Looking Back as I Head Forward, Part 1


I’m coming up on the four-year anniversary of being a published indie author. In honor of that, I’m doing a four-part series about my writing journey.

Part 1

This writing anniversary always gets me reflecting on my journey. It’s not that I started writing four years ago,  I’ve been doing that since I was a teenager, although I took it more seriously in the 90s. I wrote a couple of children’s books and many children’s short stories. “Mega Veggies” was published in a children’s magazine and I was sending out my work to publishers with “nice” handwritten rejections. Also during this time frame, I made the decision to further educate myself. So I took several writing classes and later found myself back in college, where I focused on English, Photography, and Yoga. It was in a college English Class I found my love poetry and I began to work on more “adult” short stories, but then after I graduated all of my work just sat. I’d stopped sending my books to publishers and hadn’t submitted an article, short story, or poem to a magazine in a while. I had a family to raise, relatives to take care of, and health issues. Writing wasn’t a priority.

Then an incident happened in 2015 that ended up being a great story. Four years ago on a cold winter’s night in February, on Friday the 13th, I had just finished reading and was about to go to sleep. I had to use the restroom, so I threw the covers back and raced across the 20 feet to my destination. I didn’t make it. On our large throw rug was a picture of a black bear and our black cat Coco on top of that. In my rush, I didn’t see him, and my foot caught underneath him. I tried to grab the dresser next to me to balance, but instead, I kept falling. I remember my cat watching this with interest, but not moving either. I twisted to avoid landing on him and heard a loud crack. I was face first on the cold floor with Coco still on top of the bear. It wasn’t that he was stubborn either, he completely trusted I wouldn’t hurt him, and I didn’t. My other cats I have accidentally stepped on, and they move when I walk near them. That came later with him. Now he gets out of my way, most of the time.

I laid there for a moment wondering what to do. I tried to pull myself up with no luck. The pain was too intense when I tried to use my foot. My husband had slept through this entire event.

When I finally called out to him, he sat up and asked, “Why are you laying on the floor? You should get up.” Then his head was back on the pillow again.

It took a bit of urging to wake him up, but he finally got me into the bed where I decided to wait the night out and see how I was in the morning.

After a long night of trying to get comfortable, morning came. I knew I needed to see a doctor. It was the weekend so ER was our only option. After a long process of getting dressed, my husband and I made it to the car and the hospital. The hospital staff seemed to enjoy my Friday the 13th story, and my husband said he was glad to be with me on Valentine’s day no matter where we were. (you can see why we’ve been married for 35 years) I was diagnosed with a high break on my left foot. It was wrapped up, I had crutch lessons, and we headed home.

Being laid up with a broken bone over being sick was a new experience for me. I had a lot of time of my hands. I did some projects I had wanted to do like go through all my grandparents’ old slides. I watched hours of TV, including started watching Supernatural. Catching up the seasons filled the hours, but still, I couldn’t do that all day. So one day my daughter was visiting and suggested I publish my work myself on Amazon. I thought…maybe.

Next week continues with Part 2

Watch for a special edition blog this week:)

Embrace your inner child by reading a book! D.L. Finn

32 thoughts on “Looking Back as I Head Forward, Part 1”

    1. It’s one of those things that happen you can’t make up:) Thanks Gwen and big hugs back!

  1. What a fantastic story, Denise. The Universe sometimes has to give us a big jolt to get us pointed in the direction we should go. I’d say that was more than a big jolt for you, but thank goodness your daughter suggested publishing through Amazon! Happy Anniversary!

    1. Thanks, Jan. Yes, a rather big jolt, but I can be kind of stubborn at times, so perhaps I needed just that! Yes, will always be grateful for my daughter’s help. Now she is writing and hopefully almost done with her first book:)

  2. A black cat and Friday the thirteenth. In the long run, they both brought you good luck, Denise.
    As they say, God moves in mysterious ways…..:)

    1. Yes, Friday the 13th and black cats have always brought me good luck, even in a round about way. I was also engaged on Friday the 13th, too. Very mysterious at times:)

    1. Thanks Staci:) I’m known for being clumsy, but hadn’t broken anything until then. Always in my head and not paying attention might be a writer thing….and getting caught up on Supernatural was a huge bonus to the event.

  3. In my mind, I saw that fall in slow motion as I read. I imagined the faces you made and your hands grasping at air and meanwhile your cat just watched the whole thing looking entertained. Ha, ha. Great story, Denise. 😀 xo

    1. Lol. It felt like I was in slow motion with nothing I attempted to do helping break the fall. I’m sure a few choice words crossed my lips, too:) I will always remember Coco’s face watching…thanks Vashti!

  4. Love this, D.L.!! I always enjoy reading about writing journeys. More often than not, they are fascinating! Yours is no exception. Can’t wait to read the next!!

  5. Those strange moments when we feel utterly helpless help awaken that dream of what we have yet to accomplish. I’m sorry you broke your foot, my friend. Yet grateful that it provoked you to take that nerve racking step to publish your writing. Your readers have reaped the benefit. Happy Anniversary, Denise.❤️️

    1. They are good if they lead us in the right direction:) Thanks Soooz, it is a nerve racking we’ve all luckily had:)

  6. Denise, I can’t help chuckling at your story, how typical of a husband to sleep through the dramatic fall and even when called up struggles to wake up! It seems we need a big nudge (or fall) to shift us in the right direction! An inspired suggestion by your daughter and I bet she is so happy you took up her idea … but one I imagine was lingering with you for a long while before. Look forward to reading part 2!

    1. Thanks Annika:) It is so very typical of a husband and always hard to wake up. Yes, it was a huge nudge, but one I’m very glad I finally listened to. You are very right it had been lingering inside me for a long time.

  7. Applesauce! Denise, I’m sorry that happened. Being injured like that is a terrifying thing. I understand all too well because I’ve been through it twice in the past 8 years, but there was no one for me to yell “Wake up!” to. I’m glad all ended well, and that you got the suggestion to self-publish!
    Happy hump day. Mega hugs.

    1. Thanks Teagan. I extremely clumsy, but this was my first break. It is scary not having the help there, sorry. I had that once when i fell of a chair and couldn’t move. My kids were too little to use the old wall phone. Luckily only a bruised kidney, but lots of thoughts run through your head laying there for sure. Yes, good came from it so I’m happy about that. Happy hump day and mega hugs back!

  8. That’s quite a story. I’m glad you didn’t crack your skull or break your neck. I’ve read the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house. I’m now into 4th year of blogging and as expected, it’s taken at least that long to understand blogging as a ‘form’ and build skill as a writer. Now I’m looking for stories of how people started to publish; I’m looking forward to part two. 🙂

    1. I’m actually quite good at falling, but this time i wasn’t lucky. I can see why bathrooms would be the place to get hurt in the most. It does take a while to build and understand it, I agree. I enjoy reading all the stories how people came into publishing and writing, too. Thanks, Robert.

  9. Whoa! The 13th, black rug, black cat who doesn’t deem himself low enough to move when in your way. Lousy way to get some extra free time, but I’m looking forward to part 2. Story reminds me of a former co-worker who had a pair of English bulldogs, one of which she tripped over and broke her leg or ankle (don’t remember which). According to her, at least the dogs had enough humility to look apologetic 🙂

    1. I never do things the easy way Julie…lol. Yes, I can imagine a dog feeling bad more so than a cat. I walk so much more carefully now:)

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