Universal Balance, Indie Publishing and a Tease

“Winter Beach” – blog and story © R.L. Herron

UNIVERSAL BALANCE
I read a lot. I guess I’ve said that about myself before and it sounds like self aggrandizement, even to me. But it’s true.

My reading speed with excellent comprehension is well over 1200 words a minute (sorry, Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics, I don’t need you).

There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t read my share of things. Newspapers (plural), magazines, books, letters, websites, email and blogs. Probably more than my share.

I’m sure there’s someone, somewhere, who didn’t have enough time to read today because I spent so much time doing it (I do apologize … I just can’t help it).

Why am certain? Call it karma, or providence, but I have this idea it’s somehow all about universal balance.

Well, all this reading leads to thinking, which leads me to ideas … and since my ideas often get hopelessly entangled in the emotional side of relatively mundane, often impractical things, I occasionally rant … or at least mutter about them under my breath.

My long-suffering wife has learned to deal with it by telling me to take a long walk. She often includes a comment about a short pier, but in the end I’m usually still muttering.

In the winter I think she takes pity on me. To get rid of me for a while she doesn’t send me out in the cold, she suggests I write some more on one of my stories or my blog.

Just last evening she suggested I write another book.

Since this would be in addition to the one I’m already working on, she obviously wasn’t satisified my mumbling had been sufficiently muffled by the bitterly cold walk I already took (or maybe she was upset the pier was too long).

In any event, I took her advice, gravitated again to the keyboard and now it’s you, Dear Reader, who has to deal with my thoughts.

That could be a good thing. It all depends on how you look at it.

INDIE PUBLISHING
As you know if you’ve been here before, I’ve been thinking about indie publishing a lot lately, because I’ve done so much of it this past year.

I brought out three books and had one of them become an award winner (you can’t see my broad grin but, trust me, it’s there).

I’m also working on book Number Four while trying to figure out how to market the ones I’ve already written, so I research incessantly. When I’m doing that, my wife wishes I would get off the computer.

If that sounds in direct opposition to her admonition to ‘go write’ you’ll understand why I’ve come to the conclusion I’ll never really figure her out, even though I’ve been trying for almost 43 years.

SAMPLE
That leaves only the “tease” I promised (an excerpt from the sequel to Reichold Street – unnamed as yet – that I hope to have out later this summer).

To set the stage: Randy and Donnie are brothers who grew up on Reichold Street. They are only secondary characters in this book, but will intereact with the main protagonist.

Both were wounded in a drive-by shooting (in the first book) and Donnie, a promising, talented writer, lost his wonderful ability with words. Shortly after that, they lost their mother to cancer … and now, fifteen years later, they’ve also lost their father.

This is written from the perspective of Randy, the oldest brother:

We made the ride out to Cloverlawn in silence. The cortège was a great long one; one of the longest I’ve ever seen. I failed to understand how Dad seemed so beloved by so many people in Brickdale. I had met most of his friends. There weren’t many.

My brother and I rode alone in the car behind the hearse, silent for the journey’s duration because Donnie made it clear he didn’t want to talk. So we sat there in black suits looking like two dressed statues made of stone. We didn’t even speak to the driver.

We made the long, slow turn near the woods Mom loved. As we entered the cemetery, I spied the first of the apple trees near her plot. It was far too early for Mom’s favorite blue Caryopteris to be in bloom, or for there to be ripe apples on the ground under the trees, but the twisted, gnarled old trunks showed plenty of promise with their blooms.

I stepped out of the car and the apple blossom scent, mingled with the damp musk from the woods, reminded me again how much my parents had enjoyed the area. They’d spent a lot of time looking for homes there. Years. It was, by itself, a good memory. They had always been happy in that patient search, although it had been fruitless. They never left behind the rusty, diesel smell of Brickdale.

For a moment I watched the long string of cars queue up behind us. Then I caught sight of the tent that stood over the dark maw in the earth next to my mother’s grave. Seeing the hole where we would bury Dad darkened my already somber mood.

Donnie was crying.

I honestly don’t remember the words the pastor said at the gravesite. I do recall saying the Lord’s Prayer aloud with the other mourners, but even that memory is vague. I felt faraway and detached as I watched Donnie throw a handful of dirt into the grave while the coffin was lowered into its concrete vault.

People started to leave, but Donnie and I sat on a pair of folding chairs and watched until the workmen had filled the hole completely. We were alone then, except for the driver from the funeral parlor, who kept looking at his watch as if we were keeping him from an appointment.

When I finally stood to go, the driver’s sigh was an audible, palpable thing. “C’mon, Donnie,” I said, “there’s nothing left to do here.”

Silence filled the back seat of the limo again until we were almost home. That was when Donnie quit staring out the side window and looked across the seat at me. “I should write about this someday,” he said.

Donnie turned back and stared out the window, while his hand held an imaginary pen and drew tiny figures in the air.

Then it was my turn to cry.

———-
Read this AMAZING review for my novel “REICHOLD STREET”
———-

 

 

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