Last November, I suffered a heart attack (my second). It was relatively mild compared to my first, back in 2009, but it was still disconcerting (to put it mildly!) I was put on additional medications, on top of the multiple prescriptions I already take each day to deal with the consequences of a permanently disabling spinal injury I suffered in 2004. The combination of old and new medications did a number on my ability to write creatively. I could write bits and pieces, but I simply couldn’t wrap my mind about novel-length creativity. Since I’m dependent on book income to help make ends meet, that wasn’t a good place to be.
I managed to produce a couple of short stories, and started three or four novels, but couldn’t get anything really productive done. However, this month my medications went “back to normal” (for various and sundry definitions of normal). That’s unleashed my mental creativity again – and brought with it some new problems. I can now write at my formerly accustomed pace once more, but my mind is so full of ideas and concepts that I can’t get them all down at once. I find myself writing one book, and simultaneously getting frustrated because I’m not working on the three other book ideas in my head!
I suppose I should be grateful I’m able to write again, and leave it at that. Right now, I have half a dozen partly finished projects that are demanding my attention. I’m concentrating on one, in the hope of getting it out soon. My hopes for 2021 (God, health and US politics permitting) include up to 5 novels and 2 short stories, plus an omnibus edition of three earlier books, lightly revised to improve style and grammar. It’ll be a very tall order to get all of them out, but I’ll do my best.
Thank you to all my readers and friends who’ve encouraged me during the “year that the swarming locust has eaten“. I’ll try to get my own back by eating them during the coming year. (Speaking as an African boy, I can assure you that locusts aren’t half bad. There are many ways to cook them, although I’ve only had them dry-roasted over a fire and eaten with honey. Just be sure to remove the spikes and barbs on their legs before you bite into them. How do I know this? Trust me. I know this!)