A few weeks ago, as it seemed as if the pandemic was lessening, I started asking myself what have you done?
Now, mind you, I have still been working through all of this, remotely, but I felt the weight of all of this time. I felt the weight of not being able to see friends, go out to restaurants, go to movies, and to be at home, basically in front of a computer.
Believe me, my eyes know all about that computer bit.
What’s funny is – what had I done?
Well, I put out a new book just as things began – it was written and set to release and I just wasn’t willing to push the date, not knowing what was to come.
Well, I had written the last few stories and collected the others for a collection I plan to release next year.
I made a video of my convention set up, since conventions are sorta, like Pacific Rim, cancelled.
I made two micro-short films to fool around with SOMETHING.
I shot a pregnancy reveal video because – TA-DAH – my wife is expecting.
I made a promo video for my book that came out.
I did some podcasts.
Wrote some blogs.
Watched a LOT of movies.
So about two weeks ago I got frustrated in thinking about what I had done during these two months. I knew I’d done ‘stuff’ but it just felt like I hadn’t done anything substantial.
And it was stupid because I have been doing stuff.
But I felt this weird pressure.
It felt like I was chasing after people and what they were doing, as if I was in a competition. Only, the real competition was with myself, I just felt guilty for not DOING MORE.
It’s silly, but it’s also dangerous because we all do it – look at what another person’s life APPEARS to be and to judge ourselves and our life against it. We all play a little bit of pretend in our lives, especially online, where we show the best of ourselves (usually) so that we can seem like we have it all together.
All of us are a mess making it up as we go along.
So, fist off, what I can accomplish, especially during something as traumatic as a pandemic, isn’t necessarily the same you can accomplish, and the same goes for you and me. We can’t hold a mirror up to one another and expect to see the same thing.
That doesn’t mean that I listen to myself.
So, about two weeks ago I decided to start something and see where it went.
In nine days I wrote my first purely fictional story that had no genre elements.
Once done though, I started to think…What If…
The book to be is the story of an estranged brother and sister and the gulf of years and events between them.
I wrote the book in the first person from one side.
Once done I wondered – What about the other side? What was their life like?
So, I decided to write that as well.
I love this story.
I love this book.
I have a lot to do, a lot of refinement for both stories, but I think this is pretty neat.
It’s wholly unique to what I have ever done before.
It’s dark story about trying to find ourselves and the connection with one another and a journey through hell to get there.
They could be released as smaller standalone books and I think they’d work that way, but these are part of one story meant to be told together and I am excited to see what comes from the edit.
As I say, this is unlike anything I have written before.
The target is a 2021 release.
That gives me time to let it breathe and to let it sink in before I fool with it.
So where does that leave us?
I have one more book FOR SURE coming in 2020 and that is the sequel to RoadKill called Road Killers.
I have a children’s book done but I need to get art for the cover so that will come out 2020/2021.
I have a short story collection featuring monster stories set to release in 2021.
It’s a lot.
I for sure have a lot of editing ahead of me and of course, more writing, but I feel good with the work that I’ve done and am excited to see what it all comes out to be.
This wasn’t anything I intended to do, this most recent book, but I am proud of it.
Whatever you did during this pandemic, whatever passions you followed, whatever path you followed, I hope you feel good about it and that it’s just another bring in your road forward.
Stay safe, traveler.