Madeleine’s Stone

An excerpt from my kindle short ‘A Day In October’.  Follow the link below to purchase!  Thank you!

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A shot of the very spot in this excerpt taken in October 2010

There, we stopped and talked with each other like children curious about each other. Those elementary school infatuations. Madeleine would step up onto the rocks and look down at me with those eyes and that sparkle in them when she’d smile and giggle. Telling me she was now taller than I while pulling her hair back from her eyes, then wrap herself tight in the light blue coat she was wearing that day.
It would only ever take a moment and a look with Madeleine. That captivating way she’d engross herself in me as we talked about nothing at all under the branches of that pine tree from her perch atop one of the stones.
After a bit and a cigarette, I suggested we start to head back.
Madeleine insisted on one more moment. To just…wait…a moment.
She’d been fidgety like a fourth grader hanging out with her crush and just stood there looking at me. This mesmerizing gaze that held that feeling and that moment and hinted there was so much more to be told of this beautiful young lady and that boy nervously staring back at her.
I took her hand to lead her off the stone. Madeleine sliding down into my chest as we embraced there for a time. That burial in each other’s eyes, arms and lips.
Just us. Out there seeing what was.

Purchase ‘A Day In October’ by Joel Buhs here!

Thanks for reading and following!

Much love,

-jb

 

Thank you.

Earlier last week, I announced on my Facebook page that I was going to publish a short for Kindle on March 1 with all the expectation I had when I tried doing this sort of thing a couple of years before.

Basically, if the internet were a room full of friends, and there was a sound it made like crickets…that was what I expected.

In the ocean of negative political and social posts, my little book ‘A Day In October’ was sure to be about as noticeable as an individual plankton being vacuumed up by a whale somewhere in the South Pacific with no sight of land.

I was close.  And I was so far off.

First, a friend from high school shared the link, bought the book and congratulated me.  Someone I hadn’t talked to in 25 years was there.  To support my dream, and did so without question.  My heart sank, because there were people I saw daily that didn’t give to shits to the wind whether I ever did anything more than push shopping carts at the grocery store.  In fact, some that insisted that I give up my ‘nonsense’.

And this person I used to toss a ball back and forth to and shoot hoops with after school, knew.  Someone that claimed never to read, was reading my ebook and enjoying it!

Another friend from the early days of my restaurant career jumped on board full boar, downloading and consuming that story in hours, then offering amazing words of encouragement before sharing the link to the book on social media.

Then, a bar regular from a few years back did the same…

One of my followers on Instagram read the book and gave me rave reviews, making me promise to come through her neck of the woods to give her a signed copy when I was a famous novelist.  And when someone you don’t even know gives you that compliment…

Someone I barely knew who would sit quiet at the bar nursing hangovers was cheering me on.

And I thought I felt emotion writing the story.  Nope.  Not compared to the excitement of seeing people supporting my dream.

People who I’d lost contact with were suddenly my best friends.  These people see someone going after their dream and support it.

Is it a best seller?  No.  And that wasn’t the point, even though that would be nice.  The point of writing ‘A Day In October’ was to cry, and feel, and iron out emotions I felt, both at the time the story took place, and while I was soaking my keyboard.

Support is those strangers on Instagram who like and comment on the posts I write along with the photos I share, pushing me to continue and not give up the dream.  The way my parents have, since I was in second grade holding my first short story and thinking…holy shit…our kid can write?

So, for those of you who follow my posts here, on Facebook, and Instagram, from the bottom of my heart, I can’t thank you enough for pushing a stranger to become what he’s always wanted.  It’s a little late to get started, but it’s never too late to chase your dreams.

To those who have, and those who will…I love you for your enthusiastic support and I promise to keep going and never quit.

If you’d like to check out the story I published, follow the link below!  Again…thank you.A DAY IN OCTOBER COVER

Much love,

-jb

‘A Day In October’ by Joel Buhs on Amazon

Little Update

Rough couple of weeks with ‘The Pepper House’.

For one, and this will sound weird if you aren’t a writer yourself, but Kate and I had a disagreement.  I had finished up this glorious scene, or at least I thought, where she and Jacob connect for the first time.

With another chapter under my belt and feeling like I was cresting the hill of writers block that had been torturing me the last couple of weeks, I decided I’d go for a walk and get some fresh air.  Put my earbuds in and listen to music and allow the camera to bounce on my hip.

I was ecstatic.  My two love interests had finally met, and it was looking good.

Then Kate decides she doesn’t’ want to meet Jacob at her work, but his.

Damn if it didn’t make more sense.  After all, their relationship is centered on photography and as such, should be the catalyst in their meeting.  It also finishes out that first act so much better than a typical meeting in a café.

So…back to the drawing board on that, but I feel pretty good about it.

Sometimes, listening to the voices in your head isn’t such a bad thing.

On another note, I’m editing and polishing a short book on advice for single parents.  The purpose is two fold.  Based on my own experiences as a single parent, I wanted to dispense come sound advice for other single parents.  I’d recently come across someone that was fresh out of a marriage and had no idea how to handle what they were going through.  We had a long talk and I found myself talking about how to go about everything other than the legalities of it.  From handling the break up to dating when they’re ready to how parents are supposed to put their kid first and work as a team…but at arm’s length.

The second reason behind taking up the side project is to practice exposure.  When I met this person, I was researching how to promote my work once it’s finished.  Being an indie author, marketing is all on me.

With the Pepper House, I want to get it right, so I’m going to be doing short stories and ebooks as I go and publishing them using various tactics on getting noticed from blogging to listing them on websites that promote independent authors.

This way, if I haven’t landed a publisher by the time I’m ready to release The Pepper House, I’ll have enough experience under my belt to do a better job selling my novel.

As always, thank you for your time and support…

Speaking of which, my next post will be about how to support those creative people you know…

Thanks again!

Much love,

-jb

Jacob Took A Picture

Little over a week ago, I was standing in the living room, staring at the floor.  There, spread out on index cards was a complete story.  By complete, I mean that there were three acts with plot points, twists, and a resolution that left me satisfied that it was now time to start writing the manuscript in earnest.

I posted a picture of myself with my babies to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook then kicked the Keurig into second gear.

It was time to write.

That first sentence can be a real bitch.  It’s the one that gets readers to move onto the next sentence, and it can be absolutely intimidating to write it.  I spent several hours going over ramblings and scribbles from the past five years that I’d been incubating ‘The Pepper House’, and still don’t have a first sentence.

Why?

Because I need to write an entire book, and I can come back to it when the time comes.  This has been a huge obstacle for me throughout my years and attempts to write.  It’s getting off the blocks once the gun has fired.  I have this unreasonable need to obsess on perfection when it comes to telling a story, and knowing the importance of those first few words can be paralyzing.

I did the opposite.  I wrote the worst sentence I could think of that conveyed what I was wanting it to say.  “Jacob took a picture of the Pepper House.”

Looking at it for a time, I was at the point of picking my laptop up and flinging it across the room.  Who reads the next sentence?  No one.  Who buys that book?  No one.

And I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.  It was so absurd to me that it was nothing to write the second sentence and within an hour, I had chapter one.  A really rough chapter in need of a lot of red ink, but that’s a different issue for me than that first sentence.

Editing is a completely different demon that I’ll conquer later.  For now…just keep writing.

A handful of chapters and act one is done.

It’s Sunday morning, ten days in…

I got this…

-jb

Writing The Novel: Day One

Let’s try this again…

Writing the Novel: Day One.

If I counted every day that I spent thinking, conjuring, doubting, and procrastinating this, today would definitely not be the first day of writing the novel.

I chose today as Day One because today I am writing the first chapter that I intend to use as Chapter One of my upcoming novel ‘The Pepper House’.  Everything I’ve written thus far, over the last five years, has been content, brainstorming, and mistakes.  And I plan to make a lot more mistakes as I go, but that’s okay.  I have to accept them, learn from them, and correct them.

In essence, today is the first day that I’m correcting a huge mistake I made in 2013 when I started to allow doubt and indecision pull me away from what I had been focused on in the fall of 2012 with my first attempt at writing the novel.

It’s the concept of fear.  Not feeling like I am good enough to write a novel, whether or not it hits any bestseller lists or even sells at all.  For the last four years, I let the idea that writing HAD to make money rule how I approached writing.  The constant need to justify my writing by promising others that this would somehow solve all financial problems when the truth of the matter was that I had never, ever considered writing from a financial gains standpoint.

The truth in the philosophy that the moment one starts to write with financial goals as the reward, there will be no financial rewards.  I made the mistake of second guessing myself because I would hear the question ‘but how much money will it make?’ when in truth…no one knows, and I really don’t care.

I have been writing since I was a child for no other reason than my own entertainment and sanity.  Yes, I love feedback and the excitement of people who support me when they get to read what I’ve written.  In fact, it drives me to keep going.  The questions about plot, character, story…and the anticipation in friends, loved ones, and strangers who barely know me who plead with me to get them the next bit…next chapter…

Yesterday, I finished what is as complete an outline as I needed in order to get started with established goals to keep me driven and ambitious enough to proceed.  It’s a very malleable outline, leaving room for movement, but it’s also set in plot points and resolutions that I have to adhere to.  This means I have something to reference when I start feeling lost.  I’d never worked off an outline before, and believe this is the best way for me to stay motivated and on task this time.

That said, today is Day One of ‘The Pepper House’.  A story inspired by a moment in my own life as a father that I will never, ever forget.

Let’s hope I do that moment, that scared single dad…some justice.

Thank you,

-jb