I got my “three cents worth” on this morning’s run #4,160. I like to call them “Angel Winks,” shiny reminders of those you’ve lost in life. (See Post #183). A few months ago I would have stopped to pick these abandoned pennies off the street, but anymore they may pose a viral health threat by even touching them. I left them lay for someone else, but thought of a cousin that recently passed away. We had a couple trees planted in her honor, and perhaps she was saying “thank you.”? The common phrase has always been, “give your two cents worth,” but anymore you have to adjust for inflation. I did stop the other day when I was walking Tally to pick one up, but it was gleaming in the afternoon sun and seemed safe. I brought it home and dropped it in my collection jar after a thorough scrubbing.

It was a good run that generated some new ideas for my novel, temporarily titled “There’s no ‘A’ in Murder,” about a college student serial killer. My wife suggested I change it to A+, to further emphasize the grade. I think she’s concerned that I’m thinking about murdering her, but the main character doesn’t murder people he loves. There have already been too many times when I’m disgusted with my imagination. In fact, I’m not sure if it’s a very healthy project? However, it’s kept me away from watching excessive T.V., although it’s still on in the background. The extra work has also kept me out of the refrigerator. Instead of just the hour spent every day writing this blog, I’ve dedicated considerably more energy to the book. Much more than three cents worth!

I’ve blended in elements of sports, music, and adoption that are clearly personal, but most of the story is pure, twisted fiction. Every writer probably puts a little bit of themselves in their work, but the concern is always that those close to you will “read” more into your artistry. As I talk to my wife about the plot, she expresses worry over my current state of mind. Maybe she looks at me like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining,” a frightening victim of cabin fever? Joe Hill or Stephen King I’m NOT, but at least he’s been happily married for almost 50 years.  His wife is used to his weirdness,  while mine won’t even read this blog for fear of what she might discover about me. This is why I never use her name, just as many authors use a pseudonym to protect their identity. 

It’s interesting to note that Stephen King’s son uses the name Joe Hill on his books because he wanted to succeed on his own, without the benefit of his famous father’s recognition. His work is great, and I respect him for this. However, he probably took advantage of the old man’s contacts, while initially getting into the business. Maybe the publisher fought for him to use the name King? I have never sought out a publisher for any of my work – that may very well be unworthy. I do get personal enjoyment out of working on my poems and stories. As a side note, I rarely use foul language on this blog or in my everyday speech, except when watching sports. The book gives me an outlet to express juvenile humor, cuss words, and anatomy references. I heard on the radio that four-letter words starting with “f” was a common attention-getter these days on book covers. “Thank God There’s An Ocean” was my first attempt at a novel 30 years ago. Admittedly, there are common elements in this second effort. Maybe the third time will be the charm, in order to get my “three cents worth.”?