I flinched as the door slammed behind me. Its echo reverberated against the cavernous concrete walls. Looking left and then right, I tried to remember.   Guessing left I began walking. A low hum drifted toward me. “What the hell?” My body shivered as fear washed over me. “Too many hiding places. Stranger danger.” I quickened my pace. My sweaty finger slipped pushing the fob button, but the red lights flashed. A sigh emanated from my lips. Reaching the front side, I pulled the door handle just as the humming approached. Rotating my head, I absorbed its clean lines and ample curves as the sleek Tesla S rolled past.

Yup, that’s right. My spouse and I spent two and a half hours standing in line. Perhaps better than the eleventh person who arrive four hours before the doors opened. Once inside, the process swiftly ended in a few minutes. Email address. Credit card. A refundable grand later, I had placed an order for the Tesla 3, sight unseen.

The evening’s reveal indicated production would begin in 2017 with the delivery of the first car in the fourth quarter. Since history had indicated delays, obtaining mine would remain unknown. When a friend discovered I had participated, he mockingly wondered whether the novel or the Tesla would happen first. I simply laughed.

The rewrite continued. I definitely envisioned a faster pace. I’m focused on several areas. Attacking passive verbs. Changing structure to avoid hitting the reader over the head with a two by four. Eliminating dialogue tags which I discovered are the hallmarks of beginning writers. A “tag” involves attaching emotion to what a character has stated. For example, “he barked softly.” I continued to improve my skills, but I assume my editor will also have several suggestions.

In addition, reading other authors can improve artistry. Currently, I’m absorbing Stephen King’s 2011 book 11/22/63. I always enjoyed his writing but haven’t read one in awhile. With my imagination, they always scared the crap out of me. King writes unbelievably. Within a few pages, I became hooked on the 800 plus page novel. I can’t wait to get back to it.

King, like Dean Koontz, can definitely turn a phrase, which is why I like both authors. Here’s an example from 11/22/63: “In America, where surface has always passed for substance, people always believe guys like Frank Dunning.” After reading it I stopped and contemplated. Wow, how applicable to our current political campaigns where surface has definitely outshined substance.


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2 responses to “SURFACE

  1. Hey, Mark! Tesla, eh? Guess you’re figuring the novel will sell big. I’m glad you’re patiently at it, learning as you go. This novelizing is a lesson a day, isn’t it? I’ve incorporated your excellent feedback into the manuscript, which is much the better for it. Thanks again. Bill



    Can I have a ride when you get it? And loved the surface/substance quote — yep, perfect for all the political crap being spouted (totally amazed at how many people drink that Kool Aid).


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