Thursday, November 17, 2016

What's going on?

It's been a couple of weeks. My new reality involves me turning my phone off most days just to get some peace. I haven't even begun the probate process on my mother's estate yet and I'm ready to let it all go to the state. Some days are fine. Some days everything is fine. But there are moments that it's like this horrible reality settles over me and well, no use going into it all again. We had lice. Yeah. Sure. Like I should talk about this in public. If you have kids in school... lice will happen eventually. I'd hoped to make it through elementary school with the last kid... we were SOOO close. We're at the end of the first semester of fifth grade and she hasn't had lice yet....well, that hope came to an end. And what's worse, I'm 47 years old and have never had lice before... IN MY LIFE. I made it through four outbreaks with the older three kids without getting them. Guess what! I got them. I don't even know how. So... there we go. Death and lice. It's been a fun three weeks.

Facebook sent me one of those memories posts... you know... as they do... It seems that this time last year I wrote about waiting for the other shoe to drop. That I had this horrible feeling of foreboding. Out of the Blues had just come out and I always feel very exposed after a book comes out. Sales were fantastic. Early reviews were very critical. I guess I knew this year was coming. Last year was a great year. This year has not been kind. Blues might not have been critically loved but it sold well. The last two books have received critical praise but haven't sold many units at all...coupled with Amazon's KU fiasco that seemed to hit me hard... and, well... I don't know.

Death, Lice, and career suicide. Seems to be a theme this year.

Okay, not exactly what I meant to write. Sounds whiny and complainy. I'm ready for 2016 to be over. I'm not one who subscribes to the notion that life hands you what you ask for... but maybe I asked for a sucky year. I don't know.

My scalp is crawling just typing this. I can never have the closure I needed with my mother. But I can stop belly aching about the rest of it and get on with next year and what needs to be done to keep doing what I'm doing.

So, let's start with the obvious:

I have a new cover for Light from the Dark. I did this because the cover that I had for the past year and a half is starting to show up on other books. Just the model, dark background, title. I've seen two MM and three MF covers using that exact same pose. So, it had to be done. I also sent the book through a new round of proofing. A few things that were missed were fixed. There has been no change to the story at all.

Cover by the wonderful Jay Aheer.

And while we're talking about Light from the Dark:

LftD will be the first Mercy book to go into audio.

I haven't done audio because it's very expensive. And yes there is royalty sharing that will cut the cost out of pocket but, honestly, I don't know if the book will do well and I'd prefer not to have a narrator waiting months or years or never to recover what they earned. So I bit the bullet and hired Derrick McClain to narrate LftD. Derrick has done several books, one of Tj Klune's and several of Josh Lanyon's just to name drop a few. I love his voice and the audition read that he sent me was incredible. If this does well I'll slowly start putting the other books in audible. I'm hoping to have it available some time in January. The process takes time. I'll know more at the end of December and will set an actual date then.

I haven't forgotten about Blindsided. I promise that I'd finish the Scrimmage series and I will. I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of March. I'm hoping to publish it in April. I plan to start work on it again in January. I have a cover. It's gorgeous. I'll share it when I'm closer to a publishing date.

So between now and then... well, I started something new for NaNoWriMo. Something I didn't think would go very far. Something that I had to purge. I started work on Freefall on November 4th and it's currently 25k words. It's kind of a cross between Out of the Blues and In from the Cold. Maybe a bit of a rehashed trope for me. MC returns to his hometown to come to terms with his past... seems like a constant theme in my life that invades my work. I have no home left to return to and a past that will never be laid to rest... seems legit... I hope to keep this one at around 50k. So if it keeps moving along smoothly I'm going to commission cover art soon and maybe have it ready by January 1st. If it goes longer than 50k it will be later in January. I'll do a cover reveal in the next few weeks.

After Freefall and Blindsided... I don't know. I'm playing it by ear for next year. I want to write more straight romance. I want to write less sex. I don't know. We'll see.

Anyway, that's what's up with me and what's coming soon.

Hoping you have a wonderful holiday next week. See you in December.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Life and other things.

I had promised to blog more often. I'd promised to do so daily if I could. About something. If not my books, then other things. The last blog post I have is from October 28th. I finished updating the buy links after KU released my books.

I received a call later that night informing me that my mother had passed away, from lung cancer. Or rather complications of lung cancer. She had pneumonia. They discovered that she had cancer only two weeks before and did not treat the pneumonia. She was end stage at the time of the discovery.

The thing is, my mother and I have been estranged, well, pretty much since the day I was born. I haven't seen my mother in many years. More than I can count. I haven't spoken with her in three maybe four years. The last time we spoke was the most bitter argument we'd ever had. I changed my phone number the next day.

I write about abuse and other topics. I write to deal with my demons. Demons that come from a toxic relationship with the one person you're supposed to be closest to.

I didn't know she was sick. She didn't contact any of us. She died the way she lived. Bitter. Angry. Vindictive.

I won't say she was evil. I know why she was the way she was. I know what happened to her in her life to make her the way she was. I spent my entire life trying to please her, and to understand her, and to get along with her. I took her abuse. Verbal, always verbal, sometimes physical. I won't say I was beaten as a child. I wasn't. But there were times in which her rage left me bruised. I remember four such instances, in which my father had to pull my mother off me. All before I was 18. I have such hate in me and rage and anger... and worthlessness. So much of me is what she made me to be.

I hate her. I love her. I absolutely can never forgive her for destroying my family. I hate myself because I always wanted her to love me and she never did.

I write because I have all of this anger and pain in me. I have rage that I can't even begin to reconcile.

She died. She died the way she said she would die. She left no will. She made no arrangements. She had no life insurance. She left me to deal with the fallout of her vindictiveness even in death.

I can't accept condelences. I don't feel... anything. I am not happy she's gone. I'm not sad she's gone. I'm angry that she was her bitter spiteful self even in the end.

I did what a good daughter should do. I buried her. I did. By myself.

I wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares. Nightmares that aren't real but have taken all of my childhood trauma and my adult rage and created this horror that I feel trapped in. In which I'm trapped in her insanity.

I did this, I'm a horrible daughter, I didn't check on my mother, I didn't try. I heard this. I listened to this from her closest relative. It's my fault all my fault. Ungrateful. Spoiled. Bullshit.

Her version of us, of me that she told to others to explain why we all left. It was never her. Never her. NEVER HER.

I lost my mother when I was thirteen years old. I buried her last week. And I have to live with the scars of her insanity the rest of my life.

Right now... I can't function. I have to. I have to get up and get my daughter off to school. I have to make a living. I have to pretend that I'm fine when I'm not.

I know it's grief. I know it's an extreme form of grief. I'm grieving for the life I never had and the mother I lost a long time ago. I'm angry and sad and confused.

I guess in a way I'm relieved. I'll never have to wonder if that unknown call is her just calling to tell me I'm fat and worthless again. I'll never have to worry about her dying alone in a house full of garbage and cats.

There is an end. She never saw the end of her mother's life. She never got a chance to see that evil vile woman go first. I guess I have that much. I guess in the end, she's not in pain, and maybe she found peace. In the end, she didn't break me, no matter how hard she tried. I guess that's all I have. There is no closure. There is no fixing what was broken. There is no forgiveness. It just ends.

I won't be around much for awhile. I don't know what to write about. I've tried putting on the fake happy and pretending I can go on. I have probate to deal with. I have her property to deal with. I have more than I want to deal with. So, really, it only ended for her. When I get this settled... maybe I can heal.

I'm going to try to keep the blog up. I'm going to try. Right now... I can't.