Kerosene-Soaked Dreams

Welcome to Part IX of the “Open Can of White Paint” Series. Until the book signs with an agent, this will be the last installment of the series.


*     *     *


The sweet taste of kerosene is on my lips

and you’re playing with matches,

Light a fire, bring me to life.


I let the main character of my novel embody me for so long that, when I finally finished revising and editing, hit the save button, and said out loud: “THIS IS DONE,” a strange, eerie feeling washed over me:

  • Relief, because I could finally say that I had gotten it right. I had captured his story, my rewritten story, and I told it with #truth. I was no longer shackled by “Roads Not Taken” or shoddy writing, hasty character development, and unrealistic scenarios. This novel is my truth, the crux of who I am as a writer, the lifeblood behind my creativity. I had learned so much throughout the process of crafting this book that I would not be the writer I am today, busily working on my next project (that, to be quite honest, is already showcasing my growth as a writer), with the mind-frame that giving up is NOT an option, despite my daily desires saying otherwise.
  • Mourning, because a huge part of my life for the previous seven years had finally come to an end. I would no longer write this character’s story because his story was done. Though I constantly find myself daydreaming about where he is today, which is exciting.
  • Excitement, because the same part of me that mourned the end of the writing process of this novel was READY for the journey ahead.

The book was finally ready to be sent out to agents.

So now, I wait for a match to set my kerosene-soaked dreams on fire.

Looking back at this entire process, I can’t help but marvel at how far I’ve come. From a scared boy in college, too afraid to write his truth, to a young man blossoming and finding himself, to who I am today, a man unafraid of my truth.

In many ways, my book and it’s narrative arc mirrors my life, my journey, and everything I went through to get to a place of feeling truly good about my life and it’s trajectory.

It’s about being unsure as much as it is about certainty.

It’s about hope.

It’s about love.

It’s about friendship.

It’s about experiencing new experiences.

It’s about change.

As I wrote in the first part of this “mini-series,” An Open Can of White Paint:

My longest, most torturous, most wildly unstable relationship has been with the book I’ve been writing. It’s been a completely-and-totally-right-for-me, yet absolutely-taxing/exhausting/kill-me-now relationship. It’s fulfilled me in ways I never imagined: spiritually, emotionally, physically (umm…sure, why not?). It’s been a greedy, selfish lover, a drug I cannot quit. It’s given me serious stamina. I’ve wanted to delete the entire project too many times to count. It’s made me laugh, cry, feel utterly useless, want to run away screaming, but most of all, it’s made me feel whole.

It’s important to hold on to the things that make us feel whole.

The book has made me feel whole. I am whole because of what I learned. I am whole because of this books journey, both within the pages and through the written words, and outside of the pages in my life.

Now, I wait for that call/email from an agent telling me that ………..

Your whole world is about to fall.

Let it, let it, let it collapse

The best comes with new beginnings

So let our house of cards fall

Nothing’s stacked on us anymore.

Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down.


    1. It’s sooooo true, isn’t it? There are times when you’re just like…”UGH…I’M SO DONE,” but it’s really the love of your life, so there is NO WAY you can let it go.

      Us writer’s gotta stick together on this crappy (and by crappy, I of course mean #AWESOME) journey!


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