December is historically a busy month, and this year was no exception. It didn’t help that I started a new job in October, and that meant no vacation days to take a break from the mayhem. I know, poor me…
A highlight for me was seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi on opening night. It was a bit of a last-minute decision, I thought it would be tough to get tickets, little did I know that we would be sitting in a theatre less than a third full. While it may have been bad for the theatre (people really need to put more effort into supporting local businesses), it was good for this burnt out introvert.
True to form, I started blubbering as soon as the title screen started rolling. Don’t worry, nobody noticed. I think… Star Wars has been a part of my life for pretty much as long as I can remember, and as silly as it might be to some, it’s a pretty big deal for me. This being the end of the original story arc made it even more powerful. Plus, it introduced me to my new spirit animal (or droid, as the case may be).
Soon after, sleigh bells were ringing, and reindeer were flying. As odd as it may seem, Christmas Day was my only day of respite during the busy and stressful time. After the arrival of our first-born, we decided that the day would be just for us and the kids. No rushing through our morning and driving all over the country, only to sit in a cramped and noisy space wondering when if it was time to go home yet. Instead, we open presents, make a nice breakfast, and then relax for the rest of the day. It was wonderful, and Ruby the anxiety dog didn’t mind either.
New Year’s Eve was a long day. I had to head out of town on a last-minute trip for work. By the time I got home I’d covered almost 500 kilometres. I was beat, but we had plans. I walked in the door, got changed, and then it was time to walk back out again. As a family, we endured aluminum bleachers in slightly below freezing temperatures to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks. I have to admit, it was pretty exciting.
After the show had concluded, we waited for the parking lot to clear, then stopped to pick up dinner (mmmm, Popeye’s) and went home for the rest of the night. My head hit the pillow at 12:11am. It was just enough for me to give 2019 the finger on its way out, and very nicely ask 2020 to take it easy on me. It’s been a tough year, but then, I believe a lot of you out there might understand that. Let’s just say, I’m done with it. I give up. I surrender.
Anyway, on to the books. That’s got to be better, right?
On December 8th I was a part of a “Meet the Author” day, hosted by Homegrown House + Pantry Inc in Airdrie. They are a champion of the “buy local” movement, and I was very proud to have been invited. It gave me the chance to catch up with other local authors, talk a little business, and get my ugly mug in front of potential customers.
The best part, we all got to do a reading that was live streamed on Facebook, an opportunity I’ve never had before! Of course, I chose to read one of my weirder stories. I always worry how they’re going to be taken but was pleasantly surprised at the end when I looked up and saw a lot of smiling faces staring back at me.
This, dear reader, is pretty much where the fun ends.
The process of writing and the business of publishing has been causing more hurt feelings than happy ones lately. The week before Christmas, something in my brain snapped. The hurt and the disappointment was too much, so I packed everything up and shoved it in a closet. I’m not kidding, books, marketing and reference materials, pencils, and note pads. I needed a break, and this was the only way I could make it work. Deep down, I knew it would be temporary. If I had been slightly less dramatic, that fact might have filtered down to the people around me. Unfortunately, it didn’t, and the act caused problems of its own. In the end though, I’m glad it happened. It only took a week before my mind started running again. Ideas for stories came, and the drive to get things done did as well. That being said, I could tell that the freight train that would normally be barreling down the tracks at full tilt had eased up a little. I seem to have found a slower, more reasonable gear. I want my deadlines to be more reasonable, and to be able to manage the workload without making me and the people around me miserable.
So, here’s what the next few months are going to look like. I’m going to work on being a better writer. Hopefully, these will help.
Instead of putting out a new short, short story compilation. I want to beef up the existing compilation and tweak the cover and format to make it the best it can be. I want to take a couple of my unpublished stories and set them aside for the purpose of submitting for publication. It’s not because I’m after exposure, but I honestly believe the process will help me DO BETTER.
The Storm series is still moving along, but I’ve pushed the first installment back to April. This will give us time to make the finished product as polished as our current skill set allows, and to test out some new promotion ideas. I hope you stay tuned for more.
That’s all for now, friends. Happy New Year! I wish the best of everything for you in the months to come. Here’s a spoopy ghost for no other reason than you’re wonderful.