So, I’ve been writing and working like crazy the last few weeks alongside dealing with the anxiety that is pretty consuming these days, thanks to everything going on in our country. I have some insane deadlines coming up, so I will try to continue with bi-weekly updates again, but I will likely be staggering other content so there will only be one or two posts going up per week. It’s difficult for me to switch gears when I’m focused on a big editing or writing assignment to stop working on that long enough to put blog posts together.
This week, I’m bringing you a few reflections on the current situations nationwide and at home, and some fan-fucking-tastic writing news.
The last several days have been difficult. It’s a new kind of chaos in our country, that isn’t truly new at all. On top of the virus, we’re dealing with a problem that has been festering for decades upon decades. It hasn’t just been an elephant in the room, more like a plague-infested creature that has finally stripped away the curtain and allowed some to finally see it for what it is. Systematic racism is as big a threat to the overall health of our country as anything. We’ve gone from quarantine to mass protests. Our country is hurting, but we’ve silenced this problem far too long.
As a kid, the most exposure I got to different cultures was through television. I didn’t have a black teacher until graduate school. I can only remember one black student from my primary or secondary schools. I was made to feel wrong for watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but as a kid, I still didn’t believe skin color could make us so different. It certainly couldn’t legitimize the hate I saw. Growing up in a conservative, racist, area, with a conservative and sometimes racist family, I clashed with a lot of people. I honestly don’t know how I ended up having such different views from those around me. Part of me attributes my world view to M*A*S*H and Hawkeye’s defense of other races and lifestyles. Was the show perfect? Probably not (I mean, just off the top of my head, Hawkeye was a womanizer and there was plenty of adultery to be had, but Alan Alda has been a staunch supporter of feminism for many years) but watching someone I looked up to stand up to bigotry and show we all bleed the same shaped many of my views.
While we do all bleed the same, there are those among us whose experience has been much different. Racism should have no part in our world. It makes no sense to me. Race makes us different, it makes us unique, it shows the resiliency of our species to adapt and thrive in different circumstances. These differences should be celebrated, not feared or condemned. I can not speak to the black experience, it’s not something I can even begin to fully understand, but I empathize, I hurt with them, I cry when I see the news–good and bad. I want to show my respect and support by speaking out. I want to encourage people to listen. We all need to work to overcome this blight on our society, but many of us really need to take a step back, step out of the spotlight, step away from the microphone, and follow the lead of those who have been begging to have their voices heard for decades.
And, you know, it isn’t as if we can deal with one problem at a time this year. We also have a certain author–in the middle of Pride Month–once again being transphobic. Can we just stop?
To my black friends, I see you. To my LGBTQIA+ community, I see you, too. You’re all beautiful and valid, and I appreciate that your experiences are different from mine. I appreciate the diversity you bring to our world. We have a lot to learn from you. I’m sorry that our society hasn’t listened and that you’ve had to live with a fear we can never imagine. Black lives matter. Trans men are men. Trans women are women. However you identify, whoever you love, you have my respect.
My husband and I have been together fifteen years. That in itself is crazy shit. But the last several months have probably been the hardest he has ever experienced. Since losing his Mom at the end of last year, we’ve basically cut off all communications with his father (because he’s a pathological liar and I legitimately believe he’s a sociopath) after a huge argument over the funeral, headstone, and his spending his the insurance money on a new motorcycle, guns, and poker supplies rather than paying for any of the burial costs. As if all that wasn’t an absolute shit-show Sir’s grandmother has stage 4 Alzheimer’s disease. Some days she doesn’t even remember that her daughter passed away, and last time I saw her, she didn’t recognize me. She fell several weeks ago and fractured multiple bones, so Sir has been staying with her during the day when the rest of the family is at work. We also recently found out that she might have a failing heart valve, and after fracturing her foot last week, likely needs to go into a rehab facility. 2020 is certainly becoming a year for the history books in every way imaginable.
Oh, and I broke my computer…. again. AGAIN! The second time this friggin year. The first time I fractured my screen and had to replace it. The second time a cat caused it to fall and ruptured the charging port, which I didn’t realize until the battery warning light came on and I went to plug it in. So, it’s dead, but Sir decided to surprise me with a new one that’s faster and better, since we were actually getting to the point that multiple things on the other one were having trouble that weren’t just associated with the beating it took this year. The mouse didn’t work, the motherboard had problems a couple of years ago, the memory had to be replaced… and I was always having to do a full reset a couple of times a year to keep it going. The new one is a huge improvement over that hassle, but there are still some files that I neglected to save in the cloud and can’t access from the old computer right now.
I just finished a long, tedious haul of editing after rewriting the third act of Trust Fall for the third time (at least). I actually kept a record of all the scenes I ended up deleting and there are over 25k words in there. The book is FINALLY done! It’s edited, formatted, and uploaded and will be available when you’re reading this.
At the same time, I’ve been working on the She-Devil rewrite and I’m 35k words deep in that project with an ending that finally makes sense and brings everything together to launch the next installment, Irreverent (A Salvation Series Crossover).
Am I the only one sensing a trend that I have trouble with endings lately? Yeah? Great…
While I’m finishing up She-Devil, I’ll also be doing my zero draft of Irreverent and then a zero draft of a Cocky Heroes book. So… Summer is going to be insane! But, at least I don’t have anything else to do since I can’t leave my house.
Last month I wrote over 60k words, and this month I’ve already passed 56k and if I finish this She-Devil rewrite by the end of the month….I’ll be around 100k for the month and 50k this week alone. Let’s see what my mental health looks like at the end of the week, but so far it’s going smoothly and I hit 16k in 12 hours recently. Part of the large increase in my output is also due to the handy dandy new keyboard I got that hardly aggravates my carpal tunnel syndrome at all. It’s friggin amazing. I’m also going to be trying out some new plotting methods and deviating from my pantsing ways somewhat to see if it’ll get me to the finish line faster.
It’s hard to look on the bright side this year and make big plans because it seems like there’s always something to get in the way or a crazy new development that derails everything, but let’s hope for the best.