Thursday, January 21, 2021

No, I'm Not Dead...

Someone pinged me the other day and mentioned that I hadn't posted anything in a while and wanted to know if I was alright or not. So I figured that maybe I should post something to let you all know that yes, I'm still here. And considering the kind of year we've all just had, I hope you're all still here as well.

Yes, the last few months have been challenging. There's been all the 'other stuff' going on that we're all aware of in the world, that's been filling the airwaves and the internet and that's really enough to drive anyone crazy. On top of that there were the revelations of just how Audible has been fucking all of us indy authors over, that wasn't fun and seeing sales on things that should be doing well, but weren't, you can't help but wonder 'is that 2020 messing with me? Or is it Audible's fucked up book keeping ripping me off?'

Not pleasant, trust me.

The holidays were good, and I ended up having to do about 5 grand in emergency home repairs (home repairs are always more expensive two days before Christmas and the day after New Years - but when certain things break, they gotta be fixed right away). It's also more fun when you have company during those little disasters. Living out in the country also makes it more of a pain in the ass as well, because some things you have to go to Dallas to get. During the holidays. Yeah, that's a trip.

But the holidays were a pleasant diversion and I enjoyed the company and the time even with those problems.

However, writing has been a trial. I've been on Book four of Dan's Inferno for almost TWO months now. I don't think it's ever taken me this long to write a book before  (well, Children of Steel took a year - but then it was my first ever novel). It's not the book, I actually -know- what the story is. It's just all been me. I've been struggling a bit and at this point if I could just get my act together I could probably finish the first draft in about two or three days.

Then I'll agonize over it, because it took so long I'm gonna be all worried that I got it right. I have been writing, slowly, on the side, in the evenings, chapters for a new Shadow novel. This one will be more of an anthology. I'm not sure yet exactly how I'm going to pull it off and theme it, but the first three 'stories' / 'chapters' all take place before he becomes Shadow - When he's still working for Boston Implantables (that's the place he went to work after he got out of college when he was still an 'avenger' and before he discovered sex and partying).

I have other stories in my head, that I've got notes on and which I'm constantly thinking about, I just need to push through these doldrums and get going on them. A new story that I'm going to try and sell to Baen books after talking with Toni, which will be a hard scifi story. I started with hard scifi and I've love to just do one again. Then there's the other stories I've mentioned that got put on hold last year when I had so many family and other issues to deal with.

Part of my problem is that unlike what you hear about most authors, I'm an extrovert. I like going out. I like doing things, I like being with people. Guess what I haven't been able to do all year? Yeah, that stuff. And it's made life hard and it's made some of the things that happened around the middle of last year harder to come to terms with. Like my mother's passing. Yes, we all knew it was coming, she'd been ill for a while and going downhill for years. But it still doesn't make it any easier when it happens. And all of the stupid shit that the governor back in NY was doing, made it even worse.

So it's been a bit hard to get closure on that.


I suspect that all of you out there have had it just as bad. This last year hasn't been a good one and I don't think things are going to get better overnight either. But it's not really my place to say. For now, my goal is to finish this book. DI may end up being only four installments instead of five, because it looks like I'll have covered all of the plot that I had originally made in four books. DI was never intended to be a long series originally, it was something I started after dealing with the worst of last year's stuff and to get me back up to speed so I could get back on track with the 4 unfinished novels that are sitting on my hard drive.

I'm just hoping that the unexpected things that seem to keep happening over the last two months just stop happening. Like, I injured my wrist and I'm in a brace now for two months hoping that I -don't- have to have surgery. Only time will tell. It's the little stuff like this that's been driving me crazy. I need to put my shop back together (I got a few new tools) and start working on another guitar, but - gotta wait for the brace. So I get a little frustrated, woodworking is one of my stress relievers. I swear at blocks of wood instead of at strange characters in my head. (The wood seems to pay more attention than they do, oddly enough).

The recent censorship drive on Facebook hasn't hit me yet. I'm on Mewe as well now, so when it does, well, hopefully I'll survive it. I think I'm going to start posting here weekly as well, just so you all know what's going on. When you see someone like Larry Correia being banned from his own groups, groups he never talks politics on, because they're afraid of something he 'might' say, a guy who's got like 50K fans there... well small fries like me can be crushed in an instant. I've stopped posting completely on Twitter and am debating shutting the account down. I probably should scale my posting on Facebook back more than I already have. Because there are definitely witch hunts going on and I have felt the long arm of the federal government when the powers that be decide they don't like something you said - and you know what? I don't want to go through two years of not being able to get a job again because I'm on a 'list'.

So I'll probably be cutting my presence on social media back, hopefully a lot, and try to just focus on my writing and try to ignore the insanity around me. Maybe when the brace comes off and I can play again I'll see if there's a bar band that needs a bass player and spend my evenings doing that a couple times a week so I can start getting out again.

I'm hoping to get my website redone here soon, to something a bit more professional, and I should probably start putting up links to the books of my friends out there that I really like. Some of them I'm sure you know, but there are others you might not know and they're good writers with good stories and very much worth checking out. And if conventions ever start happening again, maybe I can start going to some of those and giving you (those of you who want to that is) chances to talk about things in the stories and ask questions and such.

So, yeah, not dead (yet) and just a bit frustrated with everything that's happened to all of us this last year. I got a ton of projects and things I need to get finished, and I'm pretty much the only one who can do it (I really need to find an assistant I can trust and hire them), so at times I feel kind of 'task saturated' and all that. I gotta lot of things I want to do, I just need to start getting them done.

So here's hoping that this year is a better one for all of us.

Take care of yourselves, PLEASE. You're the ones that make this all worth doing.