My novel, Concealed: The Book of Joshua is a result of many influences, including my twin son and daughter. You see, my twin son and daughter discovered Bob Ross.
You remember Bob, the afro-haired landscape painter who mesmerized us on public television each Saturday afternoon. The one all of us enjoyed and shyly admitted we watched? Ross probably inspired lots of artists. He inspired my son to the point that his only request for Christmas was a Bob Ross paint set.
My son did what most of us – including myself – rarely do. He took the risk and expressed himself.
I admire him for that. I admire all three of my children for that shared trait. They takes chances, they express themselves. And it doesn’t matter to them if only a few people, a few dozen, or a few hundred see the results, it’s their personal, creative journey.
I hope that my experience inspires you to take that chance, too.
I’ve been a creative person most of my life, too. I wrote short stories in high school after first reading F. Scott Fitzgerald. I moved to radio, then television, and documentary video. Along the way, I was drawn to computers because the computer could do for me what my hand and paint brush could not. With the help of a computer, I could make something visually pleasing from my imagination. My crude hand-drawn ovals became circles; my spatial relationships took on an aesthetic beauty. From there, I became creatively distracted.
I starting working on the Web in 1993. I never viewed my personal website work as anything other than a rough, open-air workshop. When I began blogging with others in the late 1990’s and continued off and on throughout the next decade and into our current decade. I was always more curious about the process and the tools. From time to time, I added a bit of creativity, never intending for any of it to be viewed as a finished product. it is and was a public display of the raw and the unpolished.
Over the last two years, as I’ve worked to open the Iowa Writer’s Retreat at Two Mile Ranch.
I’ve led a couple of writing prompt experiences, called the 60 day summer writing challenge #60dayswc. As I shared that challenge with others, they led me to discover National Novel Writing Month.
So last fall I made myself a promise. I said I would finish a novel. And I began “typing”, as Michael Perry refers to it in his self-deprecating style, in early November. My goal, shared with other aspiring novelists was finishing a rough draft of 50,000 words in 30 days. I knew full well that if I could reach that goal, editing, clarification and more scenes could take me to the 80,000 – 120,000 word count of a typical novel.
I stopped writing my blogs, switched off Facebook and Twitter, and suspended most of my other social media writing. I channeled my efforts so that my words all moved towards my focus.
In May (backwards pi day 05/14/13), Concealed: The Book of Joshua was live to the world, and I’d love it if you bought a copy and let me and others know what you think over at Goodreads or on Amazon. It’s on Amazon as a 380 page paperback or a quick download on Kindle.
When I sent the first finished draft to a handful of reviewers, who agreed to suffer my first novel, I wondered about their reaction. I told them if it was awful to tell me, and we would share a good laugh and a virtual beer together.
But my painting son said it best when he quoted Bob Ross back to me, “there are no mistakes, only happy accidents.”