You know, sometimes things just don’t go as planned. My long silence began with buckling down to finish my second YA non-fiction publication (Dealing with Stress: Insights and Tips for Teenagers) and the MFA critical thesis. And then—everything went wrong.
I’ll put the good news first—I’m really, really thrilled to announce that however off schedule I’ve been, as of last week I’m done with both projects save for minor edits!
Now let’s be honest: I’m way off-schedule. Embarrassingly, shockingly off-schedule. My very kind friends have assured me that this only proves I’m a real writer. What author ever met a deadline they couldn’t smash? I thank them for that generous take.
I try to be honest and transparent about my struggles because I think it’s all too easy for us to show off the accomplishments on social media, not the blown deadlines and self-doubt and tears. I’ve conducted many interviews and conversed with others about how easily social media can cover up reality. I’d like to contribute to reality…even if it means confessing all the mess ups…even if it means admitting time and again that I may have a way with words, but I don’t find it particularly easy.
Believe me, I am the queen of self-doubt and tears. The road from blank pages to a completed book and thesis was rough. It doesn’t matter how many books I’ve written before, or that I’ve written a thesis and dissertation before. Writing is hard.
Correction: writing is hard, AND life doesn’t stop while you write. I caught a breakthrough case of COVID at the end of July—although I’m excited that I just got my third shot and hope there won’t be any more breakthroughs! Getting sick delayed my writing a bit, but when the brain fog lifted and I felt well enough to focus, the disruption carried on with Hurricane Ida at the end of August. All through September there was the cleanup, and the packing and moving stuff, and insurance claims, and construction contractors…which is an ongoing thing still! Then one of my cats got seriously ill in October. Don’t you worry, that sweet cinnamon roll is improving after a hospitalization and treatment, and he’s happy to be at home sitting on my keyboard blocking my progress. You get the picture. The last four months have been an exercise in Murphy’s Law. Life doesn't stop, and I had to write on nonetheless. Or agonize about how I had to write on, and I was tired, and maybe I'd write tomorrow instead...
Good things are on the horizon. I just saw a peek of the illustrations for Dealing with Stress, and it’s thrilling to see the anecdotes that were generously shared coming to life on the page. I believe my book is tentatively slated for release from Rowman and Littlefield sometime in mid-2022. I'm gearing up to embark on my final MFA project... a creative thesis. (Three words: magical murder mystery.)
As for this picture, a cat that is in recovery from major illness—with his poor little shaved legs from where he had an IV/where they did bloodwork leaving him looking like a poodle—should not be at the very top of the bookcase giving me a heart attack, and yet…there he is making trouble, ensuring that I stay on my toes as I soldier on to the next writing project.