The Happiest Person in the World
January 4, 2014
I was wandering through an antique shop this week and stumbled across an old sign that made a lot of sense to me.
It was stuck down in the corner, behind some old picture frames and covered with dust and a cobweb or two.
It had not been seen in years.
The sign said simply: The happiest people are those who are too busy to notice they are busy.
I stepped back and thought about it for a moment.
I took a hard look at my own life.
Let’s see now.
I’m at my machine every morning promptly at four-thirty.
I used to watch the world wake up.
Now I watch the blogs wake up.
Caleb and Linda Pirtle is empty and must be loaded again.
I read, edit, and post from four to six new blogs a day on Caleb and Linda Pirtle, written by some of the finest and most thought-provoking authors and writers in Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Mexico, and all across the United States.
I usually have to find photographs to illustrate them.
I write the headlines, add one of their books, link it to their author’s page on Amazon, and move on.
By now, the sun has cracked the dawn.
In summer, I’m already sweating.
I haven’t sweated much lately.
I go back through every blog and serial chapter posted from the day before on Caleb and Linda Pirtle and give each of them every social media boost I can.
By now I’m ready to take a deep breath and glean through emails, about two hundred a morning: some on my Suddenlink account and some on my Caleb and Linda Pirtle account.
Before I’m through, I’ll be sending out requests to authors in case they want to promote and market their books on Authors Showcase. All books are welcome. Working with authors and books is what Stephen Woodfin and I do best.
I spend some time on Twitter.
Lots of good stuff out there.
I spend time on Triberr.
Lots of good writers pouring out a lot of good blogs.
I approve them and send them hurtling through cyberspace.
Then I read, edit, and post six to eight new serial chapters a day.
I select the passages from each manuscript, somewhere around a thousand words.
I try to end each episode with a cliffhanger or a question.
Sometimes I succeed.
Sometimes I fall short.
But I want the readers to have a reason for coming back again and again, always coming back for more, always coming back to see what happens next.
Then I settle down to write my blog.
I write one every day.
He likes to do that for some reason.
I do the necessary research.
I find a few facts.
I make up a few facts.
And I stitch them all together in a blog.
Since I’m already writing, I might as well keep on going.
Besides, I need to hammer out another twelve hundred words, more or less.
I need a new chapter for my next novel.
I’m serializing the book on Caleb and Linda Pirtle, and that gives me an excuse to write the chapter.
It gives me an obligation to write the chapter.
I close my eyes, set my fingers on the keys, turn on the monitor inside my head, and wait for the characters to walk into the scene.
I follow them around.
I listen to what they say.
I watch what they do.
And I write it all down.
When the characters walk out of the scene, I put a period.
I’d be through for the day, but here comes more emails.
Always more emails.
If they were important enough to be sent, they are important enough to be read.
I flip on the light switch.
I have to.
The sky is getting dark by now.
In wintertime, it’s especially dark by now.
Then again, that’s the way I write.
I’ve promised to change that in 2014.
But first I have to finish Night Side of Dark, and then I’ll look for the light, and then I’ll try to make someone laugh.
The day has come and gone.
I used to have blisters on the ends of my fingers.
Now I just have calluses.
I knelt down in the antique store and looked at the sign again. Its message had not changed: The happiest people are those who are too busy to notice they are busy.
I was, I decided, the happiest person in the world.
Please click the book cover image to read more about Caleb Pirtle III and his books.