IT'S NEVER TOO LATE by Barbara Weitzner
The reason I started to write was because I was eating too much. I was bored, getting fat and had just celebrated my eightieth birthday. Old age can use new enterprises.
I bought a computer and with a few friends, I took lessons, learned how to use the internet and Microsoft Word. After the first few months of hanging around the house, a funny thing happened on the way to the kitchen. I changed direction, sat down at my new computer, wrote a short story and, for kicks, entered it in a contest I’d found on Google. I came in third! Then another surprise! Another short story was published in a literary magazine.
My husband was thrilled. I was spending less time at the mall snatching up have-to-have bargains.
Years ago, I’d visited my sister in California and read an article in her newspaper which haunted me and refused to leave the corners of my mind. So I decided to write a novel based on that unforgettable story, changing the locale and some minor characters.
It is about a couple who meet in a bar. He buys her a drink. He can hardly believe his luck. She’s gorgeous and fun. Where could it lead?
It was a story for every man or woman who had ever loved the wrong person; who yearned to experience true rapture—the kind that gives you shivers, staggers you, all-consuming, and leaves you breathless, ready for anything.
It began as a romantic romp that segued into a tragedy.
Sequestered in the den, smart phone turned off, I began to type my story. Family began to notice my less than perfect manicure, my rounded shoulders, the slight squint I’d developed in my eyes, a growing tendency for my mind to wander away from conversations.
Soon, my characters were wearing me down. I did everything to raise them right and as soon as they hit the page, they did anything they damn pleased.
I thought I might as well forget about it and join the knitting club.
Before I began to write this novel, I was unable to button my jeans. With each hour spent mulling and deleting they began to hang pleasantly loose. I lost my appetite and strange sounds seem to gurgle from my belly.
My husband warned me my short temper was beginning to alienate a lot of folks. "Your daughters-in-law say you’ve been sulky. And forget about sex. I’ll settle for a good home-cooked meal. You never have time to cook. Shut down the computer and read the directions on the oven."
He was right, of course, but I was getting tired of him hovering over my shoulder. I needed less hovering. The hub thinks he’s Doctor Oz.
Well...the truth is, we’re compatible souls. I always know when he likes something and when he doesn’t. I understand what a shrug or a shift in his chair means or what he wants when he smiles a little too long. I expect we’ll rust or corrode, and live together forever.
In every book is the soul of the person who wrote it. I let the spell of each character, their words and thoughts take over until my characters seemed as real as my family.
While friends mulled over good restaurants and less-expensive hairdressers, I worried about my protagonist’s unsavory personality. Would my readers hate him, envy him? Identify with him? Wish him well or hell? Would my readers be titillated, or turned off?
Would I have any readers?
Hubby peered over my shoulder to read a sexy paragraph. He cleared his throat. He squinted. I noticed his eyes watering. Was he reading lines too shocking to be kept in focus? He began to show the first signs of his age.
My canasta partners got annoyed when I put down my cards to jot down an idea. Friends got annoyed when their phone calls went unanswered. Hubby got annoyed when I’d jump out of bed to rewrite a paragraph.
Finally the book was finished.
Carpe diem. I wanted to see my story in print before I dropped dead of anxiety or old age (even sixty-year-olds were now holding doors for me).
I received an offer from a small publisher, Solstice Publishing, and signed a contract without reading it. As the proofreading and editing progressed, I found myself arguing over changes and suggested corrections, also a title change. I’d called my novel, The Most Glorious Thing Ever, a reference to lovemaking. My editor thought it sounded like a religious book. Religious books don’t sell. I stuck to my guns with the sangfroid of John Grisham.
Hubby suggested I read the contract. Uh-oh. I had no control over the title or cover. I began to worry about both. Prayed if they were changed they would meet my taste test. Friends assured me sleaze sells.
But since these ruminations are neither, encouraging or useful, I try to put them out of my mind, and, yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.I sincerely hope my success will encourage anyone who has a story to tell, to write it down.
Guest Blogger Bio
My novels, The
Most Glorious Thing Ever, The
Parradine Allure and A New Start
have been published by Summer Solstice. My short story, “Please Wake Up”, was published in the 2012 issue of
Soundings Magazine. My short story, “An American Christmas”, received honorable
mention in the 2006 La Belle Lettres short story contest. My article, “It’s Never
Too Late”, appeared in the September 2014 issue of Southern Writing. My
articles have appeared in the 2009 and 2014 issues of Breezes, a South Florida
magazine. My short story, “First Love”, was accepted for the 2014 fall issue of
Gemini Magazine. My short story, “Apt. 5B” was included in Steps in Time
Anthology. My short story “Lost”, was included in the Solstice Anthology. My
play, “Robbie Von Hooten Is A Jerk”, was
chosen to be read to an audience at Sugar Sand Park, 2010 in Boca Raton,
Florida. I am on Facebook and Twitter.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Weitzner/e/B00J0JNX10/Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7797580.Barbara_Weitzner