It’s not been easy to write the past few months. I’ve been working from 4 AM to 3 or 4 PM Monday through Friday. On top of that, I’m going through something challenging physically. Once again, I will have to climb another mountain. Hey, what’s one more mountain, right?

Following four years of on and off drug use, I sobered up on January 31, 2019. A little more than four years ago. I was utterly committed to building a new life upon the ashes of my old life, and I’ve done that and more. I buried material objects, relationships, and, and many ways; I buried myself.

My family doesn’t like it when I bring up anything bizarre. If they only knew how bizarre the adventure truly was. It was so bizarre I became a writer. The words poured from my mind, through my fingers, and onto the screen. At times, my fingers couldn’t keep up with my brain. It was nothing to sit down and bang out a few thousand words.

Besides my recreational activities, I spent 2015 to 2019 attending school. No, I hadn’t returned to college in my forties. I lost everything in 2015. I stress the word everything. All people, relationships, and possessions were gone from my life. Even my friends were gone, including those who were ‘good’ friends. I could have done things differently, but sometimes things happen because they must. Our choices and the consequences of those choices shape our lives for better or worse. In my case, better and worse would be the outcome of an enlightening but, at times, a nearly unbearable path of self-discovery. In many ways, I compare these four years to a four-year degree. Was it worth it? Yes, and no. I lost four years of my life. At the same time, those four years changed me forever. And, without them, I would not be writing this or anything else besides the occasional shopping list.

When everything is stripped away, all that remains is the mind, body, and soul. Back in 2015, it was Me, God, and the Universe. On top of losing all worldly possessions, I would go on to lose them a few more times. I chose to walk away with only a backpack twice. It’s a powerful experience, knowing with complete certainty. That is, having total Faith and confidence. After beginning to rebuild my physical life, I walked away from the material life by choice, knowing the Universe would provide whatever I needed whenever needed. Imagine, for a moment, needing money desperately. Then, verbalizing the need. Finally, within minutes, stepping on some cash, carefully folded, and laying on the sidewalk directly in your path. Although, I did learn the importance of being specific. I once found half of a fifty-dollar bill. On a separate occasion, I picked up one of those hollow promotional pens from a bank. You know, the kind full of shredded currency. All I could do was laugh. Remember, when speaking words to our Universe, it’s crucial to be very specific.

Throughout the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, most were locked down at home and unable to return to work. I was rarely home. By this time, I’d completed my four-year degree and was working overtime and renting a three-bedroom apartment with a roommate. Our jobs were considered ‘essential.’ In fact, every job I’ve had in the past four years has been essential. During the lockdown, downtown Denver looked like a ghost town. I remember yelling at the occasional lonely jogger, “go home!” I considered the lockdown to be ridiculous and damaging to everything and everyone. The exception would be anyone predisposed to immune deficiency. During the lockdown, I researched masks in depth and discovered they were . . . wait for it . . . as useless as the current White House Administration. The only exception would be an N95 mask if appropriately used. The key word is ‘properly.’

Besides working, I started this blog and wrote a 175K word novel during the pandemic. I’ve written several pieces concerning the writing of my book. The experience was life-changing. I wasn’t driving between 2016-2019, so I spent quite a bit of time using public transportation. I wrote 90% of my novel with my cellphone, much of that while riding the light rail or bus. Yes, I do have a laptop now, of course. This novel is . . . well . . . it’s become an extension of myself.

Instead of paying thousands of dollars for a professional edit, I’m using editing software and doing it myself. Also, since most Ebooks are around 80K words, I will split my novel into two books. I plan on keeping the story alive with several more books anyway. I should have something published shortly.

Joseph Shanklin

March 25, 2023

12 thoughts on “Preparing To Publish The First Book of The Series

  1. Congratulations! I feel bad for those who are in the pains of addiction. Thus, your own success gives me great hope!

    BTW, I thought I was already following you but it said I wasn’t so I just followed you “again”.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.