My Journey as a Writer

I’m beginning.  I’m still at the beginning.   I’m no longer at the starting line, and I don’t know the route or the way to the finish line.  But I’ve begun.

Not long ago, my mom gave me a green folder that had special mementoes she had discovered while cleaning out.  There were notes and letters.  A child’s drawings of hearts and flowers.  A book report in the shape of Oklahoma.  Just a few things she had saved of mine during my elementary school years.  I looked through them, not seeing much more than a pile of faded construction paper hearts with “I love my mom” scribbled in crayon.  

Not until I dug deep, did I find something significant.  It was a story I’d written, actually two.  My mom had written on the back, “Angel came home today so excited to be a writer. An author visited the school.  Here are two of her stories she has written so far.”  The stories were lackluster and quite morbid.  There were no happily ever afters to them.  It actually made me sad to read them and there wasn’t much talent there at all, just a childhood imagination.

I don’t remember the day the author visited.  I don’t remember writing those stories either.  I’m grateful my mom saved them, though.  It’s seems to confirm that writing is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.  I like to think it’s engrained.   It’s stitched in the fibers of my soul.  It holds me together with big sloppy stitches.  I guess somehow, throughout the years, my childhood dream of writing got pushed beneath all the glamourous, or high paying, or practical jobs that the teachers, parents, and society dictated instead.  The little girl who desired to be an ice skater, then a psychiatrist, who settled on a teacher but not before becoming a waitress forgot her aspiration.  No one valued writing that I can remember.  No one encouraged that.  Instead it was the doctor, lawyer, dentist, Dallas cowboy cheerleader kind of jobs to strive for.  

I started this blog a few years ago.  It’s one of my most valued treasures.  I’ve nurtured it and it is my life memoir, so to speak.   Some people actually read it.  And those same people actually told me I should write more.

So I did. 

Last month, I had a small (not so great) ebook published. That was the first hill of my journey.  

Today I turned in a second book, and conquered another hill.  It is actually a ghost writing project, meaning my name will not appear on it.  Someone else will take my story, put their name on it, and pretend they wrote it.  For now, that’s okay with me.  If I were them, I couldn’t sleep at night, but that’s their issue not mine.

Tomorrow I begin another story.  

And then, I have another one after that.

It’s good.  It’s all good.

I am beginning to think of myself as a writer.  Not a novelist, not even an author, but a just a little bit of a writer.  

I’m not getting rich and famous.  I’m not even being paid much, but it gives me a little Christmas cash, so I’m pleased.

Maybe somewhere down my journey,  I might be considered a novelist.  That would be so cool.  Maybe at mile marker 1,458, I might have an agent, and an editor, and a publisher.  

Dream with me just for a moment.  Close your eyes.  

Can you see it?  I’m wearing glasses and a scarf to hide my old neck.  My hair is grayer and I’m autographing a book.

Yes, I can see it.  It makes me smile.

When I arrive at mile marker 1,459  I’ll look back on this little post right here, and all the ones before it, and see my beginnings.  The ones where I wrote while my baby napped beside me in the bed.  The late nights of lots of coffee while the rest of the house slept, the times I took my laptop to the backyard while EK played with the dogs and chickens and I slaved away and on plot twists and character sketches.  

It’s an exciting journey, and at times it’s hard and long.  But I’m not alone.  

Lots have gone before me, and many are with me now.  

My story: Hearts in Rhythm

Here it is.

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My first published story.

My first story, period.

It’s been published as an e-book for Kindle.  It only costs $.99 and I completely picked out that juicy cover picture.

Just kidding.

I had no say in anything after I sent in the story, including the steamy cover.

Gauging from the picture, you might guess it’s a mystery.  Well, you would be wrong.  It’s a romance, but if you know me at all, it is completely PG.  Or even G for that matter.  No Fifty Shades of Gray here.

I don’t expect you to buy it, but you can if you want.

I didn’t go through the traditional publishing route, it was freelance work, which means even if you do buy it, I’ll never see one red cent from it.  I’ve already been paid everything I’m going to be paid.  So even when MGM makes a movie out of it and it becomes a blockbuster starring Leonardo DeCaprio, I will still be wearing  ratty socks and buying underwear from Walmart.

A girl can dream, right?

I’m working on another project now, and the lady who published Hearts in Rhythm has hired me to write another story, so I’m chalking all this up as practice, diligence, and experience, not wealth or fame.

Anyway friends, thanks to all those who encouraged me, told me I should write a book, and said you loved my blog.  You helped me believe in myself.

(Especially my cousin, Jay!)

I must go, I have a deadline to meet.  (Doesn’t that sound cool?)

Much love,

Angel

Oh, here’s the link:
http://www.amazon.com/Hearts-In-Rhythm-ebook/dp/B00F25GLRY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1379082331&sr=8-7&keywords=hearts+in+rhythm

A Chicken Story

I live in my own little world, and it’s safe here.  But occasionally something will happen that rocks my little world, and I’m reminded of the ugliness on this third rock from the sun.

We have some friends who recently bought some chickens.  They didn’t order baby chicks through the mail, but instead went to a nearby town to a fellow’s house where he had too many chickens and needed to get rid of some.  These folks didn’t have a coop, but they had a barn.  The chickens were all over the place.  Every day, the chickens climbed up on haystacks in the barn to lay their eggs, so every day was  like an easter egg hunt just to gather the eggs.  There were so many chickens clucking around, that some of the chickens lived in the trees outside the barn, because the barn chickens had established a pecking order and wouldn’t let the tree chickens in.  Barn chickens vs. Tree chickens.  Following me?

That reminds me of my old middle school bus stop.  We moved to the wrong side of the tracks when I was in middle school and had to start riding the bus.  My sister and I used to catch the bus at a church in our neighborhood.  There were some big boys, high school age thugs, that also rode the bus.  Many mornings it was cold when we got to our bus stop, and on these cold mornings, the wind would cut you to the bone.  Rather than wait by the curb for the bus, there was a little covered porch attached to the church that we huddled in out of the cold.  These big boys (the barn chickens) decided to establish a pecking order and wouldn’t let us younger kids (the tree chickens) on the covered porch (the barn) unless we gave them candy first.  So every day, we had to take candy to the bus stop in order to wait in the barn out of the cold.  This went on until somehow our big brothers got wind of it.  We got off the bus one afternoon and our brothers were waiting there to have a “talking” with those barn chickens.  After that, we didn’t have  to give them candy anymore.

But I digress.  Back to the friends who got some chickens from a nearby town.  Chickens in the barns, chickens in the trees.  Here a chick, there a chick, everywhere a chick, chick.  The owner had a dog, a Border Collie who understood Spanish.  The owner would speak a little Spanish to him, and that dog would crouch down and wait for a chicken to fly  out of the tree, then he would pounce on the chicken, hold this neck in his mouth, pin him down with his paws, and just lie there until the owner got the chicken and put it in a gunny sack.  Then the owner spoke a little more Spanish to the dog, and the dog would catch another chicken to go in the sack. 

Our friend ended up with 9 chickens and a rooster with a crippled leg.  He was a fighting rooster but he had lost his last fight.  The rule is, the owner of the winning rooster gets to snap the leg of the losing rooster and hand him back.  His fighting days are over. 

I can’t believe this sort of sport still goes on.  I mean, I knew there were cock fights.  I just didn’t know they were happening right down the road from my safe little world.  And I never imagined that they would break the losing chicken’s leg.  That just seems barbaric.  I thought we were a civilized people.

And that’s all I have to say about that.