I’ve always been writing: when I was in grade five I won a story writing contest and the teacher took me to McDonald’s and bought me a happy meal. I don’t think that would happen these days. Not me winning a contest, but a student going on a dinner date with a teacher during class. Or, a student being singled out for winning something. She drove me in her car to the restaurant; we ate and went back to school. There was no blow job, no funny business, and probably not any conversation. If I would have known the prize was hanging out with the teacher I would have written a shitty story. She wasn’t overly attractive, and I have such a disdain for authority still to this day so I imagine my anxiety level was high. Plus looking back on it now I didn’t need a teacher buying me lunch. They don’t make much money. I feel bad.
It was a spooky story about something or rather. I can’t remember what it was about. I read a lot of Goosebumps back then so it was something RL Stine inspired. That was when I realized how fun it is to create images using words. Using just letters in specific ordering. Since then I’ve done the poetry thing, essay stuff, and everything else a writer writes. Not that I’m a writer, not yet maybe when I grow up. I was doing all that tedious work for fun not because it was assigned by some douche bag teacher. The poetry went on to become lyrics to songs after I learned guitar. The essays were burned up when I tossed a stack of journals into a fire. Why? Because I was young and ashamed to have thoughts. Thoughts that were written down. I was raised to be tough and emotionless, like Rambo. Except Rambo can cry. I cannot. Those journals had my soul inside them, and I didn’t need anyone seeing that. So I thought.
Then I started again filling journal after journal, sheet after sheet. Sometimes I was just trying to figure out what was happening around me (still am), sometimes I was creating characters. I just couldn’t stop writing. Before I knew it I had a bunch of ideas written down. Concepts. But, nothing every got finished. I’m turning 35 years old very soon and I always assumed that I would live to 70. Everyone has that number in their head. That number you think you could live till given the best case scenario. Mine was 70. And, now I’m walking into the tunnel to get ready for halftime. I decided that I better god damn start finishing shit, because no one is going to do it.
I don’t like going back, so I had to start from scratch. One day on a boring trip to the grocery store with my girlfriend and son I was annoyed how every resident in our town has a dog. A dumb dog that has to bark at every person that walks by. All I hear are dogs barking. All I see through fences are dogs barking at me. I started to imagine out loud what it would be like if someone was taking people’s dogs. Kidnapping them, and the town had to deal with this epidemic of disappearing K9s. My girlfriend as usual thought I was nuts until I started to build more of a plot then she thought it was good. I got home and started writing. For the next 2 weeks I made it my mission to write at least 500 words a day. No exceptions, and I did it. Most people think that reading sucks, imagine what writing is like. Reading is easy.
The first draft was done and I let it rest for a few weeks so I can edit it with a stranger’s perception. I did that over again until I was satisfied with the story, syntax, grammar, and look. I decided to slap it on Amazon as an ebook so people who appreciate books can read it. I’m not charging much but being compensated would be nice and it would be a boost of motivation and confidence to see sales. When I start up the entire process with my follow up, knowing people will read it is definitely a motivator. I’m no Stephan King or the lady who wrote Harry Potter so of course selling a book is nothing something a dreamer like me can expect. But, at least I did it. I finally finished a book.
Dog Eat Dog is available here.