*Grab some popcorn.*
Yeah, I know. That’s not a word, but in our society, we have this habit of mashing words together. I’m no pop culture expert, but I swear it started with Brad and Angelina. Brangelina. No? Well, like I said, I’m not Entertainment Weekly.
Anyway, it was exactly four years ago, during the very hour that I write this, that I began a book that would alter me, possibly forever. No, it wasn’t scripture. It wasn’t even fantasy–which is usually my favorite genre. It was a well-written book, but I wont’ name it because of how I feel about it in the long run. I often think of this quote, by Stephen King.
“Almost everyone can remember losing his or her virginity, and most writers can remember the first book he/she put down thinking: I can do better than this.” ― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
After staying up all night reading–which it’s important for you to know that I usually read until I get to the first kiss–and not getting to my favorite spot to break away from a book, that I went to bed gritting my teeth, clenching my fists, and possibly shaking them at the sky. I’d finished the whole dang book. No kiss. *Side note. Don’t even get me started on what happens when I pick up books that don’t jump start the kissing action. Ugh. Sometimes, it’s like murder to my soul to frantically move through the pages, searching out that moment. if I know that it’s not very romantic like that, I generally do a little better, but hand me a Marcia Lynn McClure book and I’ll be swooning by page ten practically. I love her for it.*
Anyway. Back to the drama that was this other book.
Why, dang it all to h-e-double-hockey-sticks did that author not give me that?
I don’t need, or want, a raunchy scene with flailing body parts that are usually under clothing, but a hot, passionate kiss has got to be there for me. This takes some genres off the table for me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like books, I just love a nice romantic thread more than anything in both books and movies. So, for fun, I can handle “Gone in 60 Seconds” or “The Italian Job” because of the kissing, but “True Grit” leaves me feeling like I wasted my two hours. It’s me, not them, and I know it.
Anyway, completely dissatisfied with the story, I swore–as I tried to cool off–that if I ever wrote a book (famous last words here, folks) that I would never, ever ________________ (Fill in the blank) and then I began listing off the do’s and don’t’s I was going to include in my book.
My book.Yeah, right.
I fell asleep with a hypothetical situation of IF I WERE TO WRITE A BOOK, having absolutely no clue what would happen to me during the meager four hours of sleep I would get. (stayed up reading, remember?)
No. No dream came to me. I’m not her.
I woke up with a start, ten minutes early, and I just knew. I knew exactly what I was going to write. Okay, in all fairness, I knew 80% of it. I made a quick call to my friend, “pitching” as it were, my idea and she gave me the advice to write it and see what would come of it.
It’s been four years.
Am I published? No.
Do I want to be? Hellsyeah.
Will I get there? You better believe it.
If I had known what I know now, I may have told myself to quit while I was ahead. But I’m not a quitter. And if I had, I wouldn’t have the amazing, best writer-friends I have now. It’s taken years, literally, to find the people who “get me”.
I found the first one, when I met my husband, Kyle, and I would say I’ve only met two others since–two who don’t write, but love to read.
And even then, it took several more years to collect some eclectic winners. If I began to name names, we’d have another short story … so moving on. Only God knows who’ll come into my life beginning tomorrow, so I’ll keep at it, even if it’s just for the wonderful people I’ll meet and become friends with.
I believe there are yet more souls who’s lives will touch mine, inspiring me to be a better writer and a better person. Likewise, I believe there are souls whose lives I can influence, too.
*off to edit.*