I’ve been percolating over what people might think about me personally based on the content of Athyrio Cards. Then I thought, screw them. If people don’t like the content of this site or the products we’re selling, they can move along, go elsewhere, and/or just don’t patronize the site (if they knew the cards I’ve chosen to keep off the site for now, those people would hang me, for sure!).
Agreed, revenge and hostility aren’t necessarily things that should be cultivated. But, even Shakespeare said (and I paraphrase), “If you prick us do we not bleed…and if you wrong us shall we not revenge?” Seems that even The Bard, himself, could have used Athyrio Cards to deal with the pricks in his life!
Funny. Back on January 27, I wrote how I would be devoting nearly all my time to completing the novel I have been diligently constructing for some time now. Then, it became the very next day, and everything changed. Since January 28, I have not been devoting nearly all of my time to writing a novel; instead, I have been forced to devote all of my time to dealing with a traumatic, life-changing family situation.
Because of that situation, many of those I once called “friend” have turned their backs on me. Others have simply disappeared, and the list on my phone of people I am now able to trust calling my friends has been whittled down to less than 2½ page scrolls. I don’t blame anyone, though. This is simply a commentary about the way things can change during one short, moonlit respite. I went to bed one evening looking at unlimited possibilities, and the very next day, my universe was suddenly confined to little more than the rooms within the walls of my own home.
Few have asked me for my perspective. Those that have, are on that aforementioned short contact list of cronies. They’ve earned a place there because they have open minds and cavernous hearts. Someday, when all is said and done, and this venom has been flushed from my life, the others will likely come to me with questions. I will simply ask them where they were during the hard parts, where they were when I felt unsafe in public, why they listened to the uninformed instead of talking with me. I’m the one who could have assuaged their fears, eased their concerns, and opened their minds to another perspective.
How easily people seem to judge when only given the barest of information. How easily fears seem to build when the populace is not only willing to create a beast, but tends to enjoy doing so, as well. I’ve heard it said, “Don’t believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see,” and always thought it little more than a cleverly contrived joke. Being the subject of the quote changes one’s perspective.
I want to write, and, to be honest, it is what I need to do, now in more than just the metaphysical sense — now it has to be lucrative. My focus has changed, so the theme will, as well. I’ll post soon with an update. Until then, click on my page links and check out my stories. Please feel free to Read All You Want. And don’t worry, I’ll Make More.
I’ve decided to dedicate nearly all of my writing time to this project. I’ve been working on this novel for over a year, but have not put all of the effort into it that I should. I’m now ready to make this book idea a reality. I have a diverse autism background in parenting, support, advocacy and education. This fictional story is a composite of many of the situations I’ve encountered, though I’ve thrown in elements of mystery, drama and murder that do not exist and are created strictly for artistic value.
I’ll be working on this book throughout the year, and expect to be able to send it out to agents and/or publishers by sometime in the fall. I’ll keep you posted on the progress, and would love for you to provide input, suggestions, comments or the occasional critique. That said, here is the synopsis for “What You Get.”
*** To most people, CeeCee is a perfect mom to two unique kids. Her beautiful daughter Skylar was a high school star athlete, and now attends Bay Path University on a full academic scholarship. Her adopted son David is a bright 11-year-old boy, but outsiders see that his autism is beginning to take its toll on CeeCee. Little are they aware that the troubles between David and his mom have been festering for years, and CeeCee now shamelessly admits that she hates David for being “damaged.” CeeCee shares with relatives that she feels adopting him was a mistake. Much to the alarm of friends, David’s mom complains, “You adopt a kid, and this is what you get.”
When David turns up missing, some residents of the shaken little Vermont town move in to comfort the distraught mother. Others easily and freely point fingers at CeeCee. Her once-perfect world comes crashing down when a neighbor find’s David’s body at the bottom of the village’s chilly waterfall. David’s mom insists that, though she and David were often at odds, she had nothing to do with her son’s death. Through the tragedy, a common theme stings the once-idyllic New England community: sometimes what you deserve is exactly what you get. ***
Last summer we rented a pedal boat at a lake in a small state park here in Vermont. Those are great if you want to take a calm but squeaky (I wouldn’t use one if I was trying to anonymously escape from an island-locked prison — wait, what am I doing in prison in the first place?) jaunt on a bright, sunny day. Get caught in a thunderstorm, though, and the fun melts away. Have you ever tried to outrun the lightning by pedaling one of those things faster? Never before was truer the phrase “the ‘hurrier’ I go, the ‘behinder’ I get.” It seems as though faster pedaling makes you go backwards. More effort makes for less (possibly even negative) progress.
My search for a career in writing has become that pedal boat. The lightning storm of rare and diminishing prospects (coupled with the fact that I may or may not be approaching 50 in a year and a half) has caused me to pedal faster, as I’ve started to take on too many projects. Now that my efforts have me sufficiently overwhelmed, I’m making less (possibly even negative) progress.
I manage two active blogs on WordPress: this one (obviously) and Our Journey, Our Way (by “actively manage” I mean “realize they are there, and update them sporadically”). I’ve also been chipping away at (“chipping away at” = “thinking about an idea, and promising myself I will start it ‘tomorrow'”) an article for Cracked.com. Also, I was working on interviewing the promoter of a writing contest (after my first round of questions, he never got back with me; I think it may have ended up being an exposé) and I have a pretty solid stage play script in the works (treatment is done, and I’ve finished the script through Act I, Scene 6). On top of that, I’ve been submitting to some short story contests and literary magazines (21 submissions; 2 rejections to date), along with looking for freelance writing work (I’m a Craigslist junkie). Through it all, I have been continually pushing an idea for a novel (my longest-living project) onto the back burner.
I believe my slow progress is a direct result of trying too hard to outrun the storm. Instead of picking one or two projects to give slow and steady quality work, I’ve been trying to amass quantity. I know part of me thinks exposure is the key. All that’s doing, though, is making me pedal faster and getting me soaking wet. So, I’ve decided to slow down the effort and concentrate on getting to shore, instead of trying to outrun the storm.
Since it has been the longest running effort, I’m going to plug along at the novel, “What You Get.” Of course, that will call for updates here every once in a while, so I will have to keep up with Read All You Want. Then, since I can’t stop feeding my kids (it’s not like I haven’t tried), I’ll continue working freelance writing projects (got one? jonthestoryteller [at] ymail [dot] com — just saying). Other than that, the other things will have to hold off for a while. Some people can do more; I don’t have the legs for it.
How about you? Are you a speedboat that can successfully work multiple projects at once? Or are you in a pedal boat, kicking along one or two things at a time? Please leave a comment and share some secrets for your success.