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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Writing a Novel ... About a Horse ... Of Course

In March of 2001, I was a few months into a career move that I honestly was not happy with.   I decided to do a couple of things with my life:

1) I had to find a way out of the environmental engineering firm that I had moved to.
2) Until I solved problem 1, I needed to find a way to relieve the stress that I had with problem 1.

I decided to start doing something utterly impossible. No, not like eating asparagus, broccoli or 100 year old eggnog (No Fear Factor for me).   Actually, I decided to write a novel and it had to be about the things that I knew a little about ... say ... baseball, horses and history. I know ... it would been easier to write a novel about ballet, the World Wrestling Foundation and 100 year old eggnog.   

I told myself that I'd write a half page at a time, as I could find the moments.  I actually got up to about 30 pages or so in June of 2001.   However, that month,  I left the environmental engineering firm to go back to the bank that I'd worked at before and the writing stopped, because suddenly I once again had a purpose.

Then came the day that changed the view of every human on the planet who thought they had purpose. I knew a couple people who died on September 11th ... not people who I'd met face to face, but a couple of distant voices on the other end of the phone that I conversed with, did business with, joked and laughed with.

The two voices had names, lives, histories, mothers, fathers, homes, cars, pets, spouses ... families, dreams and purpose ... and everything that I had...except now... all of that was gone for them, their families and friends... even for my distant voices on the phone  

That was the day that I decided that I needed to expand my purpose.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still incredibly happy at the bank and will be until I retire in 20 years.  However, I just needed more ... another purpose. 

On September 12, 2001, I once again put my two hands on my keyboard and started typing as I had time.  I wrote a half page here and a half page there for ... 10 long years.  It was a long decade of learning, writing, editing, copyrighting, query letters, rejection, rejection, rejection, self publishing on and then ... poof.... Frequent Flyer

After all of that, who knows if my novel is any good?  I still find things that probably should change and even odd typos after reading it umpteen times (it's really hard to proof your own writing).  However, I like the book a lot.  It was fun, I learned a lot, achieved my goal and ... yes ... expanded my purpose.