Everyone has a Story to Tell

I meet the most FASCINATING people when I travel! Friends have told me I can strike up a conversation with a brick wall… and it will answer back. Well… I doubt that’s true… however when I travel I DO initiate conversations with strangers. By the time we have landed, pulled into the station or finished our drinks, I usually have another interesting story tucked away in the back recesses of my brain. Everyone has a story to tell.

Speaking with strangers is kind of like reading Facebook posts… you only hear the really fun and exciting stories. No one tells me the boring, everyday humdrum stuff that life is really made up of. No… I get to hear their passions, their dreams, why they are on the plane and so much more. Knowing I will most likely never see them again makes them feel comfortable and open up more. Are the stories even true, I ask myself? Who cares, is my reply… I was entertained and that’s all that matters.

I keep a journal. I’d like to say I write in it every day… well, I used to… but I don’t any more. Long story… I won’t go in to the details of why I don’t… BUT, I stumbled across a journal from a year ago and began to flip through the pages. WOW! I was struck by the entry I made of a guy I met on a plane. I wrote in every amazing detail he shared with me. His journey was so incredible it was difficult to believe it was true… but he had pictures to prove it… so I believed every word.Pen and PaperEUREKA! I should write these stories and share them with you, my brain screamed at me. What a GREAT idea, I answered back. I sat still for a moment and came up with an enterprising idea… then ran it passed a few friends, who thought it was a SUPER idea! So…. My great idea is to write the stories, then post them as an e-book.

Now here’s the really INGENIOUS part of the plan… I have also had the pleasure of ‘bumping’ into people without sharing stories. You know… when you see a family trying to take a ‘group shot’ and you offer to take the photo for them? Or… when I go to an Estate Sale and learn about the people who lived there? Some of them were so interesting in their own right that I can easily MAKE UP a story of their life… total FICTION!!! The goal for you, as the reader, will be to VOTE if you think the story is fact or fiction.

I will release one short story a month for an entire year… for a total of 12 stories. At the end of the year I will take all of the people who voted correctly and hold a lottery for a prize. I haven’t decided what the prize will be yet… most likely a hefty Amazon Gift Card and a copy of the final book when the stories are all combined… but the details will be ironed out in a few days before I actually make this ‘go live’ on October 1, 2015.

Don’t freak if you know me personally. I will not write about you. Even if you don’t know me that well, but we have some kind of contact… I WILL NOT WRITE ABOUT YOU!!! The stories I will share are of people I have only met once in my life for a very brief moment and will never see, hear from, or have any means of contacting them again. I figure if they had the courage to tell a complete stranger the story of their life… then I should feel free to write about it and share it with you. In most cases I don’t even know their name or where they live.

I’m anxious to see how this idea pans out. For ME… I get to keep my writing skills ‘greased’. I want to see if I write differently when telling the truth, or if my style changes when making something up. In addition to explore the notion that writing might be a career path for me. YOU benefit by being entertained, hopefully winning a prize, and learning about very interesting people… in addition to judging if I’m a decent writer or not.

Mark your calendars! The fun begins October 1st. I will be posting the link/s on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/deb.hunter AND website www.debhathaway.com. I hope you decide to play along!

EDIT: This project has been delayed a month to a month and a half. Life has caught up with me and I need to learn how to publish my stories the best way.

 

 

Spaghetti and Peas

I have declared February 12th the Official day of Spaghetti and Peas.

My husband, Walter Stanton Hunter, Jr. lost his fight with ALS eight years ago… the same amount of years he lived with this illness… eight, very long years.

As long as I knew him, he requested the same dinner feast year after year on his birthday. When most people craved an expensive steak, or a super dinner out on the town… my husband, without fail, asked me to cook a humble dinner of Spaghetti and Peas.

Spaghetti and Peas for dinner!

Spaghetti and Peas for dinner!

Why? I don’t know. It’s not like I didn’t serve this as an easy weeknight night meal. I did… many, many nights. That didn’t stop him from asking for it every year on February 12th… his birthday.

Oh the battles that would ensue at my dinner table over the side dish of peas!!! The kids despised them. One year I hit upon the solution… serve them to the kids FROZEN! Bingo… never a pea problem in our house ever again.

No meatballs, no sausage, just a good hearty homemade meat sauce… topped off with plenty of parmesan cheese. The garlic bread oozed buttery goodness down our arms and a salad to make the ‘mom’ in me feel the meal was somewhat healthy. This birthday dinner was repeated time and time again… without fail. Even when he was on a ventilator… I blended everything into a mushy paste… and down it went.

In the past few years my kids and I , along with a few family members and friends would remind each other to eat Spaghetti and Peas on the 12th in his honor. Last year we even posted photos on Facebook. This year… I stepped it up a notch and have decided to invite EVERYONE to join in the fun!!!

Here’s the deal… If you are reading this post I ask you to make a commitment to eat some kind of Spaghetti and Pea dinner on February 12th. I know, I know, I can hear you all now… you don’t like peas!! OK… serve something else instead. Heck, I don’t really care if it’s even spaghetti… the rules are really loose. Last year my son and I made lemon fettucine. Use your imagination! Be creative!

Make your commitment public!!! State your intentions by commenting below on my blog… … or on the newly created Facebook page.

Next… LIKE my new page on Facebook named… you guessed it… Spaghetti and Peas! Take a photo of your dinner and post it there. I promise we won’t judge.

THEN… and this is IMPORTANT… If you feel so inclined I ask you to make a donation to the ALS Association. The link takes you to the Greater Philadelphia Chapter… who were so helpful during our family’s stressful time. Please, and Thank You!

I can’t BEGIN to explain to you how much the ALS Association helped our family, and so many others in need. The money you donate not only goes to research… but also for supporting current ALS patients and families on a day to day basis. Honest!

LAST… Send this message out to everyone you know. Invite them to join you on February 12th for a Spaghetti and Peas dinner!!! Send it via Facebook, email, snail mail, hot air balloon!!! Let’s make this a BIG event… A YEARLY event!

Stan always wanted to bring awareness to ALS and how it affects families. If he were alive today he would have been one of the very first to have a bucket of ice water dumped over his head. Well… sadly, he’s not here. So let’s all bring awareness in his honor!!! Eat Spaghetti and Peas!

To that end… if you know me personally, you know I have been struggling writing a book about this time in our family’s life. It’s a hard book to get out of my head and down on paper… and I’ll be honest, there are times I just don’t have the strength to ‘get it done’. This morning I awoke with a new direction… I have decided to change the working title to Spaghetti and Peas Please. This simple change is making me see this book in a whole new light. It’s a story that needs to be told… and I WILL tell it!

Sooo…. What are you going to eat on February 12th????

SPAGHETTI AND PEAS PLEASE!

April 14th

April 14th… What a day! One day before the dreaded Federal and State taxes are due… and also the day my husband removed himself from the ventilator 7 years ago.

He didn’t choose April 14th… he really chose the 13th. It was a Friday… yes, Friday the 13th. He chose it on purpose. He said he had a tee time with God at 4:00pm that day.

It wasn’t a surprise to me that he made the decision to remove himself from the vent. He had been on it for over 4 years… with no end in sight. I WAS surprised however with the date he chose.

Tax day was always a stressful day in our house. Running my own business, the house and kids… I was always S-L-O-W to get him the figures he needed to file our taxes. Although it was BECAUSE of my business we usually got a refund. He would still drag his feet and wait to the last-minute (like most of us) to get it done… then blame it on me.

Each year when completed, he would cover the bottom of the form with his hand and ask me to sign it. I would refuse and ask him to remove his hand so I could check his work and see how much, if any, we were getting as a refund. At that point he would make a comment about me not trusting him. Again, I would ask him to remove his hand. Each and every year he would grin and say I passed his test, and removed his hand.

Then I would have to find some place to make a copy of it… all of it… even the envelope… then dash out the door to get it postmarked. One year I had to drive over an hour away!! I was thrilled the year our town got a new post office and it was a central distribution center!! Whoopie!

Ah… those were the days.

So when he decided in April to go off the ventilator I would have SWORN he would have wanted it to happen on the 15th… tax day… to remind me of the game he used to play. But no… he chose the 13th… because that was his humor. We would always remember the date because it was a Friday… Friday the 13th.

I was working at my warehouse in Kentucky on that Monday the 9th when I got the call he was ready to rock and roll that Friday. I dropped everything, jumped in the car and drove the 10 hours home in a daze. My mind was racing faster than the wheels against the pavement.

Sadly, he missed his tee time with God by 24 hours. As you can plainly see… things don’t always go according to plan, no matter how important.

Currently I am writing the story of his life and illness… and how our family got through it all with humor, hiccups, and grace. I will explain what went so terribly wrong on the 12th and 13th of April in the year 2007. So sit tight… I’m typing as fast as I can.

And So It Begins…

Who’s been waiting to read an excerpt from my book??? Wait no more! Here is what I have come up with for the very first page.

If you care to share any portion of this excerpt I ask that you send that person to this site to read it as oppose to copying it and sharing via any method. This excerpt may change as I re-write, and re-write, and re-write some more. I would appreciate the final draft being spread around instead of this original attempt.

Thank you for your consideration and understanding.

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He looks frightened lying in that hospital bed. His wild eyes are darting back and forth seeming to be searching for something. He knows why he is here. He understands what’s going to happen. The ventilator has been disconnected and although he is fully conscious, he can not speak clearly or with much force. His eyes are the only body part he has complete control of.

As far as hospital rooms go, this one is pretty nice. Cheerful yellow and cream, not the drab supposedly calming blues and greens I am used to seeing. It’s a rather large private ICU room with a state of the art hospital bed in the center, a few chairs scattered around the perimeter and the required wires, monitors and bells and whistles mounted on the wall. It is clean, cheerful, and sparse… the exact opposite of the room he has been in for the past four years.

From my vantage point pressed against the wall I look around at all of his friends and family that have gathered to watch him take his last breath. The machinery had been disconnected for a few hours now. “How long does this take”, is the question we all have been silently asking ourselves. We are running out of things to talk about. Prayers for his soul have been said singly and in unison. We have sung through the verse of every hymn and silly song we can pull from the far reaches of our minds. We are all becoming uncomfortable, and hungry… afraid to leave the room to pee in case we miss the big moment. There is nothing left to do but wait.

Earlier in the day nurses and doctors would come in to check his vitals and ask if we needed anything. Now they leave us alone. I know where to find them if needed. They are tracking his vitals from the monitors at the main desk just outside the door. I don’t even have to leave the room, I just have to look out the door and catch their eye… they will magically appear.

I am afraid to go near him. No, not afraid… just keeping my distance. His sisters, brother, children and other friends are here to be with him. I am just another face in the crowd. I will be here to the end. When the others have gone home, I will be here. When it really matters, I will be here… just as I have always been. Yes, I will have my time alone with him when it is all over.

Complaining he is hot, we pack him in ice. His blankets are removed with only a sheet to cover his withered body. Without his glasses his eyes look smaller than normal, surrounded by his slack, pale skin billowing out on the pillow. His high round cheeks are flushed pink from his heat. Excess fluid swells his ankles and feet, and his sausage fingers look ready to burst. He can’t lift his hands and shake the fluid down as he has been paralyzed for the past six years, so his sisters, Helen Lee and Judy each take a hand and massage them. We are eager to do everything humanly possible to make him comfortable and keep us busy at the same time. This moment is all about him. A king, presiding over his court.

He calls us over to his bedside one by one to horsely whisper his last words, as privately as possible in a room crowed with loved ones. He saves me for last. The room falls silent. I lean over his body placing my ear near his mouth so I can understand the loving words my husband of 27 years wants me to hear before he is no longer with us.

“Sue the bastards! Make sure they can’t do this to anyone else… ever!”

I step away from him and retreat to my corner confused. Not… “I will love you forever”. Not, “Take care of yourself and the kids”… or, “I will wait for you on the other side.” Not even a kiss. No… in a moment of time where you think you know what to expect… I have been thrown a curve ball.

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So… what do you think? Would you want to continue reading a book that started off that way? Does this beginning surprise you? Are you intrigued to know how we got there or what happens next?

If you are an editor or in the book biz do you have any suggestions?

Should I continue writing?

I personally read each comment and would love to hear Your Two Cents!

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Damn!

After working all week on my story… I have come to the realization my fabulous beginning makes a much better ending. The whole story flows better that way when I map it out in outline form.

It’s not THAT big a deal… it’s still written well and only a few minor changes need to be made to accommodate… but now I’m stuck searching for a good beginning point. I need a ‘hook’ to pull readers into the story fast and entice them to read more.

Strange thing though… I’m learning it is easier to plan a book from the end to the beginning. Working backwards allows me to pace the story without running out of time… and prevents rambling on too much in one particular area. Is it a coincidence I do maze puzzles the same way?? I start at the end of a maze and move my pencil towards the beginning… not unlike meeting goals when you think about it. You set a goal, then plan the stages you need to accomplish the goal. So I guess I’m doing what comes naturally.

IMG_0249It’s so easy to work in these conditions. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I get home.

How many notebooks does it take to write a book? In my case, 3. One that has my notes I made while taking an online refresher course, another for my character development, structure and outline and finally the last for jotting down scenes and thoughts I want to fit in the book but am not ready for yet. There is nothing better than watching the paper curl at the edges when you begin to write on the back side. I love the permanence of pen and paper… the smell of the ink… the crispness of the paper… the way the pen glides across the surface. Ahhh… nice.

Once things are formed in my head… THEN I go to the computer and start typing… and type, and type, and type some more. There have been times I became so involved in the story I forgot to move for hours! My biggest wish is when all is said and done you get so involved reading my story YOU don’t move for hours.

Good News – Bad News

Day 3 -Myrtle Beach

So…. How’s that book of mine coming along?? Well… it’s coming. Slowly but surely, it’s coming.

Monday was a dream. Words flowed out of my finger tips across the keyboard at the speed of light. All 1,609 of them. AND… they are all ‘keepers’… meaning I like them so much they should make it through the re-writing process unscathed.

Tuesday wasn’t as productive. I spent most of the day finishing up an online writing course which was extremely informative… although most of it was simply a repeat of things I already knew just presented in a new light. However… it DID remind me that I am trying to write my memoir, but have it read like fiction.

So today, Wednesday after dropping my car off at the dealer’s for repair… I spent my time planning structure and character development INSTEAD of writing actual words for the book. Don’t let me mislead you… some of what I wrote today will end up in the book… it’s just I’m not calculating them in the word count because I haven’t PLACED them yet.

Time for Good news – Bad news.

Bad News – My car has been giving me troubles off and on and not always starting. It’s not a battery problem. I never knew when I would have issues or not. On the way down here Sunday it worked fine… until I arrived at check-in. It took 20 minutes before the blasted car would finally fire up and I could park it in the lot. THAT was embarrassing!!

Good News – There is a Volvo Dealer 5 miles down the road and can schedule a repair this week.

Bad News – It’s the coldest day down here in YEARS… and my car decides to not start… not even 20 minutes later. So I call the dealer to let them know I will be late. I begin to freeze. I didn’t bring warm clothing.

Good News – My daughter purchased AAA coverage for me before I left. I’m told someone will be here in 30 minutes.

More Good News – The AAA guy gets my car started! Due to his 35 years of road side assistance experience, he deduced the problem was my starter. He popped the hood and tapped the starter with a piece of pipe while I turned the key and Vrrrroooommm! I drove straight to the dealer.

Bad News – The dealer agrees it’s the starter… but they don’t have one in stock. The car won’t be fixed until tomorrow.

Good News – While waiting for the service department to arrange a ride back to the resort for me… I struck up a conversation with a nice woman waiting for her car. She told me all the fun places I need to go while down here. Where to eat, what to see, what to bring home. So tomorrow, once my car is repaired I plan on playing hooky. Pawley’s Island is calling me and I understand Roz’s Rice Mill makes a Shrimp and Grits to die for… not to be overshadowed by Hog Heaven’s BBQ and slaw to bring back to the condo for dinner.

Now… if I only had a place to hang a hammock back home. I understand the first rope hammocks were made on Pawley’s Island and they still make them today. Hmmm….

 

 

Beach Treasures…

Day 2 – Myrtle Beach

Before going to sleep last night I opened the door to the balcony so I could drift off to the sound of the surf… The closest thing to camping on the beach… but in total luxurious comfort. I woke to the sun rising across my face and the temperature dropping fast.

As I jumped up to close the door and curtains something in the water caught my attention. Dolphins! A pod of about 10 dolphins were playing in the surf. What a way to start my day!!

Not a soul in sight for miles and miles and miles.

                       My private beach… except for the one guy walking his dog.

No one was on the beach today. The weather was unusually chilly for this time of year… 47 degrees… which kept everyone inside. Good for me! I felt like I was on a private island all by myself. I found the weather delightful… as did one other man who was walking his dog.     — No Kathleen, it was NOT my prince charming. Bummer. —

ShellsI went on a ‘treasure hunt’ and gathered some broken pieces of shells and rocks that had washed up on the sand. I began picking only whole shells with unusual coloring or markings, but soon found I was attracted to all the different broken ones. Some clam shells were so thick you just knew they had to be OLD. Black gnarly ones, grey pitted spirals, and ridge shaped scallops all found a place in my heart. I was as giddy as a school girl examining each piece evaluating its texture and color before adding it to my bag. I can’t wait to get home to capture some of them in a watercolor. Just because they are broken, doesn’t mean they aren’t beautiful. Huh… kind of like people.

I hear it’s 19 degrees back home in New Jersey with snow on the ground… and more expected on Friday. I send you warmth from the south…

IMG_0217

 

I notice some differences in the South Carolina beach and New Jersey beach. Number one being SC’s are FREE… but there’s more. The sand is smoother and whiter in South Carolina where New Jersey’s is more yellow and course. The shells are more diverse in SC. However, the one thing that really caught my attention is in two days I have not seen a boat or ship go by. New Jersey and New York has a huge shipping industry so freighters go by on a daily basis… not to mention fishing boats. Where are all the fishing boats here in South Carolina??

Occasionally a helicopter will fly over the SC beaches… but no aircraft is seen or heard otherwise. I am used to all kinds of noise at the NJ beaches, even off season. Here in SC it is so quiet… and peaceful… and carefree.

Not much writing on the book today. I spent most of my day studying an online writing course. I finished it up today. All in all it was informative, but I can’t say I learned much that was new. I would consider it a wonderful refresher and a super motivator.

Ta-ta for now. Stay warm up north you guys!

 

Day 1 – Myrtle Beach

Ahhh…. Paradise!!! I woke up to this breath taking view out my window this morning…

Yes, my view really is this fabulous!

                      Yes, my view really is this fabulous!

It was hard to leave my bed this morning, it was so comfy. The huge king sized bed with six, count them, SIX super comfy pillows, fluffy light weight comforter and pillow top mattress begged me to stay. I felt like royalty being cradled in a cloud. However the beautiful sunrise called my name… so I relented and rolled out to take a look. Ohhhh, ahhhhh, pretty.

Having a condo with a full kitchen is so nice. I packed a lot of my own food and favorite utensils, so throwing breakfast together was no big deal. Fresh fruit topped with yogurt and granola eaten on the balcony overlooking the ocean… Does life GET any better???

PicMonkey Collage

I finally settled down to work… the real reason I came here… around 8:00 AM. Setting up my computer on the balcony seemed like a good idea. I could drink my fresh French-pressed coffee out of my favorite Mickey Tumbler and type all while enjoying the view.

Type, type, type. Backspace, delete. Cut and paste. After four hours of non stop work I have 1,609 words I feel make a pretty good effort for today. Only 78,000… give or take… more to go. In reality I have much more typed up… they just need editing and such. For now however I feel I have a good start.

NOON! Break time!!  I think I’ll go for a long walk on the beach.

Any idea what THIS  is? What it is used for???

??????????????

                                         ??????????????

At first, from a distance I thought silly people were bringing their golf clubs onto the beach. Myrtle Beach IS a golf town after all. The top is a golf club shaft with a slotted spoon in place of a head. Yes… it is to sift through the sand and water… but do you know what everyone is looking for??? If you guessed shells, valuables, or sea glass… Bzzzzzz… you would be wrong.

Walking along the beach today I mustered up enough courage and curiosity to stop and ask someone. Rosie, a delightful 73 year young woman from Iowa filled me in. Wearing a Myrtle Beach sweatshirt, sun visor and what I grew up calling ‘clamdiggers’, not shorts and not capris but somewhere in the middle, she explained. Her husband John has made about a hundred of these and gives them to anyone who asks. They are for finding…. Shark’s teeth! While Rosie and I stood in the chilly water and talked she found two! Her eagle eyes spotted them quickly. She scoops them up and places them in this plastic tube she wears around her neck with rubber end caps… shore treasures for her grandchildren. Lucky them!

Before returning back to work I thought a walk into town would be a good idea… WRONG!!! I’m guessing during the slow season you need to be careful what areas you walk through. I was only four blocks south and one block west of my hotel, going through a more residential neighborhood… clearly walking with a purpose AND on the sidewalk. A white Escalade slows down, passes me, then stops in the road. Uh-oh… we’re not in Kansas any more Toto. I grab my cell phone and pretend I’m talking with someone. As I come even with the truck the passenger side window slides down and a big guy leans over the seat from the driver’s side. “Do you need a ride?” “No thank you”, I reply. Gulp.

He turned left down the next street, but circled back up behind me. I  could hear the rumble of the mufflers way before I could see him. By then I was up on the major highway and quickly ducked inside a souvenier store… where I stayed for about a half an hour… and purchased a pair of cheap water shoes.

Mental note… Walk only on the beach and DRIVE everywhere else from now on!!!! Lesson learned!!!

The sun is setting and the fog is rolling in. Tomorrow is supposed to be chilly. I am so glad I took the time to get outside in the fresh air and sun today.

I must have been a flower in a past life… I THRIVE in sunshine and near water.

 

On The Road… Once Again…

After a 10 hour drive (with a few stops along the way… one being a BEAD store) I finally arrived at my ‘home away from home’ for the next 6 days… WESTGATE RESORTS in Myrtle Beach, SC.

The drive was basically uneventful. Listening to The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls kept me awake. I read the book when it first came out… yet since I am here in SC to work on MY book I thought I would remind myself what a dysfunctional family is really like. Wow!!! Although my story is interesting… I have nothing as crazy as her life to share!!! What a mess!

Do you remember my post Pennies From Heaven? In it I mentioned my husband left me a large cloth bag filled with fifty cent pieces. I TRIED to deposit them into my bank account, yet there was a hitch. In order to deposit them, they MUST be wrapped. However… no one sells the wrappers and the bank didn’t have any. So……….. I decided to use them to pay the tolls on the way down. HYSTERICAL!!! The faces of the toll takers were priceless. I kind of wish I had taken photos. One guy was so confused he had to recount the $4.60 toll (9 fifty cent pieces and a dime) six times before he ‘got it’. Another one handed them back to me and said he could only accept US Coins… REALLY!!!

The staff here at WESTGATE is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!! The first room I was given was entirely too big for just me. It consisted of a huge condo unit complete with full kitchen, glassed in shower in the master bath and a giant jacuzzi too! PLUS… an entirely separate unit with another bed, shower, jacuzzi, and mini kitchen. I’m not sure, but I might be the first guest to complain the room was much more than expected and ask for something smaller… with a view.

Tara and Leighanne at the front desk listened closely and understood the problem immediately. They promptly set me up in a smaller unit… at the END of the hall… WITH a FULL OCEAN VIEW!!! How inspiring!!!! I will take pictures tomorrow once I have unpacked my camera.

Patty directed me to the parking… and told me where I can pick up a pair of sneakers. Silly me forgot to pack my walking sneakers for my daily walk on the beach… hmmm… I think it may be warm enough to go barefoot. I’ll have to check that out tomorrow. No need to pack a bathing suit… I intend to use the jacuzzi every night in the privacy of my own room. Besides… me… in a bathing suit is not a pretty sight!

I am thrilled to be here and can’t wait to get down to business. Each day I will post my word count for the day.

All deliveries of flowers and/or chocolate will be accepted with open arms.

Overwhelmed!

Writing a book is HARD!!! There are so many things to think about when crafting a well worded sentence.

My fingers fly over the keyboard as I type out the story of my life. All in all I think I’m a pretty decent writer… until I re-read what I’ve written. Change a few words here, delete a paragraph or two there, tighten up the sloppy middle… OK, not bad. Three hours have passed without moving from the computer… not even a bathroom break, and all I have to show for it is 436 words. 436 words which will look all wrong when I read them with fresh eyes tomorrow.

Taking a break, I check a writer’s website for a new nugget of knowledge. An interesting article on obtaining an agent and writing an attention getting query letter catches my eye. According to the guest blogger, you should print out the first two pages of your book and walk away from the computer. Now read the two pages out loud. If an agent were sitting in the room listening to you would they want you to continue reading?

Hmmm… I can’t do that exercise. I have been so busy getting all the words out of my head that I haven’t given any thought at all as to where my story begins. I don’t have the first two pages written! I can’t do that exercise… ACCKKK!!

“Okay Deb, don’t panic… get off that website. Remember it for later, but for now move on”, I instruct myself.

Next up is a site extolling the virtues of correct grammar. I read as much as I could, wishing I paid closer attention in school. My head is beginning to spin. The examples the writer is using are crafted better than anything I have written so far. I begin to have doubts about writing this book. Ugh!

Thinking I need more education I google ‘Writer’s Conferences 2013’. Living in the northeast has its advantages. New York City is a quick train trip away and usually is the trade show center of the world. As predicted I find a conference will be held in May. Running through the course offerings I begin to feel overwhelmed. There are so many diverse classes. So many things I need to learn… or at least have a working knowledge of.

Realizing I am stressing myself out, I shut down the Internet. As Scarlett in Gone With The Wind said, “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow”.

In a few weeks I will be sequestering myself for an entire 7 days JUST to get this book under control. I must make a mental note to STAY OFF THE INTERNET.

To give you some idea how long it takes to write a book… this post is 44 words LONGER than what I accomplished on my book today.