It’s already hot at nine in the morning on this Friday, September 11th and it’s hard to believe it’s been nineteen years since the terrorist attack. If you were around that tragic day, you remember where you were and what you were doing at the moment you realized it was not a movie, your imagination and that we, Americans, the most powerful country in the world had been targeted in a deadly wakeup call. I will always remember. My heart breaks for the lost lives of that day, our first responders who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and the families left behind. You are not forgotten and my heart mourns for you on this day and every day.
I am sitting in a beige cubical surrounded by mundane real estate stuff reminded that we must grasp for everything, now, do not wait any longer. Tomorrow may never come and I don’t want my legacy to tread water and go nowhere. I want everyone to know that I kept working hard on my dreams, I never gave up and in the end, it was totally worth it. I have a virtual critique group and they will keep me accountable, but it’s my hope to encourage others to do the same. Reach out to others in support, accept accountability in your own work, and move toward your goal daily. I’d be happy to read your goals for the next few months and will share mine as we work together to ensure our dreams become reality.
In front of me is a signed Pekka Rinne (Goalie for the Nashville Predators hockey team) picture, to the left is a framed photo of my four sons, to the left of that – real estate stuff. To my right is a tropical island calendar set for January 2021. The view of Caribbean waters caressing white sandy beaches transports me to paradise and I allow a moment to embrace the warm waters of St. John’s Island. It’s my Realtor nook. A neat, desk area ready to guide homebuyers through the intricate road to buying their dream home. It’s so unlike my home office where bookshelves overflow with novels by Jody Wallace, Monica McCabe, D.B. Seiders, J.D. Robb, Sherrilyn Kenyon and so many more. I have one entire wall dedicated to the master, Stephen King. His novels are placed behind a shrine with burning candles, a statue of the Virgin Mary, and a rosary in front of a black-and-white picture of him reading somewhere in an alley culvert. Well, not really. There are no candles, no sculpture of the Virgin Mary standing before him with her hands slightly moved from her sides in an effort to save us all, but I do have most of his books along with the picture which is circa 1970s (ish). Since his novel Misery, I know longer say I’m his number one fan and I will cross the street to stay away from clowns, but I am a lifelong reader. As an author, this is my hope – I want a reader to be changed by my writing. Although I don’t write horror and a clown will probably never grace the pages of any novel, it is my hope that a reader will be forever changed by my storytelling, as he did to me.
As an author, I listen to the audio version of Stephen King’s On Writing which he narrates, in other words, he is talking directly to me and helping me along this path to publication, but also carry his hardcover with me. Although I wouldn’t say he is my muse, I do feel strongly that as creatives, it’s reassuring that a man who is as successful as he, and he admits issues with self-confidence writing “There was a time when I thought I might not be good enough to publish.” I have hope.
To peek into my home office, I’ll share that I have many research guides on death, the body farm, autopsy procedurals, serial killers, crime scene techniques, historical accounts, and weapon catalogs. If I’m ever a suspect in a crime, I’m in real trouble, but this is my happy place and where my imagination takes flight. I am in the process of utilizing my home office more and more as I make my writing a priority again and dive into darker waters. Thinking of my latest WIP (work-in-progress), I’m excited about seeing where the story goes and confirm in my mind, “who-done-it”. Was it the butler? Was it the gardener? Much like the reader, I am along for the ride and sometimes I don’t find out until the end who is the bad guy, surprised at a twist that I didn’t see coming. If you haven’t had it happen to you as an author, when it does, it’s very, very cool. I love the process of storytelling. Not a fan of the edits, but it all is worth it upon the completion of the final product.
However, my phone rings in my gray cubicle. I am returned to my second job as a Realtor. I’m good at real estate because I love to help people. So, I replace my facemask, spritz my hands in sanitizer and grab the receiver and return to the real world rather than dancing on the darker side of humanity.
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See ya in the bookstores! ~Kolin