I often wonder why I remember meeting some people but not others; recall some events but not all. I remember the exact time I met my brother-in-law, but I don’t know when I first saw my wife. I recall clearly the start line of my first marathon, but I can’t seem to remember the end of the one I just finished.
I guess it all has to do with knowing, at the time, how significant that person or event will be. I didn’t know my wife would be my wife, but I did know that first marathon wouldn’t be my last.
In October, 2004, while driving along a busy highway, I came up with my first story concept. It wasn’t this story, but it was my first. The event is clear in my mind; the story is still fresh. I know why I remember it so vividly. I knew right then, this event would change my life.
From there my adventure into story telling had begun, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. I had been thrust into adulthood with the responsibility of marriage and three kids. I knew what I had to do, and embracing corporate culture was the plan. But that fell apart when the company I worked for started to fail. Corporate downsizing, pay cuts, severance packages, and buyouts were subjects of conversations that filled the air. When the axe swung, we all ducked then looked up to see who got cut.
I started writing–a proactive new plan that involved creativity. It wasn’t long before I realized the power of that word–creativity. It had been in me all along, but life simply got in the way. Creativity was only one part of the writing equation though. It’s true what they all say–writing isn’t easy.
I started that first story as a screenplay. There were less words in a formatted, one hundred page script; and who could turn away from the inevitable blockbuster that would result. The naive writer had begun, and a disastrous story was the result. But I’m not a quitter. An education in story and writing was daunting, but I dove in with my eyes wide open.
Twelve finished screenplays resulted and many other stories were conceived, outlined, started… Purified was one of the finished screenplays. It started out as a story called Wonder Drug. Rewrites changed the name to Purify. Finally, the title became Purified. Each one of those titles were compressed, expanded, elevated, and finalized. When I stepped away from screenwriting, Purified was the story I decided to pursue as my debut novel.
That pursuit was supported with a strong understanding of story and required more education in writing. Point of view, verb tense, sentence structure, and many other skills were required for the changeover to writing novels. Oh yes, also word count…
I persevered, and now Purified is published.
Like crossing the finish line of a marathon, writing this means my debut novel is done. Like standing on the start line of that first long distance race, I’ll remember this moment because I know it won’t be my last.