The sound of the door closing brought me out of the world of numbers I had entrenched myself in. Not the sound itself, but the particular tone. When your life slips into a steady rhythm and the harmonies blend perfectly, it is easy to notice a single missed note. Although the door did not have the force of a slam, something about its dull note seemed off.
I slid my chair away from my desk and got my head through my office door just in time to see the bottom of my son’s feet disappearing up the stairs.
A familiar, “Yeah?” came floating down from somewhere above. Again, something seemed off. A note slightly off key. I couldn’t say which one, only that I heard something that shouldn’t have been.
The question that has plagued my mind since I began to take this writing thing seriously is “When should I publish?” Asking ten of my closest friends brings thirteen different answers. I tend to be my own worst critic. When I look at what I have written and compare it to the stories I enjoy reading, I don’t feel like mine rise to the same level. Don’t get me wrong, I think people could enjoy what I have written, but I still need to grow in my skill.
Part of me feels like if my work is not up to my own standard then I shouldn’t be trying to sell it. But another part of me feels like stories are written to be read and to have them sit on my hard drive is a waste of creativity. And another part of me feels hungry and wants people to buy my stories so that I can eat Chik-Fil-A and sushi every day.
In the end, I realized that I have not chosen to publish yet because of fear. I’m afraid that people will think I’m not a good writer. I’m afraid people will try to lock me into a genre. I’m afraid someone will regret spending .99 for my words and that the hours I spent crafting them will have been a waste. But fear is rarely rational. And it makes a horrible master. So I have published my first book and kicked fear in the balls. If you have read this far then let me ask one last thing of you. If you buy my book, tell me what you think. Be honest. I want to learn and grow still. And I want sushi.
You can purchase A Skip in Time here or by clicking on the image at the right of the screen.
Jenna barely heard the rough clicks of Sam’s key in the door over the gentle hiss of the water as she washed the vegetables. A quick sigh escaped from her mouth. As much as she loved her husband, after work he tended to be a bit grumpy. The fresh stack of bills that lay on the counter would only make it worse. She turned off the water and began to wipe her hands when she saw him come into their tiny apartment, turning to close the door and lock it behind him.
Jenna grinned at the sight of him. He had an unassuming cuteness about him. When she had first seen him at their church she never would have pictured them together. He had shaggy brown hair, hazel eyes, and an average frame that could easily be lost in a crowd, but he was smart enough to know that those were not his strength.
The first time Sam had approached her it was simple and quick. He introduced himself and came off as shy. Each time they spoke after that he emerged from of his shell a little more. It did not take long for Jenna to see his heart and know that it was more beautiful than any other she knew. He had a rare combination of a sweet spirit and powerful intellect. Sam could make you feel like the most wonderful person in the world or like you didn’t exist. He knew the power of words and just how to use them.
Mother’s intuition was not needed to see that something was wrong. After the dishes had been cleared from dinner Jimmy remained at the table with his chin in his hands.
“I’m never gonna do anything great” he mumbled.
Myra dried her hands and walked over to sit next to her troubled twelve year old. She wanted so badly to ruffle his messy brown hair like she had done when he was younger, but knew it would only arouse his ire.
“Why do you say that? I think you’re great right now.”
He let his hands drop and cocked his head to the side. “You only think that because you’re my mom.” (more…)
“Many young writers will read this hoping to have the same success you have enjoyed as an author. What advice would you give them in their pursuit?”
Adam looked out the window and stared at the ocean without really seeing it. He relived his years as an aspiring author in the span of a few moments. A smile suddenly cracked his lips followed by the laugh of someone enjoying an inside joke. His looked up again and met the eyes of his interviewer.
“Find an error and fix it.”
Confusion spread over the interviewer’s face, but Adam continued before a follow-up question could be asked.
I pulled the prisoner through the damp hallway ignoring the intermittent cries of pain from my grip that had clamped around her bicep. When her feet began to drag my grip would tighten spurring them into a half-hearted shuffle. Her questioning eyes clung to each empty cell we passed, but I had a special place in mind for this one.
I drug the condemned deeper into the darkness until we reached the last cell. After opening the door I threw her in with all my might. She tumbled like a rag doll and lay unmoving against the back wall that stopped her roll. Her long brown hair covered the bruises that I had left on her face. Only the rise and fall of her tattered black shirt gave an indication of life.
Author’s Note: Each week I write for you, the reader. Forgive me, but this one is for me.
“This can’t be right…”
As Dave studied the lush landscape through the spots on his windshield he quickly concluded that he had made an error somewhere along the way.
From a young age Dave had come to acknowledge certain facts about his life. He would never be the biggest or strongest. The things that fascinated all the “cool” people held no interest for him. But Dave had two things that very few people could match, an insatiable curiosity that drove him to learn everything he could about subjects that piqued his interest and a deep hatred for being wrong. This combination was strong enough to key to his rapid rise at Unified Solutions, the top engineering firm in the state, despite his deficiency of social skills. (more…)
Removing his cap, Captain Tanner Shipley pulled aside the tent flap and entered the world of green and brown that some of the men called the turtle shell. General Saunders sat behind an Army issue desk studying the latest maps. All that could be seen of hard-nosed commander was his closely cropped silver hair.
“Sir, your requisition has come to my attention.”
General Saunders looked up for the first time and adjusted his spectacles to see his visitor more clearly. He waited silently for the Captain to continue.
“There appears to be a… oversight in the request.” (more…)
Two quick knocks were answered from behind the large oak door by a curt, “Come.” Anderson Hill took a deep breath and turned the steel knob. The sensation of walking the plank struck him as he entered and saw the Pacific Ocean stretched across the horizon just beyond the windows that filled the furthest wall. He struggled to focus on what he had practiced as he approached the enormous desk where his boss sat shuffling through a small stack of papers.
“Sir, I have the footage for the latest episode. But it is… a bit different.”
James Vandenbaugh did not enjoy unnecessary preambles. The direct approach was Anderson’s only hope of coming away from this with his job. As Mr. Vandenbaugh looked up from the document he had been reading he removed his glasses and glared at the man who had just told him the one thing he had never let happen during his tenure as Producer. His blue-grey eyes seemed to darken like the ocean with a storm on the horizon. One finger rose and lightly stroked his temple. He studied Anderson for a moment letting silence fill the space between them.
Anderson held up the disc that he carried in his left hand.
“It might make more sense if I show you…” He tried to sound confident, but still it came out like a half-question. (more…)