Well.

You can imagine the uproar I created when, last week, when I completely forgot to post my Friday blog. The phone lines haven’t stopped ringing, the emails boopittybooping, the teletypes ticking, and the carrier pigeons cooing and crapping in my pool. Throughout the world, countless babies cry, radium decays, the polar ice caps recede, and a satellite drops out of orbit. But then, as I tell people in real life, I’m a pathological liar.

I have no good excuse. I have several lame excuses. The one I’m standing with is that I was so absorbed in getting my final few episodes of “The Price of Friendship” up to www.podiobooks.com that I forgot. For those of you new to this blog and my weekly drivel, which would be anyone who actually is reading this now, I finally got all my episodes up and running. That makes it my first published novel. Self published and only in audio, true, but out there in the public arena falling unsuspecting ears and giving people a chance to learn my name.

Here’s a musical interlude that always inspires me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KwEuNapzt0

I’ve mentioned in a few places that I am now declaring myself a ‘Novelist’. “That’s awfully presumptuous,” some might grumble. “Anyone could write down fifty thousand words, self publish it and call themselves the same.”

Consider. ‘The Price of Friendship’ ended up at 60k words. Even if I was keeping a steady pace of 1000 words per minute, that would be 60 hours. Add to that two edits at about 2000 words per hour; another 60 hours. The total finished recorded length is about 5 hour and 30 minutes. That took 9 hours to record and 18 hours to edit, mix and level. That’s a total of 147 hours, minimum, spent on this novel. That’s nearly a whole month  spent at a full time day job. If someone spent 147 hours shooting arrows at a bail of hay, we would call that person an archer, no?

I’ve paraphrased Stephen King before, from his book, “On Writing”, where he says that we write because we enjoy it.

I enjoy telling stories because I like becoming lost in another world. While it is easy to become absorbed into a tale such as “The Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter”, you are still guided along the author’s preferred route. Had Roger and I still been telling our freeform stories when we hit the end of ninth grade and read, “The Hobbit” for the first time, we would have taken our cast of characters through Mirkwood forest, fought giant spiders and discovered elves. I have had the greatest enjoyment watching my stories play out before me as conflicts arise and fall, as characters develop and unexpected twists present themselves from unintentionally, ‘carefully placed’, circumstances or events, earlier in the story. I love my characters. I want them to grow up, get married and have kids. (In that order.)

YOU CAN SKIP DOWN TO THIS POINT. MUCH OF THE PRECEDING IS DRIVEL.

My point is, we write because it’s fun and rewarding. If the fun is enough for you, and you don’t want to share it, that’s cool. I’m afraid I like the rewarding, too. I got my first feedback on the podiobooks site today. Someone, who I don’t know, said they enjoyed the story and looked forward to another. That’s great. I can’t ask for more. Well, I could ask for more, but at this point, I won’t.

Write and have fun.
Philip ‘Norvaljoe’ Carroll is a staff editor as Flying Island Press. He’s a novelist, father, grand father, orthotist, and did I mention, novelist? He has published his first novel at www.podiobooks.com and has five other stacks of virtual paper with enough words in them to call them novels. He vows he will not continue to claim the venerable title if he doesn’t produce at least one more novel per year.

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