Okay... my regular readers know this is NOT a common occurrence - when I set a release date I stick to it, and I have not faltered on one since... I don't think I've ever faltered on one. I think this is the first time it's happened. The reasons are few, but important, and centred around my family and my daughter really needing me right now. There's also a backlog of grief that's kind of caught up with all of us this Christmas. 2015 (at least the latter half) has definitely been a year of stillness and reflection; of slowness and breaking things down - assimilating everything that has happened - and it's been extremely difficult to write through it, perhaps not least because I am writing about a woman who is grieving - she's in the thick of it. Although I knew Summer's End was not going to be an easy book to write, I wasn't quite expecting to be in the thick of it with my leading lady. I'm not sure why, because "method writing" has happened with pretty much every book I write to one extent or another! This time, though, it's taken on the rather frustrating result of a delayed release.
Now, it may be out before Easter, but I'm pushing the deadline back until then to give me room and time to write the book properly. If for any reason I can't write it (I WILL write it, I WILL write it, I WILL write it!) I will put it on pause and begin Reign Of The Wolf instead. Reign Of The Wolf will NOT be affected by Summer's End and is still due out August/Sept 2016. That's the good news.
Looking back on this year, it feels like a huge mess, but it's also had highlights cutting through all the grey: I got engaged (finally, after ten years!), and we've found a house we want to move to (although this might still fall through). I managed to write and publish two books, with Saving Eve really rounding off The Witching Pen series in a way that brought a sense of true completion for me.
We didn't have a summer holiday this year, mainly because we've been so uncertain of if and when we were going to move house. Turns out, the move hasn't happened yet. But next year, I'm vowing to spend as much time at the beach as possible (since we will be moving nearer to the coast). Maybe we'll get a holiday in, and maybe we won't, but damn it if I won't make every day after we move FEEL like a holiday if I can!
The last two months, because of reasons touched on above, I have been re-evaluating my life, looking back over the past twenty years or so. Even the past thirty years at times. What would I change? What did I do wrong? What did I do right? What would I do again if I could? Am I where I want to be? Am I the person I wanted to be? Am I the author? The witch? The shaman? The mother? The five-year-old who wanted to win Wimbledon after watching Boris Becker do it? The fourteen-year-old who wanted to sing on stage? The nineteen-year-old who wanted to act on screen?
I've fallen back on Taylor's very balanced advice: “The question is never 'who am I?' It's 'who do I want to be?”
Thank you, Taylor.
And here's the key: who you want to be is allowed to change. We are not stagnant beings but flowing energy. I AM an author, but I WANT to be an author, too. I WANT to write for my career, because I have always written: diaries, thoughts, theories on life, songs, poems, articles about whatever I happened to be interested in at the time - I have ALWAYS written. I'm also more than an author - I am many things, as are we all. Some of those things we like to keep private, and some of those things we like to share with the world, and sometimes deciding what to share and what to keep private can be a bit of a tricky decision. But I WANT to be all those things, too - they make up part of the whole - part of me being whole - and right now, at this very second, I want to be the mother my daughter needs. She's going through that difficult stage where she's trying to grow into her huge, overwhelming emotions - she feels things really strongly and is highly sensitive. That means writing and 'being an author' is taking second place. It's a compromise worth making, because I only get one shot at being a mother to a six-year-old. Next year, that chance will be gone, and she'll have different needs. I can write a book any time. I can't be who she needs me to be now, next year. It's got to be now. I want to be that person.
The books will come. I am hanging in there. Please hang in there with me.
My new year's resolution is to live in the present, and not worry about the future, and let go of the past.
And I TRUST.
Because nothing - no experience - is ever wasted on an author. When this rough patch is over, every story will be clearer, sharper, and more colourful than before. Just wait and see.
Have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. Love them. And I wish you all a smooth ride into an abundant and powerful New Year.