. I'm getting five dollars from each person. You probably don't even have five dollars.”
“This isn't college, pal, where I had to cover your ass all the time.”
“Ain't, this ain't college where I be covering your ass all the time. See that's why you're a cop and I be a writer, dumb ass.”
“Hey fool, I'm halfway through your book and I have to tell you something it's not that great. Where are the pictures? You know most of your fans can't read.”
Nisha pulled the phone away from Jonathan, “Hey Glen it's Nisha.”
“You're still with him?”
“He thinks of me as a support group.”
“How are you dear?”
“Congratulations Mr. Detective, can you fix a parking ticket?”
“You're just like him. That's why you two are together. Sure, just fly down here to Los Angeles and bring the ticket, but don't bring that guy with you. It'll be our little secret.”
“Hey buddy, you're on loud speaker.”
“I knew that. Congrats Jonathan, when are you coming down here.”
“They've got me on a book tour back east and possibly a morning show plug. We'll see, Nisha is coming with and we won't be back for a couple of months. When we get back we'll get together. Congratulations to you too, Detective.”
“Mmmmmm, mmmm.” The small dog paced up and down the bed in an attempt to get her owner's attention.
Beneath her warm goose down comforter Lucy said, “Stop it Misty, we'll go out soon.”
Lucy slapped the bed with a burst of authority and said, “Lie down Misty, can't you just hold it and let mommy sleep?” She wanted to return to her sensual dream.
The Maltese leaped off the bed and ran down the hall demanding her owner react quickly. Misty's owner was perfectly trained. Half asleep, Lucy tossed back the covers and rolled out of her comfortable bed into the room's morning chill. The moment her feet collided with the icy terra cotta floor Lucy was awake.
Images of Misty jumping off the bed and pushing through her own doggy door filled Lucy's head as she shuffled through the house. When she peeked out through the backdoor's window her dream of uninterrupted sleep quickly vanished. The large black garbage container was lying on its side with most of the garbage strewn around the backyard.
“Damn raccoons,” she said.
Lucy shivered at the thought of the furry creatures, with their cartoon faces, destroying the house's interior while she and Misty slept. All courtesy of the doggy door.
Her little dog frantically scratched against the wood to escape. “No walk Misty I'm letting you out back and that's it,” she said as she opened the door. Misty scurried to the small patch of grass sniffing out the perfect location before relieving herself.
“Mommy wants to go back to bed, please. Look the sun's not even up yet.”
Relieved and self absorbed, the small dog meandered around no longer in a hurry to return to the warm bed.
“Damn it Misty.” Lucy stomped her bare foot as if her dog would obey. “Come here now. Misty don't make me mad. No, don't roll in the wet grass, oh please no.” Closing her eyes in a feeble attempt to capture the last bit of sleep Lucy leaned her head against the door jamb. In a barely audible voice she called out. “Come here now.”
Lucy forgot the swift moving storm that passed over the city the night before leaving millions of dollars in damage. Luckily, the only problem for Lucy Olivos was Misty's water soaked white fur coat in need of attention. Her sleep gone, Lucy grabbed a large towel from the hamper and sank to the floor. She crossed her legs, which Misty took as an invitation for pampering. The dog jumped onto her owner's lap.
Enveloping the Maltese in the soft cotton material Lucy went to work drying her dog's coat. She was rewarded with a warm, small, pink tongue bestowing gentle kisses on her hand.
Wrapping her arms around her pet like she was holding a child Lucy smothered the dog with her own kisses. “You're one spoiled little dog you know that. How did you get this way?” Pushing herself up she said, “All right, we're done.”
Misty hopped off her owner's lap and scooted to the front door before Lucy could return to her comfortable bed. She began whining, demanding her morning walk.
“No, not before mommy makes a cup of coffee. Just sit still and we'll leave in fifteen minutes.”
Except for a few lingering clouds the sky was clear, and the sun was still asleep. Lucy and Misty stepped out into the crisp cool air. The chill touched her face like a splash of spring water. She timed her walk perfectly, the sun still hidden from view, rays of gold and crimson streaked across the placid sky. It was the beginning of a new day with new possibilities, the sort of morning one savors. She filled her lungs with air, which all but disappeared when she heard her neighbor's voice. Mr. Johnson, the only other person up at this hour.
“Good morning Lucille, Misty, how are you?”
“Fine, Mr. Johnson thanks,” said Lucy acting as cold as one of the Queen's Guard in front of Buckingham Palace.
Ignorantly writing her standoffish attitude to PMS he said, “After all this time you know Lucille you can call me Ralph.”
“It's okay Mr. Johnson.”
Lucy felt her neighbor's eyes undressing her as she walked away. It made her skin crawl to know had she worn 16th century armor and walked pigeon toed Ralph Johnson would still find her alluring.
Before disappearing into the small side street she glanced back and was disgusted her neighbor stood staring in her direction. Lucy and her dog turned and meandered down the narrow lane a few yards before Lucy unhooked Misty's leash, allowing the small dog to roam freely. She paused and sipped her hot morning coffee. With little effort she drifted back into a Zen like trance.
Her mind briefly dusted past her job and today's workload, she was a telecommuter at a large insurance company. Her thoughts shifted to something more personal, Ernie, a man she met three days earlier. No email or text from her new love interest tested her patience. She wanted to sleep with him but not until after their first date.
Her mind refocused hearing Misty's incessant yelping, but the dog was nowhere in sight.
Panicking, Lucy said, “Misty, Misty where are you?” The little white dog popped its head out from around the corner of a building. “There you are, come here now.”
Misty vanished from view barking ferociously.
“Damn it, come here now. Misty do you hear me?”
Lucy capitulated, another sign Misty was in charge, and walked over to her barking dog.
“What's wrong with you?” Lucy froze. Misty was barking at the rain soaked body of a man lying against a building. He was facing the wall. His clothes disheveled, empty pockets pulled inside out. She felt bad the homeless man slept in the rain, but convinced there was nothing she could do said, “Leave the man alone Misty, come here quickly.”
The dog, less than a foot from the body, continued barking. Lucy scooped Misty in her arms and jumped back when she saw the dead man's discolored face.
“Help,” she screamed running to the corner. She pulled out her phone to dial, a text message from Ernie. She dialed 911.
I saved one of the best finds for last. CANVA
If you have never heard of Canva I recommend that you familiarize yourself with this site. With a little creativity there are many useful products an author can use to promote their brand.
Below I created four bookmarks using Canva's template.
The first two-"Keep Reading Between The Lines & there are worlds between words" were from the Canva library and were free. All I did was insert my name and website.
The other two bookmarks are from my books "THE MOUSE THAT BECAME THE CAT AND LAYERS OF DECEIT." I used a blank template and downloaded my images in less then 2 minutes for both. I called the printer and after converting each image from a jpeg to a pdf I printed 250 of each at the printers. (8 each-2x5's on a 8 1/2 x 11 card stock) Cost $80- 8 cents each.
Here is the salesman in me. I post them on any message board in markets or libraries and when I'm at place like Starbuck's and see someone reading an actual book I introduce myself, tell them I'm a writer, and give them all four bookmarks. Chutzpah, sure, but one grows an audience I reader at a time.
By the way it also takes a lot of guts to sit down and write a novel.
Hope this helps and thanks for reading.
I don't know how you feel about it, but the amount of information out in the world about writing can be overwhelming.
Everything we learn about must start at the beginning. Start with the outline.
OMG, every author I have listened to or read about has an opinion about an outline.
So why should I be different. I'm an author, I have an opinion, and here it is.
Since I have now written books with and without outlines I can now give my opinion for what its worth. I'm leaning towards "yes" do an outline. I think an outline is a good tool which allows the writer to see the story unfold without devoting unnecessary hours. If the outline is never completed the story will never be written. I'll move on. If the outline is completed I now have a road map to navigate with.
However, if a writer finds that writing a story, one chapter at a time, from start to finish works for them, then I would say go ahead and write. There is a point to all this. I repeat, there is no right way or wrong way to get your story out of your head and onto paper.
There is one point though that can never be disputed. That is if you want to write-------write. No excuses, no delays, just write.
JAMES PATTERSON STEPHEN KING
JK ROWLING GEORGE RR MARTIN
MICHAEL CONNELLY LEE CHILD
Every successful writer will tell you they did not know they would be successful when they began. They kept writing. They continued pushing forward in a love-hate relationship with their characters and with themselves.
They kept trying even when the rejection pile spilled across their desks. When others sleep they're busy writing because their characters demand they do so.
When writers begin a story they take a step through a doorway with nothing more than a map that may, but often not, shows where there is buried treasure. It shows where the monsters hide and how to beat them. The writer has no idea where their story is really going to take them, that's what makes writing an adventure.
When great writers die the world of medicine so dearly wants to know what went on in that brain of theirs. What kind of mind could create whole new civilizations that mesmerize young and old? What heart a writer must have where eloquent words flow which brings both tears and smiles to their audience.
Those who know me and have watched me for the last few years know I am either obsessed or possessed, I don't even know, but I can honestly say that I would not change it. I enjoy writing each story, those "aha" moments when I know where the road takes me. Nothing is more invigorating than when a character decides the next move, not the author.
I appreciate reading the words from sports figures and other writers. The common thread I have found is nothing comes easy. One has to constantly work at improving their skill level and never give up. Even if a hundred foot monster stands in your way, you must push forward.
To win you have to stay focused and stay committed to what you're doing, keep battling and keep battling until they say you're done and you won." Bubba Watson
My father knew exactly where to drive to. Not some sandy beach, oh no, this was more rugged. Millions of various size rocks, many worn down to mere pebbles by the ocean's waves, tide pools full of tiny crabs and starfish, and of course a coast full of seashells.
The first seashell I picked up was a winner. I need to go any further, I was a quarter richer. As I headed back to dad to show him my find saw another seashell that might be better than the first. I picked it up and studied it.
Yes, it was better and I tossed the first. It landed next to another shell and, uh oh, that one looked pretty good. I picked it up and it was a contender. Needless to say, this went on for over an hour and without thinking I had pockets full of seashells. We counted and I had thirty two. All of them unique.
When we laid them next to each other they were all beautiful in their own special way. "Well which one is the best?" he asked. I couldn't give him an answer. We decided to take all thirty two shells home. On the way back we stopped at a fish store and dad bought a fish tank. Not for fish, but for the shells.
We lined the tank with sand, added a few rocks, and strategically placed each shell in their new habitat.
By now you are asking what this has to do with writing. Nothing and everything. As writers we are constantly thinking of ideas for new stories. Some ideas take us further than others and few make it all the way to the end.
At last count I have saved 35 stories, each at various stages. You would think most are left to die, but I learned not to toss them away. They sit idle, hidden away and now and then I look at them. Scary stories, westerns, medieval, romance, adventure, crime, they're all there.
Will they all become novels, probably not, but I know sitting in that room is a sequel to The Mouse That Became the Cat, a story about two DEA agents that go rogue to avenge a friend's murder, a young female reality television producer out scouting locations and goes missing in an abandoned graveyard, a love story about a French couple who buy a restaurant and its clientele.
On and on. Every time I near the finish of one story I wonder what the next will be and it shows itself.
Next time I'll talk about where the ideas come from.
Early one evening a fast moving winter storm cripples New York City. Of all the places to be trapped Frank, Doug, Manny, and Billy are stuck for the night at their favorite place, Vinnie's Bar.
As the hours creep by each of the patrons, along with Vinnie, has a story to tell about the enigmatic Jimmy. Suddenly the door bursts open and a stranger, covered in snow and from another country, enters. He's carrying a message from Jimmy.
MY NEWEST STORY
COMING SATURDAY MARCH 3RD
1. You are a word hoarder
If the sentence makes sense, then you must have it. You can’t read books without having a notepad by your side. Why? It’s because you have this feeling that you’d read something that just makes sense.
As a result of this, you have lots of Post-it notes, jottings, memos and even scribbles on your tissue paper all in the name of “I don’t want to forget that”.
2. You love adventure
Whether it’s a movie of a 12-year old-boy trapped in time, the love story of woman who finally found true love after several heartbreaks, or your fantasies of saving the day, your mind is never in one place.
You love the thrill of creating pictures with your words. Leaving the present reality for short periods of time is what seems to keep you “alive”. Sometimes you’re accused of not paying attention. Well, if only they could follow you into the world you were in…then they’d understand.
3. You love to read
To you, putting your nose in a book is your definition of fun. While everyone else goes out to the movies or the game, you prefer quiet time with your legs curled up and a book in your hands.
Loaning a book out is difficult because the only thing going through your mind is, “what if he doesn’t bring it back?” You can’t even bear taking some books to certain places because of the fear of losing them.
4. You’d rather write it than say it
At that moment when your boss seems to be the devil himself, you can’t bring yourself to tell him off to his face. It’s not that you’re afraid, but you just can’t. You’d rather give him a piece of your mind in an email.
The same goes when making a complaint about a product or service to a company. You will skip the toll free line and look for the contact email instead. The birthday gifts you send out have more than the words “Happy Birthday” on the cards. You either add a poem, something funny or just…something more.
5. You know good writing when you see it
Even though you think you’re not good enough, you have good taste for writing. You appreciate writing that’s constructed expertly. Sometimes, you read a sentence and paragraph repeatedly not because of what is written but how it’s written. And when you come across something amazing, you smile.
6. You observe and create stories about people
Your eyes are never in one place. While everyone else is chattering away, you’re silently watching people’s actions. Sometimes you’re caught staring. At other times, you’re making up mental stories without anyone taking notice.
7. You see every experience as a goldmine
To you, nothing is a waste. Whether you get soaked in the rain, or your dog playfully chases your neighbor's 6-year-old son down the street, it’s something to write about.
While others feel dejected by certain happenings, you’re not because to you, it’s something extra to add to your diary.
8. You value your journals over shoes
You could discard your old shoes and even give some off to charity, but your filled up journals? Never! Not even in your second life. As long as a book has a sentence you wrote, the last thing you want to do is throw it away.
9. You see writing as a form of therapy
For you, putting words on paper is therapeutic. Whenever you feel angry, lonely or just depressed, your best friend isn’t the bottle, but that piece of paper next to you. If days pass without you writing something down, your emotions could go berserk.
At this point, you know it’s time to go back to your first love.
10. You are curious about your environment
Your sensitivity is at its peak. You know when the regular dog is not at the park, or when people start to act differently. Sometimes you take interest in things and objects that are often overlooked by others.
That’s a trait that not everyone has. You’re always given the advice to “forget about it,” but you just can’t.
11. You love listening to your thoughts
Thinking comes naturally to you. While others try as much as possible to avoid it, you embrace it. “Why do you think so much?” is probably a question you’re often asked. The truth is, you don’t have an answer to that because you just do it!
12. You cherish every compliment
No, you don’t get proud when people praise you, but you fall in love with the people who do. Whenever someone tells you how great a writer you are, you replay that moment in your head several times.
You go back to the piece you were praised about and read it over and over again, like you were trying to search out the reason for the compliment. This propels you enough to write even more.
13. You believe you can be better
Whenever you see someone who writes better than you, something wakes up on your inside. “If he can write like that, I can too”. Sometimes, this could lead to you trying to imitate his style.
But this doesn’t last for long as sooner or later, you find your voice and get better at your craft.
14. You magically launch into a writing frenzy
At first writer’s block hits you and all you see is a blank page. Minutes later, you’re scribbling away like you’re being chased by your thoughts. At times, you only planned on doing a half page write up.
But after some minutes, you’re already two pages deep. And you’re not even halfway there.
15. You never stop writing
Even if you had the most demanding job that took up most of your waking hours, you would always find time to pen something down. Even if you lost everything in this world, one of the first things you would get would be a pen and paper. How about when you sleep? Writing material is always at arm’s length. Something could pop out while you sleep…so why not write it down.
Doubting your ability to write is completely normal. Even Stephen King once felt he was a terrible writer. Yet he wrote some of the best novels–and is still writing! You’re not alone. And you’re not like everyone else either.
You’re unique. You’re special. You’re a writer!
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