My first post.
Let me begin by saying, I don’t know what I’m doing setting up a website. At all. So you’ll need a bit of patience. The website is for discussing my fiction, or anyone’s fiction, or anything that anyone wants to discuss. The First Amendment applies here.
The site is not for commerce. I won’t be trying to do anything to move money or execute transactions. My ebooks are available on Amazon and Kobo. They handle the money, and I do not have ambitions for them to buy or sell anything but my ebooks (though I must admit, I every so often think to myself – say, that would be a good slogan on a t-shirt). But no … I’m not getting into t-shirts. Or politics, or anything else.
I have opinions, but I keep them to myself. I stay busy, and I don’t want to divert.
How did I get into writing fiction? That might be interesting. It was an accident. Seriously, years ago, an old girlfriend – a total flame, and a flameout on my part, long since married to someone else – came to DC on a job. We had lunch. She was thinking about writing a novel. We talked it over, and I thought, cool, that would be a very cool thing to do. It turned out, she never wrote a novel. I think she got busy with other things.
But I did. I wrote a long novel on the invention of the warp drive. I never finished it; the story turned into The Tomato That Ate Cleveland. It got longer and longer, more and more convoluted, until I reached a point from which I could not gracefully end the novel.
It was like being epoxied to a situation. I was stuck. Time froze. I still have the files, and I like a lot of the scenes. But I could not finish it.
You’d think that common sense would prevail, but it did not. I got the bug and started writing other stories, things I could finish. A couple years later, when divorce hit, instead of being Mr. Bummed Out Divorced Guy, I got to be Mr. New Writer. I got into a great writing group, the Arlington Writers’ Group, of Arlington, VA. When I retired, I had a collection of stories to work on and publish.
So that’s how it all happened.
I have a PhD, but writing fiction is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Still, it’s going okay. I’ve got three novels and two novellas at Amazon and Kobo, with three other novels in the pipeline. It turns out, I’ve got a genuine taste for writing.
That’s kind of weird, actually. There are thousands of people who would love being a writer. It’s like being a movie star, or a rock star, or a major league baseball player (my dream til I was fourteen). But there are a lot fewer people who are comfortable plopping into a chair every day and writing. It’s a boatload of work, it’s unhealthy, and the pay is awful.
But you know what? There’s nothing like finishing a first draft and knowing that you’ll publish it one of these days.
Everyone says, don’t write fiction for money. And they’re right. At least, I think they’re right. The world is going from text to video. Nonetheless, when you publish a novel, it’ll be out there a long time. So who knows? Maybe you’ll pull a Tolkien – years after your death, the world will wake up to how cool your books and stories are, and you’ll be a legend after your own time. Your grandchildren can fight over your royalties. Even the most modest writer can dream about that.
How cool is that? How many jobs offer the opportunity to dream?