5 DAYS AND COUNTING DOWN!!!
Hey everyone! I am pumped for Grinding My Gears An (Off the Rails) Ice Era Chronicle. It releases this FRIDAY, June 30th. This is a story for Gears, the secondary character who was best friends with Rea MacBain. (Mac)
I would love for you to check it out. It is on pre-order right now for 1.99 on Amazon. It is also on Kobo, Goodreads, and Barnes&Nobel.
I love to write. When I first started, this was simply a project that my spouse and I shared as a hobby. We wrote, laughed, made up endings, and talked about a different world then the one in which we live
But some days the fear of what I'm doing is almost paralyzing.
You see, every so often, I question if I'm good enough to keep up at this complicated endeavor of creating a world and getting it down on paper. My wife eats books like locus, and I see all the other talented and amazing writing out there. When I stare at the shelves of books that surround me. I wonder why did I toss my hat into the ring? The answer to that question came to me from a random conversation I had not to long ago.
My sister-in-law, Sarah, was sharing a story about a friend she works with in Atlanta. (Side note: Sarah is an amazing massage therapist. If you're ever in Atlanta, go get a massage.) Anyway, Sarah was telling her friend about how, when faced with a big problem on what to do, you have to ask yourself "Will it matter in ten years?"
That thought struck me hard. Every day that I struggle with learning to write, with improving my craft, and not becoming discouraged, I remind myself of this very idea.
You know what? In ten years this will matter to me. What will mean something is the fact that no matter the path I am on (I might never make a million dollars or be on the New York Times Bestsellers list) writing gives me a feeling I don't have words for. I love the irony in that. All the words I put down can never describe the warmth in my chest when I finish the last edit or type the last word on the page.
Dreams are a funny beast, but they're worth chasing. Today I will dust myself off and slip on my running shoes.
My wife has a therapist at the V.A. I was complaining of pain and she went and told on me. That's right she TOLD on me.
Anyway, so I end up in Urgent Care at the V.A. Now, for those of you who have never been to a V.A hospital I will try to describe it a tad. Keep in mind, all are different and I can only tell you what the one is like near me.
So, in the V.A, it is filled with old men, nurses, and a handful of us younger veterans. I think there is something that kind of gets me about being surrounded by all those shuffling old men. I just want to screw around the minute I get in there. I don't know why exactly, but I think it's just this feeling that everyone is so dreary, and I desperately don't want the place to bring me down.
As I get admitted to Urgent Care (because my wife is making me) I get introduced to this very young, "Handsome", male doctor. I'm not into men but I feel this is the best description. After I go over my health issues, which my wife is chiming in on, the doc says "I would like to check your prostate."
I'm of the mind set that whatever I have to do to help me feel better is fine, so I start to loosen my belt. The doctor then says "I know you younger men don't like to do this." At which point I reply "It's fine with me, but I warn you I had chilly last night." Then I promptly drop my pants.
My wife laughed for like ten minutes. There is something about making a young doctor stutter and stammer while giving you a rectal exam that is a little funny.
After he finished, my wife looks to the doctor with a mischievous twinkle in her eye and pipes up. "So when can I have sex with my husband again?"
Our doc had almost gained his composure, but not quite. I think he wasn't expecting that, and to be honest, I wasn't either. I held in my smile.
The doc says "Well, it's up to you, Connor, but right now if you want."
My wife says without missing a beat. "We cant right now.... you're in the room."
The look on the doctor's face was priceless. Yeah, if you get a chance to tease a doctor it's kind of fun. I am fairly sure that even once I'm an old man, I will still want to joke with those hardworking nurses and doctors at the V.A. I appreciate them. Truly, I do.
I have been pondering a George Orwell quote for the past few days. It was in the Notable & Quotable section of the Wall Street Journal and shared with me by a family member. (Thank you Matt.)
Here is the quote: "All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand."
I have mediated on this for days now and no matter how I go over it, I still end up feeling like I equally disagree with George Orwell, and also agree at the same time.
You see, I have met writers now in the Troll River Publishing house and I would describe none of them as vain or lazy or selfish. They are all generous, hardworking and... If they are vain I've never seen it. However, I have considered the aspect of writing (Especially editing as I am editing Grinding My Gears right now.) and I would agree that there is some demon inside of me that is a mystery. I can not resists the lure of my keyboard or the constant babble of the characters in my head.
As for writing being like a painful illness, I don't know what George Orwell was doing but I don't find it painful. I say that now, but I guess it might hurt once I see my first edits come back from the publishing house. Maybe he just had a mean editor?
He should have met my favorite Troll Stephanie then maybe he wouldn't have considered it quite so bad.
For about the last decade my New Year's Celebration is my wife and I looking into the future. We gain a new perspective on what we are about to face in the upcoming year. Each year we watch movies that take place in the up coming year. This year's 2017 celebration included two horribly great videos, Barb Wire with Pamela Anderson, and Cherry 2000 with a very young Melanie Griffith.
My wife and I had a few family and friends over to partake in our annual entertainment. The mixed company made the movies that much better. Each film turned into our own private Mystery Science Theater. I personally was more thrilled with the commentary. Pamela Anderson always spoke like she was forcing air out while trying to talk. It reminded me of a woman who was trying way to hard to sound sexy. "Half the money? Fine. I'll take half of your daughter". I am not sure if I should be turned on, or appalled she wants to cut a teen in half. Talk about getting mixed signals there. However, Melanie Griffith's voice didn't fit the part either. She was suppose to be this harden "Tracker", but her voice is something you would hear on Teletubbies. I couldn't take her character seriously. The lead bad guy takes the prize for best lines though. You would think the boss, Lester, would have a military like control over his men, but he doesn't. Lester comes off strong yet endearing. "Be friendly, yet firm, and don't break anything. Especially you". "We're counting on you men. Keep the sun out of your eyes, and be yourselves". Yes, those are actual lines from Cherry 2000.
I look forward to next year's party. Our movie list consists of Iron Sky, Rollerball, and Termination Salvation so far.
I want to warn you all as we head into 2017... We need to wear more leather, listen to grunge music, and... Toaster ovens are what we use as money. Just a heads up.
My wife and Mother-in-law are putting together a "Meet the Author" Event at the bookstore for 1:05 a.m. An ice Era Chronicle. I am honored that they are going through all this preparation. I would tell them it isn't necessary, but I'm pretty sure that would burst their balloons. (That's both literal and figurative.)
Anyway, i know some of you (the ones near me in Minnesota) will be stopping by. I am excited to visit with some of my friends and who knows, I might even make some new ones. I know what you're thinking... isn't he a crabby war vet? Yes I am, but I will be charming for that afternoon. I promise.
I am continuously getting myself into trouble. I have spent countless days and nights pouring over this novel, and I am sure there will be even more books to follow. I have neglected household chores, vehicle maintenance, and my responsibilities to my volunteering to name a few. There is one person who deserves my undying praise through this whole process. That person is my best friend and my wife.
Monica, you are amazing! My wife is the tug boat that moves my over-sized dreams around. She has pushed, pulled, and reorganized my life to have everything fall into place. Monica is solely responsible for researching out publishing houses, and selecting Stephanie with the Troll River Publications. Not only does she cover my butt with household chores, Monica is one of my mostest, bestest, critical editors. Without you this book would still be under my bed, or worse, still stuck in my head.
This all started about three years ago on a long road trip. Monica talked about books she has read, and how she couldn’t find the book she wanted to read. That is when I told her my idea of a book. I had her hooked. Now I should admit she added the love story to the novel. I don’t regret her additions at all. Watching Karma and Rea’s story unfold on the pages before our eyes has been amazing. I look forward to seeing what comes of Nova and Arrow. 2:05 a.m. An Ice Era Chronicle (Book 2)
I love you, Bestie!
Last Halloween I went out. I don't normally go out, but my wife and her friend told me it would be fun. Generally, I like Halloween, but this one was a little weird, even by Halloween standards.
We went to a bar that has a place to smoke out on the balcony. (I know, I know...bad for you, blah blah blah) Anyway, I had a cigar with my wife, a friend of mine dressed as a "Veteran", and my wife's friend dressed as Tuesday Adams. We were all sitting around a table having a drink when the night got...I don't know, Halloween-ish.
From where we were placed, I could see a large glass window and a glass door that led back into the bar from the patio. While visiting with my friends, a man I'd never met before in a gray suit joined me at our table. We will call him "Mr. Gray Suit". Mr. Gray Suit sat next to me and complimented me on my suit (I was dressed up as Freud.) The thing was, I didn't mind the compliment, it is a nice suit, but then he just kept touching the suit and started to rub my shoulders and arms I got to thinking it wasn't a compliment it might be a pickup line. Both my wife and her friend just laughed, and I guess they didn't think that odd at all. After a few more drinks...not me drinking mind you, but after Mr. Gray Suit had a few more, he left to dance with Frankenstein.
Once I was free of being pet, I went to the bar for my wife. While I was away, Mr. Gray Suit asked my wife if I was "Going home with anyone.” My wife...for whatever reason...being a jerk maybe?...she said something like "I don't really know his story. You never know how a night will go."
(Later when I asked her why she said this she responded "That's true, I don't own you. You could've gone home with someone else. You never really know") HA!
Anyway, when I sit back down Mr. Gray Suit is back to sitting with me, and I figure it's fine. He is drunk so whatever. As we're sitting across the table from the glass door, I notice a woman come out on the balcony. The woman is dressed as nothing, aka No Fun Lady. Now No Fun Lady is holding her finger out like she is pointing at someone, but her finger isn't stationary. She is making a slow circular motion with her hand. At the same time, her hand is moving, her head is looking around the room moving in the opposite direction. I think this is very odd.
I look to my wife and our friends across from me, and I say to them "Do you see that woman?"
And after everyone asks "which women" I then proceed to copy her pointing action. I think I made a passing comment that I thought it was strange that her hands and eyes were not moving together, but in opposite directions. (I just want to add here that I wasn't making a judgment. I am a writer. I just notice the way people move sometimes. I don't care how No Fun Lady looks around a balcony I just thought it interesting.)
After I make the gesture with my hand to copy her pointing, from behind her a man (her boyfriend?) he gives me the finger. The guy giving me the finger is dressed up as the Riddler. I can't help it. I think this is funny. I suppose I think getting the finger is funny because of many years in the army where inappropriate gestures lose all meaning. Plus...it's The Riddler!
So The Riddler gives me the finger (I guess because I was mocking his girlfriend, but actually I was just pointing her actions out) and at that point I laugh and say "I love you too."
Okay, maybe I shouldn't have done that, but honestly, I really didn't care what he was doing. I was perfectly happy with my wife, a couple of friends, and well...I did have a nice looking guy with a gray suit on my arm who apparently loved me. My night was going alright.
Well, I guess The Riddler didn't like the love, so from the corner of my eye I see a drink come flying at me. The Riddler lobed his drink like a grenade over No Fun Lady and with very little aim. The plastic cup hits the table and gets my right sleeve and all of Tuesday Adam's dress.
I am on the cusp of getting up when Mr. Gray Suit shoots out of his chair. He stands up so fast that his chair fly's out from behind him. As he jumps up, The Riddler sees him and makes a mad dash away. I can see The Riddler run past the glass window and Mr. Gray Suit is in hot pursuit. After only a few seconds, I see The Riddler run past the window again, Mr. Gray Suit is right behind him.
A few minutes later Mr. Gray Suit comes back out onto the balcony. I had been helping Tuesday Adams get dried off and trying to dry out my sleeve. When Mr. Gray Suit returns, he announces that he chased The Riddler out of the bar and then talked to the bouncer.
So I learned two things that night. One: If you go out on Halloween you should expect it to be weird. Two: I guess gay men are chivalrous.
I think I'll go out again this year.
I made the mistake of telling my editor that I wrote book two. Now that my fearless leader knows my second novel is written, she’s all like “Great! Send it to me in three weeks!” That was a week ago, and I have not even started editing it yet.
I gave it to my wife first. I work on everything with my wife Monica (She is the M. in C.M. Moore). She handed it back to me with a shake of her head. That means that right now she won’t touch it with a ten-foot poll.
So back with it in my hands, I cracked it open. When I began to edit, I was shocked at the book. The novel is riddled with problems that before I didn’t even know existed. I’ve learned so much re-working 1:05 a.m. that I am embarrassed by book two. The problem is, I still like the heart of the story. The road to getting my first book out was long and arduous. I think some part of me thought that 2:05 a.m. would be easier in a way. It’s not.
And now to admit a dark secret…I am not editing at all.
I began to write 3:05 a.m. I had this really great idea for it. I’m having so much fun. When my head is caught up with characters from a book it makes it almost impossible to work on something different. There is a quote I once read that talked about how you must bat away ideas while you are writing. I’m not someone who can do that. I am deep into book three, and I can’t pull myself away from it. I’m not batting away even one single idea.
And now to admit an even darker secret…I went hunting.
Please don’t tell my editor any of this. Thanks and I'll be back in a week.
C.M. Moore is the pen name for a retired soldier, and a romantic at heart. After Connor was blown up in Afghanistan and received a purple heart, he began writing with his wife. Connor’s first book 1:05 a.m. is a mixture of love, sex, and action. If you want to contact him send him a message. He loves messages!