This is going to be an amusing post because while a few have asked questions, I will not delude myself into thinking certain people are expecting me to do this. I've been having some interesting thoughts the past several weeks about how to respond to a situation, and having waited for the next turn, found it did not come.
You could well say, then, roll again, but there's no need.
First, some housekeeping:
I certainly was not going to let you get away without a shameless plug for "Call it Love," right? The second book in the Sweet Dreams Series is out there, and so far, a nice step forward for our heroine, Aki. You can find all that at Sunbury Press dot com, Amazon, and all that.
The third one is coming...yes, it is...
I was supposed to have the third volume in the series ready for a certain convention, but that did not happen for various reasons. My stay there was one day, not three.
We know what didn't happen.
I have no need to "go there," as an old friend of mine likes to say. And with that, I have no more to say about this because it would dignify their embarrassment.
Now I must share a reaction by a friend who saw this as someone from the "Woke" crowd who decided to get on their moral high horse and charge, but that is not true. I do not profess to know much, but to me, "Woke" is a term that means someone was finally awakened, even enlightened to a situation that they were or are involved in, and sees the error or the issue at hand.
The question then arises, "What do you do with that?" Do you use what you have learned for good, meaning, have you tried to improve yourself, better yourself, learn something that can make you a better person, and perhaps stand as an example?
Or do you use it for selfish reasons, for power, likes on TikTok, to make yourself bigger without having done the work on yourself first?
It took me saying something incredibly vile and stupid 30+ years ago to suddenly realize that, while I was taught better than that, I didn't have an example of why it was, say one thing but do another. I was a product of my own environment, which gave me mixed messages, and I had to own my shit. I had to shed what was wrong, bad, unnecessary, about me, and change.
I hope I have. I know I'm better, but not perfect, never will be. I can't take anyone along on this ride; you gotta do your own thing.
If anything, the experience made me think about the treadmill I'm on, and how it probably is not very healthy, because seeing the forest for the trees doesn't work when you keep smashing face-first into each one of them!
I would love to share the pictures from day one, but I am not. Fuck it; it's over and done with, and I am looking at the now, and the future.
2022 has been a frantic year; we are trying to battle our way out of the pandemic, but we must realize that thing is going to be with us like luggage, and we need to watch ourselves and our people. We've got to a point in our world where we thought we knew everything, had it all in hand, and had again surpassed nature to be master of our domain. Nature has that neat way of bitch-slapping us and saying, "Oh no you don't!"
Work, the one that pays the bills, keeps the lights on, all that, it's kept me running, and to an extent, I've felt my creativity again going to just that. My writing has slowed, and I think it is a mere leveling off. Writer's block does not exist, you are just not writing anything down. If you are thinking about your stories, your characters, your plot, you are writing.
I've had an experience this year of being shut out; clearly some of that is my fault, but the harshness of it left me not angry, not hurt, actually accepting and understanding it, as best I can. It is that recollection of many years before when friends were a fleeting thing. One day you were helping your BFF fight somebody, and the next day, he is on the other side fighting you.
"What are friends?
Friends are people that you think are your friends
But they're really your enemies
With secret identities and disguises to hide their true colors
And just when you think you're close enough to be brothers,
They wanna come back and cut your throat when you ain't looking..."
(If I Had, Eminem, "The Slim Shady LP")
Those words, 20-some years old, ain't that shit cold? When you feel like you did back in grade school, middle school, hell, even high school and college, the people you thought were on your side, and now they're nowhere to be found? Ain't that some shit?
Nor am I surprised. I am as much to blame in that I have hived off, and have felt it very difficult for me to reconnect with people who are stuck, as much as I am.
The loop that so many of us get caught in; I saw it in recent years, I have watched people who are friends, colleagues, good people, allow themselves to live in a temporal loop that while safe, is unhealthy.
When you say the same exact things, at the same exact moment, at the same exact times, every day, again and again, for years--they don't know they're doing it. But they are. When I hear time and again, reminiscences of years past, old stories (not war stories) told again and again, where they are living there, and don't understand why we don't join them.
The past is some sick shit, and years ago I knew it was good to look back, to remember, see how far you've come, grown, etc., and again, to not live there.
I am doing my best to move forward, on the next book, the next project, and also to see what other opportunities await. You can't stop growing, learning, reading, thinking, etc.
I saw a story on Book Riot...it says the average adult in the US does not finish a book, and has not in years. Well, why the fuck not?
Is our writing collectively that bad? Has it gotten that far?
I don't want to think it. My writing is my own style; I can't describe it, you have to read it. You have to immerse yourself in the pool, and let it wash over you, allow yourself to "go there." Meet my friends, make friends, and feel the life, the joy, the angst, the depression, the madness, the sex, the violence, all of it.
It's life. I'm not tired of life, not yet, not ever.
My point is, move forward. Reach out, grow a little, live a little. Pick up a book by someone you have never heard of, and read it. Pick out a CD or an album on your favorite service, and listen to it. Go eat at a restaurant you have never been to. Try a style of food you never thought you would. Go where you have never been before, even if it is just a walk to someplace nearby or a drive to the next town, that one you know the name of, but never went there.
Try something new, make your mind work out a new puzzle or problem. Listen to what that other guy said; you don't have to agree or believe, just listen.
Or if the mood is right, don't. Just sit. Breathe. Listen to the fucking silence. If something comes to you, let it pass through. If it's important, it'll stay around.
I am thinking about these things. I'm not going to let my head explode on stuff that isn't worth it. If something comes from the past at me, I'll meet it. If not, then fine. Let others twist in their own loops, I'm not buying.
The next book is coming...it's going to round out the trilogy very nicely. And after that, I have plans. You will see that I've grown, and improved, I hope. I also hope you will like what I do and help me out by at least giving it a shot. If you like it, cool; if you can support me, awesome, if not, I don't take offense.
The last years on this mortal coil are short, and I don't know that we get a second chance. I imagine we don't really remember the last one anyway. We need to make our impact in this one.