This is the first paragraph of my latest. Have a look at Melody 8. Remember that this is unedited.
My mother used to sing to me when I was scared at night. When shadows, in corners turned into drooling creatures who wanted to eat me. When the wind wasn’t just benign air, but a drooling demon bent on eating my soul, and my body, bit by sweet bit. I’d lay my head on her chest to feel the vibration of her singing. The song would come out in low tones and hurried breaths, and just slightly off-key. I always thought my mother’s inability to hold a perfect tune made the song better. It was as if mom had put her own touch on the song she’d chosen to sing. Her voice made pleasing chills go down my spine, and make my skin turn to goose pimples. I’d burrow deeper into the blankets smiling into my pillow. Mama would end the song and ask if I wanted to hear another one. If I was asleep she would plant a kiss on my head. The moisture and the soft smack of my mother’s lips would wake me up just enough to see her walking out of my room. Most times I wasn’t asleep, and I’d answer with a muffled yes that came deep from my pillows and blankets. Mama would answer with the same response every time. “Okay smart one.” I never knew why she called me this, and it’s funny to look back now and realize, I’d never asked her why she called me smart one.
I loved the sound of my mother’s voice. All the way up to the day she was put to death because of it.
Just write, and quit feeling sorry for yourself.
My mother was a writer. She wrote a couple of books, and many screenplays. All of them she submitted to publishers who turned her down usually with a very impersonal rejection letter. She would get the “it’s not what we are looking for,” or “you need to put this together the right way. Meaning she didn’t send her manuscript in a box, with the pages loose leafed. Back in those days you had to jump through many hoops just get your book read.
Later in her life she actually did sell a screenplay. It was a story about two couples who are opposites, end up getting the same hotel room by mistake, and have to stay in it together. Kind of like the Odd Couple on vacation. A few years later my mom succumbed to lung Cancer.
Where am I going with this…?
I guess my point would be how spoiled I am as an indie writer. I have published many short stories, a couple books, and I have been in an anthology. Tales from the Canyons of the Damned, maybe you’ve heard of it. If you haven’t you can get it here.
I guess the whole spoiled notion came to me while I was browsing Facebook. I’m friends with many authors on there, so I get to see lots of different insights through other authors eyes. Some are doing very well for themselves, while others… not so much. And it is the later few I want to talk about, and say this. Just the sole fact that your stories are being read is a miracle by past standards. Back in the day independent writers were looked at as the ones who couldn’t cut it. They were the weirdos with weird-looking books, and they were not taken seriously. They were the old history teacher that would sit outside of bookstores and sell half assed copies of their books out of a trunk. They were your friend that would hound you to read their book.
We are spoiled now.
There are tools to make your book look professional. There is social media to get the word out. And there is ways to connect with fellow authors to get insight, and encouragement. So… Quit whining. We live in a time when the gatekeepers have been burned at the stake! You can write what ever you want. And even if it’s not that good someone will read it. It is the greatest time to be an author. Quit feeling sorry for yourself, and get writing.
My mother never had this chance. She died just a bit to soon. But she would have taken advantage of indie publishing, and she wouldn’t have complained once. She would have loved it. Because she would have been doing something she loved anyway… Writing.