Friday, August 9, 2013

In The Blink of an Eye

On Wednesday August 1st, 2013, I achieved the goal of penning a published novel. It took me eight years. Some folks wait a lifetime; others, barely one. Therefore, you’ll understand when I say that I consider myself fortunate that the Word Gods favored me above some others who still labor, who still seek elusive Success; a cruel taskmaster that stays just beyond your reach, yet tantalizes you with images and imaginings of cover art and 20-city tours and lectures to throngs of the devoted who seek your audience at conventions and conferences. Success changes before your eyes, shifts its shape and appears nothing like it did when you began. It is the Brass Ring, The Lombardi Trophy, The Stanley Cup. It is a tease, a Siren who beckons, and you follow, because if you do not, if you give up, you will live forever in the shadow of failure. The “what ifs” will fuel your self-doubt, and your self-doubt will define you.

Well, that all sounds very literary, very profound, but it’s a bunch of crap!

Failure doesn't define you. It strengthens you! Educates you! Improves you!

That’s its function.

That’s why it exists.

Ever heard the term, “What doesn't kill you just makes you stronger?”

That’s Failure.
I started writing in 2005 only because I proposed a challenge to myself. I was fifty-six and hadn't done much more than my ol’ man. When I became an adult I got a job, bought a house, raised some kids, and hoped to retire for a little while before I died somewhere down the road—The American Dream, tarnished somewhat by the years. I challenged myself to write a book, just because I knew I’d never be able to do it, and I think that’s why I tried—better to have loved and lost; better to have tried and failed?

Same thing.

Writers write books. I wasn't a writer; I was Everyman; a father and a son, a citizen and an outlaw, a saint and a sinner. But I decided to see if I could do something more, something different, and that was select eighty-five-thousand words from Merriam-Webster and order their placement on the page so that they constituted something that would pass for a story; something with a beginning, a middle, and an end; something with a plot and a direction, a good guy and a bad guy, a place for it to happen, and for someone to win, and someone to lose. That’s it. Nothing more. I didn't care to enter any contests or be nominated for any awards … no Edgar, no Allen, no Poe. All I cared about; all I required to achieve success, was to do only that.

It took three years, and it was terrible, and the success I had just achieved shifted its shape, and became Failure.

The Siren beckoned. I had to try again.

A friend of mine said to me upon hearing the news, “Even if you publish just one novel in your lifetime, you’ll have done something few have. It’s something special.”

On Saturday August 3rd, I celebrated having my novel published. The two-hour celebration was over in the blink of an eye. Such is Success. I barely remember it. What I do remember is courting Failure for all those years as it led me to Success. As I failed, I learned, I grew, I improved. I mean, how else could I write all this flowery shit? I had a two-thousand word vocabulary when I graduated high school, most of them no more than three letters, and the rest of them profane.

I usually place the photos I use in my blog at the beginning, but not this time. I’m placing them at the end in an effort to symbolize a beginning; a beginning of a new career … for all involved.

Here’s to mistakes.

Here’s to failures.

And here’s to wherever we are, one year from now.

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Crime-Cakes by Delaney

And a HUGE shout out to Mary, Maggie's partner in crime,
for all the help she gave Maggie putting this together.
You two gals should start a Party Planning business.
(Since she didn't get me a photo of her,

I had to go all the way back to Halloween last.
Photogenic, isnt she?)

And the winner of the contest is...


Sandra with DB and Michelle of Two Rivers

Daughter Delaney greeted the masses,
handled the transactions,
and kept Chaos at bay.

The Intrigue Group