One of the happiest and sadist days of my life was when I achieved my most important goal – bar none. That was it. I had dreamed about it, thought about it at the dinner table, and kept it at the forefront of my mind for years. There was nothing else to live for – that dream was the pinnacle of my success. After all those years struggling through adversity, that day of accomplishment finally came. It was about damn time. After the recognition came the partying. I partied like there was no tomorrow. This was it for me. The next morning and several to follow I was still on a high. Basking in the glory that we all celebrated. I could never have done it alone. It took team effort. I was so thankful to all those who had helped me achieve that goal. It took awhile for the glory to wear off. I wanted to hold and cherish that moment forever. I didn’t want it to leave, but it finally did. I can remember thinking, now what.
As I watched the Miami Heat win the 2012 NBA Championship, holding up the trophy in American Airlines Arena with champaign flowing I was so happy. But alone in my head there was some sadness. I knew that soon the party would be over, then what would I write about. Sure I can write about the NBA draft, but if you know who has the first draft pick and who won the NCAA championship and that MVP player, then you already know the outcome. Part of what made the Heat games so spectacular was that, as dynamic as the Heat team was, you never really knew the outcome. Even when they lost, they played an awesome game. Sure I always bet my dime on the Heat, but there were many times when I sat on the edge of my seat not knowing who would win.
As I drove from Miami Beach the morning after, sleepy but carefully observing a police officer at nearly every corner with a radar gun, my first thought was, “That’s messed up. Why, because I was so busy with my little camera at the pre-party the camera was dead (and so was I) by the time I made it to the real party in the morning hours. Yeah Kevin Durant I know what you mean when you say, “You were so busy streaming doodle jump that you missed my jump shot. That’s messed up.”
Any who I am driving along, from Miami Beach thinking about the amount of adversity the Heat players, especially LeBron James had to endure to make it to this point. As I’m driving along, I hear my name on the radio talking about my Heat blog. ”Oh lord, I haven’t blogged about last night’s win.” My happy, happy, happy, enthusiasm quickly wears off. This is one of the few times I didn’t even have my computer with me. I wasn’t thinking about blogging, not last night anyway. Now, the adrenaline starts flowing again. I am back to the moments just before game time. It’s on.
“Oh my God, let me get to my computer to blog and check my website to see if there are any broken links.” When I go to Amazon.com and put in my name, Sink or Swim comes up. One regular paperback book, one kindle version, and then a third item. “No way!” Under my name is the first draft version of my book (Sink or Swim) that was sent to Createspace nearly a year before to be edited. The editing was supposed to take four to six weeks. It was finally completed about nine months later. But now, how did this draft version of my manuscript, get converted into a kindle version, and put on Amazon.com under my name with a sales price greater than my paperback, Sink or Swim? I am frantic. I forget about blogging (and everything else) trying to get this straight. My professional reputation as an author is at steak. What if someone wants to read my writing actually pays but gets a copy of my first draft, with not one or two but thousands of errors. They actually pay money to buy this crap with my name on it. O Lord, what else can go wrong.
After spending hours with Amazon, Createspace, and Kindle, I am back where I started. Amazon says, “We had nothing to do with putting your books up. You must have done it.” Kindle says, “No we didn’t do it. You must have done it. Createspace says, “This could not have been done by us because the ASIN number is not ours. I try to tell Createspace, “Other than my computer, you are the only one that I sent this draft to last year. But Team 2 at Createspace don’t get it and Molly at Team 1 says, “We’re sorry but we didn’t do it, there is nothing we can do. Goodbye”
I sit thinking, “This is messed up. I wouldn’t sell this crap if you held a gun to my head.” Feeling like a loser with no control, the tears try to swell in my eyes. I hold back the tears thinking about adversity. I think about the years LeBron James endured to get to this point. I think about the pain Mike Miller suffered last night, yet, in his greatest pain scoring his greatest victory. I think about the space that Dewayne Wade had to give up to make room for a team to win. I think about the constructive criticism that Mario Chalmers had to take and still perform. That makes the champion inside of me rise. ”If LeBron James can get a ring, I know I can get through this mess.” The Heat is on.