Saturday, August 8, 2015

Guest post: "The Slog," by M.D. Moore

"The Slog"


"How I decided to toss aside all those good feelings I had about myself and try to publish a novel"

“Hey, Mike.  You’re writing’s good.  You should write a book,” a co-worker said after reading a work document I had put together for my boss.

Hmm, I thought, I do write fairly well.  How hard could it be?  So began the most difficult part of my life to-date. 

Writing a book, then really completing a book (they’re not the same), then finally getting it published has been, by far, the most rewarding/frustrating/maddening/exhilarating undertaking I’ve ever done.  There are so many ups and downs and ups, then back downs, it’s hard to believe that someone actually chooses to do this.  If, however, the siren calls and you feel that you must answer, here’s a few words on what I’ve learned.

First there’s the writing.  As any writer knows, this can be joyous or a horror, depending on the day, hour, minute.  When I was first encouraged to “just write a book”, I thought this sounded easy enough.  I knew how to run a good sentence and what was a novel but a lot of well ordered sentences?  Eek.  I’ll admit, I had a strong beginning, if one considers the first page or two a beginning.  It was after that that I began to run out of steam and ideas of how to proceed.  After some soul-searching, I decided that it was time to go back to school.  In my late 30’s, I began my informal writing education.  I took a creative writing class at the local community college (well worth doing, especially for the $59 cost of an adult ed class).  I then attended the Pacific NW Writer’s conference (really worth doing!) where I attended writing seminars, met and networked with other authors, and was able to talk to real, honest-to-goodness agents about the writing business (the agent part wasn’t exactly encouraging, but it did ground me in the realities of the business).  Finally, I bought and read several books on the craft of writing fiction.  This took several months in all, but I finally felt equipped to try and write a book.  Many years later, the book was complete!

Then the real work began.  When you have what you consider to be a best-selling novel in your hands, you feel that the book should just stop short of selling itself.  Throw the pages into the ether and it will land with an agent and publishing contract in tow.  In reality, finding a buyer for my novel was the most aggravating task I’ve ever undertaken.  Agent?  Forget it.  I tried my luck and had as many agents at the end of my search as I had at the beginning.  Hell, even a goose has an actual goose-egg at the end of their work.  I had nothing more than a figurative goose egg.  There are classes on how to find an agent, an editor, and/or a publisher and by all means, take them.  They can only help.  But in the end, what all the classes and those in the know will tell you, is that what it really takes is perseverance and the willingness to be rejected for good writer, you will be rejected.  And if you happen to enjoy the onslaught of “No’s and Hell No’s or just plain being ignored,” then you’ve found the avocation for you!

In the end, this is all a dream.  We all dream of the novel, then the publishing, then the fame and fortune.  If you’re like me, you’ve dreamed of walking the red carpet with family in tow while you attend the premiere of the movie from which your book was the inspiration.  But, if you’re also like me, you know deep down that you’d do this if at the end of the day, you’ve only written a book for your kids to pass down to their kids, no fame, no fortune – nothing but the knowledge that you’ve done something great…something no one can take away from you…something to be proud of ‘til your last day.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself as I read the latest best-seller.

A native of Tacoma, Washington, M.D. Moore worked as a therapist in Washington State’s most acute psychiatric hospital. Moore currently serves as a rehab director at a long term care facility serving veterans and their families. A member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, M.D. Moore lives in Gig Harbor, Washington with his wife and sons.Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy is his debut novel. Visit M.D. Moore online at:
About the Book:
Title: Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy
Genre: Fiction/Family Drama
Author: M.D. Moore
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Purchase on Amazon
An extraordinary debut novel, Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy introduces protagonist Harmon Burke. The son of a schizophrenic mother, Harmon is haunted by three decades of his mother’s “un-cool” craziness and the mistakes of his own past.  Caught somewhere between his past and present, Harmon is trying to navigate and survive the detritus of his life—a life littered with personal failures, strained relationships and life-threatening health issues.
When Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy opens, Harmon’s mother Cece is on her way back to the psychiatric hospital after another psychotic episode—an episode that nearly lands Harmon in jail for his third and final strike before lifelong incarceration.  Landing an unusual lucky break, Harmon cashes in a literal “get out of jail free card” with one caveat: in order to avoid serving jail time, he promises to seek help for his issues.
Harmon starts to see Boyd Freud, an eccentric ex-convict and unorthodox counselor with a wry sense of humor, and a penchant for strong coffee and unusual theories.  Somehow, the no-nonsense and rough-around-the-edges Boyd manages to convince Harmon to confront the trials that have dogged his past and present. But everything changes when Harmon’s high school sweetheart Emmy shows up on his doorstep. Pleading for help escaping her abusive husband Frank, Harmon’s childhood nemesis and lifelong adversary, Emmy reopens a chapter in Harmon’s life he thought long closed.  But Frank—a cruel and vindictive bully intent on righting a past wrong—will prove a dangerous and complicating force for Harmon and his family.
With Boyd’s help, Harmon begins to make sense of the past and heal. But in order to help Emmy, find peace with his mentally-deteriorating mother and discover redemption from his past and current failures, Harmon will have to return to the trials of his youth to find answers and discover truths long buried. Along the way, Harmon will realize that making sense of the past might lead him to see the possibility of a future he’d given up on long ago.

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