Monday, July 9, 2012

My Rolling Stones moment and how I got here....

You know what song I mean, right?  It's only been used so many times that many people find it cliche (which kills me!).   No, you can't always get what you want but it is true that if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need.  I don't have what I want but tonight the Stones gave me the AHA! moment I have needed when I slipped into my nifty little VW Beetle convertible with the top down and the breeze in my hair.  How did I get here?  In the immortal words of Mandy Patinkin as the beloved Inigo Montoya - "No, there is too much.  Let me sum up."

I am a midwest gal, born and raised in the "heartland" in an intact family that took vacations together, camped in a small pop-up camper during the summer, and played sports year round.  I read a lot - and I mean A LOT - as a kid and wrote almost as much.  Though it sounds perfect, my formative years had pitfalls like everybody else but in general I was happy and my family as well.  When I went to college it was with the full support of my parents though I know now that I should have selected a different major.  Eh, I know a lot of people in the same boat.  But I did it, and I did it in three years from a type university (with a major and a minor no less).  Yes, I am bragging, it was an accomplishment and in the age of six year degrees I am extremely proud of it.  Anyway, I digress (I am a writer, so sue me!).  I finished college and found a job - several actually in various forms but none particularly fulfilling or enjoyable.  Being honest, I was miserable.  I should have gone into something creative - mistake #1 - but I was being the logical, responsible young woman my parents raised me to be.

Flash forward several years.  Here I am, married to my high school sweetheart/best friend, have two amazing kids, a dog, a house and a full time job.  Major confession time here and I am not somebody who cares to air my dirty laundry for the world to see.  This is a hard thing for me and I am not going to share all of the details but the marriage was a mess and the job was bleeding me in every other way.  I was exhausted and frustrated and at my end.   My husband was too.  Finally it hit breaking point and we decided a change was necessary - a HUGE change - so we took some losses, quit our jobs, packed the kids up and moved across the country to beautiful (glorious!) Seattle, Washington.  I fell in love the very first week.  My husband loved the city as well (especially since he has been a Seattle Seahawks fan since age 5!) and the kids blended in smashingly.  I started writing again - really writing again as in cranking out novels and novellas and building journals of future story ideas.  I even self-published and it felt wonderful.  It felt like I was home, like everything finally fit together for me and I would be able to quit the dreaded job and devote my life to writing and being a mother.   But Ryan missed his fam and friends and too soon exercised the option I had given to move back to the midwest.  I was devastated.  Actually, I am not sure that devastated covers it.  Nope, not even close.  I am not a crier by nature but I shed a lot of tears as my time to leave Seattle drew closer and closer.  I still didn't love my job (same as I had done in Ohio) but the city more than made up for it - or so I thought.

Please do not look at Ryan as the bad guy.  He had a right, I gave him the out before we moved, but it still hurt.  However, all was not lost and I clung to that.  We had a deal.  If I did this then I could quit my awful job, stay home with the kids and secure part time work so I could work on my writing.  This deal, as it turns out, was more than a fair exchange.  It took a long time to find a job - even part time - that worked with me staying home with the kids during the hours hubby works and even longer to get started.  I am still not getting the hours I want/need but I love the job.  It feels weird to type those words.  I love the job.  Now I am getting ahead of myself.  My Stones moment happened tonight and this is how it went.

This morning I woke up to my kids asking me about running, their faces hopeful and satisfied with just a hint of sleepiness.  I slipped out of bed (so not to disturb Ryan who took the day off) and dressed to run (my daughter and I are training for a 5K).  They were giddy and it was infectious.  For the first time in two weeks it was cooler and not quite so humid so the jog was pleasant for all of us.  We spent the rest of the day hanging out together, reading, doing art, and of course, I got to promote my books a bit.  I went to work for my four hour shift (still training) and learned a lot, made some sales, and drank some great tea.  When the shift was over, I clocked out, smile on my face, and headed out to my car - a Texans blue VW Beetle convertible.  Of course, given the weather I had to put the top down for the drive home.  Just as the top settled and I was putting the windows down, the Stones came on.  I realized as I drove that I got exactly what I needed - my kiddos, a job I can say I love, and my drive to write.    I think I will always pine for the mountains and lakes (and the Sound!) of Seattle, but if I keep trying and take a few losses here and there, I can find that space between perfect bliss and serene melancholy that allows me to write and love and be who I want (and need) to be.  Someday I will live in Seattle again, someday.  But for now, I am right where I need to be.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The sequel dilemma - and then some

I like to start a complete series as much as the next person.  Knowing that the end is available and ready to bring closure is an enjoyable experience and I get that.  However, I will not refuse to start a book because I know the rest of the series is not complete - I would never get to read anything from this decade!  So why is it so difficult for others to start an incomplete series and why review a work in a negative manner simple because the series is incomplete?  I guess I just don't understand how some people work.  It's fine if somebody doesn't appreciate what I write - I don't appreciate everything I have read (i.e. Moby Dick) but that is the point of having so many styles and genres, isn't it? 

So I sit here, typing this post and thinking about how I should be writing the sequel to my adult series so that I can put more work into Estelan's sequel since it is calling to me, but I have to get this line of thought out of my head.  Would you rather read a book from an unfinished series and wait for the sequel or have an author push out a less than satisfactory sequel just so you can read it?  For me, the answer is easy.  For others it may not be, I suppose.  Either way, I will be taking my time with ECHO RISING because it is important to me.  I have hundreds of other story ideas floating around in my head that really want my attention but I want to finish the Emerald Seer Series so I can put those characters to rest and then devote a lot of my time to Estelan because my heart is there, amidst the shadows of the Isthilien side and the as yet unnamed (I am still vacillating between three names) sunlit side.  I want to tell their story, to bring them to life and do right by them.  I am sorry for those who have read Estelan and walked away disappointed and dissatisfied because the series is still incomplete but I need to be true to myself, my characters, and my craft. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I'm melting, what I wouldn't give to be in Isthile right now

In the immortal words of the wicked witch, "I'm melting, I'm melting!"  EGAD!  It is so hot and humid outside that I long for a few hours in Isthile's cool moonlight.  Change the scenery a bit and cut the humidity and it would be much closer to the other side of Estelan - still a work in progress but I am getting some great ideas from this current heat wave!

Echo Rising is still a work in progress but I have taken some time to work on settings and characters for books 3 and 4 (to be named at a later date).  I have been breaking up writing with research and development so it is slow going but epic fantasies are not built in a day!

Stay cool!!