Five Year Anniversary!

coco and colors

In honor of the five-year anniversary of breaking my foot and its significance to my writing, I’m sharing a slightly revised blog from last year.

This writing anniversary always gets me reflecting on my journey. It’s not that I started writing five 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 educated myself further. 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 discovered my love poetry and worked on more “adult” short stories, but then after I graduated all 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. The writing wasn’t a priority.

Here is where a strange accident changed my life for the better. Five years ago, on a cold February night, it was 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 to my destination. I didn’t make it. On a large throw rug was a picture of a black bear, and our black cat Coco was sleeping on top of that. In my rush, I didn’t see him, and my foot caught underneath him. I tried to grab the dresser to balance, but 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 snap. Next thing I knew, I was on the floor next to my unmoved cat. Not that he was stubborn either, he trusted I wouldn’t hurt him, and I didn’t. The other cats that I’ve accidentally stepped on know to move when I walk near them. That came later with him. Now he gets out of my way, most of the time.

I lay there 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 lying 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 waited the night out.

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 enjoyed 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. I was diagnosed with a high break on my left foot. They wrapped it 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 on my hands. I did some projects I had wanted to do, like go through all my grandparents’ old slides. I filled the hours watching all the seasons of the TV show, Supernatural. Finally, though, I needed something else to do. So, one day my youngest daughter was visiting and suggested I publish my work on Amazon. I thought… maybe.

The “maybe” quickly turned into a “why not.” Spending so much time immobile finally gave me that time to research and do what I needed to do. I quickly realized I needed to have my work edited, along with starting a website, a blog, and getting on social media, which was a bit overwhelming. So the next time my daughter visited, she jumped right in to help.  I soon had my writer’s name, because my Italian last name is impossible for most to say or spell—and I also wanted a bit of privacy. D.L. Finn was born out of my love for dolphins (sound it out). Then I got the domain name for my website, created the site, started social media accounts, found an editor, and a company to publish my book.

Next on my list of things to do while “Elizabeth’s War” was being edited, was a book cover.  Fortunately, I knew of a designer and got her to work on it. During this time, I also copyrighted the story and got a Library of Congress number for the print. I purchased my ISBNs, so I’d have full control of my work. Then all I could do is wait while I continued more seasons of “Supernatural” as I healed.

Soon everything was back to me. I was ready. With a shaking hand and racing heart, I uploaded my work and cover. I was published, thanks to tripping over my black cat on Friday the 13th!

Embrace your inner child and read a good book! D. L. Finn

31 thoughts on “Five Year Anniversary!”

  1. Congrats on your writing anniversary! There are so many great parts to this story; from you saving your cat (black cat!) on Friday the 13th, to your hubby telling you to get off the floor, to how you came up with your author name (so cool!).

    1. Thanks, Jacquie. It’s one of those stories you just can’t make up:) I’m happy with the dolphin connection.

  2. I love hearing this story again, Denise. So often we never know the “why” of things that happen, but in your case, it was a huge nudge from the Universe to do what your heart desired! And, I’m glad you listened!

    1. Thanks, Jan:) Yes, it was a huge nudge. The funny thing is I’d been tripping a falling a lot before this trip over our cat. Now that I’m writing, I hardly ever fall. Writing is a safety issue for me, I guess.

  3. This is the first time I’ve read your story. What could have been a “bad luck” Friday turned out something good. (Glad the cat gets out of the way now.)

    Congrats on the five year anniversary!

    1. It certainly did turn out to be good luck for me. It’s one of those stories where truth is stranger than fiction:) Yes, the cats get out of my now for sure. Thanks, Joan!

  4. I love the story of your black cat and Friday the 13th. They clearly brought you luck in unexpected ways.
    And I had no idea you were Italian (or married an Italian). It’s my heritage (and martial heritage) too! 🙂

    1. My black cat and the day really did bring me good luck in its own fashion:) I’m not Italian, but my husband and his family are. I was really lucky to marry into the family I did!

  5. I can understand this story so well Denise, as I too have experienced a hairline feature in my foot when I fell down the staircase and another time when I emerged in one piece from a car accident but with a lot of internal injuries, my hand had glass splinters and later got a reaction from some medicine which was sprayed…Long stories that taught me a lot of life lessons and how to spend my time constructively. Nice way to celebrate! Stay blessed.

    1. I’m very careful around stairs, I’ve had my issues there, too. I’m so glad you were in one piece after a car accident, but the internal injuries and glass splinters sounds very painful, along with the reaction to the medicine. I have to agree some of the more painful times in life are the best teachers and really show us what to focus on and appreciate. Thanks, Balroop:)

    1. Ouch, Robbie! That sounds painful. Yes, not being able to move like you are used to is very frustrating, I agree.

  6. My publishing journey started with a suggestion from someone else too, Denise. Not nearly so dramatic as yours though! I love how sometimes “bad” luck transforms into “good” luck in hindsight. That broken foot on Friday the 13th led to a wonderful new adventure. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m glad someone made that suggestion to you, too, Diana:) I can’t say I would have published if it hadn’t been for my accident.

    1. Thanks, Julie:) It is amazing how a simple event can can your direction. Never know, Coco could very well been in on it!

  7. I can’t believe I’m just learning the story of your pen name just now! I absolutely LOVE it! And it’s SO you! 🙂 What a great Friday the 13th story, and I’m happy you took advantage of the situation and published your work. 🙂

    1. It was either dlfinn or dchawk. The doctors at ER sure got a kick out of my story…lol. I’m glad I took advantage of the situation too.

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