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My Work

The Rabbit Hole, Volume Two

Challenge 47

Challenge 45

I'm in a bad place

by Dennis M. Myers, 11/3/2021

I'm in a bad place. At least, that's what it feels like. This sinking feeling that came upon me. My mother is ill. Has been for a while. She could die tomorrow, or she could survive another decade. Seems unlikely, that last part. I doubt she'll make it to 2022. I don't know if I am disappointed because I can't wave a book I wrote under her nose, or if I am just feeling like I am losing my mother.

I haven't written in a month. I told May I was going to come in here and just write crap. Well, here it is. Crap. Plenty of it, too. I need to get the writing juices flowing again. I have a battle to create, a harrowing situation to make feel real, and then I get to make a bad guy have a moral dilemma. He's going to do the right thing, but is it really just in his own self interest? Probably. But that's the fun of writing his character.

I'm going to have to write out Vasu and Miku's little drama. I have a resolution in mind, and they'll be engaged to be married in this book. I feel like the end of book 3 is a good spot for the marriage, although I have this idea for a honeymoon trip I might want to try. Murder on the Mare Orientale Express. The title makes me smile, and I have a general idea of what I want to do with it. I think I need to break out of the trilogy mode for this series and just make a bunch of stories for these ladies.

Baen has has my first book for 23 months, now. When I meet them at Congregate, it will have been a solid two years. Everything I have heard says this is actually good news. I just wish there were more visibility into the process. Intermittent feedback. Still. It's gotten over several hurdles so far.

Murder on a Monochrome World is in the hands of Falstaff. I should hear a preliminary no, or please send more, shortly.

Either book being published would be great. I know Falstaff is a small press, but it's bigger than several others in the game, and I really like the Falstaff folks. It might be a better fit for me anyway. My current idea is that Baen gets the Automated Empire era, and Falstaff gets the historical Red Ice period novels. What happens in the future is more up to them then it is up to me.

Yes, I know I could self publish. But that is far more complicated and a huge amount of effort in the marketing side, and I know nothing about such things. I feel like I would be shooting myself in the foot that way. I want to learn the business from professionals who have a vested interest in my success.

I also need to start considering a new job. Not being able to take a couple weeks off every year has really been wearing me down. I want a real vacation, not one where I count the pay loss for every hour I am away from work. Contracting is not good for the employee.

So that was 611 words up there. Just then. Pretty good pace. I can feel the frustration building inside. Maybe I need to get back to meditation. Clear my mind a little.

So it's a month later now, and she's back in the ICU. They found her unresponsive and sent her back to the hospital. So once again, I'm in a funk. Got a couple hundred words written, better than the last couple of weeks combined. New bookshelves are coming along, but I feel anxious, and I often want to unload my feelings. Hence, I am writing it out. Shit like this doesn't fit well into a story. It's sad and unproductive. So I'll leave it all here. I want my characters to be playful and funny much of the time. They are good hearted people doing a hard job. I already did a death of a relative in the first book. I'm about to write the death of a teammate, and that's going to be hard. Anyway, I am going through such a complex series of emotions right now. I am sad that my mother is dying, and I feel guilty because I think it may be because I won't be able to show her I got a book published.

Another emotion common these days is how much I adore my wife. She's funny, smart, and knows how to make me feel loved, without even saying a word. She watches me, pays attention. When my feet are hurting, I may not even think about it, but there she is, keeling before me, massaging my aching appendages. The look of concern on her face is the most real thing in my life in that moment. I think my greatest fear in life is that I'll die early, and leave her with nothing. There's another reason to keep writing. Something to leave her that will continue generating an income for a time.

Several months later, my mother passed away, Baen said nice things in their rejection, and in an astonishing twist, sixteen Tuesdays after my mother died, covid took my Dad.

So now I am sitting back, telling myself that it is alright to feel sad. It is okay to grieve. It's hard to write cheery dialog, and so I've focused on a different story, one that has sadness. It isn't really helping.

This blog post took a long time to write. It feels like 2021 will not end soon enough, although I know my emotional state has nothing to do with the calendar.

As for writing, book 2 of the Red Ice series is on hold. Book 1 is in the hands of a new critique partner (Falstaff said nice things and passed on it). I'll be making revisions to that when I get her feedback, then I'll submit it to a different publisher. And so on until I hit the mark.

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