Read the first chapter of Today I Learned

Yesterday I picked up writing again.  It's been difficult finding time to write lately.  It was much easier during the summer when my slate was completely empty.  (For those that don't know I am a public school teacher).

Between returning to work, adding a work out regimen, and life's beautiful distractions, it has been next to impossible to force myself to sit down and write.  Not to mention Grand Theft Auto V.  That was a huge time suck.  But of course in the back of my mind, that little voice, the dreamer who set me on this path to write down my stories and share them in the first place, was speaking.  He told me to get off my lazy ass and get back to it.  


I have to admit it was a little discouraging to see my first novel, Fulcrum, go through signs of early success and then slip down into the slush pile of self-published obscurity.  Let's just say the book isn't flying off the digital shelves right now.  Yesterday I stopped feeling sorry for myself, sat down at my computer desk, cranked up the metal-heavy-especially-for-writing itunes playlist, and churned out about three thousand words.  You can read the sample here

This novel is going in some really dark places, and let me just go ahead and say it: mom, you may not want to read this one.  One of the aspects of writing that I have struggled with is being true to your characters.  For example: if a guy sees a member of the walking dead shambling towards him, he is probably not going to say "oh, fiddlesticks!" He is probably going to use that other word, which I won't type here.  Or more likely he will issue one of those guttural roars that come from deep within, the primitive kind that are shapeless.

The book focuses on two characters.  First,  a guy who isn't a quality human.  He's not the repressed sociopath who is finally free to indulge his murderous fantasies in an apocalyptic setting.  He is just not a very nice guy.  He is a teacher. Pushing fifty, he has had enough of the public school system.  He finds himself more and more unable to relate to the students in his class.  In a word, he is a burn-out.  Think about that teacher you had when you were in school, he who had little more to offer than biting sarcasm, and seemed to have general disdain for the denizens of his classroom.  He's that guy.  So what happens to that guy when he is thrust into a situation where the dead have risen and crave human flesh?  

The second character is a young girl who happens to be in the aforementioned character's class.  She lives in a squalor with a chain smoking, chemical plant working father that hardly even notices her existence.  He's not around when she needs him the most, when all hell breaks loose.  So who will protect her as the world falls down around her?  Will she rise to the occasion on her own?  Do what it takes to survive? Or will someone in her life step up and fill the void that her father has left in his wake?

Stay tuned for more details!