Sunday, April 10, 2011


by Earl Staggs

The Tenth Day of the Fourth Month has rolled around again. Both my wonderful daughters have called me already today. My Facebook page is filled with terrific friends who took the time to send notes. My wife promised to bake my favorite cake. (Hot Milk Cake, in case you’re wondering. I’d invite y’all over but then I’d have to share it.) She’s also taking me out to dinner at one of my favorite places. A day can’t get any better than that.

So how old am I today? Hmmmm. Let me think about that. I try not to dwell on how many years I’ve been kicking around this old rock. Seems like every time I acknowledge that number, I get a year older. I don’t want to get a year older because if you do that enough times, you get old. I can’t get old. There’s too much I haven’t done yet. So let’s not think about how old I am on the outside. On the inside, I’m thirty-five. And holding.

It’s been a good year overall. I finally reached the end of a book I’ve been nibbling away at for a number of years. I can’t really say it’s finished just because I typed “The End.” I’ve decided to make a drastic change in the darn thing, so I’ll be chomping away at it for a while longer. It’ll be done when it’s done. (Which is what my wife just said about my Hot Milk Cake, by the way.) When it’s done (the book, not the cake), I’m 95% certain I’m going to self-publish it in ebook and print form. Given the state of the traditional publishing industry, if I try to land an agent and then a publisher, I’ll most definitely be old by that time. And, like I said, I can’t get old yet.

For this new book, I’m inventing a new sub-genre. I’m going to call it “Action Mystery.” There’s a solid mystery thread running from beginning to end with lots of physical action along the way. Not the kind of supercharged, non-stop, breathtaking action that I'd call a thriller, but plenty of bad guys doing plenty of things to keep my protag from surviving till the end of the story.

I’m also only a few days away from uploading a collection of my old short stories to Kindle, Nook, et al, and I have two new shorts close enough to done I’m already thinking about markets to send them to.

So as the twelve month period since my last birthday ends, I have to say. . .

Sorry, but that’ll have to wait. Gotta go. I smell cake.

Earl Staggs

Visit my Homesite at: and read Chapter One of MEMORY OF A MURDER plus a short story called "The Day I Almost Became a Great Writer."


Morgan Mandel said...

Happy Birthday, Earl!
I'm following the same path with regard to my almost done book. We'll have to compare ideas and progress notes.

Morgan Mandel

Earl Staggs said...

Thanks, Morgan. We'll definitely have to do that. We'll hold hands and make our way through the dark, daunting wilderness.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Had no idea....HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

Earl Staggs said...

Thanks, Kevin. I still celebrate birthdays. I just don't count them anymore.