Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans

It has been two and one half years since I last I last wrote here. I had just published my first book, The Riddle of Riddles, both on Kindle and in paperback, and I had vague plans for my next project when life suddenly got in the way. As John Lennon reminds us in his song Beautiful Boy, “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” Ain’t that the truth.

A cascade of events that included a replacement, a renovation, and a relocation (joint,¬† kitchen, Dunedin, FL.) occupied my time, and that of my wife Donna. Anyone who has moved households understands the difficulties involved. We moved from a 5 bedroom, 2 bath long-line ranch on Long Island, NY, first to a 2 bedroom/1 bath condominium and then, within a month, to a 2/2 . Needless to say, downsizing was a major endeavor, and then the renovations required to bring a pepto-bismol-pink, 1975 unit up to today’s standards were major – but lots of fun too.

After pretty much settling in, I joined the Dunedin Writers Group, a gathering of about 15 to 25 writers who gather for meetings  Friday mornings. We read from our as yet unpublished works for others to critique. I read a few short stories I had written, and was so enthused by their honest criticism Рboth positive and negative Рthat I sat down and started writing a pot-boiler, a novel of dubious literary merit.

As a motorcycle maniac for over forty years (often with my two brothers – see previous posts) I had had run-ins with motorcycle gangs who sometimes monopolized the road. I did not appreciate being made to wait until they had passed before being allowed to proceed, so I invented a motorcycle superhero. My protagonist, who I named “Chance,” is a motocross champion, a karate expert, and a rich and handsome loner with some problems of his own. In real life I waited for the motorcycle gang to pass me by. In my novel my hero blasted by them on his supercharged motorcycle. The gang, of course, does not appreciate this and seeks retaliation. From there the story wrote itself. The book is titled “Chance.”

Indeed, the story did, kind of, write itself. I knew there would have to be a confrontation with the gang. I knew Chance would have to meet a beautiful girl and fall in love (of sorts), lose the girl and then find her again. From there I just let the story go – writing from the seat of my pants (a pantser as they say.) And, boy, was it fun! I allowed the story to just flow. One event led inevitably to the next, guided by my imagination. I even had dreams about certain aspects of the work that I used.

It took me about a year to finish the novel, get it proofread, edited and copyrighted. I ran into some formatting problems (more about that in a subsequent post) and I now face creating my book cover. The cover for The Riddle of Riddles came to me during one of my many musings. This cover is not being so easily realized, but I expect the book to be ready within a month. I know better than to give myself deadlines, but I have, and here we go.

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