Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Special Day – The Joy of Achievement

Today marks a special day for me. About four years ago, I began writing a short story with the intent of giving it away on my website. The story, Monk For A Month, is about a family, two dads and a six-year-old boy, who live as monks for a month at a temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand—a temple I’m very familiar with.

It became a story that I’m extremely proud of, and once I began giving it away, I received a flood of glowing feedback from my readers. It was such a positive experience for both me and them, that I decided to write a second story, Handcarved Elephants, on the same theme of a troubled American living as a Thai monk. Over the years, I wrote a third monk story, and a fourth, and fifth.

Today, I’ve finished the sixth monk story, which completes the anthology. This afternoon I’ll send it to Bold Strokes Books, who have already contracted to publish these stories as an anthology, Buddha’s Bad Boys.

Yes, there will be for rounds of edits with the publisher, and more work to do before it’s published in February, but for now, it’s exactly the way I want it, the best I can do.

There is nothing quite like the emotional rush when you reach the end of the story during the last edit pass, and you know four years of work is now complete, the best you are capable of. This will be my ninth published book, my Ode To Joy, if you will. (I’m not seriously comparing myself to Beethoven)

But like Beethoven and every other artist, I’ve experienced that moment of total gratification from knowing I’ve accomplished something significant (at least to me) and now I’m ready to leap into an even tougher project, one that will challenge me in different, unimaginable ways.

I say, “Bring It On!” But not until I’ve had a day or two to fully enjoy this uplifting feeling of achievement.

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