After being invited to a military retirement ceremony where the retiree talked about the defining moments in his career that shaped his life, I thought it would be interesting to ask other people about their defining moments. Many of these will be very personal, some of them will mean nothing to anyone but the person who is writing about them but for all of us, we understand the idea. There are moments in our life that shape us and change us forever.
First up is Scott Roche
I’ve had an interesting life so far. I’ve lived in six states. I’ve
worked in over a dozen industries. I have a wife of nearly twenty
years. I am a father to three children; one of whom is autistic and
another who may be bipolar. I’ve been bankrupt and at one point lived
in a trailer not much bigger than an RV with nothing but a kerosene
heater for warmth. Now I’m blessed with a lovely house across from a
lake and am able to provide well for my family. At every step in my
life I’ve tried to learn from past mistakes and let every incident
work towards making me a better person.
Jeff asked me to think of a few things out of that history that have
changed my life for the better. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, many of
them may be perceived by others as failures. I find that most often
it’s easier to learn from hardship than from success.
Flying Island Press – Jeff and I were part of the glorious experiment
that was Flying Island Press. Sadly, it didn’t last forever, and we
closed the doors on it quietly, each of us moving on to other
projects. I said it more than once while I was there, and I’ll say it
again, I learned more from that experience than I would have ever
learned on my own. Being an editor, slush reader, and quasi-social
media director for it stretched me as a person. I got to experience
the joys of finding new authors and the pains of rejecting stories
that were soooooo close. Having read so many good and less than good
stories has made me a better writer. Last, but not least, getting to
work with the crew is something I will never forget.
Fatherhood – Most of the stuff I write isn’t for the squeamish and
REALLY shouldn’t be read by children. When my own kids asked me to
give them something of mine to read I didn’t have anything to hand
them. After much thought and a dash of inspiration, I came up with the
character Ginnie Dare. Crimson Sands, the first book with Ginnie, is a
point of pride. The feedback I’ve gotten indicates that I created a
book that parents can read with and to their children. It’s something
I likely wouldn’t have written except for the intervention of my own
Rejections – One of the temptations of an era in which we can
self-publish all of our own stories is to do just that. Writers can
circumvent the whole rejection cycle and put out everything
themselves. I think that’s a mistake. Sending your short stories to
anthologies and your longer works to publishers can be a valuable
experience. I’ve been doing more of that lately and it’s taught me
patience, thickened my skin, and made me want to be good enough to
make it past the slush reader’s desk.
Extended Unemployment – I’ve often thought, “Man if I just had free
time, I’d write my butt off.” Well guess what? I got my pink slip in
January of last year. I was unemployed for six months. I don’t think I
wrote six thousand words. I’ve been employed and have written almost
fifty thousand words of new fiction since the beginning of the year.
It’s not as much as I’d like to have done, but it’s more than I’ve
written in the first quarter of any year I’ve been alive. And that’s
with kids, a wife, and a full time job. You can do this. It taught me
that I was using my blessings as a crutch not to write. Not doing that
Bad things are going to happen to us all. Life gets more complicated
the older you get. You can’t let those complications stop you or slow
you down for good. Sometimes you’ll have to step back and take stock,
but don’t let that be permanent. Let life’s defining moments, good and
bad, drive you forward with a new purpose!
Scott Roche craves only caffeine and the clacking of keys. He
pays his bills doing the grunt work no one else wants to take,
bringing dead electronics back to life and working arcane wonders with
software. His true passion is hammering out words that become anything
from tales that terrify to futuristic worlds of wonder. All that and
turning three children into a private mercenary army make for a life
filled with adventure.
Scott’s Website – http://www.scottroche.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/scott.roche.author
Twitter – http://twitter.com/spiritualtramp
Patreon – http://www.patreon.com/scottroche
Scott is also trying to fund his next book in the Ginnie Dare series so if you are so inclined please consider throwing a few dollars in his direction.