Literature

Fear Makes a Poor Master

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.

The Other Eight

The electronic voice of Paul’s GPS informed him that he had arrived at his destination. He leaned forward to peer through his windshield at the sign that hung above the doors on the red brick building. Large orange letters trimmed in green spelled La Cantina Antelo.

An elderly man in a bright Tommy Bahama shirt began unlocking his car on the far side of the street. Cars covered every meter that Paul could see so he wasted no time pulling around and flipping on his blinker.  It only took about three minutes and what looked like a well-practiced fourteen point turn for the man to get his Buick out of the small space. As he slowly rolled away Paul slid his little Honda into the space easily and threw it in park.

He still wasn’t sure why he was here. The invitation was most likely an elaborate way to get him to sit through a time-share presentation, but it didn’t have the same tone as a marketing ploy. He grabbed it off his passenger seat and twisted it until he could read it again in the streetlight.

Mr. Weeks,

 

Your presence is requested at The Other Eight event. This is a private affair so please, no guests. Dinner, dessert, and drinks will all be provided free of charge. Your participation in this event is of the utmost importance.

 

7:00 p.m.

May 7th, 2013

La Cantina Antelo

756 E. Jefferson

 

Please RSVP

TheOtherEight@GMail.com (more…)

UPDATE

Hey everyone! This is not a story, but I did want to let you all know a couple things.

First, I can’t even begin to tell you all how honored and privileged I am that you would take the time to read my words each week. You guys have provided me with so much encouragement and feedback. I owe so much of my growth as a writer to you all and “thank you” does not begin to cover how much I appreciate you.

Secondly, as many of you noticed, I did not post a story last week. I was in the middle of moving across the country. This may happen a bit more in the future (the missing a week, not the moving) as I focus on some lengthier writing projects. The purpose of my move was so that I can dedicate some time to publish a book of short stories and write a novel. I will be documenting my journey of these new endeavors on my brand new author site byAdamDrake.com  If you would like see a more personal side of me and follow my progress as an author, please check it out and follow me there as well. (It’s still through WordPress too)

I am working on a story for this week, so hopefully that will get me back into the routine.

Thank you all again. I do not know if I would have had the courage to attempt what I am about to do without all your encouragement. Don’t ever forget the power of your words to one trying to change the world with them.

All My Love,

Adam

Masterpiece

The last breeze from winter cut through the spring air and found its way inside Walter’s jacket sending a shiver through his old bones. He knew Frank had seen it. Frank saw everything. Walter was surprised he didn’t have some snarky…

“The beating I put on you last week got you shaking in your loafers now?”

There it was. Walter smiled and continued to place the chess pieces on the stone table that rose between the benches where they sat. Even with the silver canopy of clouds filtering the morning light each marble piece seemed to shine brightly. The pair of old friends began to set their pieces in a practiced rhythm, each click creating a beat to a song that only they could play.

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Gifts (Part 1)

Valerie Michaels hoped that March 7th, 2045 would be a special day. And even though it was her eleventh birthday, she would always remember it for another reason.

The ceiling in her room began to illuminate as the soft sounds of classical music signaled that it was time to get up. Her step-mom would be in soon to help her. Until then she stretched and listened to the music drift down like snow upon her. A smile crept across her face as she recognized the soft song. It would only be the first of many surprises from her father. Christine opened the door just as a cello finished the last “Happy birthday to you.” (more…)

Knights, Spies, and Astronauts

Growing up in Hollywood was not as glamorous as it sounds, but the education is unmatched in all the country. In class I was taught geometry, history, and biology, but on the way home I learned how to recognize drug dealers and whores. I could spot a hopeful actor or actress from across a restaurant by the script they kept folded in their back pocket. My friend Dickson and I never finished at the top of our class in school, but outside those walls we felt like Einstein and some other smart guy like Einstein.

My family moved to Hollywood when I was still in diapers because my dad was an actor. He mostly did plays, but wanted to be in the movies. He was always talking in weird voices and pretending he was other people. Sometimes he would let me play along with him. We were knights and spies and astronauts. No matter what adventure we shared it always ended with a tickle fight and lots of laughter. After a while we didn’t pretend anymore. He said it was because I was getting older now and it was time for me to grow up. Luckily I got a new best friend right around the same time.

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Found (Part 1)

Being in an interrogation room did not scare Sam. Seeing no cameras concerned him a bit, but he would not go so far as to say that scared him. What scared Sam was the fact that he had arrived there through the back of a maintenance closet, down an elevator that he never knew existed, and into a floor that was not on any set of blueprints he had ever seen. If he had been kept in the dark about all this after 12 years as Chief Engineer, what other secrets did CoreTech hold?

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Just A Bit Inside

C’mon man. You’ve waited your whole life for this. All the work. All the sweat and sacrifices. All for that trophy. Breathe. Don’t swing at the first pitch. Watch for the release point, pick up the spin, and see what kind of heat this guy brings.

 

“Striiiiiiiiiike!” (more…)

The Error

“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.

“Come on. I’ll show you.” (more…)

Tug of War

When I was seven years old my family took a trip to see one of my mom’s great aunts that she hadn’t seen since she was a little girl. It was a two thousand mile identity crisis. Unsure about her future, she made a desperate attempt to find out who she was by “getting in touch from where she came from”. The trip would have passed through my life like a specter had it not been for my father’s suggestion that we spend an afternoon at the beach.

I did not understand my father’s enthusiasm for this little adventure, but was grateful for any opportunity to escape my great-great aunt’s cat fortress. As I crested the small hill that obscured the water from where we parked I froze. In my head I had pictured a larger version of the lake we went to with our neighbors back in Nevada. This was not just bigger. It was wholly different.

The water spread out before me like a tangible twin of the sky. This body compelled my attention. I was in the presence of greatness and suddenly felt very small and wholly insignificant. I wanted so badly to touch every piece of it, but the magnificence of what lay before me cast out any doubt that I might be worthy to feel a single drop on my skin.

It took an hour before those feelings began to subside. I would not go within ten feet of the water’s edge. My family laughed and joked that I was afraid. They were right, but it was not the simple fear they assumed me to have.

When I first approached the water, I came with the awe it was worthy of. I closed my eyes and let the waves whisper to my toes. Entering deeper I learned one of the great secrets of my life. Wave after wave drifted toward the shore with the gentle rhythm of a pulse. They could be seen and felt. Anticipated. But the great waters carried another kind of wave.

The sun, the birds, and the air I took for granted were ripped from my life as the undertow grabbed me and pulled me into the darkness. Salt stabbed my eyes as I was tossed to and fro. Fear and awe swirled inside me as the tug of war between the light and the depths commenced. I was ripped free of any hold the light held on me and swallowed in the grasp of the water. Then, having proved it’s might, I was released.

Freedom became something new to me. At first, I didn’t know what to do with it. Then, as my lungs started to burn, I remembered the light. I clawed up from the deep with all my strength and when I broke the surface the air welcomed me as a mother does a lost son. I rested in that embrace, but could not shake the effect of being so completely held by the waters below.

Later, sitting on my towel and staring at where the sky kissed the water, I still felt the tug of war.

Copyright © 2012 Adam Drake