Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Blog Chain Post: Accomplishments

This round on the blog chain is brought to us by Michelle Hickman. She asks:
This is the month in creating writing goals and making big accomplishments. What is your greatest accomplishment -- in writing, your life or perhaps something incidental that had a big effect on you?
Gosh. This question kind of ties in to my blog post on what I'm thankful for that can be found over at The Nightstand.


It's funny when you think of abuse, the first person you think of is the greasy white-trash guy, with a beer belly and a wife-beater. You don't picture the charming, clean-cut, wealthy man, who owns a sailboat and drives German cars. A man who isolated his wife from her family, and didn't want his step children around to the extent that when he was home, the kids had to be in their rooms or the freezing unfinished basement where there was a television and a ratty couch. To insure the kids didn't mess with the television in the living room while he was away, he would disconnect the cable wire and take it to work with him. If his step-daughter was out with friends and he didn't want her coming home, he would lock the storm door so she couldn't use her key.

One day, the stepson (who was only twelve) walked into the kitchen after swimming in the pool. He happened to drip a little in the kitchen and the stepdad exploded, saying, "I'd tell you that you were stupid, but that would imply you had a brain to begin with."

Needless to say, this enraged the stepdaughter who told the stepdad,"Don't you dare call him stupid! You're stupid." Okay, not the best comeback but, hey. She was seventeen and red hot mad. Anyway, her little outburst got her kicked out of the house and all of her stuff, from her clothes to her furniture, was torched.

So now the seventeen-year-old girl was homeless. She finished high school by working at Arby's part-time and either sleeping in her car or staying at friends' houses. In order to go to college, the girl waited tables and moved in with a stripper.

Fast forward thirteen years.

The girl is married to the world's sweetest man and is mother to the worlds sweetest four-year-old. The girl's brother lives in an apartment built into the basement of the girl's house, but he has a college degree, a full-time job, and he pays rent. The girl owns her home, her car is paid off, and every so often  her family manages to take a vacation to Disney World. 

And the girl is living her wildest dream. She's written a book about a teenage samurai, and it's going to be published March 8th, 2012.


Honestly, I'm not really sure how I did it. I wish I could say it was determination, but I steered my car off the wrong side of the road more than once and made some bad decisions. But that was the journey and it's the destination that counts, right? So, to answer the question, my greatest accomplishment is getting exactly where I am today.

To see other chain member's and their responses, check out Kate who answered yesterday and Katrina who will post tomorrow.

How about you? What's your biggest accomplishment?


  1. Congratulations, Cole. You've certainly survived a lot. I can't believe you had to post on Thanksgiving, though. Hope you have a happy one!

  2. You are an amazing woman, Cole. An incredible, awesome person who never ceases to inspire and amaze me. :)

    And Matt! She posted the day BEFORE Thanksgiving! I'm tough but even I give people the holidays off ;-)

  3. Wow. You've given us glimpses of what makes you so spectacular, but this is beyond that. That's why you're the coolest Ninja Writer on the block. Overcoming all of those challenges and being this successful is something to truly be proud of. It's also why we admire you so much. Take a bow, Ninja-lady!

  4. Ditto what Michelle said! I dated a guy whose dad did the storm door thing and only gave him a key to the front door so if he came home late he wasn't allowed back in. Nice parenting there. (Coincidentally, he also worked at Arby's!) It's amazing how strong people are as adults who have gone through this crap as children and teens. Now you share that strength through your writing, and there is nothing more awesome than that! Thanks for this, Cole!

  5. Wow Cole, that's amazing. I am in awe of you. Thanks for sharing!