Monday, June 6, 2016

From the Ashes

I haven’t written anything since the morning I found out my publisher was closing. Not one word. Those who know me well, and there are few of you, realize how startling this is. Since I was a small child I’ve written something almost every single day. Even if it was just a poem or a line to a song, or an idea for a novel, there was something.

I felt lost and a little betrayed by my publisher, though I realize it’s a business and you need profit to make a business work. I know it wasn’t personal, and that there were only good intentions, and sometimes things just don’t work out. But having them announce that they were closing literally the day I was going to hit the publish button on my second novel, was quite a blow. There was no warning. I was preoccupied getting ready for the summer season, trying to figure out which events to try and attend with my books and how to get time off of work. I had so many plans and dreams. And with one statement on the homepage, I thought all of that was gone.

I’ve had some time now to calm down. It was the end of Booktrope, but not the end of me as an author. I have two wonderful books, fully edited, proofed, with amazing covers. Catching Bodel will be re-released as a self-published novel within the month of June. Becoming Grace Divine, will be available either at the same time, or shortly after. It took a lot of doing, and I had help from wonderful people who gave me guidance and encouragement. I might not know what I’m doing as a self-published author, but I’ll just have to figure it out. I’ll be around this summer, peddling my books whenever I have a chance. I am grateful to Booktrope for the opportunity and the connections I made during my nearly two years with them. I am grateful to my two teams of people who worked on my books and made them what they are, and their willingness to stick with me while I self-publish. I’m going to sit down tonight and get back to work on the third book in the series, Fluke Chance. These novels won’t write themselves, or so I hear.

I’ve written this while reclining in my new hammock in my backyard. Its one of my favorite places to write. My perennial garden is finally full and requires no maintenance from me at all. Everything just pops up where I planted it and looks beautiful. I’ve got my tomato plant in the one sunny spot that it will grow. I got home from work today and set up the hammock, ate a leftover amazing sandwich from Sams Deli (roast beef, LTO, bacon, mayo, and blue cheese crumble on focacia bread), washed down with fresh cut watermelon. Then I settled down in the hammock with my laptop. I had to brush the yellow coating of pollen off of it, which was horrifying to me. I realized just how long it’s been since I opened it. Then I opened a word document and started typing, and this is the result.

I’ve been sitting here listening to the birds, the occasional car, and the soothing sounds of my father doing something involving metal and power tools. I say soothing because that was the sound of my childhood summers…some form of construction or car repair overlapping the birds and the wind through the trees. This is the first time I’ve really felt like its summer. I’m not a summer person in general. I tend to hate it, to be honest. But on a day like today, in my hammock, I can remember the things I love about it. Yes, I have to drive through the horrific traffic tomorrow and deal with unreasonable tourists at the restaurant, but there’s always my backyard and my hammock. I’ll just spend as much time here as I can, and it’ll all be ok.

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