In my life I have had many blessings, two of them being my husband and my seven year old son. Well, my husband can be a curse and a blessing at times. With his strong, old fashioned beliefs and values, I have spent the last ten years as a stay-at-home wife and mother, which can be taxing at times.
I am by no means complaining. But, let’s face the reality of it. It doesn’t take that much time to clean a fifteen-hundred square foot home and with my son gone most of the day at school, it can get downright boring.
The selection of television programs at eleven a.m. is pathetic and overloaded with reality and soap opera shows that are slightly more entertaining than watching paint dry. So, that rules out being a couch potato to kill time between dishes and laundry.
I’ve tried numerous hobbies in an attempt to keep myself from going completely insane, everything from beading, puzzles, and even playing World of Warcraft. (oh yeah, level eighty, Night Elf, Druid for the win!) But, after a time, they became as monotonous and predictable as clipping toe nails.
So, one day, I get the idea that I’ll find a part-time job. HA! Yeah right. In today’s market jobs are as elusive as an albino, Do-Do Bird doing the hula, especially when you specify on your application that you can only work from nine a.m. to one p.m. and no weekends.
What does that leave a girl who is slowly asphyxiating herself with the vacuum cord? The internet, d’uh. The hours upon hours of un-rated, unregulated, pointless, mindless entertainment the World Wide Web offers, I soon became an internet junkie. Oh, hellz yeah. Starting every day with wrapping the mouse cord around my arm, clicking for a vein, I became enthralled with the images, videos, stories, and people I found.
Still, something was lacking. Yes, I had an endless supply of instant gratification, but I wanted more. I wanted something beyond being Mr. Eldeen’s wife and Lil man’s mother. I wanted something of my own, far greater than sparkling toilets and freshly dusted DVD’s.
Then it happened. Challenged by my sister-in-law to write something different from the barrage of vampire novels we’d been sharing, I learned I could use the internet for more than killing Horde, shaman Orcs and watching videos of dancing cats.
I found this cool program, Microsoft Word, and next thing I know, I’m typing away faster than the speed of light. Okay not that fast but you get the idea. A love for writing was unearthed and the hole inside of me instantly filled over the brim. From that day forth I knew exactly what I needed to do to keep from smothering myself with my pillow.
Three months later, I had a fifty-thousand plus novel, The Demon Side, on my hands. Excited, I began submitting to every publishing house I could find. It didn’t take long before the rejection letters began pouring in. It wasn’t until I read my manuscript out loud that I realized why no one wanted my tale about a schizophrenic girl, her Marine father, and an Alcoholic step-mother moving into a home with a Demon.
The word ‘like’ appeared over three-thousand times. The fruit of my labor produced a valley girl master piece. I will admit it knocked me down a bit. The lack of my education now held a front and center position before me.
It wasn’t going to stop me though. The feeling of self-worth, confidence, pride, and fulfillment writing gave me was worth fighting for. I knew the hurdles I would have to jump, so I put on my running shoes. Researching community college after community college, the price of formal education almost pushed me out of the race a few times.
Feeling low and defeated, I turned to my beloved internet for solace, when I stumbled upon thesaurus.com. ‘What’s this?’ I thought to myself. ‘An educational website? It can’t be?’ Oh, but it was. After six days, and changing over two-thousand was’s, I knew I could be onto something. I can educate myself right from my computer chair and the only cost being my internet bill.
Searching website after website, my brain began downloading everything it missed by dropping out of high school in the tenth grade. During one of my many searches on writing for dummies, I stumbled upon the best page ever. It advertised a place where education is free, information is endless and all you needed to access it is a bill with your current address on it. Can such a place truly exist?
It does. They call it a library. I call it my mecca. The place I go when I know I don’t know enough, such as where the heck does a comma go. My noggin still hasn’t soaked in where to place a semi colon but not only am I learning more and more every day, so is my family thanks to the children’s section of my local library.
With weekly trips to the library and countless days on Google and thesaurus.com, it all paid off. My novella, The Demon Side, received an acceptance letter from Decadent Publishing.
But, I’m not really writing this guest blog to push my book. I wrote this in hopes it would push those who feel they need a degree to realize their dreams. You don’t. Make no mistake. I am not knocking those down who have been fortunate enough to earn their education and places on the best seller’s lists. When I have the opportunity I plan on furthering my education formally. But in the meantime, I plan on fully abusing the free resources offered by the library and internet, like an ugly red headed step child and I encourage all of you to do the same.
With all of that said, I wish you all happy self-educating and a wonderful. Thank you for your time. This is Heaven Liegh Eldeen, author of The Demon Side, signing off.