Part of my journey to a more positive self is my book project. The first in the series of Tom Carroll Mysteries is Hawaii On Fire. I am finally set on this being a cozy mystery series of books. And I’m finally confident that this is a good start to the book. Here is the new first chapter:
Hawaii On Fire – Chapter 1
“Joseph Lee, you are the Governor of the state of Hawaii. You can’t just ditch your security and go out on some perceived mission to right a wrong. Please, what you are thinking of doing is unsafe. At the least let me help you. What is going on?”
“Please lower your voice Lana. Good grief, I shouldn’t have told you about any of this, and I won’t tell you anything else. This is something I have to look into. You have to trust me on this Detective.”
“It’s not that I don’t trust you, I’m concerned for your safety. Besides, we’ve been friends since we were kids. I’m worried my best friend is putting his life in jeopardy. There is a reason that you have a security detail. This is a really bad idea,” Lana said as she nervously twirled a strand of her long, black hair.
“Okay. I’m a man of my word, I can’t tell you I won’t go. But, I will think about it. Deal?”
“Alright, deal. Think about your safety. The people of Hawaii need you around my friend. Look, I need to go. Dad’s flight from Kauai lands in a few minutes, I want to spend a little time with him before his flight over to the mainland to see his sister.”
“Tell Pops I said Hi. And Lana, thanks for caring.”
“Always my dear friend, always.”
For the love of the cozy…cozy mystery that is! So, it’s been a year. A year since I put my baby, my blood, sweat, and many tears, my book out there into the literary world. Yes, a year of rejection. Yet, a year of learning, learning about my craft of writing, and learning about myself. I’ve learned that for me, life just can’t be all about this book every minute. Sure, it is very important to me, and I want to spend every minute I can making it the best book that I can make it be. But, for me to be truly happy, this book must meld and mix into the other parts of my life that I hold dear. My marriage, my friends, my spirituality, my book, these have to come together in a harmonious whole for me to be the person that I want to be. I’m sure you all feel the same.
Anyway, my cozy has taken me on many twists and turns (just like any mystery should). But, now I feel I’m in the home stretch. One of the rejections I received said it just wasn’t as good as it could be. I agree. So, I have made a MAJOR plot change. I’m so very happy with it! This change has gotten me close to the book that has been in my head for so long now (it’s been amazing to me how hard that has been to do). So, here’s to another year of searching for the way to get my book published. I won’t stop until I do.
Never give up y’all.
So, the thing is, I love the cozy mystery genre of books. I enjoy them so much that I’ve determined to write a cozy series of my own, The Tom Carroll Mysteries. But, sigh, I have come to the realization that the first in the series, Hawaii On Fire, simply isn’t good enough. The book that I thought was done, needs work, needs to be better.
What is wrong then?
*Most cozies are set in small towns where most of the characters know each other. Tom is visiting Hawaii from the big city of Atlanta. This is fixable.
*Tom is a Corporate Private Detective. And so he is not the typical amateur sleuth of a cozy. This is fixable.
Other than that, I believe I am on the right track with my story. Okay, it’s not that bad when I take the time to write this blog and think about it all. The characters know each other pretty well. I think they are interesting characters. And, I think many of them will be around for the remainder of the series of books.
Therefore, on this fabulous Friday, I will set to work with a positive attitude. I will cut my newbie author self some slack, and simply keep trying.
Happy writing y’all.
Sunrise, Miami Beach Fl USA
Plain and simple, words, I love them! The power of even one word is astounding. Take for example the word beach. Breath that word in for a moment, and there you stand with your toes in the sand, and hearing the waves crash on the shore. Am I right? Yes indeed. Just the one word and we are transported to a different place.
Yet, there is caution in words. The wrong ones, and we can crush a spirit to a point worse than crushing a bone. Where a bone can heal, the pain of painful words can stick with us for a lifetime. So, great care needs to be taken to choose which words to say or write.
However, there are the words we can give to encourage someone. There is a Bible proverb that states, “As apples of gold in silver carvings, so is a word at the right time.” Even if you are not a Bible reader, can’t you see the truth in those words? Just by a few brief, well chosen words, we can make someone’s day better. We can boost another’s confidence. We can offer words of condolence to another in times of need. So, with this one, there is a key, we have to open our mouths and say the words. No, we may not get it perfect. But, with the best of intentions, we’ll probably help give someone the words they need to hear at that time in their life.
So, enjoy those words y’all. Read, read, read. Drink them in like the fine wine that they are. Bask in the knowledge that a new word can bring. Then use them each day to make the world a bit brighter.
Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta, GA USA
Here I sit. Staring at this computer screen. What lies behind this? A folder containing my book, my baby, Hawaii On Fire. So, how do I make it from point A to point B? How do I reach publishing nirvana? The options are endless. I can continue to reach out to Literary Agents and Publishers. I can self publish. I can wait and wait and wait…Somedays, my heart says to me, “you don’t have to do this.” It prods me with thoughts of the latest episode of my favorite television show. Or, it causes me to notice the beautiful day outside my window that moves me to walk to the park. Life! It draws me inward, it pushes me forward. The challenge each and every day? Finding the time for everything I want to do, balanced with everything I must do. Writing must be a part of it all! Without writing, without being creative, I think something within me would hurt with the deepest pain. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Today, everyday, I will push through. I will find a way to make my voice heard. The wild woman in this picture? She’s working hard on her dreams with her head held high. Speak life loudly y’all!
You know how sometimes in life you need a pick-me-up? At times I get these feelings that I am too old to start a writing career. I think, “Who am I kidding, I’m not a writer, and never will be.” So, I looked into people who made career changes later in life. What I found gave me the boost to go on pursuing this writing thing. These are some noteworthy folks:
Laura Ingals Wilder
My favorite of these examples. She was 65 when the first of the Little House books was published. So, I don’t feel bad, I have a little ways to go before I reach that age.
Granted, he was a bit younger when he made his career change. But, at the age of 34, he left his career as a lawyer and started his full time career as a singer. A courageous and amazing leap to make! And that voice, beautiful.
At the age of 49, Julia Child’s famous Mastering The Art of French Cooking was published. She also had her awesome cooking show. It was rumored that she had been a spy. I want to believe that because it just makes her so very amazing!
So, these examples help me to see that dreams don’t have expiration dates. We simply can’t and don’t have to give up on pursuing our passions. Somehow, someway, I will be a writer. I will follow in the footsteps of those that came before me. No, we don’t have to let go. No, we don’t have to give into despair over dreams not realized yet. Press on y’all. We can do this thing!
Well, y’all probably remember about the pine tree attacking our house back in January. So, the pine tree started the remodel, we finished it, and on our own terms. Look e loo! I have a brand new place to write (topped off with a Luci Loo):
As Luci is wondering around on my desk, and marking it with her scent, I couldn’t help but think about Ernest Hemingway. He was given a white six-toed cat that he named Snow White, and the rest is kitty history. The descendants of that original cat still live at his home in Key West, FL USA.
I love this picture of him. He’s holding his kitty with such tenderness. You can tell he loves it:
So, it’s not that I think I am a writer on the same level as Mr. Hemingway. Far from it. I am simply not worthy to be compared in any way with this brilliant scribe. But, as I sit at my new desk, I think about and admire the man. I keep writing, imagining that would be the advice he would have given me, had we known each other. And, I stop and I hug my Luci Loo for I know he would tell me I need to show my kitty some love.
And much love to you all.