Soak Up The Sun Chapter 1 “A Change Will Do You Good” (starter)

  I. A Change Would Do You Good

A writer is only content twice in their life: When they first think of an idea and when they receive the check when they complete that book.
Unless they’re writing a series and then it becomes a never-ending Catch-22 of idea begats another idea but it’s needed on page three hundred of book four and not on page ten of the second chapter. That was my life for three years. It was my fault to begin with. I mean, I titled the series “Four Seasons of Love” with the first book called “Autumn Amore”.

Its success was a surprise to me. I mean, what does a sixteen year-old expect when he submits his manuscript with what must read as a groveling letter to a publisher and after not hearing back for two weeks moves on to the second installment: “Winter Waunderlust”. I was only partway through it when I received an e-mail from the publishing house I submitted the book to.

I admit, I didn’t want to open the e-mail for the obvious reason: they obviously hated it and would go on a line by line diatribe about how sappy and poetic the writing was and how no one would want to read such happy, go-lucky characters who would never have a rainy day and slept on beds laden with fresh rose petals each morning.
I took a deep breath when I opened the e-mail and waited for my heart to drop into that black pit of despair: “Mr Spencer Logan, Thanh you for your submission-”
I could have just stopped reading there as it was the beginning of a form letter I had seen a few times already.
“I loved your work.”

Flash forward and that publisher rode with me through the rocky starts of the first and second book releases, followed by a small book tour. Then, the third book, “Springtime Serenade” dropped onto the masses and for some reason it became immensely popular due to an actress who name-dropped it on Twitter. The first two books were re-released with newer covers that embraced a more sexual context then what was on the pages but, people were buying them so I had no complaints.

Until a year later.

Three hundred and sixty-six days later and I found myself looking over notepads, scanning outlines, and searching for snippets on my hard drive to try and write the fourth book and nothing was coming to me. Well, that’s not exactly true, things were coming to me but they were not within the same genre, time or planet as my current series. I had, maybe, three pages of an actual story and those three pages were used as the “teaser” on my author’s page. “Read an excerpt from the conclusion of Seasons of Love: A Sweet Summer Song”
  I didn’t have writer’s block, more like writer’s fricking brick wall as I pulled all of my ideas form out the mixed vegetable-like soup that was my mind with very little real life experience to back-up my characters. Everything was just. About. There—just enough for a reader to view the scene they were reading in their mind and call it their own.
I spent more time away from my computer and more on my school work and my attempts to get re-acquainted with people my own age: my peers who thought I forgot about them as I took a “vacation” from school for a few months; and by that, I meant I had dropped out to pursue the dream.
My parents were happy with the royalty checks but were disappointed that I had quit school to give it all I had.
We decided I would enroll in a local community college and try for a GED. I was okay with it. I could at least say that I graduated from high school when asked how successful I’ve been. My instructor was my former ninth grade teacher, Mr. Reed. He knew everything about me, including my books, as he had to yell at a new crop of students each year to stop reading them and open their textbooks.
“Saw your interview from last month,” He said as he closed the door to the classroom. “They still love your work.”
“I know. It’s incredible.” I replied as we walked down the hallway.
“What’s incredible is that you said “flabbergasted” in an interview.”
“I was caught up in the moment.”
“And how is the last one coming?”
“It’s coming. Not as quickly as I’d like it to though.”
“You got the block?”
 “Let’s call it a speed bump.”
“Typical.” Mr Reed commented with a snort. 
“I have more ideas in my head than this series but this is what people want.”
 “What do you want?”
We walked out into the blinding light of a Memphis afternoon. It was a day in late May.
 “I don’t know. Maybe blood-spurting zombies and a few warriors to go out and kill them.”
“All you’re getting are warriors with girlfriends?”
“More like the zombies are their girlfriends.”
“Could make a great comic book. I hear superheroes are popular again.”
“Please tell that to my publisher.”
“How much of a lease do they have on you?”  
“I have two months to finish it.”
“How far along are you?”
“Read the website?”
“Yes.”
“That’s it.”
“That’s just three pages.”
“And therein lies the problem.”
“No pressure?”
“Oh no, none at all.”



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This story is 925 words long.