Book and even updates.
Paradise is where you find it.
Kim walked down the dark, deserted street of the little mountain town. At 10 pm. the sidewalks rolled up, except for a couple of bars that carried a pub menu to look respectable. Nobody glanced in her direction as she ambled down the street. Kim looked down and scowled at her worn, tight jeans, and faded college t-shirt that told everyone she was just another dropout.
Kim stopped for a moment and forced herself to smile. Life was not all that bad. After all, Doreen had given her a part-time job at the tourist information center. Alice had given her a room in exchange for maintenance on the house. A glow in the sky coming from the next town over caught her eye.
She winced at the thought of the college town nearby. Self-absorbed professors strutted around like royalty. They would stroll down the sidewalks looking down their noses at the locals. The townspeople appreciated their business but scowled as the elitists left their stores. The sleepy college village was now segregated between those with PhDs and those who built the town.
These same professors would talk class after class about the oppressed, and examples of injustice weren’t hard to find on campus. Kim’s roommate slept with a professor just to get an ‘A.’ The roommate had no concerns for his wife and children, nor the fact he was sleeping with other students. Kim had grown tired of the hypocrisy. If these were the people she would spend her life working around, she preferred to walk away.
It only took a ten-mile drive to find her new world. People here welcomed everyone, even the college dropouts that meandered through town. Fashionable cars driven by stylish people would park next to old rusty pickup trucks. Vehicles that coughed and smoked would start up next to high dollar imports. Nobody minded. Everyone was equal, and everyone smiled and waved to one another.
Kim leaned against a light pole and looked towards the local bar and restaurant. Patrons filled the patio on this late summer night. The owner, Patricia, walked back from a table and spied Kim. She smiled and waved. Kim smiled, waved back, and rested her head against the pole. She was not sure where she would end up, but for now, she would stay in paradise.
Sometimes we are called to fight for our lives.
Darren felt the blackness begin to give way to gray. Pain shot through his skull. His lips felt sticky as he opened his mouth. The metallic taste of blood touched his tongue. His world started coming into focus, and then pain shot up through his body. Darren sucked in his breath, and everything rushed into view.
Headlights blinded him, and he turned his head. A body laid on the ground with a cell phone next to its open palm.
His chest tightened, and he whispered, “Deborah.”
He looked around, and his world started to spin. Darren slowed his movements. To his horror, Deborah’s head hung limply against her shoulder, and her body rested bleeding against the doorframe. Deborah’s eyes stared blankly at the broken windshield.
He tried to reach for her, but his arm would not move. He looked down and saw a bone sticking out past his elbow. Darren stared and wondered why it didn’t hurt.
He looked back at Deborah and then to the crinkled ceiling near his head. Tears started to stream down his cheeks. “Take me, please! Don’t take her, take me.”
Blue and red lights began to light up the car. Someone walked up and looked inside. Darren pleaded, “Please help Deborah. I’ll be okay.”
The man standing outside yelled towards the red flashing lights, “Hey, this guy has multiple compound fractures, and his legs appear crushed under the dash! The woman is unresponsive.”
A female medic yanked on the passenger door, but it would not budge. The policeman and EMT yanked and pulled. The door finally gave way with a screech. Another medic appeared, and they both gently lifted Deborah out of the car and laid her on the ground. They checked her vitals and began to administer CPR. Darren prayed.
A policeman brought a blanket and placed it on top of Darren. Tears began to flow down Darren’s face. Two Firemen walked up and began discussing where they would put the jaws of life to rip the car’s cockpit open and free him.
One of the medics with Deborah hollered, “I have a pulse!”
Could it be true? Darren looked towards the activity around Deborah. Oxygen was over her mouth, and an IV needle was being taped off.
The female EMT looked in Darren’s direction, “She’s stabilizing. I think she’ll be alright, sir. Why don’t we take care of you now?”
Darren laid his head back against the seat and quietly thanked God for saving Deborah.
Suddenly, a fiery pain ran up his body, and he gasped for air. The agony he had been blocking came rushing in like a flood. Someone stuck a needle in his arm. The pain started to retreat, and Darren felt himself smile as he drifted off to sleep.
My book schedule through the end of next year.
Where I Have Been
It seems like only yesterday that I started writing. It’s hard to believe that it was over two years ago. I have learned a great many things, mostly through mistakes. My first book, “Country Boy,” was released in February of 2018. My first short novel, “Joshua and the Shadow of Death,” published in October of that year. “Humor Deeper Than A Holler,” came out in February of 2019, and “Harold and the Angel of Death,” released in April.
There has been a lot of labor, money, and tears invested in the first four books. “Humor Through The Ages” is due out later this year. Despite my physical limitations, I have pushed hard. This effort may be the hardest I have pushed myself in a couple of decades. I have been learning a lot about the book industry, in addition to how to become a good storyteller.
Where I Am Going
As I grow in knowledge around advertising and successful book sales, I hope to share my experience with others. However, at this moment, many of my tactics are still in the proof of concept stage. What needs to happen to get these ideas beyond POV? Book sales.
Although I love writing, no author can write book after book and not stop to pay attention to the business. After all, at its heart, self-publishing is a small business, and our books are our products.
The last quarter of this year and most of next year will be a sales focus. Additionally, I will be working on the third book in the Berserker Series, “Bill and the Sting of Death.” Also, I will continue to post weekly short stories. I love to share these, and they help in the continual improvement of my writing and editing skills.
Join Me In The Journey
Are you a reader who enjoys my books? I hope you will stick with me through the coming year. Next year promises to be full of challenges and adventures, both real and imagined. Are you a writer? I hope my stories of success and failure will aid you in your journey.