Archive | July, 2015

A Different Direction

4 Jul

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I wish I had a good excuse for my absence, but all I have is the truth… Life is hard. Very hard, sometimes. Last summer was especially hard. I lost my mom. And my dog. My oldest graduated high school and moved off to college. My father-in-law moved into a nursing home.

It was too much loss, too much change, all at once. Suddenly, I felt very old, very tired, and very, very heavy. A year later, I still don’t feel quite like my old self. I don’t know if I ever will again. This is just who I am now. ‘Older and wiser’ feels inadequate. A little less impressed and a little more curmudgeonly, maybe? Either way, Life is too damn short to be nice to assholes. I’ve stopped trying to please the world, and I’m working really hard at finding my own happiness. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but I’m trying.

I stopped doing all the things I hate, and started doing things I actually like. I’ve stopped coloring my hair and started drinking wine. I plant more flowers and ignore the weeds. And I have finally stopped listening to the Negative Nancy living inside my head and stopped trying to write “perfect.”

There is no perfect way to write, no perfect combination of words to use, no perfect character or story or idea because the world is not designed for perfect. The world is a beautifully imperfect, chaotic mess of crazy – and it works! All I can hope is that my writing, in all of its imperfections, reflects that.

It’s been a very long time since I have found joy in writing, mostly because of the pressure I put upon myself, especially when it comes to the sequel to Millie’s Rose. After years of beating myself up and tearing myself down, struggling for every single word on the page, I’ve come to the realization that I can’t finish this damn book because no matter the angle I approach it, it will be wrong. I’m trying to force the story into a straight and narrow, cookie-cutter format that I don’t want it to fit into. To me, Jimmy is not a book. Kylie is not a book. When I imagine their story, I see them as so much more than the telling of a singular life’s milestone. They are an entire journey of love, and loss, and of a life well lived. Like ours, their story writes itself in the bits and pieces of ‘everyday,’ one laugh, one tear, one kiss, one heartbeat at a time, until one day – hopefully many, many years from now – their story is complete. And that is exactly how I plan to write them.

In order to accomplish this crazy, impossible dream, I have removed Millie’s Rose from publication. Starting today, it will be re-imagined and republished in a weekly, serialized format on my sister blog, ALLMAN FALLS. It will be free to visit, free to read, and open for you to share your thoughts and comments as we go along.

If you have read Millie’s Rose, you’re familiar with the characters. In order to introduce new readers to their world, I found it easiest to start the posts in the same way the book began, with Dan Handley returning to Allman Falls following the death of his beloved Millie. It may feel a little like a rerun in the beginning, but very quickly the story will expand beyond Dan and Stacy’s POVs to include the lives of Jimmy and Brent, Aria, Kylie and Ashley, and even Chase. For lack of a better way to describe it, Allman Falls is becoming its very own soap opera, and its residents are the reluctant stars.

Olivia will remain on Amazon for the world to either passionately love, or vehemently hate. There’s really no in-between for that girl. Poor thing. And I plan to add more books to my published shelf, in my own sweet time. I have challenged myself to write 40 first chapters in my 40th year. Four months in I have written…. Zero! Ha! But I still have plenty of time. And I will publish them here for you lovelies to read first. Until then, I invite you to pop over to ALLMAN FALLS and catch up with some old friends.

Hugs, and happy reading!