Most of you reading this are probably friends or family and that’s great. I’m glad you took the time. In reality, you were likely going to read this or cruise Facebook for another meme of Donald Trump or crying Hillary supporters, so it probably wasn’t that big an effort. Thanks anyway.
As many of you know, I retired last year from the military and convinced my wife I should take a year off to write that novel I’d been talking about for fifteen years; well, that and spend time with the kids. When I finally sat down last Fall to start banging away, it turned out I was more than a little lost trying to get my hands around the scope of a full novel. I fell back and decided to attack the short story genre until I got my feet under me.
Mr. Awesome and the Cheese was a fun little project and my first fully realized effort. I wrote it in less than a week for a writing contest. The kids inspired the characters and collaborated with me on the story, but balked when I told them to bang it out on the computer. Alas, it didn’t win anything, but a 2,000-word limit definitely attacked my tendency to run on. And the kids liked it, so it counts as a win.
Anyway, I wrote a handful of other stories (all too horrible to post) before I found my idea for a western exploding from my envisioned 5,000 words to over 20,000. I started it last January and it evolved over time – as did my understanding of things like characterization, story structure, story arcs, plot, yada, yada, yada. I probably wrote nearly 100,000 words if you count all the revisions and edits. It took a while, to say the least. Meanwhile, I was putting myself through a crash course on the publishing world before finally settling on self-publishing as a viable option. Bottom line, You Stop, You Die was more of a self-paced master thesis project that I felt I needed to do something with given the time and effort I had put into it.
I’ll leave it to the readers to make up their own minds if it was a well-spent year – I certainly enjoyed it. I have a couple other stories in the development stage including a sequel to Mr Awesome and The Cheese and an idea for a series of stories to build on You Stop, You Die. I have a larger project based on my time in Iraq, but the outline is kicking my butt and it may be some time before its ready to publish.
Again, thanks for all the support and taking the time to stop by. Now go read, write, and adventure! (Yeah, I’m working on a better tag line…)