Firstborn’s faceplant and subsequent broken shoulder (thanks young master Czar for being a nitwit that day) derailed my writing for far longer than I ever imagined possible. I usually write every single day, because like muscle memory, when you get to a certain age, to not do the thing is often that slippery slope of never doing the thing.
And the thing I do is words. In challenging combinations and permutations. But again, there comes a time as you age when pulling those words out of thin air is not so easy. They often hover just at the edge of consciousness, available and waiting for me to tap on just the right neuron at just the right time.
All too often lately, I can tap til the cows come home and there’s nothing, nada, nicht, nope, ain’t happening honey. So I ask Firstborn… and to my chagrin she stares blankly at me and shrugs, reminding me she’s not so young anymore either.
But I digress. Back to being a caregiver: horse and hen wrangler, cat staff, budgie cage cleaner, chief cook and bottle washer, and provider of support and assistance to Firstborn as she struggled through those first painful weeks of mending and regaining range of motion. It’s better now, I’m thrilled to say, but not perfect. She can’t draw a bow, not even a kiddie type, so she’s decided to try being a leftie. I’ll give her props for determination, but she does 100 mile endurance races over hill and dale in a 24 hour time frame, so it’s no surprise she ain’t got quit in her vocabulary. Those who’ve been there say it can take a year or so, and it might never be the way it was. Ro shrugs that off. She’ll see about that.
And that circles back to me and the words and not writing.
I will admit to burnout—not the writing bit, but the why do I bother fallout from the circles of hell that constitute publishing in the modern age. Rules that really aren’t, policies flipped on a whim (here’s lookin’ at you Amazon), piracy, mean girl swarms, trying to be noticed without being obnoxious, exhortations to give my work away for free (for exposure dontcha know!), authors in genres spasming from hate-filled accusations and mean-spirited diatribes, the almost complete lack of civility in social discourse…
When it’s a win just getting out of bed in the morning, is it any wonder those added layers of “challenges” to my day were hardly the kind of motivation a writer needs to wrestle a story onto the page?
On the upside, Ro and I talked a lot about her continuing steps toward a full transition, what’s involved mentally and physically, and tending to the complex process of unraveling one identity for another—the legal steps involved, then notifications and explanations to all and sundry. You don’t quite realize the intricate network of financial and social relationships we live in until you need to change it in a most radical fashion.
Now it’s March. Ro is not just healed but she’s back in action muscling a 100 bales of hay into the barn, sharing feeding duties, talking about getting back in the saddle in a couple weeks to jockey Czar around at the Bunny Hop in NJ, taking the boys out in hand for long walks, building her own endurance and reminding the boys there’s a job to do.
That means Mom suddenly has time on her hands, and a WiP just past the 60% mark, with The Reluctant Alpha (book 1) hovering unhappy and unloved in the Amazon wasteland as readers rightfully wait until they see a continuation in the series before plunking down cold hard cash. No casting stones, I do the same thing.
Guilt’s probably the best motivator for me, so during a rainy spell I sat down, reread what I had and managed to pen a couple thousand words, saved the file, then wandered off to read and review like I do. I also had editing jobs so I wasn’t completely at sixes and sevens, but the writing whispered sweet nothings, a persistent itch I needed to scratch.
Long story short, I finished the dang thing yesterday, and instead of typing THE END, I typed TO BE CONTINUED and realized with a sense of relief that after months of creative drought I’d finally found my mojo! Alpha Framed (book 2) is off to my beta-editors, then a final polish, before unleashing my hapless shifter to the wilds.
Happy dance! And woohoo!
And uh-oh… because apparently there’s been a jailbreak. All those WiPs biding their time, at least four of them with a few chapters already on deck, they’re all demanding their due.
Well, dudes, get in line. Coy’s going up against the big bad in the explosive conclusion to the Ranch to Market Chronicles in Alpha’s Last Stand. After that?
One thing though—there’s definitely going to be an “after that” because I write, it’s what I do.
Um, full disclosure… Alpha Framed ends on a bit of a cliffie so the To Be Continued was probably the best wording instead of… well, you know…
Oh fuck it… I’m off to write.