Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How I Learned Humility...the Power of Friends

My forty-first birthday is later this week, and I realized that I had still done nothing courageous.  Sure, I had been writing, and I got a few short stories sold/published, and I had written more articles than I care to recall, but I had not done anything BIG.  I felt like I was running out of time.  So, on a whim (yeah, whims do tend to spur me to action), I went ahead and did something scary; I took one of my short stories, "The Collector," and I put it up on Amazon. 

It takes about twelve hours for a story to show up in the Amazon store, so I couldn't immediately chicken out.  I was in limbo.  So, I waited.  The next morning, after a fitful night's sleep with nightmares involving typos and missing text, I woke up around 4 a.m. and headed to the computer. 

There it was.

The Collector

I resisted the urge to take it down before anyone saw it.  (Um...yeah.  That would kinda defeat the purpose!)

I went to work as usual, but I didn't mention this act of insanity right away.  By lunch time, however, I started to let people in on what I had done.  The reaction was immediate...fierce...and humbling. 

Within a few hours, the Facebook share-fest had begun.  Friends, and friends of friends, and then people I didn't even know where sharing links to my story.  Soon, a review had been posted on Amazon.  Some friends pinned my book cover on their Pinterest page.  Others tweeted about the story.  Every repost, retweet, and email was appreciated.  All the messages and calls meant so much!

More than once I thought about Amanda Palmer.  I thought about how vulnerable it makes you feel to put a piece of yourself out into the world, about how hard it is to ask for help, but how vital it is that we DO share, and we DO ask. 

So, I am asking.  If you have not read "The Collector," please take a minute to download it.  It is a short read (less than 6,000 words) that combines Southern Gothic and Horror.  It is part Firestarter and part Fried Green Tomatoes, or at least that is what it feels like to me.  Read it for yourself, and let me know what you think.  Leave a comment, send me an email, write a review on Amazon, or on your blog.  Share the story with others. 

"The Collector" is the first in a collection of stories.  When ten year old Junie Rae Campbell wakes up in the parking lot of a seedy motel, and her mother is found dead inside, she has no choice but to go with the social worker who comes to collect her and take her to the tiny, sun-baked Oklahoma town of Crankston’s Landing to live with Granny Enid. But when lies and lechery threaten Junie and the people she has latched onto, secrets are exposed, untapped abilities reemerge…and a weapon for vengeance is born.

If you want to find out more about Junie Rae, you can buy the story here.  If you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the story to your computer, or read it on your phone with the free Kindle Reader App for phones and tablets.  If your budget is strained but you have Amazon Prime, feel free to borrow the story from the Amazon's Kindle Owner's Lending Library. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Well, (gulp!) I did it...

I uploaded my short story "The Collector" to Amazon.  It should be available in about 12 hours.  Until then, I plan on alternating between feelings of exhilaration and nausea.  I will let you know which one finally wins...