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Goals and Resolutions

I started writing in September. I had written for a couple of creative writing classes in the past but that was about it. A short story from maybe a year ago and otherwise, nothing. My wife, the greatest supporter I have, has repeatedly told me that I needed to write. This is directly due to the fact that I often infuriate her by telling a story instead of just answering the question but that is another tale for another day.

What got me started was a t-shirt. I was sitting in the stands of my oldest son’s high school football game. The wife and I had been discussing money, or the lack of it, and what we could do about it. I looked down the stands a bit and there was a group of women, softball mothers, wearing a variety of team shirts. One of them stood out, it said “Do what you always do get what you always get”.

I wanted to make money. I needed to do something that didn’t take too much extra time from my family and I wanted something that wouldn’t require constant management. So, I decided to start writing. I had read about the Amazon offer to self publish with them and thought that I could do this during breaks and lunch at work. I read Jim Butcher’s blog about how he plans his books and followed his plan. I had a finished piece at just over 21,000 words a few weeks later. A few friends proof read it for me and I felt I was ready to go.

I self published the Novella in October on Smashwords. I didn’t try to find an agent because I just didn’t know any better. I have since learned it wouldn’t matter, there is almost no market for Novellas. I wrote one because of an article I had read that mentioned how great they were for the e-reader markets; an article that I can’t find now, by the way.

So, as I look towards the next year I find that I need to figure out some goals. Long term I want to write for a living; that is the dream, but where do I want to be by this point next year? I have already realized that creative writing isn’t going to fill that monetary need quickly but the freelance writing helps. I finished my first paid freelance web content job a few weeks ago and I am looking for extra work all the time, but now that I have started writing fiction I will not be stopping. With that in mind, here is what I am shooting for.

1. I want to be published by someone else, magazine, anthology or traditional publishing. Just so long as they selected my work instead of me publishing it.

2. I want to write a novel length book.

3. I want to find or build a peer review and critique group in my area.

4. I want to be paid for a piece of fiction.

Now, in the words of Hollywood. “Time to nut up or shut up.”

L. E. White

Ego Te Voco

As he moved the match from wick to wick he drew lines between the flaming points he created. The elaborate pattern sparkled in his mind’s eye as the flames burned small white dots into his vision. Salt surrounded him as he focused on a tingling sensation at the base of his skull. He controlled his breathing, focusing on heart beat and mantra as he felt his brain swirling in a whirlpool of sensation.

He called the name.

It rumbled, deep in his chest as he added power to the words. A dinner bell of sorts being rang through the world in a way that was felt, and not heard. Calling to only one, to one whose name was not Legion, one of many who stood alone between the shadows. One who was outside.

The room remained silent. The air did not move or chill as he had expected. Light did not dim and no smells assailed him. The call had not been answered and he remained alone. An hour passed and he did not move.

As his legs tingled and his back ached he cursed. A common word today, used so often as to have lost the weight it once held. He grumbled and griped as he moved and extinguished the flames. He cleaned the area, swept the salt and put his tools away while chewing on the bitter taste of another failure.

It was when he looked into the mirror while brushing his teeth that he saw the shadow behind him. His eyes widened as he looked at a dark silhouette that could not be his, giving away the fact that he had discovered his visitor. A moment later, he was hanging in the air, his throat held shut while his legs kicked at nothing. His fingernails found no purchase when they clawed at his own neck.

A deep, guttural voice, one made of old suffering and ancient cries, said, “You should never leave a job unfinished.”

Kicking became twitching, which relaxed into nothing. The only clue in his disappearance was a mess found by the landlord where gravity had built a pool of waste upon the floor.

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