The start of this year has pretty soundly kicked my ass. I released my first book on February 19, which was awesome. However, in the middle of all of that, I’ve had some pretty major health problems kick up which have had me in and out of commission. On April 5 I had a surgery which (hopefully) fixed a host of problems. Everything is looking good so far, but I tend to have a really hard time recovering from surgery. It takes me quite a while to get my energy back.
So, with all of that going on, I realized I was too busy – between pushing a new book on people, my own health problems, surgery, family stuff, and writing another book – to give the SPFBO the time and attention it deserves, so I told the judges that I need to bow out. I was just (and still am) stretched too thin. Mark found some other wonderful reviewers to take my spot. I feel terrible about having to do that, but the fact that it’s taken over a month for me to find the time and energy to even write this update says a lot.
I’ve been pretty stressed out, and with the warm weather coming, and my garden two times bigger than it’s ever been before, I’ve been losing myself amongst my plants and posting a flurry of garden updates. It’s been my zen, my little spot where I can go to get away from myself, the things that are bothering me, and take some time to just breathe without the pressures of life weighing me down. If you follow me on social media, you’ll see a lot of garden posts. It is extremely helpful for me to be around growing, beautiful things when I am stressed out like this.
On the writer side, it’s taken me a thousand years to figure out a direction for An Elegy for Hope (The Bloodlands 2), but now that I’ve got one, things are progressing as fast as they can. Right now I’m writing this book, editing two books for clients, and pulling more hours at my day job, so I’m spread pretty thin and not getting as much progress as I want, but I’m moving forward at a steady pace, though I can feel a bit of burnout setting in. I’ve also got Shaun Duke on hand to edit this book whenever I get it done. I’m hoping by July but I just don’t know. The way the first part of this year has gone, I’m really reluctant to stick a pin in any real point in time for this book.
I haven’t had a whole lot of time to get much reading done, which is unfortunate. I’ve been reading a ton of nonfiction historical books on the siege of Leningrad, Operation Barbarossa, and things like that, if you want a hint as to the direction I’m going in An Elegy for Hope. I have a K.J. Parker book, sent to me from the lovely people at Orbit, looking at me, but I haven’t had the time to open it, which is really unfortunate, seeing as how K.J. Parker is one of my absolute favorite authors ever.
I meant to write some reviews this week, but it’s Friday morning and this is the first time in weeks I’ve had time to open my laptop and write (or read) more than about a paragraph before some chaos happens that requires my full attention.
So, this year has started out really rough for me. I’m exhausted. Nothing is going as fast as I want it to go and nothing is happening the way I want it to happen. My garden is awesome, but everything else seems to be suffering due to life just constantly happening. I’ve had a lot of health issues, a surgery that I’ve been recovering from, and exhaustion is setting in, but I’m here and I figured I’d write a bit of an update post to sort of wave my hands in the air and say, “YES, I AM STILL ALIVE I’M JUST SUPER BUSY AND TIRED.”