Childhood Release in Four Days

Wow. I’m amazed, relieved, and in a way saddened that Childhood is coming out in four days. I decided this blog post was going to be free form writing, or, in other words, writing without thinking, or a stream of consciousness, with no editing. There’s a reason for that which will hopefully become apparent.

I should be happy about this date. After all, while Childhood is only a novelette (about 11,000 words but honestly I forgot the exact count), it is still a professionally produced product. Besides the writing, which I’d like to say is professional as I have a few novels and other works under my belt, the editing was top notch (thanks, Darling Axe) and the cover conveys the simplicity of childhood with the hint of issues in the future (the rip in the sky, a nice add from Diane Turpin Designs).

I’m going to go on a tangent for a second about the editing. Michelle from The Darling Axe was excellent, and not just from an editing standpoint. I felt like that after working with her I’d taken a couple of graduate courses in fiction writing. She challenged me to do better. I’m a type-A personality, and I can’t deny a good challenge. Her influence will be reflected in all of my future works, regardless of whether I ever work with her again (but I hope to).

georgeI’m anxious. A dozen or so readers will be reviewing Childhood and posting their thoughts starting February 11th as part of the Celebrate Lit blog tour. I participated in a similar tour for my last novel, Leaving Darkness, and none of the reviews were negative, but not all were five stars either (I think it averaged out to four out of five, which isn’t bad, especially for a self-published work by a relatively unknown author). What if they hate it? Geez, I’m starting to sound like Marty McFly’s dad. It’ll be good, no matter what they say.

Sad. I’m sad because I had hoped to have Fatherhood completed by now. Childhood is the prequel to Fatherhood, a full-length (~80,000 words) novel about abortion from the father’s point of view. Yes, a heavy subject. I pounded out 50,000 words for the NaNoWriMo November challenge (yay me), then stalled. I “lost that loving feeling” for writing temporarily. That’s not a bad thing. Writing is my retirement career, and I’m laying the foundation for it now. My daytime job as principal for a small but successful information security consulting firm takes precedence. I’m only 52; more than a few years from retiring.

“Slow down, you crazy child, you’re so ambitious for a juvenile” – words from Billy Joel (43 years ago – wow) that I heeded. Fatherhood would come in its time when it’s right. and it’s time is God’s time, because my writing is God-inspired. After Leaving Darkness, which I was called to write based on my experiences with a Christian support group, I prayed about what I would write next. The call came about three months later.

Abortion? Really? I thought depression was a heavy topic. My first reaction? No.

Saying no to God is never a good idea.

I’ve had a personal experience with abortion but that neither is an impetus nor a major influence in the story. That personal experience somewhat influenced my first novel, Forgiveness. For Fatherhood, as I seem to do with all of my main characters, I create, then immerse myself in their lives. I almost become them, not the other way.

Writing is a journey. If I have learned anything with my limited experience with Fatherhood, it is to not sacrifice the joy of the journey for the pressure of creating something in an artificial time frame. It will come when it’s ready. A time for everything. My time for returning to Fatherhood is probably a month or two out. Now it’s all about Childhood. Here’s hoping for favorable reviews, but one-star reviews won’t deter me at all. In fact, being the type-A I am, it would spur me to lick my wounds, then do better.

Image from Back to the Future, 1985