I’m a deadline junkie. I’ve never denied that. The adrenaline rush of bringing it in just a hair before it’s too late? Yeah. That.
The thing about being an Indie is that deadlines seem squishy. If you move one, who cares besides you? Most of them don’t as long as they get the book soon enough. This thing I’ve done to myself where suddenly I’m a real publisher? *switches hat* Cover Artist. *switches hat* Editor. *switches hat* Author. Oof. Hello, deadlines!
Which is why this is a scattered post taking a little break from fighting with Word over bloody italics (and why, you misbegotten goat’s turd infested with little white worms, do you keep losing my formatting? You should have been drowned at birth, when your programmer first hit save and the evile that is Word came into being…it warms my cold heart to imagine that crackle of frying electronics as the hard drive went under) instead of a joyful announcement of ‘it’s alive!’ which hopefully you’ll get tomorrow over on my personal blog. *huffs a big sigh* Yes, I bought Vellum, and the bedamned computer to run it, since the Vellum programmers value their personal honor over money and refuse to create a Windows version of their software. They make less, I spend more… but I did spend it. Business expense, and I had the capital in the account to make it happen. But before I upload the file to Vellum and start *that* learning curve, it has to be right in Word. Auuughghgh
I was asked in an interview for Blasters and Blades if I’d consider doing another anthology. Uh. Get back to me on a year I haven’t moved, switched jobs twice, and been apart from my husband for eight months out of the year. Don’t get me wrong, there have been wonderful aspects to this. Reading stories and finding some amazing ones to put in the anthology and crying while I was editing… not those kind of tears. Hush you, author! It’s been an experience. It’s nearly done. Just have to convince Word that yes, I really do want italics in there!
I’m out of words. I’ll give you the foreword I wrote (editor’s privilege) to the anthology.
“Yea though I walk through the Valley of the shadow of Death, I shall fear no evil…because I am the meanest son-of-a-bitch in the Valley.”
What if you came home, and there was a thick glass wall standing between you and your loved ones? You can see them, but you can’t touch them. Nor can they touch you.
The trauma that rides some people like a demonic monkey on their backs keeps them from going home again. This collection of stories is about such people, and how they found the thread of hope, and healing. It’s a long road to get home again, to phase through the glass, to find your place in the world where you can be at peace.
It’s a journey worth taking. Don’t let that demon-whisper convince you that the world and your family would be better off without you. It’s a lie. You are loved. You are wanted. Life is pain, I’m not saying the suck isn’t real. I’ve walked through that dark valley, and it’s not a trip you can take friends along on. You’re alone. You can’t see the hands reaching out to help. What you might be able to see? Hope. Not in the day-to-day crawl of misery, but in these stories. You might be able to find a mutter of truth in the tales we’ve pulled out of the horrors we’ve seen, we authors.
We’ve read about things we knew, before. Where we understood, and it gave us a glimpse of what could be. Learning through reading, and stepping outside one’s self to see how a character would do it? Sounds weird, but it works. I’ve done it. At the lowest point, when I could no longer see any light, I discovered the concept of a reset button for one’s personal honor in a book I was reading, and a lightbulb of comprehension flashed. It led to the first little step on the path out of the dark valley.
“Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.” –Gen. George Patton
The challenge is to walk the valley. To know that yes, there is a problem, and yes, you need help. You can’t do this alone. There are tools which can help, and if one of you reading can find a small spark in this book? That’s all we ever wanted. If you reach out, we’ll take your hand and help you.
The butcher’s bill has come due, and the fight is now invisible, in the heads of those who can’t go home again.