It was July 4th, 2012. I had just been hired the month before as the new grammar and comp teacher at St. Thomas More Middle School. My first job in my new career. I was putting on my usual fireworks show for my family when... oops... I started a fire. Of course my first thought was: Former Catholic School Teacher gets fired for burning down parents home. Trees went up in flames and everyone scrambled to put them out. By the time the fire department showed up there was nothing but smoke left. It was scary. My daughter Cheryl said, "Best Fourth of July ever!" And Malia went into 'hiding.' My wife wondered if I could get my job back at Shooters and I could only wish for an opening at McDonalds... that is of course, AFTER I served my time.
Some people just never let you forget. Here is what my father and friend made me for this (fireworks free) Fourth of July. Marlyn, a friend of the family pictured here, did all the artwork. He's a great artist that I hope will help illustrate my idea for a children's set of picture books. My father, holding the other end, designed the rather large tube and yes, I know, came up with the idea for this 'gift.' With friends like these who needs enemies! This was a great way to end a rough start to last week.
First, everything seemed to be going smoothly during and after our trip to the other side of the state, Watertown. A great trip. I did get in my writing and felt good about where the story was going. Tuesday night I decided to get on my computer to write this blog and... nothing... I couldn't get in! It was awful. I took it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy - they did their best but didn't solve the problem. After a vain attempt to log in and went through my F fit on the fourth followed by giving up completely and deciding I will never finish this novel and that the writing Gods were out to get me. Or something like that. The world had come to an end and all my hopes and dreams had come to a sudden halt.
Then it was Brian Klems to the rescue. He is an editor at Writers Digest and I read his article, 7 Reasons Why Writing a Book Makes You a Badass. Just what the writing doctor ordered, inspiration. I get an email from this guy about once a week and it usually comes with some great advice on publishing, writing, intro to another author, all kinds of tricks of the trade and information for the writer in the family. This is a great source of information and place to get books on writing. Most of the books I have came from reading about it here or by searching their store. One of my favorite college Professor's (I hope she's reading) turned me on to it. Another one of my favorite professors ( I hope he's reading), who just recently sent me a nice message, turned me on to the Joseph Campbell book I mentioned a couple of blogs ago. Thanks to both of you - you are a big part of making this journey to finish my first novel a reality.
A strange thing happened to me in my writing just recently. I had always read in the gazillion books on writing that a character will do something the writer didn't expect. I wondered how that could happen... then, BAM! - it happened! The character literally guided me through the scene instead of me guiding him. As I continue to write the characters in my novel have been pointing the way by being them instead of me telling them what they are. It has been quite fascinating. It's like having someone whisper in your ear who and what they are and then putting it down on paper. My wife, who is my IR (Ideal Reader), I stole that from Stephen King, says she doesn't see some of it coming. When it comes to writing, that's a good thing.
God Bless and hope your Fourth was as amusing as mine!