Friday, January 22, 2016

Good Endings, New Beginnings

In today's world with so much strife and turmoil, it's comforting to sink into a book and be fairly certain of a happy ending. Happy endings aren't guaranteed in real life, but they pretty much are in books.

And in writing books, you eventually come to the end. The book I started in NaNoWriMo is now finished! (Unless my beta readers tell me otherwise.) I even came up with a title, finally. It has only taken three months and fifty thousand words to decide on the right name for the book, and here it is: From Ashes, Come Blossoms. Ta daa!!

Here's the short summary (logline) of the story:  Raised in a chaotic household by an alcoholic father and weak mother, a young boy determines to find peace at any price.

And here's Chapter One:

    September 30, 1961. Gary ran. Fast.  Faster than the cars driving up and down Maple Street. He turned the corner and ran down Elm, crossed over to Pine and kept going. Fast. He had to get away. Away from his parents who didn’t understand him. Didn’t have a clue how miserable he was. He hated living in that house with them. They didn’t seem to like him; they sure didn’t care about him or the things that were important to him. All they did was yell at him. He couldn’t do anything to their satisfaction except bring his dad another bottle of beer from the fridge and his dad even found reason to yell about that; said he didn’t fetch it fast enough.
     Well, he’d show them. See how they liked his not being there to wash the dishes and lug the clothes to the laundromat and take out the trash and get hollered at if he was too slow or too fast or too anything. Without him there to be yelled at, the house should be more peaceful because, like his dad said, he was the cause of all the problems in the house.
     Gary ran past Miller’s Grocery, past Blake’s Liquor Shop, until he found himself on a street he’d never seen before. He slowed down, had to catch his breath.  With every car that drove past, he tensed, thinking it was someone looking for a thirteen-year-old runaway. That’s a laugh, thinking anyone cared enough to look for him. His parents, if they even noticed he was missing, probably went to the bar to celebrate. They didn’t need a reason to go out drinking, but being free of their lazy, trouble-making son would certainly be cause to celebrate.
     Gary stopped at a bench. He needed to rest a moment. It would be dark soon and he hadn’t planned anything beyond running away. Where will I spend the night? And what am I gonna do for supper? I should have brought food with me, but if Dad notices food missing, I’ll be in big, big trouble. One thing’s for sure, I’m never going back to that house on Maple Street. If I die from cold or hunger, it would be better than living with those mean drunks.
     Gary rose to his feet and started walking, his mind focused on what he might do for food. A truck drove past him and stopped. A man got out. Gary looked up just as his father grabbed him by the collar and threw him into the truck. His father’s face was red and contorted, his eyes blazed with anger.
  “So this is how you repay us for all we’ve done for you?” shouted his father. “You run away like the no good worthless thing you are? I don’t care if you never come back, but your mother’s worried, made me come look for you. I have better things to do, you know, than run after the likes of you.”
     The truck stopped in front of their house and Gary stepped out. His father sped away. The boy walked in the house, his head lowered so his tears wouldn’t show. His mother came over to him and patted his shoulder. He yanked himself away and went to his room. Before he closed his bedroom door, he heard her sigh.  Gary laid on his bed and cried himself to sleep.
     He awoke in the morning with a smile. He had a new plan.        

I welcome your comments. Stay tuned for an exciting new twist on writing and marketing books coming in the next post.

Quote of the Day: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. -- Johann von Goethe

Friday, January 8, 2016

Do You Have Your New Year On?

Do you have your New Year on?  Starting a new year is like going out and buying a new dress or a new shirt.  It’s so fresh and crisp and full of promise of all the places where you might wear it. Will you wear it to a party, or on a trip to some exotic place? Will you save it for special occasions or perhaps, wear it to work?

By the end of the year it may have a few stains on it, a hole here, and a tattered edge there. And it’ll have been washed and worn so many times it’s a bit faded and lackluster. It may even be a bit too large or too small come December. But for every stain and every hole and every wearing, there’s a story to tell.

For now, though, your item, like your year, is brand new and holding a world of promise. What will you do with it? Who will get to see you in it? Where will you go in it?  Whether you keep it in the closet and do nothing, or go out and make a splash in it, it’s all up to you. This is your year.  What story will your year be telling twelve months from now? 


Quote of the Day: The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything. Theodore Roosevelt