I’m Baaaack!

Yes, that’s right. I’m back.

Last month, I made the decision to step away from the blog for a few weeks. Like so many of us, life’s been a bit hairy this year and it was beginning to negatively impact not only my writing but my attitude. I needed a break and the only way to get that was to step back from some of my commitments and recharge the creative batteries. It also meant reevaluating certain commitments I’ve made over the last few years and taking a hard look at . . . CAT VIDEOS!

Okay, that latter was mainly at the beginning because who doesn’t love a few good cat videos, especially when you need an emotional pick-me-up?

What I discovered was I had a hell of a lot of things I needed to get done around the house. The honey-do list had gotten much too long and I spent the first few weeks whittling away at it. The good part is this also gave my brain time to just wander. It’s been a long time since I’ve allowed myself that sort of freedom and it let me work out in my own twisted way what had been bothering me with several ongoing writing projects.

Once the creative batteries began recharging, I got busy. I had the absolute honor and joy of doing an editorial read of a book a friend wrote, one so good I kept getting lost in the story and forgetting to read critically. It is rare that a book pulls me in that quickly and holds me that hard, but this one did. Even more of a joy than that is seeing this writer grow in his craft. It is an honor and a pleasure working with him.

I also found myself ambushed by Myrtle the Evil Muse. She’d done tricked me (yes, that’s how she said it, even as she cackled maniacally. I swear my muse is evil and more than a touch insane.) Not only had she given me two books in a series out of order, but she is taking the series down a path I hadn’t anticipated. I’m not objecting, at least not too much, mind you, but it would have been nice to know the path at the beginning of the series to make sure all the cookie crumbs had been dropped.

But the real “aha!” moment came when I found a new determination to work harder at promoting my work. That meant dusting off the personal blog and figuring out how best to use it. It’s why, if you follow me there, you will have seen me blogging pretty much every day last week as well as yesterday. I also posted a teaser from Rogue’s Magic, which will be coming out next month. More on that in another post, once I get the release date set.

Here’s the teaser:

Now I’m busily putting the final touches on the book, getting ready to send it out to the final round of betas. Assuming they have no major concerns about it, I’ll get it up for pre-order in the next week or so with a release day for next month. I hate waiting so long but this damned Covid-19 “crisis” and everything that’s gone on with it has put a cramp in my creativity, among other things.

All this has been a long winded and roundabout way of saying, don’t do what I did. Don’t forget that you need to sometimes step back from life and recharge. I have been reminded of something taught to me by a group of teachers back in my college days. These teachers, each and every one of them, had been my instructors in high school. When I was assigned to my old school for student teaching in prep for getting my teaching certificate, it was like coming home. These men and women once again took me under their wings and helped not only train me as a teacher but reminded me that I couldn’t carry the world on my shoulders and that I needed to give myself permission to relax.

They did the relaxation thing every Friday after school by driving outside of the district for their weekly “Attitude Adjustment Seminar”. Okay, let’s be honest, it was happy hour. Everyone would meet at a Mexican restaurant about 15 miles away from the district, have a drink or two–never any more than that because driving–some chips and salsa and we’d talk. We allowed ourselves ten minutes max to bitch about whatever was going on in the classroom that got under our skins. Then school was off the table. It was time to relax, unwind and recharge.

And that is a lesson we would all do well to remember. We all need to step back, relax, unwind and recharge on a regular basis. The key is in not only recognizing when we need to do it but actually doing it.

So, here’s your morning moment of relaxation. I give you one of my guilty pleasures when I find myself needing to take a moment away from teh pressures of the day: Messi the Puma!

Featured Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

18 comments

  1. *emerges from hiding piles of pizza boxes and moving the dirty dishes to the kitchen* Oh, hi! Glad you’re back!

    My “vacation” this year was FoolsCon. Normally I get to run away from home (and sometimes Day Job) for almost a month. Not this year. However, I’m taking up an activity that I’ve had to neglect for a while, so that might help break up the summer.

    1. *emerges from hiding piles of pizza boxes and moving the dirty dishes to the kitchen*

      I know it’s a joke, but one of the best reduce-stress tips I ever got was from a lady who writes as the “Hifalutin Homeschooler,” who did a list of things a homeschool mom should do and had something like “buy a stack of frozen pizzas and give yourself permission to use them.”

      I thought it was silly, but…hey, she’s got a son who’s an older version of the Baron, and he’s a twin, so it couldn’t hurt to try something she thought was so important.

      OH MY GOSH I had no idea how much that was eating at me.

      Now at least once a week when I am knee deep in Stuff I Must Do I can throw a pizza in the oven for the kids’ lunch, instead of stopping to make a meal, then stopping again to clean it up. So the Thing gets done by nap time, which means I get to do my run, and can do other chores, which means that I am not in a rush to do dinner, which means dear husband doesn’t walk in on anybody bawling. (…99.99% metaphorically. Although the Princess has hit the ‘random massive emotional swings’ stage of pre-teen.)

      1. Because it makes me grin every time, here’s the gif she made that got me to listen to her:

        She’s also written at least one book, sorta modern Erma Bombeck.

  2. I went to Mount Rushmore for 4 July. No, didn’t win the lottery to be at the event. It’s a VERY small space (we went the next day); I’d estimate under 10,000 people. Anyway, I had no idea how badly I needed a vacation until I got back.

    I, too, highly recommend taking a break.

    1. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Messi, but he’s one of my guilty pleasures. He uses the shower for at least some of his “business”. There are times he reminds me of a big, dopey dog or an extremely large kitten. I love the videos of him playing.

    1. It is a thing from mythology where adults take time away from work and other responsibilities to have something they call “fun”.

  3. My muse takes more time on outlining and less on progress these days. sigh Some of these works need to be done by the end of the year.

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