The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

The title says it all. It’s a feeling, along with pre-publication fears and hopes, every writer is familaiar with. Now combine that with post-publication WTF?!? and you know exactly where I’m at right now. I’m not sure I’ve ever set and actually kept to as aggressive a publishing schedule as I’m on right now. So far, I’m keeping to it. But that nagging voice in the back of my head keeps asking if I’m doing the right thing. Even though I know I am, it’s hard to ignore.

I’m only a few weeks away from the release date for Cat’s Paw. The novella’s written. I’ve gotten some feedback. I’m considering changing a couple of things. All normal in the pre-publication life of one of my works. But I have had to fight the voices recently, voices telling me to delay the book by at least a couple of weeks.

I feel this way every time I come close to a release date. After all, surely there’s something I can do to make the book even better. Then I remember Sarah beating me–figuratively–about the head and shoulders early on about my tendency to over-analyze and over-edit. She was right then and is right now. 

But there’s another reason I’m finding myself wanting to postpone the book: the upcoming election. Between the Covid idiocy and all the antics on both sides leading up to the election, I really want to just find a cave to hide in. It’s either that or burn everything down (Hey, NSA, I mean that in the figurative sense only. I’m not one of those “mostly peaceful” protesters)

But here’s the thing. It’s something I’ve noticed with my own habits recently and something others have talked about as well. It’s also something my sales figures seem to bear out. 

People are desperate for an escape right now. 

After months of basically being told by Big Brother that we can’t gather with family and friends, that we can’t go to the movies or see our loved ones in the nursing home, we’re all chafing at the restrictions. Add in the uncertainty of what will happen next month and, well, reality is something any sane person should want to escape.

2020 can fuck itself with a rusty chainsaw and die an early death as far as I’m concerned. I’m ready for 2021.

I think.

So I’m pushing through with Cat’s Paw. I already have notes and even a rough draft for the next couple of titles I’ll be releasing. I refuse to give in to the black dog that’s been nipping at my heels for the last few months. The best way for me to do that is to write.

Of course, sometimes that means writing something other than fiction. You know me. I have to let the snark come out sometimes. That’s when I take advantage of other blogs because I do try to keep my posts here pretty apolitical. But that’s likely to change as well. Especially if November goes a certain way.

You see, if I had to choose one value my family has always stood for (other than the 2A), it would have to be Freedom of Speech. Freedom of the Press comes in a close second. My family on my maternal grandmother’s side is rife with reporters, editors, writers, and even politicians. The Constitution was mandatory reading and creativity was valued.

Growing up, reading was encouraged and quickly became a way to let my imagination fly. It didn’t matter if I was reading an historical account of the Battle of Gettysburg or reading the Moon is a Harsh Mistress for the first time. I could let myself escape to that world and live it through the pictures painted in my mind by the author’s words. Whether it was smelling the gunpowder on the wind and the hearing the death keens of the soldiers on the field or living in Luna City, I escaped whatever troubled me.

And that is what I find myself doing now.

It is what I hope I help people do with my books.

So, all this has been a roundabout way of asking a very simple question. How are you coping with all the shit going on today? What are your ways of escaping the chaos for a few minutes?

And here’s a quick reminder about Cat’s Paw, due to be released on Oct. 27th.

Five years after the world learned shapeshifters are real, Mackenzie Santos is at a crossroads. Her responsibilities to the local pride and the Tribunal are taking more and more of her time. As the Dallas Police Department’s official liaison with the federal government on all things dealing with shapeshifters, she often finds herself on the road. That means she is away from her daughter, who is growing up much too quickly. Something has to give, and it might just be the job she loves.

But walking away isn’t going to be easy. Someone out there is determined to prove monsters do walk the face of the Earth and that they are the top of the proverbial food chain. They don’t care how many lives are lost or how many innocents are hurt. This is war and Mac and those she loves are in the middle of ground zero.

Leaving the DPD may no longer be an option. Yet the restrictions placed on her as a cop may prevent her from stopping the carnage, especially since she doesn’t know where the danger comes from or where it will strike next.

Featured Image by DanaTentis from Pixabay

20 comments

  1. Short answer: not great, because I have to follow it as part of Day Job. Longer version: pretty well. I’m in a place with a pretty low tolerance for “mostly peaceful protests.” My Day Job is steady for now, and I’ve got two more books started, with a third one needing edits (pruning) and it will be ready to go out the door soon, and a different book in a different series starting to jell (once I find time to work on it).

  2. I have had to fight the voices recently, voices telling me to delay the book by at least a couple of weeks.

    I’m trying Amazon pre-orders for the first time on this next book, and I do think that one of the advantages of it is the fact that Amazon is going to get Very Ticked Off ™ with me if I don’t get everything submitted on time. Thus, whatever I have on October 26 is the final draft, and there’s no point in worrying about it past that.

    How are you coping with all the shit going on today? What are your ways of escaping the chaos for a few minutes?

    At the beginning of 2020, it was writing. Yeah, my heroine was dealing with a fairy kidnapping plot that could have ramifications that ended up destroying the world, but she could stay in a hotel, go out to breakfast, and even have a spa day without wearing a mask. I’d trade places with her in a heartbeat.

    Recently, that hasn’t worked so well. I’m not sure if it’s because my current project is less cheerful or because 2020 has just got me that beaten down, but I’ve had to go to video games. I can’t bash the heads of the politicians who are annoying me, but I can bash little gumdrop-shaped monsters with a giant axe, and that does take some of the edge off.

    1. Amazon being mad is a big motivator–at least for me. And yeah, I hear you on the video games. I’ve spent my fair share of time shooting, blowing up, bashing and using stabby things in several different games. But i have to be careful. It is too easy to get sucked into gaming and not write.

      1. Are you trying to get the Good Orcs annoyed at you?

        They may be Good Guys but they do get even for insults. 😈

        Sometimes, their “Getting Even” may be just “Oh, you stuck in a pit. Why would you want to accept help from us nasty Orcs”? 😈 😈 😈 😈

        1. Good orcs would be at least as able as the elves are (with Keeblers, etc) to identify the difference between the Orcs Must Die guys and themselves. (much less, say, Lord of the Rings type orcs aka mutated immortal elves)

          Same way that I know the Game of Thrones type humans have little to no relations with actual humans.

          1. Ah! You were referring to the “Orcs Must Die” game and its sequel.

            Many of the Orcs I know would have been on the side of the War Mage (and the Sorceress in the sequel). 😉

              1. That’s What They’d Say! 😀

                They may be Good Guys but They are somewhat related to Red-Necked Humans. 😉

  3. Escape the Chaos? Around here it’s escape the “nowhere I can go” desert. So reading, writing, going outside to feed the mosquitos . . . At least we’ve had a couple of cool spells lately so it is nice outside, and sleeping with the windows open is possible. And yeah, need to stop procrastinating and kick Double Dragon out the door.

  4. Solitaire, sewing, and ornamental gardening. No social media (not that I did it very much anyway. This is my most active site other than the one where we discuss our gardens and local municipality issues like trolleys).
    You’re doing the right thing by pushing your books out the door and not waiting.
    Your audience needs the escape and you are helping them cope.

    1. I go run on the elliptical.

      I’ve worn two of them to breaking this year. (probably because I get second-hand stuff, but still.)

      Been reading fanfic and listening to lots of EWTN, Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World is scratching the strange stuff itch.

  5. I’m ready for 2021.

    Wretchard has a theory that maybe this is less a particularly extreme election cycle, and more the breakdown of the old order, the old theory of expertise. In which case, the years may escalate for a while longer.

    Anyway, my escapes are ‘trying not to care about what happens’ and ’embracing the joy of uncertainty’. The former, I really went around the bend in 2016, so I have to work on taking better care of myself. The latter’s explanation is maybe too political for here, but is basically a result of metagaming. It might be more acceptable to formulate it as trusting in The Lord. Those two, RL work, and reading stuff that has very little to do with American politics.

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