GHOSTS OF THE PAST
4 Days Ago
Have you ever opened up some of your long forgotten poems, short stories or novels? Painful right? The document is probably littered with vague pronoun references, unnecessary shifts in tense and fused sentences. Even worse, there are sections of the story that don’t contribute to the plot, insignificant characters and mawkishly sentimental underlying messages.
If you’re like me, the first thing you do is plant your face in your hands (a.k.a. the “Face-palm”) and try not to cry. Afterwards, you stare at the Delete button, tempted to obliterate all proof that this story or poem was once yours. Finally, after waging a war with your conscience, you decide to live and let live, leaving the document alone, but lamenting about how terrible your writing once was.
But wait, that’s not fair. Your old work shouldn’t be some dark secret that needs to be hidden from the world. It should be a testimony of what you’ve accomplished. Not only did the “old you” put a lot of effort into that story, but the work is a reminder of who you as a writer once inspired to be. It’s a roadmap of your writing life.
Sometimes, we as writers are very hard on ourselves. We have to be because we’re constantly pursuing perfection. However, we forget that we didn’t just learn how to write overnight. There wasn’t some magical gift bestowed upon us by a divine being. No, we had to start somewhere and work at it, and those old documents are a symbol of that.
For me, once the shock wears off of how bad my writing once was, I realize how beautiful these works really are. Because behind the jungle of grammatical errors and turbulent plot hooks is a vision I once had. I see Justin Alcala, the writer who wanted to give readers a little scare with his horror stories. I see Justin Alcala, the yarn spinner who wanted to give a fresh perspective on legends and folklore. I see Justin Alcala, the young man who wanted to make people happy by telling great stories.
All too often, we authors get swept away by the power that comes with having your works published. I know I get a real kick out of talking to my publisher about cover art or sending new ideas to my editor. It’s fun to put your work onto bookshelves. But we can’t forget about the fundamentals. We need to remind ourselves why we started writing in the first place, and those old tales are just the thing. So the next time your dusting off an old manuscript, remember what those pages really mean. The words may tell a bad story, but the history of its creation is its own sort of autobiography.
“At Artfully Told, we know that everyone has a story about how art has impacted them. We share those stories, from both artists and non-artists alike, to create community and conversation.
In this week’s episode, I welcome Justin Alcala! Justin is an author and tabletop gamer and his episode is packed with crazy, amazing stories, including about growing up in a house that was built on behalf of the South Side Mafia in Chicago with a tunnel to the house across the street. He shares about how his daughter has informed his work, along with his advice for aspiring artists.”
The countdown begins. We are 32 DAYS away from the release of “A DEAD END JOB.” I can’t wait for you to meet Death, Buck, Idaho Face, the Charles Bronson Quartet and so many more. Parliament House Press is working on some fantastic giveaways for September, including a special contest that gives you a signed copy of the book along with Death’s Hello Kitty vault key, a “What weapon would Death’s scythe turn into if it was in your hands” game and a chance to apply with your own resume in order to become Death’s next intern. We will give out dozens of copies via Goodreads as well, so be sure to connect with us on its platform. Don’t forget to click the “Contact Author” button or send a message in order to be added to our newsletter for special giveaways and information. Until then, hang in there with your dead-end job. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Big WOW! Publisher’s Weekly just named “A DEAD END JOB” BEST BOOKS this week along w/ a generous review. I couldn’t be more honored. Check out the link in my bio and don’t forget to preorder your copy.
Book Reviewers: Get an early e-copy of A DEAD END JOB before it hits shelves October 6th. Just drop a message to be the first to read this hilarious urban fantasy book following Buck, the lovable Chicago Hitman, as he interns for the Grim Reaper.
Sorry for interrupting your cult meeting. I know you’re all trying to attain eternal life and all. Now, you’re going to kill me, but uh, I’m actually here to eliminate you all on behalf of the Grim Reaper. Isn’t that neat? Also, let me correct myself. You’re gonna try to kill me…and it’s going to go poorly for you.” -Buck Palasinski, Intern for Death
“A DEAD END JOB” hits pages OCTOBER 6th, 2021. Preorder today at a discounted rate on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
“What a lame day to die. It was Friday, possibly the best time of the week for any seventh grader, it was ruined. People should die on Mondays. That sounds right.”
-Morrigan, The Last Stop
Morrigan’s family needs out of the city. So they move to suburbia where her special needs brother, Asher, is closer to his treatments. Life in a little town though isn’t what it’s cracked up to be and soon Morrigan grows tired of discourteous classmates, quiet streets and strange neighbors. What’s worse, she and her tag along brother are the last ones dropped off every day on the school bus, dragging out her drab existence. The none day a new bus arrives and Morrigan’s life gets deader than she could have ever imagined.