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  • ashleyvenenga

Catching the Bug

I actually began Exertions of Better Men way back in 2008, while teaching middle school algebra. After probably 20K words of effort, I put it away for a long while. In the mean time, I got married, had a beautiful daughter, and became a better teacher.

When I was pregnant with my son in 2012, a dear friend of mine (a fantastic writer herself) introduced me to NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writer's Month. This is an event which happens every November and encourages writers to hammer out 50K words over the course of the month. This is when I wrote the bulk of the book.

But again, life sort of happened and I put the book a way for a long time. The eBook craze hadn't taken root yet and paper publishing was just not economically efficient for me. So, I focused on other things. This time, I had my son, left teaching, went back for my Master's degree, took a job as a data scientist, and moved to Germany...phew.

Then, it was through another dear friend (also a wonderful writer--I am fortunate to be surrounded by them) told me about Amazon Direct Publishing. It was then in a flurry of excitement and activity that I dusted the book off and made it ready for publication.

This is timely, of course, because I caught this third writing bug during a time when the entire world is avoiding THE bug. If you're reading this from a distant future where no one remembers COVID 19, then you should read a history book because it was a doozy.

Often trapped inside one Zoom meeting after another, I really needed something to help me focus and more importantly, to be a better me. Exertions of Better Men was just the right medicine. I hope you enjoy it and I promise to have the second installment ready in much less than 13 years!

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