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Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 25, 2015: Work in Progress

     Some of you who have been paying attention have noticed that I changed the name of my blog from "Writer M Ray Holloway Jr" to "A Work in Progress". I saw that some other bloggers I was following used a title for their blogs and thought it was a good idea for me as well. I really didn't mean to seem so narcissistic with my previous title, but like my new title implies, this whole venture is a work in progress and I learn new things about how to do things every single day. The title is also a comment on my life. As a Christian, I have never felt that I have reached my final state of perfection or holiness or whatever Christ-like state that we are striving for. I honestly don't think that I ever will as long as I travel this earth. The striving is where the greatest blessings can be found. So, like my writing career, my life is a work in progress as well.
     To catch everyone up to date, I have several things out now that I have written. I did a test piece on Kindle Direct Publishing with my first story, which was so long that it is actually called a novelette. It is a very non-scary ghost story about a country boy around the end of the civil war who gets in trouble with the law and winds up in prison. He dies there, but for some reason, finds himself still there, unable to move on to the next life. Several decades later, a team of ghost hunters come to the prison, which has been abandoned  by then, and try to communicate with any spirits who are still around. The results are amusing, as the frustrated ghost can't seem to make himself understood. This story, called "The Picture of the Ghost",  will remain on Amazon.com until September, at which time I will decide to leave it there or try to place it elsewhere. It sells for 99 cents, but from July 25 through July 29, you can download it for free. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can get it free anytime, as I understand it. If you don't own a Kindle, you can get a free Kindle application for your computer, tablet, or phone.
     My second piece is now posted on Amazon's Writeon website, which is a page for writers to try out new works before publishing them. The story is called "Gretchen's Shoot", and is about two sisters who became bored with life and decided to add some excitement by becoming professional wrestlers. They are very successful as a tag team, and begin to branch out as solo acts. Soon, Gretchen and Trish find themselves at the top of the league as the number one and two wrestlers. The story talks about how professional wrestling works and explains that each match is carefully choreographed or "scripted" with a predetermined outcome that the wrestlers are supposed to follow. When a wrestler decides that he or she is not going to follow the script, it is called a  "shoot". The story is about a match between the sisters that Gretchen decides is not scripted the way she likes, and her struggle with what she wants to do. Although the story explains the way wrestling works, it is more a tale about the two sisters' relationship and how it develops.
     I also submitted a small piece called "Summer Dreams" to the August Writer's Digest "Your Story" competition. The winner will be published in the September issue, and readers will have the chance to vote for their favorites. The story is about a young man who is going on a date with his girlfriend for her prom night. To his surprise, she gets permission to stay out all night, leading him to wonder what she might have in mind.
     In the works right now is a complete rewrite of a story that I wrote about thirty-five years ago called "The Empath". It was about an unusual young man who had a remarkable ability to heal people by engaging with them emotionally. While I have been trying to get this rewritten, my work has gone from laying us off for two weeks to working us ten hour days and Saturdays. This has made it difficult for me to do much more than work and sleep.
     On August 7th, I will be retiring from work and spending all my time writing and promoting my work. It's time to leave my legacy of written tales for those who come after me.

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