Bittersweet 2013

The year 2013 has not been without its moments, all memorable, but not all joyous. Success wise, I placed in the top ten in an “Opening Line” writing contest for Writer’s Digest, I printed/published my Christmas book, The Good King and was one of three winners in a writing contest for The Word Weaver newsletter for the Writer’s Community of Durham Region. All that and I will find out in a few days the results of another Writer’s Digest contest.

Things for me, as a writer, are definitely looking up.

BUT.

In the process, I lost my mother to a lengthy battle with Cardiopulmonary Disease. She was only 66 and she never got to see the book. She died on the 13th of November and the book was released on the 30th. I had it in my computer and didn’t want to show it to her. I wanted it to be a surprise.

Writer’s draw from life, from the scenery, from the sights, the sounds, but it is the familiar emotions that add flesh to the characters. The most important emotions, the ones hardest to write, are that of grief and empathy.

Why is it hardest to write? Two reasons. One, if handled with a ham hand or draped in the cloak of ultimate coolness, sexiness or cocky confidence, it will take the life right out of the words. They will fall flat and wooden on the reader’s ear and nothing turns away readers faster than flat, wooden, one-sided writing. The other reason? Quite frankly, it hurts. It tears at us. Like picking a scab from a cut, it opens the wounds of loss. It is personal and intimate.

Right now, even though, in the world of writing, the door of opportunity has opened a crack for me, I am a walking wound. My emotions are at the surface just waiting for an errant breeze to peel the scab off. I am thankful for my friends and family for being the balm that helps ease the pain, and to you, my readers, for giving me the distraction I so sorely need.

So please excuse me if my writing in the near future carries a heavy tone of melancholy. Well, more so than usual.

There are good things on the horizon. Several projects in the works that I am very excited about, among them a sequel to The Good King entitled Three Ships for Three Kings. And several that I am ashamed to say, still wallow in edits and indecision. All that and my hunt for a Literary Agent/Publisher has gained new life.

Stay tuned.

From my pen to your page,
I wish you and yours, a Happy and prosperous New Year!

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About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
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4 Responses to Bittersweet 2013

  1. Fifteen years ago I lost my mother and have since lost two of my nine brothers. Since finally publishing this year, those wounds are somewhat fresh again as each of these family members was especially close to me. I keep thinking of the light I’d see in Mom’s eyes as she held my book in her hand, the smiling nod Ross would give me after the bear hug, and the way Roger would hit the road telling all and sundry of my book and probably selling more than anyone else with his exuberance.
    Yes, tears come and our losses are deep. But those moments also help me to remember such great loves in my love so it’s not all bad.
    Here’s to your accomplishments, Dale, and here’s to the celebration of having a mother who meant so much to you. Enjoy your new year of growing with and for all that you have in your life.
    Smiles, Elaine
    Hope to see you at WCDR if the weather cooperates!

  2. M-E Girard says:

    :-(
    Thanks for sharing this, Dale. Bittersweet it is. I’m really sorry for your loss.

    “Right now, even though, in the world of writing, the door of opportunity has opened a crack for me, I am a walking wound. My emotions are at the surface just waiting for an errant breeze to peel the scab off. I am thankful for my friends and family for being the balm that helps ease the pain, and to you, my readers, for giving me the distraction I so sorely need.” This is so sad, but so well written, it sings. I read it three times.

    I’m super happy about your book being released. Congratulations! See you Saturday?

    • Dale Long says:

      Thank-you, M-E.
      Definitly. See you Saturday. I am bringing a new “Elf”. While the last one lives and breathes music, this one is a word hound like her dad. ;)

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