Friday, April 23, 2010

A New Read...

...received a new novel to read this week.

As is common practice, I gave it a look over, checked out the blurb, gave the first paragraph a quick glance, thumbed to the end, spied the page number, cheated and skimmed over the final passage. Then I set it down on my desk and looked at it for a while, the wheels grinding away.

The story carries with it a simple one word title. The author's name is known by few, his work read by even less. I found no accolades smeared across the back cover. No one line blurbs from King or Meyer, urging the general populace of the story's ability to create world peace, or it's guarantee of satisfaction.

Words on paper. At the moment, that's how it's best described. A story. Black and white. To read or not to read. It's a decision left in the hands of the reader him/herself...

The story was originally started more than a decade earlier. More important responsibilities weighed down an already hefty work load, and the story was sacrificed. A few years passed, the urge to continue, to write something, anything, still lingered, but the flames had sizzled down to embers. Still hot to the touch, but gently cooling over time.

One day at work, the writer found himself in a conversation with a good friend. A giddy storyteller himself. At this point in his life, the writer had become the listener.

The story involved an acquaintance, an old school buddy who'd grown weary of his 9 to 5 livelihood, and decided to do something about it. So he packed his bags, sold his replaceables, and took off in search of something better. A year later, the acquaintance had become a model, making more money in a day than he ever dreamed possible. But then again, he actually had dreamed it, which explained why he was there in the first place. A dream.

The writer listened, mouth agape. Then asked the obvious questions. "What about schooling? What about experience? How'd he pull it off?"

The friend's answer threw a spark upon those embers. The ones which were still hot to the touch, but slowly cooling. He leaned toward the writer, both of them oblivious to the rumbling of their own 9 to 5 doldrums hovering about, and said, "You can do anything if you want it bad enough."

For the friend, the conversation ended, his thoughts moving on to whatever else tickled his fancy before heading home. For the writer, something else happened.

He went home. He kissed his wife on the cheek. He went into his office, turned on the computer. He brought up a file. It had been there a while, but that was okay. He could do anything if he wanted it bad enough. And finally...he did.

The flames are so hot these days they appear blue in the distance. Well, in theory at least.

Words on paper. To read or not to read...

I know the story well. I know the writer even better. The dream is that many more will get to know him, and decide to read...

The first proof edit is complete. The subject of a cover design is scheduled for next week. A meeting. Someone else's 9 to 5.

I find it a bit unfair that I've just finished reading Gaiman's "Stardust," only to now turn to my own mess and make it sound somewhat tasteful, with a deadline looming.

But then that's what dreams are all about. Thinking big.

...because we can do anything if we want it bad enough:)


Lola Sharp said...

It must be a relief to be done with the proof edits.
As soon as Broken is ready for sale, I'll help spread the word.

I always feel like a hot mess after reading Neil Gaiman.
He is brilliant. A personal favorite. Pynchon too. Their genius is a bit terrifying.

Congrats on reaching the next step in the road to landing on the store book shelves.
Have you had the PR meetings yet?

KarenG said...

Awesome post. Very inspirational. Best to you with your own work :)

Anonymous said...

Elliot, you write with a voice well defined, your message clear and unique. I look forward to reading your story.

Cynthia Reese said...

Proof edits! Thinking of you!

Elliot Grace said...'s funny, at first it's exciting. There's been professional work done and there's a buzz in the air, jumping up and down and hoopla. Then you realize you've gotta read the thing...slowly...for the umpteenth time. And there's more corrections to be made, and more laborous work with evil red Sharpies, and a new idea sparks an added paragraph and a grouchy editor, and well...I need a beer:)

Helen Ginger said...

Wonderful post, Elliot. As soon as I realized you were the author, I began to smile. I'm looking forward to reading more posts on the book's progress.

Straight From Hel

JUST ME said...

Things are so exciting when they're exciting, and then you reread your work for the 50th time and you can't help but wonder why you were excited in the first place.

I find telling random people about it tends to help keep the excitement from dying a slow, detail-suffocating death.


Talli Roland said...

How exciting! Can't wait to read more about your writing journey.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! I certainly look forward to reading more about your upcoming release as well as how your journey progresses. As always- persevere when pursuing that dream.

Robert Guthrie said...

It's happening & it's awesome! Congrats!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Wow, you have quite the talent with words. I'm jealous. Glad you found my blog. Looking forward to read more about your book.

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

Whenever I get a rejection in the writing world I try to use it as fuel. It hurts so much because I really want this, right?

Kelly said...

Agreed. I totally agree that we can do anything if we want it (and work hard for it) bad enough!
These must be exciting times..proof edits done and meetings about your book! Congrats!

Ben Hutchins said...

I felt like I was the writer listening to his friend. I want it bad. Good for you. Congrats.

Clara said...

That is so excitting =) Good luck on this new step of our career! We will get there!

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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