Since this is my first ever blog post, I want to make it relevant, timely, serious and, who am I kidding? I just wanna write about what really trips my trigger. Since I recently paid a record $25 just to get in the door of the Starbird car show, this is my effort to make the most of the high price of admission and somehow relate it to writing.
I’ve been going to this show since 1975. My late wife Becky and I drove from Poteau on a snowy Sunday with our nine month old son Joseph to the Tulsa Convention Center. The total cost of the trip in ‘75 was probably less than I paid to get in door this year. A guy was there in ‘75 with a band saw, and cut out of our names, Becky & Joe from a piece of beautiful, two inch thick white pine in fancy script letters. I gave it to one of the kids in 2008 after Becky died.
Since 1975, I have attended the Starbird show more times than not. Three years ago I took my then four year old grandson Jarrad to the show, passing the torch to the next generation. OK, I know you’re wondering if I’m ever gonna relate this to my writing, so here goes.
I’ve owned some cool cars and trucks. All four of my kids had second generation Trans Am’s as first cars allowing me to relieve my teenage years remembering the 55 Chevy from my youth. We entered a Trans Am in the Starbird show in 2000 as part of the Pontiac Club exhibit, but didn’t win a trophy.
One thing you always see at any custom car event are a cool rides in the parking lot. Some would qualify to be in the show, but most are daily drivers which are the passion, obsession, pride and joy of some young kid or older guy like me. Fast, cool admired and enjoyed by onlookers, but not prize winners.
Seeing dozens of such vehicles in the parking lot this year reminded me of my writing. My self published novels are not prize winners. I have never entered a writing contest and have no desire to do so.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a complete marketing whore and enjoy talking about my work to an audience more than just about anything in the world. Selling a book and signing the inside page for a new reader also gives me a great deal of satisfaction. However, the motivation for my writing and decision to self publish in 2009 was all about personal accomplishment, not winning prizes. My three year journey has been a learning experience and I’ve been blessed to meet the best people in the world in the writing community.
I applaud writers who submit their work to contests, agents, publishers, magazines, newspapers, etc. Their bravery and tenacity truly amazes me. While I may never win trophies or prizes for my “parking lot” writing, I do enjoy receiving a complimentary email or nice comment on Facebook from my readers, which happens often.
So, when you see me cruisin’ ‘round town smilin’ in my old daily driver Chevy with the windows rolled down and my pony tail blowin’ in the breeze (with some books in the back seat), please turn to your family or friends and say, “Hey, there goes Joe, the parking lot writer. He’s not winnin’ any prizes for his work, but he is havin’ the time of his life” LOL