The promise of spring is in the air, however. I hear birds chirping in the mornings now. The wintry clouds occasionally excuse themselves and allow the rays of the sun to actually reach the earth. I sometimes find myself standing in the hall window, eyes closed, soaking up the warmth of the sun's radiance. Life is good. Sometimes rough; sometimes frustrating. But, in the end it's always good.
Last night I spoke with a long time friend of mine, we were in kindergarten together, and he had wonderful news to share. We both have a love for writing, but Eric followed his passion. I dabbled in mine thinking that I needed to get a "real" job and do things the hard way because writing was so much fun - too much fun and too easy for me to imagine getting paid to do it. Eric, on the other hand, discovered that there were "real" jobs that paid decent, were fun, interesting and, best of all, based on having writing skills. This paid off greatly for him both in his career as a professor of creative writing at Columbia College in Chicago and as an author.
Bedrock Faith, Eric's first novel, was just released the beginning of March. He's had a whirlwind of activity as a result. His book is getting rave reviews and is on the list of Oprah Magazine's Ten Books to Pick Up Now in the April issue. He's been doing readings all over the country and I wouldn't be surprised if he finds himself negotiating movie rights before long. He graciously allowed me to read his galley a couple of years ago and at that time, I had a pretty good idea that he was going to make it big.
This is a book I couldn't put down. It's a suspenseful read about what happens when the neighborhood criminal comes home from prison. He experienced religious conversion while incarcerated and it changed his life completely. The twists and turns the book takes are amazing. The main character, Stew Pot, kept me guessing as to what he was going to do next and he always had something shocking up his sleeve. I know Eric and I just kept wondering how he was able to think up this stuff!
In this day and age of short attention spans, a book over 200 pages might have a hard time getting read. I was told my 600 word blog posts were too long. Well, coming in at 420 pages, Bedrock Faith is a hefty novel. I thought it was going to take me a while to read it. I was wrong. Each chapter was short and ended with a hook that couldn't be ignored. I had to read on.
Why am I devoting the first page of my new blog on writing to an author friend? First, because I am so proud of him and I feel blessed to be his friend. If you are a writer, then perhaps you understand. Second, his success gives me hope and motivation. Eric didn't stumble upon this success. He took years to write his book and decades to hone his skills as a writer. He is now living his dream.
By default, I am living my own dream of being a writer. It's not glamorous; I don't travel or do readings anywhere, but on the other hand, it's all about the journey as far as I'm concerned. I'm a writer at large. I'm a freelancer who enjoys writing articles about pretty much anything. I'm a blogger. I'm a poet. I'm a song writer and I write stories for kids. I'm working on my own books. I'm about to spend the month of April madly pounding away at my keyboard as a participant in the ever challenging Camp NaNoWriMo. My journey is very scenic and it's very much my own.
One day, I'll be blogging about my own book launch. I'm looking forward to that day. It's going to take a lot of work to get there, but in the end, I know it will be worth it. Meanwhile, I'm going to enjoy the journey. I'm also going to enjoy reading Bedrock Faith again!