Miles yet to travel

out of focus road

Image courtesy of Unsplash

From the backseat, Kiddo asked, “how many more minutes?” We’d been on the road for the last three hours, so the bigger surprise was the fact that he hadn’t already asked the same question a million times already.

“We still have a ways to go,” I answered, not exactly excited to reveal that we still had another two hours of windshield time ahead of us.

“But how many minutes until the TV can come back on?”

The in-car entertainment system had only been powered off for a second or so, but the boys were clearly missing the distraction. “Eh, a couple of minutes honey. Maybe three. However long it takes for Dad to fill the car up with gas.

“How many seconds is three minutes?” Kiddo asked.

“One hundred eighty.”

Kiddo paused to take in this information. “Ten, twenty, thirty” I heard him begin.

The boy is feeling clever this morning.

“One hundred sixty, one hundred seventy, one hundred eighty. There. One hundred and eighty seconds. Now can we turn the TV back on?”

Sigh. I was going to have to explain to him that time wasn’t moving any faster for the rest of us just because he had figured out a faster way to count to one eighty. Welcome to Relativity 101 Kiddo. Just then the pump clicked, signaling our tank was full. Before long, we were back on the highway with the sounds of Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse playing over the speaker system. Now I am thinking I am the one in need of a lesson in the manipulation of space-time, because it feels very much like I’ve been here before.

And yet, I feel as if I have gone so very far.

My thanks to everyone who helped make last week’s launch so very special either by checking out my book links, sharing my posts, or simply offering your words of encouragement. I am hopeful that the experience I’ve gained will help me complete my next project that much faster, but I also know not to expect the process to be any easier. I very much appreciate your support.

Things that gave me courage to come out as a writer – Featuring Kristin Garrett

As my launch day inched closer, several people commented, “you must be so excited,” which I was, but I was also terrified. It is one thing to spend the last several months (or years) toiling away on a novel in one’s spare time, but it is quite another to actually let other people read it, and strangers at that. Releasing a second novel isn’t any easier than the first. If anything it can be even more nerve inducing. What if the first was a fluke? People now have expectations. What if I can’t meet them?

The easy way to get around this fear is to simply hide behind a pen name and never tell anyone you actually published a novel. This will also ensure you receive minimal bad reviews, mostly because your novel isn’t read. The better way, though, is to take advantage of the writing community.  I have been blogging for two years now (I know – where does the time go?), and have met some of the most spectacularly supportive fellow writers. They have played and integral part in promoting my work, and I am thrilled to now be in a position to return the favor.

One of those writers is Kristin Elise Garrett, whose novel, She Hopped Over the Wall, also launched this week. When I first ‘met’ Kristin, I did what every sensible person would do, I reviewed her About Me page, and was struck by her words, “I think it is a brave thing for one to put themselves out there with their thoughts, feelings, imagination, and everything else that comes along with good writing.  It can be an emotional, financial, and professional risk.” Brave indeed. Knowing how difficult it had been for me, I just had to ask what gave her the courage to take that risk.

Coming a writer.

Things that gave me courage to come out as a writer – by Kristin Garrett

  • I stopped caring what everybody thought. If you want to be good at anything you have to ignore unconstructive criticism. There will always be a fly buzzing in your ear telling you that you’re not good enough. Most of those people are just jealous or they would be reading a writer who is good enough (which is you). Sometimes these people will even be your friends, family, coworkers, whatever. Personally I don’t give bad reviews. If something sucks I quit reading and move on. I don’t have time to be moaning about everyone else’s writing because I’m too busy writing my own work.
  • I learned you cannot please everyone so just please yourself. Who cares if no one reads you? I found some lovely bloggers whose books I enjoyed more than some best-selling novels. Not everyone is going to like what you write. When you start writing for other people, writing for fame, or writing for stats, that’s when you become miserable. Nothing will ever be enough.
  • I can do whatever I want. My blog has no theme. One day it’s dramatic fiction, another day it’s satirical humor, what I ate last weekend, it’s mine and I can do whatever I want.
  • There has to be more to life than paying bills and dying. I don’t know where that phrase came from but I saw it on Pinterest and it’s true. I like my day job and I like my life but the only thing that really invigorates me is writing. It doesn’t mean I need to quit the rest of my life to “become a full-time writer.” I just wrote a novel in two months and I work 50+ hours a week. I can do both. If it ever comes to someone paying me then I’m not going to say no…
  • It could be my calling. It would be bold of me to say it is my calling. But I don’t know until I try. I could be missing out on the best that life has to offer if I don’t put finger to keyboard. I seldom know what I’m writing in advance. It’s like real life; you make plans, you walk outside, your favorite restaurant is closed, you go to another, you plan on the park but it rains, etc. When I write, my characters do something unexpected and then I change course. Those rascals.
  • I stopped thinking of it as a job. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I have a day job that I get paid for. No one is going to fire me because of a faulty plot.
  • Nobody is going to die if your writing is terrible. Unless it’s a character that has reached an unfortunate turn for the worst.

Follow Kristin’s adventure at or on Twitter @kristins_blog

My First Time

My plan for world domination er I mean literary success continues. Upon hearing of my upcoming launch, Steven Capps was kind enough to feature me on his blog this week. Thank you once again, Steven.

The Bard & Books

Hi there guys, for this week I have the honor of introducing the talented Allie Potts onto the blog. Her newest novel, The Fair & Foul, was released earlier this weekIt is a science-fiction story set in the near future where the lines between humanity and technology are beginning to blur.

FairandFoulFullwebHQ_02Juliane Faris, an ambitious programmer, shortcuts the next step in her career by undergoing an experimental surgery fusing her brain with a supercomputer. The procedure grants her unprecedented knowledge and cellular control over her body, but threatens everything she holds dear including her sanity. When others undergo the same modifications it becomes apparent that not everyone can afford the price that this technology demands. After reading her guest post, don’t hesitate to click on the cover and support an amazing author.

My First Time

Get your mind out of the gutter. This is a blog about writing, so of…

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It probably looks more glamorous on TV

We have reached that point in the year in which my daily commute is conducted entirely in the dark. The days are getting shorter. It is one of the only aspects of Fall I dislike. To make matters worse, dense cloud cover blocked out what little light remained in the sky as I pulled out onto the highway. A misty rain ensured that traffic would be particularly brutal.

Luckily my destination was nearby. Unluckily that meant it was that much closer to show time. My knuckles were still white from clutching the steering wheel like a life raft. I began to regret eating a large lunch.

Get it together, Allie. I told myself. You will be among friends.

I entered the shop thirty minutes ahead of schedule, which was a good thing as the barista had lost my order. Fortunately we came up with a quick plan B. Please let that be the worst that happens tonight. I could feel my limbs begin to shake as my adrenaline levels began to climb. Where is Lamont?

I pulled out my phone and hit the icon for the find my friend app. There he was, on his way, but still several minutes away. I have to find something to do to stay busy or I’ll go crazy. I returned to my car and popped open the truck. I retrieved two heavy boxes – my sole reason for being at this shop on a dark and dreary night.

The boxes felt heavier than I remembered from when I loaded them just that morning. Balancing on one foot while bracing the boxes on my other leg I pulled open the shop doors and placed the boxes on a nearby table. I waited. Lamont’s dot on the map moved maybe a fraction of an inch. Agony. I waited some more.

I watched as the barista placed my order in the adjacent conference room. Another minute passed as I stared at my phone’s display. I felt my stomach lurch. You have to do something. Now.

I grabbed my boxes and walked toward the conference room. A pair of double doors blocked my way. I’ve gotten this far by myself. I lifted my leg to repeat the balancing act that had gotten me to this point.

Crash. The boxes tumbled down, their contents spilling out across the floor. Other casual patrons stopped their conversations and came to offer their help. As they picked up several copies of identical books, I realized I could no longer hide who I was or why I was there.

Yes. I am an author. My latest book launches today. Can I interest you in a copy?

Book signing

A fair signing on a foul night