I’m Plagued Out, Man.

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Photo by Kuma Kum on Unsplash

It’s been a while since we talked.

How are you? Seriously, how are you?

Are you working?

Are you safe?

Healthy?

How are your friends and family?

I’ve been damn lucky.

My wife and I are working and have everything we need to get through this crass, banal dystopia we are all struggling to get through. Something I have tried to do, and to a relative level of success, is remember that there are so many out there trapped in dangerous situations and that I have nothing to complain about. So, if you are out there and things are painfully bad, terrifying, or you have lost someone this year, my heart goes out to you.

Not prayers though.

I donate money to organizations that ACTUALLY help.

With this being said, this is a processing post. It’s a light word salad of writer whines, a brief yet rambling shuffle of thoughts that may sound familiar, or might feel a bit, ehhh…trivial.

It’s fine if you just move on, especially if you are dealing with real problems.

But, if you are a fellow writer and you have had a tough time of dialing in and getting some writing done during the hell carnival of pain that 2020 has turned out to be (and we are only halfway through – what a fun thought), then you might enjoy some asynchronous commiserating.

AN EFFING STRUGGLE.

That’s what writing has been for me this year. I haven’t had a win for a good stretch now – no new publishing credits, a novella that can’t seem to find a home, and my current manuscript is currently somewhere in the long middle. I can’t see the end, I have my doubts about the beginning, and I am lost in the deep weeds. It’s been so long since that writing-sparked dopamine hit. No rush, no thrills, just the grind of it all. Feeling very flat indeed.

My professional writing hustle, the script writing (marketing stuff) has slowed but is still going strong enough to remind me that I make money writing. It’s not a hobby. It’s paid, real work.

This helps.

Barely.

I’m not a fast writer. If I am working with a set deadline, I can lean in and get about 1500 words a day. 2000 if I am willing to accept that half of them will totally suck. Since the plague fell on our collective houses, I am able to get about 300-500 in a day before…

I. JUST. CAN’T.

I’m slowly crawling forward, but at least I am moving. About two weeks ago, I broke 50k on my current novel project. I had hoped to be into a second draft by now. Sigh. I feel like I have been writing this for YEARS. It’s more like a year but time is passing so strangely now, right?

Stuck at home for thirteen weeks. Haven’t been published in two years or so. Fighting a war of inches with the creative writing. Disturbed more by each passing day, the spiritual cost of this year immeasurable. Not sleeping that great. Bored beyond all known levels. Looking for hope lurking in the shadows that only grow longer as the hot, punishing sun blasts us from above. Stuck in my head, desperately fighting a stalling passion engine before I smash into the ground…

Not the best headspace to be stuck in. I hope it’s better for you but it’s just such a strip mall of a hellscape out there. Not even good enough for straight to video. The worst science fiction movie I’ve ever seen.

I dunno, I just thought the apocalypse would look so much cooler.

And here I am (and maybe you too), hitting this keyboard. A one man army of a 10,000 chimpanzees pounding on keyboards hoping something comes out of it that makes sense.

And gets published.

Man. Ugh. All right enough of this.

I’ll leave you with this promise. If you keep trying, I will too. After all, this blog post is almost 700 words. That’s at least 200 more words than I thought I would write today.

How about that?

Later, skaters.

New Interview and Audiobook News!

Hello Earthlings!

Recently, the anthology featuring my werewolf story “Missing” — The Classics Never Die! — issued an audiobook version, and it’s pretty great. Audiobooks are something I’ve been considering for a while, along with getting my works translated and available in foreign language markets.

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However, time is a limited resource and with such things I have to decide between writing new books and stories or working hard to promote those already out in the world. I have my extremely rewarding day job as an educator. Also, I get bored easily and always chase a thrill, so I usually just choose to work on new things.

This is not the best strategy for fame and fortune, but those aren’t motivators anyway.

STILL, I do need to do these things.

It was a freaking fantastic to hear a professional voice artist read my work, and it’s a long story so a whole hour of this audiobook is MINE. A WHOLE HOUR, and it’s GOOD. The story read better and felt better than I remembered and it was a thrill that is definitely worth pursuing further.

So, if you are an audiobook type, check out The Classics Never Die!. It’s a fun collection of stories inspired by the classic Universal Monsters and there are many talented writers to discover within it.

In conjunction with the release, one of its editors, the kickass Matthew Vaughn, is releasing a series of interviews with the collected authors and you can check out my interview here on his blog.

Matthew is a solid dude. When I debuted on the Bizarro writing scene, he was one of the first to reach out to me. We’ve been pretty tight (online, yet to meet in person) ever since. YOU SHOULD TOTALLY READ HIS BOOKS.

So in summary, new audiobook and interview. Enjoy!