It seems like just a few months ago that I was proud of getting 5,000 hits. Wait, it was just a few months ago. I still think a lot of visitors are just in it for the pictures, and at some point I’ll have to be okay with that. The long view is that writing this blog has gotten me in the habit of writing regularly. That’s important, and here’s why.
I have been pretty successful in life. At age 36 I have a great career, make a ton of money (by my admittedly small standards), have a nice home that I have put a lot of work into, and I have a fantastic partner in life. I have been surprised by how many friends in the last year have said that I have the life they hope to achieve some day. But for all of that, there is one thing that is lacking. I have never written a novel.
I first decided to become a novelist when I was around six years old, and I was sure that was what I was going to do until around age 17. Somehow I got significantly sidetracked. It always bothered me that I never could write more than a short story periodically, and always for my own benefit rather than for publication. When I recently was off work for a few months following heart surgery I thought I would use that time to write one mediocre western and get it published, but it turns out that open heart surgery is more draining that I thought. I started a sweeping drama, The Ballad of the Circle K, and after writing the opening and closing pages I realized that it was way too big a story to approach my first time out. I set it aside, hoping to get back to it one day.
Then I read and wrote a review of Zombie Ranch that proved to be inspirational. Through that review and the correspondence with the creators I learned that it is okay to jump into creative work as an amateur and trust that as your craft improves your art will improve as well. I decided that I should crank out one tawdry e-book, the kind that I like to download, read, and review in one day once in a while. I came up with an idea while cutting the grass, fleshed out the plot on a bike ride, and sat down to write it. It turns out that writing my trashy e-book is tons of fun. The whole thing is outlined, I am about a third of the way done the first draft at 9,500 words, and I hope to have it out and to publishers by the end of September. If no one will publish it, that is what self-publishing through Smashwords is all about. I plan on using a pen name, and may or may not share it here in the blog. It’s really dirty, and I know some of you in real life. Thanks, Zombie Ranch, for inspiring me.
In the mean time I have a lot to catch up on, including Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey’s Trailblazer, Robert Parker’s last western, Blue Eyed Devil, the “adult westerns” McMasters #5: Mexican Standoff and the Captain Gringo Renegade series, the e-romance Keeping of Greg Wilson, Alaska’s final frontier history in The Floor of Heaven, visiting manga-land with Stallion, the fabulous film Winchester ’73, revisiting Zombie Ranch, and a new (to me) web comic called Next Town Over.
Via con dios!