Happy New Year

Ok, so this is the time when we wrack our brains for an achievable goal for our New Years resolutions. Lets face facts, how many times have we actually achieved said goals?

“I’ll watch my waistline” – Ok, it’s now officially out there where I can see it properly, goal achieved… right?? No? Dammmit.

“I’ll get into shape” – Round’s a shape. Goal achieved right?? Dammit again.

Ok, erm, “I’ll try to have more patience for my fellow-man” – BWAHAHAHAHA!! Yep, that one was doomed to failure right from the start.

Sigh, I think this year I’ll start small. I WILL eat better this year, I will attempt to get more work done around and on the house. (I love that word attempt! All I have to do it try, even if I failed I still achieved my goal.)

So here’s the thing, this year is full of promise. I have a book in the ‘waiting to be published’ loop, I have an up-and-coming illustrator, Meg Simmons, working on some designs for my Christmas story, and I have a second book in the works. All this and a short story contest where if I place, I’ll have another anthology inclusion. So, ya, I’m a little stoked.

I am constantly learning new techniques, new ways to transfer the pictures in my head into words on a page. A lot of that has to do with this community of writers that I had no idea existed. Like some lost civilization, or like seeing things from a new perspective. Kinda like when you buy a new car and suddenly it seems like everyone has one but what has really happened is that now you’re attuned to that vehicle. Let me tell you, it is still a staggering thing for me to accept.

Also, by way of this new way of seeing things, Appetites is taking on a life of its own. I was beginning to worry about it. It didn’t have that depth that Echoes has. The characters didn’t have that third dimension, the world they inhabited still in shades of grey.

That changed with the fourth entry for the Wild Words contest and the period of mental rest the holidays provided. It’s like (another car comparison) seeing that dust-covered rust encrusted car shaped lump. Sure the shape catches your eye, but it’s just a shape. So you dust off a part here and there and the shape remains intriguing enough for you to continue on but it’s still just a shape. And then, there is a sparkle as you clear off more of the dust, scrape off more of the rust, as more of the shape is revealed. Finally you settle into the seats and find that they fit like a glove, like a familiar glove. THAT is the point when the shape – the story – breathes life. Appetites is there. No more worrying about whether people will read it. No more worries about whether the main character is ‘nice’ enough for print.

I’m no longer asking permission, no longer asking if it’s good. I know it’s good. Because I’m a writer, dammit, a published writer at that.

So, my New Year’s resolution? Get it done.

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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.
This entry was posted in The Word According to Dad., Writing News. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Happy New Year

  1. Bonnie Robinson says:

    Well written Dale. You made me laugh on a really dreary day.

  2. Deepam says:

    I like that finding the writing community is like finding a lost civilization… I feel that way as well. It’s like wandering around in the bush and then coming into a sunlit clearing to find that all your friends are there. Only they are friends you hadn’t met yet. Or family you didn’t know you even had. Nice piece, Dale.

  3. Lisa Llamrei says:

    I’ll do my best to hold you to it, as I’m sure you’ll do for me.

    And who says the main character has to be ‘nice’? It’s much more fun when they’re not.

  4. This year is full of promise isn’t it?

    I believe in dreams, and as writers we have them in multicolour, but a dream without a goal is just a wish. So keep dreamin’ those dreams my friend and get those goals in sight.

    And I agree with Lisa…I hold you to yours if you hold me to mine. A little ass whoopin’ may be required on occasion.

    • Dale Long says:

      Eveything we do is building towards the future right? If that’s the case, then great things are on the horizon.

      Hopefully ass kicking will be impossible as said asses are firmly glued to our chairs while worlds unravel at our finger tips.

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