The First Try

The little engine said, “I can, I can, I can.”

That’s the kind of determination we need if we’re going to write a book. I hear people say, “Ohhh, I’ve always wanted to write a book.” Well, that is a very ambitious and honorable desire, but it isn’t always as easy as many think. Writing the story is the easy part, at least for me. Getting it published is yet another story. (stay tuned, it will be told)

No, I was not an English major in college, and in High School I liked writing essay’s but was a typical C student in English class. Thankfully there is spell check and indicators now when a sentence is a fragment or whatever.

When I started my first manuscript computer’s had not come on the scene yet, it was a typewriter and an old one at that. And no, I had not taken typing lessons in school either so the process of trying to write, other than with a ball point pen or pencil, was a long tedious job for me. Try the hunt and peck method for a while and you’ll understand.

I had really never considered writing a book. That was something far beyond what I thought was my capabilities but one day I decided to give it a whirl and sat down and started.

Months went by and my “book” became thicker and thicker. I was going to tell the world what a horrible childhood I had. I wrote, I cried, I laughed, and wrote some more. Pretty soon I had a stack of paper as thick as an old Encyclopedia Britannica. This is just too thick for a book, I thought, and started back at the first and cut out whole chapters, sentences and paragraphs until I thought it was a reasonable size and proudly put it in an envelope and shipped it off to a publisher I found in the phone book.

I waited and checked the mail box daily hoping for that prize – accepted.

A few weeks later when opening the mail box I find a large, thick. manila envelope addressed to me. Running into the house I rip it open and the first thing I see is a paper with one word hand written in large letters across it – LIABLE.

I didn’t have a clue what that meant and was devastated that my entire book manuscript was returned and that was the only explanation. I called the publisher and the man on the other end was less than kind or even courteous. “What does it mean, liable?” I asked. He, vary sarcastically replied, “It means its liable!” and slammed the phone down.

I gave up on writing then. The hard work I put into writing the hurtful, angry, tell-it-all memories went in the trash and I didn’t pick up a pen until many years later.


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