Today has been a really good day. Well that’s not actually true, today started off sucking balls. And when I say that I do not mean in the hot way you always hope your partner will be into but are also shot down about in the end. Or to put it another way until I went on my lunch break I was really beginning to contemplate an act of vandalism.
It wasn’t a great day.
The day started with me having a hard time getting back to sleep after getting the kids up for school. This is important because the baby (actually she’s 4 now and I feel old as fuck admitting that) is usually up by 8:30 which means those last hours at more the necessary for my mental and physical well being. I managed another hour before my bunny girl assault the daddy bed and forced me out of rest.
That’s life and to be fair my life is pretty fucking good these days.
Following my unwilling wakefulness it was a morning of hip pain (It’s cold and wet outside) and lack of energy. Katie watched cartoons and played on her Kindle while I attempted to do some editing.
It’s nearly impossible for me to work at home. I become distracted, I always have an ear out for what the little one is doing, and the energy is just wrong there. Don’t laugh at that ask any writer, painter, or artist of any medium and they will most likely tell you that some places just don’t feel “Right” when it comes to creating.
Anyhow after I fed the child I got ready for the day job. I don’t hate my day job and I actually like a lot of the people who live and work there. Let’s just take a moment to be clear about something, my job is a little humiliating sometimes. But I am a realist and I am truly grateful to have this fulltime job especially living where I do. So I got ready for work.
There was Burger King on the way to work. It was piping hot and delicious … of that no more will be said for fear of diluting my joy!
When I arrived the normal hilarity ensued. Things I never knew were my job are now retroactively my job. This lead to a massive ass chewing out in both directions. As I write that is sounds kinda kinky but in reality I just ended up pissed off and bitter. But I need to be paid so I hitched my big diaper and dug into the Friday workload.
Things trudged along like normal until I went to lunch.
Sitting at the desk with my laptop open I was getting ready to start working on my current project when I decided to check the email and do some routine business matters first. I am so very glad I did.
Normally my public email (Josh@JoshHilden.com) is filled with offers from people to promote my book for a nominal fee, or to advertise with them for a nominal fee, or with offers for pills to make my dick hard … every day I get closer to opening those.
Today there was only one email and I present it to you here.
Dear Mr. Hilden,
I have recently read your short story, “Confession” and it was wonderful! I am a drama and dance teacher at a rural school in South Africa: Lebone II Independent College. There is an extremely talented Grade 12 student, who is doing Drama as a subject and your story would be an awesome monologue for him to do for his final practical exam. Would you allow him to do so? I would appreciate your response, as I do not know if he needs your permission to use it and what the cost would be. His exams start in 3 weeks time, so I’d really appreciate it if you could get back to me as soon as possible. Thank you.
(Removed for the writers privacy)
I will be honest and I am embarrassed to admit that my first reaction was that is amazing and touching message was a scam. But after the third read through, and I admit a few Google searches, I was overcome with gratitude.
The Confession is a story I am very proud of and sort of different from a lot of my earlier work. It was my first serious and successful attempt at a straight first person narrative. I liked to think it was pretty good when I published it.
I have received some amazing feedback on my work over the last year. I have also received some head scratching feedback but hey, go read some of the Amazon reviews of your favorite books and you will be left questioning the intelligence and taste of the human race. When you break it all down I think I am gaining good name recognition in the Indie community and a lot of people seem to like my work. It all makes me feel good even if it doesn’t cross my palm with gold on a regular basis.
This is so different.
I had an asshole creative writing teacher in my sophomore year who seemed to make it his mission to kick me in the nuts. At the time I thought it was because he hated me, juvenile. Then as I got older I came to think it was because he was trying to make me a better writer. When in my early thirties I had an editor/publisher tell me the same thing while he abused the shit out of me I decided that was bullshit. Now I know he was just a petty man who had no other way of making himself feel good than beating up on kids with low to no self esteem.
That a teacher, one who is apparently highly educated, has chosen my work for one of her best and brightest to use for his final practical exam … well that is amazing. I have no words appropriate to express my feelings. I don’t think that Confession is the best thing I’ve ever written but I am proud of it and I do believe that it has legs. This validation means more to me than all the money I’ve earned in my career.
I hope this young man does well in his exams and I hope my words are worthy.