Status Report

My bookmarks are here! I can’t tell how they bring home the reality of my new career. Sure as writers, especially relatively new writers, we struggle with actually calling ourselves writers. My first writing teacher, Dorothea Helms made us repeat the phrase aloud “I am a writer!’ Even still it is hard to accept, but now there’s no denying it. My bookmarks are my new business cards, too big to carry in my wallet, mind you, but business cards just the same.

Thank-you Alicia!! They look awesome!

So, now I have my business cards, I have an itinerary, but my brain has been constipated. I have felt no spark lately, no inkling, no ideas. I puttered at correcting spelling and grammar in Echoes hoping to free my mental blockage. Nothing. Until yesterday, that is. Out of the blue while I was thinking about how I could start writing again on Appetites; struggling to find a way to build a ‘real’ world around my concept it came to me. Not everything mind you, just an opening, a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. An insight to my main character’s… character.

I was trying to find a way to make you want to read about a morally bad man, a way to have some characteristic that you would feel something other than hatred or disgust for the character. I found a quirk, so I wrote. Plain and simple. I wanted to see if I could write about this quirk without being blunt, without being clinical. When I got what I needed to get down, rough as it was, I read it to my daughter Emily (14). Her exact words were “I feel so sorry for him”. BINGO! I did it! Mission accomplished. It wasn’t even a sad scene, just and accounting of him getting ready for work. How’s that for mental Draino?

Now, don’t think for a moment he is a hero. In fact I will remind you of that at various points in the book. Remind you of what he had done and that it is unforgivable. It’s a delicate balance, but then I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge. Nothing simple, no sir. I like to play in that gray area of our minds. It is infinitely more interesting than straight lines.

Oh, and the bookmarks are awesome.

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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