I’m not one for talking about myself. Never have been. I think it stems from the fact I could never get a word in when my two younger sisters were around. Even after we grew up, started our own lives, when those two get together, it’s always about them and their families. Not that I don’t love, them, but they’re easier to deal with one one-on-one, and not as a group. So you can imagine how Holidays are.
Since no one wanted to listen to me, and there’s a lot more to my story than I’ll probably ever tell, I grew up an introverted, nose-stuck-in-a book person. I used to walk to school, and the hallways, while reading a book. I know now, it was a form of escapism. But back then, it was the only enjoyment I had. Other than fishing and camping.
Anyway, to make a long story short, (can a writer really do that?) I’m told that readers want to connect with their favorite authors. So, here I am, talking about myself.
Anyone who’s been following my blog knows that The Secret of Excalibur was recently released in audio book format. My Narrator, Lynn Roberts, did a fabulous job with the different voices and dialects.
He’s currently working on another project, but said he’d be willing to narrate We Journey No More when finished. I can’t wait. We did receive our first review on Audible.com, and it was a 5 star. That made my day. BTW, I do have promo codes, so if you’re interested in listening, and wiling to leave an honest review, I can send you a code. Just let me know in the comments. You can also listen to a sample, or the first chapter, HERE.
On to the best news. As you know, I’ve been ghostwriting my late husband’s stories. Some people in the writing community claim I’m not really a writer, as the stories aren’t mine. But other authors say I am. Me, I didn’t really consider myself a writer. They aren’t mine. Yes, most of them are only in outline format, so I have to do a lot of character building, and some dialogue, but they aren’t mine. Self-doubt is such a terrible, wasteful feeling.
Several weeks ago, my friend C.J. Rutherford invited me to a small group of authors who are putting together a Christmas themed anthology.
At first I didn’t understand what the group was for. We get invited to so many Facebook groups, most of which we never visit. But when my befuddled mind finally figured it out, I was like, YES, I want to do it. Then reality hit. Bob never wrote any Christmas stories, and I sure as hell can’t. But, I really wanted to be a part of the book. To be a part of a whole.
So, I went to bed that night, and I told myself, If you’re really a writer, you’ll wake up with a story. And you know what? I did! I couldn’t believe it. The story was just there.
The requirements were that the story had to be 5,000 to 10,000 words. OK, could I do it? I fritted and fretted for several weeks, but my story finally finished at 7,500 words. Whew! I did it!
The big test, though, will anyone like it. Yesterday, I sent my unedited copy to two other friends. They loved it. They said it was powerful, gritty and you could feel the characters. WOW! Just WOW!
My story is called Silent Night, and you’ll be hearing about the release of the book shortly. Below is a snippet for your reading pleasure. Bear in mind, it’s still unedited. Let me know what you think.
He snubbed out his cigarette with a grunt of disgust, as another rendition of Silent Night screeched through the worn speakers mounted on the wall behind him. 50 years in space, and we’re still being bombarded with damn Christmas songs, he thought as he rose to switch off the noise. Yes, but there was a time when you enjoyed them, a small part of his mind reminded. Yeah, well, that was before, he shot back. His nights weren’t calm and bright anymore. They were full of regrets and guilt.
Picking up his overflowing black, plastic ash tray, he dumped the smashed butts in a can under the bar just for that purpose. Through a haze of smoke, he looked at the nicotine-stained clock on the far wall. Shit. Not even eleven o’clock yet. Too bad. He didn’t feel like putting up with these losers tonight. Peering down the bar, he saw his four regular hangers-on, sucking at their beers. The rest of his clientele had already left, to prepare for Christmas tomorrow.
Starting at the far end of the bar, he picked up ash trays, dumping the butts into one, working his way to the four remaining patrons. “C’mon guys, drink up. Time to go,” he ordered gruffly.
“What?” a man with white hair and slumped shoulders asked. He turned on his stool, peering with narrowed eyes at the clock behind him. “It ain’t even eleven yet, Deak,” he whined. “We still got at least three more hours.” He took a drag off his cig, then started hacking with a deep rattle that shook his frail body. Pulling out a stained, red handkerchief, he spat up a wad of phlegm.
“Geez, Mike.” Deak turned away with disgust, feeling his lungs ache with sympathy pains. “One day you’re gonna hack up a lung. ‘Bout time you quit, don’t you think?”
With washed-out blue eyes, Mike squinted at Deak through a cloud of smoke. “I will when you do.”
“Yeah, well, at least I don’t sound like I’m dying.” Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a tall figure sneaking off into a dark area of the bar. “Tommy,” he yelled, “don’t you dare light that stinking cigar in here. You know the rules. Get the hell outside, or go down into the tunnels.” Tommy was notorious for buying the foulest smelling cigars around. No one knew where he found them, but they always smelled like burning dung.
“Sorry, Deak,” Tommy said, ducking, his head, cigar clenched between his teeth. He slunk off like a whipped dog, heading for the steps that lead to the tunnels for the miner’s living quarters. Deak shook his head. This was a routine they went through several times during the day.
Striding from behind the bar, he gathered up Tommy’s half empty mug, then stopped at the front window to shut off the bar signs. Looking out the grime-streaked window, he saw debris scuttling down the deserted street. Normal for this time of night. The wind was blowing at a sustained rate of 45 MPH, making the plastic window bow in. Deak shivered from the cold radiating through the plastic. Without protective weather gear, a person would freeze to death within twenty minutes.
Glancing up and down the street, Deak saw a few shuttered store fronts, all with red and green Christmas lights blazing away, looking eerie under the full purple moon. A moon so big and close, it always made him feel like it was going to fall on him.
He grunted. Once again, his bar was the only storefront notably absent of any holiday cheer. It hadn’t always been that way. When he first bought his bar, on this godforsaken planet twelve years ago, he decorated every holiday season. That was before his heart died, nine Christmas’ ago.
So, how did your week go? I hope it was as good as mine.