Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Little Bit Darker Now

Hello there! I’d mentioned a few blogs back that I would try to shift the content of this blog a little bit, and then I dropped off the face of the earth. That’s how it goes over here. I didn’t really leave the planet, but I’ve been working on publishing Rise of the Seer. It’s taken up most of my focus these days.

No, I did not get lost in space. Danger, fellow bookworms! Danger!

I also mentioned that I would always let you know what was for dinner. At this exact moment, I’m not sure. I can tell you that I’ve been obsessed with something I’m calling a “Green Goblin” this past week.

I've slayed many a goblin this week. Spinach trembles before me.

For those interested in an update, I honestly don’t have a definitive publication date as of right now. All I can say for certain is that it will be out before the end of the year. I have an anticipated release date, but until I know if that’s really possible, I won’t say when it is just yet. I know I’m doing all of this wrong. I’m supposed to build up a level of frenzied excitement in the months/days prior to the release, but I’m a new author trying to figure all of this out while still managing a home and family life. Suffice to say, I don’t always know if the day will be one where I get to sit down and focus solely on my work, or if I’ll have to drop everything and take a kid to the dentist to have a broken tooth fixed. Life. It always keeps us guessing.

Now that I have the **FINAL** copy (Can we please just pause here and throw hands up? Maybe shake or wave them a little bit?) of Rise in my hands, I wanted to say a few things about it. Keep in mind, as I was writing Ransom of the Healer I didn’t know it was going to be a book. That wasn’t the case with this one. I started writing Rise in 2013 and knew the basic plot of where I wanted the story to go. Things were mapped out and moving along. And then life happened.

Have you ever been in that place where you just don’t think you can handle one more thing? And then that one more thing happens anyway? That’s what last year looked like. The amount of pain and loss was staggering and I carried it with me daily. Grief and sorrow are heavy. So very heavy. If you’ve been there, you know. You know that it’s the first thing you notice when you wake up. You know how you think it’s lessened marginally, that you’ve finally started to heal, until a word or thought rips the wound back open and you’re right back where you started. It is a place where we function. That’s it. We’re not thriving there. We’re just making it through the day. That wasn’t where I wanted to be. I needed to get out from under the weight of everything trying to steal my joy.

So I went back to the thing that has always brought clarity and reprieve.

I wrote.

I wrote through the pain and hurt.

I wrote until the things that I no longer wanted to carry were there in front of me, on the screen, instead of constantly sitting on my chest.

Why am I sharing this? Because you’re (hopefully) about to read some of the words from that time. Rise of the Seer was exactly what I needed to work on while climbing out of the valley. It’s amazing how things work out that way sometimes, isn’t it? I already had the story in place, but after 2014, I had the emotion to add to it. If I’m going to hurt, there is absolutely going to be something beautiful to take away from it. 

If you are currently in a valley yourself-in a place you don't want to be- please, keep climbing. Keep going. I don't want to trivialize your circumstances or pretend to know what your struggle feels like. I just want to encourage you to take another step. You and your story are valuable. And your story isn't over yet. Just keep climbing. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Authenticity and What’s for Dinner?

I am sipping cold peach tea, sitting here in my shorts and tank top, and have my office fan blasting on high. The only true indications that summer is almost officially over are that the throw pillows on the couch remain unmoved during the day and the fan is the loudest sound in the house. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get back to work. Today, anyway.

While blogging hasn’t been a high priority for me this summer, I have been quietly doing research on other blogs and social media outlets. Which reminded me, once again, why I’m not a huge fan of social media. There are some odd ducks out there. I wanted to see what the common thread was for the people who have bigger platforms and a larger outreach. The thing that I discovered is that those people tend to live life with their followers. I mean every aspect is potentially available on full display. If you wanted to, you could spend the day with them from their morning cup of coffee until the end of their twinkle lighted evenings, complete with an amazing sunset. Is that what we really want?

I also noticed a trend towards some people being more open and honest about the struggles or hardships they might be facing, but of course that is often accompanied by a picture of a perfect mantle display or a picturesque shot of a mug of coffee on a patio. Complete with an amazing sunrise. I have coffee mugs, and I have sunsets. I suppose I could let you see them. If you really wanted to.
This is me. Drinking coffee in my car in a safely parked position. 

Please don’t think I’m mocking them. Really. I’m not much of a mocker. What I see is that humans are drawn towards community. Even those of us who struggle with being around others. We still need that connection to other people trudging along, just like we are. That’s one reason I enjoy literature so much. Instant community. One story can take us to the same place, although our experiences there will be vastly different. But there are times when my nose is not in a book and I’m left trying to figure out what to say to others around me. For the most part, my blog is about writing and reading…and authory stuff. It’s my business…and I love words. Written words in particular. Sometimes I want to write the things I’m thinking about and they aren’t business related. This happens quite often and 
I’ve been thinking about shifting the content here a little bit. I can’t promise that we’ll spend the day together, but I can always let you know what I’m having for dinner. Tonight is meat muffins, baked sweet potatoes, and fresh green beans.*

This was actually a time lapse photo of Wolverine snikting the potatoes.
He's just so fast this was the best shot I could get.

It’s a challenge to find the balance between personal and professional. I don’t think every aspect of our lives needs to be on display for anyone to see. I want to live in the moments without recording them. I don’t want a backlog of pictures sitting on my devices taking up memory space. I want the memories. I want the experiences full on, in real time, in blazing color right in front of me. Not through a screen. But if sharing one or two of those moments can help someone find a connection that validates the intrinsic need to feel included, I can certainly manage that. Because at the end of the day, when the words are put to rest, it’s the people who matter most and the stories they have to share. It’s difficult to share those stories without a relationship. So, here’s to a new season of interactions and to seeing the stories of those around us. Because there will always be stories to share. 

*I always admire the people who follow the asterisk. In the spirit of authenticity, I should let you know that this is not a picture of my dinner. I started this blog yesterday and that's what I ate last night. What you see here is actually a picture of my lunch today, complete with leftover baked beans from Labor Day. Also, I've changed my clothes since yesterday, so I'm no longer in shorts and a tank top. So basically, this whole "authentic" blog is built on a premise of lies. I don't know what this means for us going forward but I'm optimistic we can work things out.