Pivotal Moments: Publishing

Posted: 9th August 2020 by admin in Blog
Tags: , , , ,

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer. I read everything I could get my hands on and wrote short stories and envisioned myself someday rubbing elbows with Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Now, Carl Hiassen. Wouldn’t that be a highlight?

The father questioned me about this once, oddly curious what skill set I might acquire through this work. It appeared to him to be a means, not an end.

“I want to be a writer,” I informed him. “Like Stephen King.”

He snorted derisively. “You better find something else you’re good at if you want to be able to pay your rent.”

That was the end of that conversation. As things in our house had a pattern of doing, it never came up again. I stopped writing altogether after his death–there was too much energy to put into surviving to wonder if I’d ever meet Stephen King. I did exactly as he suggested–I found a job that paid my bills and put away the writer fantasy for a long time. Even better, I found jobs where I could write, albeit technical writing and not nearly as entertaining as storytelling, but it was something.

If y’all have talked to me you already know I didn’t set out to write a book when I started writing Urban Tidepool. I was simply collecting memories and laying them out, sharing with my spouse and a few very close friends. I guess it doesn’t matter so much that I didn’t mean to write a book because as I continued along, it was definitely shaping up to look like a book. So I bought some artwork and imagined it on shelves in bookstores and available as a download.

It was a slow, excruciating process to pour those memories out, then hold each one up like an offering to the group of beta readers. Would this new information have any effect on the friendship? And what of the people who worked with me? Our donors? Our agency stakeholders? What would they think?

The process was two-fold. The first pass was always to evaluate the writing. Did I express that clearly? Did it have typos? Are there any awkward sentence structures? That was the easy part. The second pass was more personal and was more about emotionally and mentally processing what the readers had just read and what I had recently written. How could these things have happened? Why wasn’t anyone watching? Why didn’t someone stop this? Parts of the story are difficult to read so you might imagine how difficult it was to write and then evaluate. For example, in reading the story of the death of my mother when I was seven, are there any typos? Are the sentences well structured? It was far easier to take that higher level overview and make corrections than it was to re-immerse in the event to be able to describe it, then be able to talk about why it was happening and why it could continue.

I finished writing in 2013 and put Tidepool away. It was a rattlesnake curled up on my driveway and I knew if I got too close, it would strike. I put away the thought that I might be a writer, let alone in the calibre of Stephen King. There it sat, on the closet shelf, for seven years.

Early this year, I decided this was the year I would get it moving again. Behind the scenes, I’ve been working on edits and a few minor updates. I gathered everything I needed to launch a Kickstarter campaign and not quite two weeks ago, the campaign went live.

In 11 days, I raised 100% of the budget goal, so my project is a go. The campaign ends on September 11th and I’ll take my orders to print. I’ll put my book, this ten year project, into people’s hands late this summer, or early in the fall.

Hey, Dad! Are you watching? I did what you said and I got the job that lets me pay the bills, and guess what? I’m a writer now too!


To order a copy of the book or just support the Urban Tidepool Kickstarter campaign, you can find me here. Click on the link and it will take you to my project.






You must be logged in to post a comment.