Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Poker is my passion
My family is my passion
Life is my passion.
And many moons ago, writing used to be my passion.

Let me take you on a journey to how I wanted to be the next Stephen King....

When I was a teenager, I read every Stephen King book I could get my hands on. There a used book store down the street from my house where I would scoop up all the Stephen King books for a $1 or $2 (Cant remember the exact amount), and sit in my room and read every book. I also took a drama class for two years, not sure why I did it, I just thought acting was fun and wanted to see if I could do it (Needlessly to say, I wasn't any good). I learned a lot about the power of acting from one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Paul Hampton, who doesn't realize how much he impacted my life back then. I combined these two elements, reading fiction, and acting fiction, to become a creator of fiction. 

It started with a purchase of a notebook and a pencil. The first story I wrote was a horror story about a guy who was killed and somehow he came back alive to avenge his was corny, stupid, but at the time I thought I was brilliant. Then I wrote another story: This is one was a about 10-year-old girl who escapes from her mother's abusive boyfriend. The title was "Within her". I remember the main character's name was Bernie, short for Bernadette. I used that name because I heard the name Bernadette on TV, and wondered if anyone used Bernie for short. "Within Her" was 30 pages long, I think to this day, it was the best thing I ever wrote. I thought my characterization of this 10 year girl was pretty damn good for guy who started writing short stories.

After those two stories, I wanted to do more, but I wanted to become a better, more sophisticated writer. So I went to the mall and entered a WaldenBookstore, gazed through the porporri of writing books and two books caught my eye:

For the next two days, I think I read each book cover to cover twice! I was mesmerized by the information, and wanted so badly so incorporated some of these brilliant teaching. I wrote several more short stories, and with each passing one, I was gaining confidence, feeling I could do this.  Then one day, I thought, I'm going to write a novel...

I was in college at the time when I started writing this novel, I wanted to write something a dramatic piece telling the stories of two friends, who drifted apart, had a secret that only they knew. One friend fell on hard times, the other was on the verge of becoming something great. Their worlds would collide bonded by a secret that could ruin the very fabric of one of their lives. The working title, "Back to Basics". So I bought some spiral notepads and spend every free second writing this novel. One friend, Claudia, was in a abusive relationship and a job going no where. The other was Lori, who moved up the political ladder in Columbus, Georgia and was on the verge of running for mayor. The first 6 chapters I alternated from Claudia's and Lori's story until they're lives intertwine in a story of love, blackmail, and deception. I remember all the writing techniques of the books I read especially from the "Characters make your story". I remember one piece of advice, "In order to make your story believable, you have to make your characters believable." I stuck to that moniker with every world forming from my pencil. I was so in-tuned with this story that I would sit in my room all day not realizing when day turned to night and night turned to day. The novel was coming together perfectly, and I was so proud of what I was producing 

When I reached Chapter 7, I stopped writing the story. I was at a crossroads in my life, I dropped out of college to join the Air Force. I remember tucking everything in a box and took it to my first duty station in Charleston, South Carolina. As soon as I was settled, I began writing again, but instead of writing everything in longhand, I bought myself one of these:

Not quite this model, but you get the

When I bought a typewriter, I become immersed with this story. I would come home during my lunch hour, and write. After work, I'd work all night till way pass midnight. ON weekends, I would type and type and type. Piles and piles of paper with my words were scattered all over my room, I had a box full of used typewrite ribbon which I bought up from a local office story. All those sweat from days of writing this story took a lot from but alas...

5 year later, I completed my first novel, and settled on a title, "Claudia" She was the true focal point of this story so I thought it would be appropriate to name the novel. The day I wrote the last word was one of the proudest moments my life at the time. I was 22 years old, and I just wrote a 200 page novel. 

When I completed the novel, I didn't know what to do next. I never let anyone read it, because I just didn't think my friends would understand. Most of friends knew I was a writer, but they didn't seemed into it, so I never forced them to read any of my stuff so I put the "Claudia" in a box and never let anyone read it. Regrettably, it's the only novel I ever wrote. Sure I tried to write other novels, but nothing seemed as good or as satisfying as that first one. It got to the point where I was frustrated and gave it up all together. The next three years I was station at Charleston, that "Claudia" novel stayed in a box in my closet, along with those two books I purchased from Waldenbooks never moving from its spot. 

After that I went on with my life, doing to the Air Force thing for the next few years gained other interest, working 40 hours a week, becoming the best airman I could be, and I never wrote another thing since then.  When I got orders to move from Charleston to Albuquerque, I somehow lost that box on the move. I'm not sure how I lost it. I think I accidently threw it away. I was devastated when I lost that novel. Words can't describe how terrible I felt when the realization that "Claudia" was gone. In Albuquerque,  I tried to recreate the novel, but I couldn't do it. I felt wasn't doing to the original justice so I scrapped it all together and moved on with my life....

17 years later, I was blogging about my wife's surgery and the thought of that "Claudia" novel popped into my head. The motivation started creeping in that I want to recreate that novel I wrote many moons ago. But as I reached my 40's my memory was fading as to how I good I was writing that novel. I didn't set out to write "Claudia" because I wanted to be the next best selling author, I did it because I developed a passion for something I enjoyed doing. It gave me a sense of fulfillment, a sense of completion, a sense of pride that I wish I could get back. 

"Claudia" was definitely my first love, and most importantly, it was my first passion.

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