A Deadly Struggle

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 Game Plan Through 2020

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.

I look forward to sharing the coming months with all of you.

This Week’s Announcements

New Responsibilities

I am pleased to announce that I was voted in as President of the Union County Writers Club this past weekend. Who are they? They are a group of writers, many of whom are published, and live in the same county I reside in here in North Carolina.
The club is a new adventure for me, and I cannot wait to get started. As we develop programs and events, I will be sharing those here with you. If you live in the Charlotte area, I hope to see you in person at one of our author speaking engagements.

“Humor Through The Ages”

Lucius McCray’s next book is going through its second self-edit, and I am waiting on the responses from at least one other beta reader. Additionally, I am still looking for a way to fund the remainder of the project. I need to raise $1800.00. The money will cover the cost of the paperback and ebook cover design. The rest of the balance will cover the cost of the editors.

I know what I want to offer those who donate $100.00 or more. We want to give our century-plus financial supporters a free paperback of the new book, a place on the “Sponsors” page inside the book, and a twenty-five dollar gift certificate to DMFabrics. The issue still before me is what median to use to raise donations. I am considering Kickstarter, but that platform is a project unto itself. I may need to go there, but I would prefer to raise funds via friends and readers if possible.

Where are the Livestreams?

I am holding off on doing anymore livestreams on Facebook. Per their new policy, Facebook is deemphasizing livestreams. Indeed, I have seen the social media platform sharing fewer and fewer videos with members of my author page. I will likely begin doing weekly videos on my YouTube channel soon.