Dreams Don’t Die Unless You Let Them



It was an overreaction, I suppose. But first thing in the morning, a time when you might just be as optimistic as you will ever be for the entire day, I read a post on Facebook. All of it was fine, about the light of stars arriving when in fact the star died long ago. That’s the nature of the universe. But then, at the end the premise was made that like the stars I dreams die as well. I beg to differ.

Maybe dreamers die, or at least they appear to die. Their dreams live on. Dreams contain within them the means of achieving of immortality, if that’s what’s desired. You see people die. Like the universe and stars that is part of our nature. There is a brief span for each thing. Whether it is a few minutes, a few millennia or millions of years, nothing lasts except the  elemental matter from which all things are derived. Isn’t it odd that matter comes from the death of some stars? So without a star perishing somewhere in the cosmos billions of years ago all the stuff of which you and I consist would not exist. That’s science.

Me, I believe a lot of strange things but one of the enduring, beliefs is consistent with everything else regardless how strange it might seem to others. People are born to dream. Those who allow dreams to die within them make that choice. It is sad and unnecessary, but it is part of believing the illusions others set before us. We are expected at some point to cave in to the mounting pressures of practicality. We set aside our dreams promising, perhaps, to come back to them when we have the time. All too often time expires. The dream is still there, though, just unreeled. The dreamer dies but the dream never does.

Not everyone is radical in their perspective. I understand that. For thirty or more years I played the games others set before me. Participating int he practical life, enslaved to a clock, allowing others to tell me when to be somewhere and also what I needed to do in order to earn the pittance I’d agreed to work for. That is real life, right? I opted for that in lieu of chasing the dream of being a musician or a writer. And now that I’m on the backside of the adventure that has been my life, I see the error in that kind of thinking. It wasn’t an either/or choice. I should haven never set aside the dream. Look at all the time I wasted being practical when instead I could have pursued the dream.

Now, I hear you. You have obligations. You settle down, have a family and everything that goes with that. That’s what life is about – well, some of what life is about. But I propose that life is also about the adventure, learning, growing and dreaming. If that is not included in your adventure, then life becomes bankrupt as you die well before getting the chance to return to your dreams.

What prevents you from realizing your dreams is not your obligations to others or the necessity of survival. Sometimes it is as simples deciding to take a chance and just go for it.   Yes, you might fail. But you might succeed and I’ll bet the odds of success are better than the chance at winning the lottery – and it costs nothing except for making the choice and sticking to it until you reach your dream’s destination.


There is a sacred event that happens when an artist has produced a tangible artifact for posterity – in the case of a writer, something printed on pages. Holding an actual book in one’s hands, seeing one’s name on it, reading one’s own words in print that others, strangers even, will read is both sobering and humbling. It is the culmination of a process that at inception is a crazy idea that turns into a dream. And a few months or years later you can hold the evidence of the dream in your hands.

No, thats not why writers write. But it is a worthwhile experience that only writers can have the moment the writer feels like he or she is an author.

I never stopped writing, by the way. Really it was more that I doubted anyone would want to read my silly stories. Still, I continued to write them because, well… as every writer will tell you, you don’t have much of a choice. If you are a writer you will write. The reason I was in my mid 40’s before publishing my first book was a matter of deciding not to listen to everyone else. I knew how hard it is to become published. I went through the rejection. But at some point I figured out that when a publisher says ‘no’ really it means ‘not yet’. Either my timing was bad or the manuscript wasn’t ready Either way it wasn’t that the dream of publishing a book was wrong. It just wasn’t the right time.

Fried Windows is about dreams and never giving up on them. It is not my first publication and I’m determined that it won;t be my last. It is different than what came before it. What comes next will continue to be unique. It is a beginning point set int he middle of the main character’s life and there are many more stories about him and in which he participates as a supporting character.

WP_20140728_005                                                            FINAL Final Fried Windows Front Cover Only

#writing #dreams #ambitions #author #writers #publishing #FriedWindows

Buy Fried Windows here: http://tinyurl.com/o4hd2kq




The Importance Of Readers

Every author knows that without readers he or she isn’t really an author. Usually the distinction between an author and a writer is that the author sells what he or she writes. I suppose intention also needs to be considered because a writer may write something without any intention of publishing it while an author writes with the a potential reader is mind. The distinction is important these days when anyone with a computer and enough spare time to write a manuscript can eventually upload it and press the publish button. Technology has forever blurred the demarcation between author and writer. Although it creates a plethora of material from which a reader may choose it has also overwhelmed the public with choices.

A possible criterion for a new definition of author might be a writer who has been published (whether through a publisher or self-published) and has sold a piece of writing for the purpose of having it widely distributed to a base of fan established solely from publication of his or her writing. With this definition, personal friends and family members who purchase books based on a relationship apart from the usual reader/author connection would be excluded from the determination.

My point is that with million of books now being published each year, the vast majority of which are offered through self-publishing, the term author needs to be qualified for the sake of a reader’s understanding. With upwards of 70% of all books published fail to recover production costs – and that figure is probably going up as more and more people self-publish – the simple ability to publish a book should not make someone an author. This is not intended to dismiss the work of self-published authors. Some are highly successful. But they are successful because they do something well that has nothing to do with whether he or she has self-published. They have established a credential as an author with their readers.

It is no surprise to authors and writers alike that what we do is not an lucrative enterprise. Even for successful authors, by the time one composes, revises, edits, revises again, edits again and then submits a manuscript for publication the author has earned far less than minimum wage. But successful authors, those who have an enduring kind of brand – don’t write for the money. The readers is the focus and perhaps that is what truly makes someone an author instead of just a writer.

Authors are professional writers who create works with the intention of sharing them with their readers. That may be the best definition of what an author is. It removes the crass necessity of selling books from the equation at the point of inception for a written work and delivers something for the reader to determine its success or failure . You see, if given the choice, most true authors would prefer being read and appreciated to making any money on the transaction. These days, so few authors make a living solely from writing that it is clearly not money that com els us to write. So, that brings me to the real point of this blog post – the importance of readers.

Without a reader an author is a failure. There is a relationship created when an author convinces someone to read his or her book. In some ways it is similar to asking for a first date. If the date goes well there may be another date and another and son on until it is a serious relationship based on trust – that the author will provide for the reader’s need for a certain sort of diversion.

Readers need to escape for whatever time from whatever they are dealing with in real life. A well-conceived story offers that. You see, at some point a writer must evolve into an entertainer in order to attain the next level, authorship. Whether he or she writes fiction or non-fiction the ability to tell a story is paramount to the development. I’ve often heard other authors tell me that the highest praise they can receive from a reader is being called a storyteller.

It is the quality of the story that compels a reader to read on to the conclusion, write reviews praising a particular work and recommend the read to friends. That part of the process of building a fan base is sorely lacking in modern publishing where almost anyone can become an author without much more effort than merely writing something. Why so many authors fail to sell  is that a book to succeed it doesn’t need huge launch events, blog tours or full page ads in major market newspapers – although those things may contribute to a enticing new readers to try a book. What must happen at some point in the process of building an authors reputation is for a reader to like a book enough that he or she convinces three or more people to read the book and, subsequently, those three or more people convince three or more people each to also read the book – an so on. That and only that supersedes all the hype. That creates a viral effect of popularity necessary for a book to become a best seller and its author to earn a living doing what he or she loves most, writing.


#writing #readers #books, #publishing, #authors, #writers


Evolution Of An Idea


FINAL Final Fried Windows Front Cover Only

This morning I have been thinking about everything that has happened in the past year with regard to Fried Windows (In A Light White Sauce) – really the past two or so years since I wrote the original draft. It has been a crazy journey in every sense of the word ‘crazy’. A lot of people have helped me along the way, including family and friends.

On Washington’s Birthday in 2012, I left my position in retail management. Although I started looking for other work immediately, what I focused more on was my writing and getting my personal life and health back on track after a detour through a personal level of hell to which I never want to return. A couple of days before St. Patrick’s Day I wrote a poem with a whimsical childhood theme and posted it online. It received a lot of favorable feedback, even though I’m not much of a poet. It inspired me to write a quirky story that became the nucleus of Fried Windows.

The odd title came from a misread headline on an online news feed. I wasn’t wearing glasses at the time and mused about how one would serve Fried Windows – in a light white sauce, of course!  Anyway, the title seemed to fit the story which was about a middle aged man receiving a gift – the opportunity to reconnect with his childhood. SO I worked the title into the story, explaining it fairly early in the telling. That initial story from which everything else evolved is contained in the first two chapters of my book.

Many people who read the story after I posted it online at a writing community suggested that I continue with more stories about the same characters. Over the next month or so I wrote a total of sixteen separate stories. A little later on I added a seventeenth story that now appears as Chapter 13 in the finished book. Yeah, the stories were discreet, stand alone short stories at one point and the order in which the basic elements of those stories are arrayed throughout the book does not reflect the order in which they were originally posted in my writing community. You see, about a year after writing the stories I pulled them down from the site with the intention of submitting them to a magazine, beginning with the original story. I allowed a good friend of mine to go over that story and edit it a bit.

After submitting the story, I felt very good about its prospects for publication – so much so that I revised the other stories I had written so that I was ready to send them to the magazine when requested. Never did I believe for a moment that the initial story would be rejected. It was so vastly different from other things I had submitted only to be rejected over the years that surely it was magical and would be the breakthrough piece for me. I was sure I’d found the formula for success as a writer. When the rejection came I went numb with disbelief. How could anyone reject that wonderful story?

I know what you’re thinking – especially if you’re a writer with some experience in being refused publication Rejection is part of life as an author. Believe me, I could wallpaper a house with the rejection letters I’ve received over the course of my life. I’ve heard every excuse in the book as well. Most of the letters seemed to be standardized form responses to a submission politely telling me not to quit my day job.

Well, too late for that. I was unemployed and counting on selling some stories. Having worn out my welcome with my relatives, I was facing the prospect of couch surfing for a while – something many artists can relate to, I’m sure.

As I had revised the several other short stories I had written along with the original Fried Windows piece I noticed some continuity. When assembled in a certain order with a few connective pieces there was the makings of a novel. I spent a few days writing some additional chapters and coming up with a tentative ending. Once reassembled, I was determined to prove the naysayers wrong. I was going to upload the book and start selling it.

Around the time I was formatting everything to standards for eBook publication, I received a tweet from Pandamoon Publishing. The company’s name intrigued me because I have always loved pandas. I checked out the website and submission guidelines. After spending a couple of hours creating the proper documentation and presenting the novel in an acceptable format, I deferred self-publishing for the moment to submit Fried Windows. Honestly, I expected to wait a few weeks before receiving a polite pass – another rejection. A few days later, though, I received confirmation that the manuscript had been received and would be reviewed. But to my amazement the next email I received began with the word “Congratulations’ and it referred to Fried Windows as a great novel.

Yea, I re-read the email several times looking for the punchline. You do that when you’ve been rejected as often as I have. I forwarded the email to my kids (who are full grown) and some other relatives to see if anyone read the email differently. Everyone confirmed what I understood to be acceptance, offering their congratulations. A few days later I had a phone conversation with the publisher and a few days after that I negotiated a contract for publishing a book.

After the long process of receiving and responding to substantive edits, content edits, cover design concepts and publicity campaigns the book is ready for release in a few days. (May 30, 2014). The cover was revealed last night (May 26) and is posted above. From a crazy idea to a book in two years – maybe it can be done quicker, I don’t know. But in that span my life has evolved along with bringing the concept to fruition as a tangible book for public consumption.

Although their are general similarities, the publishing process is unique for every author and each book. Some win contests, other must struggle as I have to get attention for a book. More would be authors are rejected than accepted. Like most authors I have always had faith in my projects and have usually taken rejection in stride, reviewed the project and made some adjustments before submitting it anew. It’s not an easy thing to do getting others to believe in something you wrote, but that is the essential difference between a writer and an author, isn’t it. Both write but the author is the one who doesn’t give up on an idea.

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