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Saturday, December 14, 2019

End of the Decade, So Where to Go From Here?

Easing myself back to simplicity largely for health reasons. Not that I'm sick or anything, but I'm speaking on a more general sense. Muscle aches while writing, especially the neck, shoulders, and right arm. Not good.

I also would like to spend more time off the computer on my days off from the day job, which was why I reactivated my old library card and am using it again. Early this year, one of my cats passed away (Oliver, my middle child) - in the early hours of Chinese New Year, too. He was sixteen. Right now my other cat (Willie, the oldest child) is also going through some health problems, and he's seventeen. At least the youngest of the three, Moby, is still quite strong and kitten-like in behavior and everything else, and he's about to turn seventeen in a few days.

My husband's feeling his age, as am I, though at least I have my day job to thank for forcing me to be on my feet several hours a day, moving constantly and all that. For all of my complaints over exhaustion and muscle soreness, I do have my work to thank for keeping me on my toes, albeit at a relentless pace. Maybe I'll pay for it down the line.

I'm reaching that point where perspective is shifting yet again, and I'm growing more and more aware of the fact that, yep, we all live once, and we can't take it with us. What used to be important to me when I was much younger, which involved a lot of acquiring and greedy hoarding, now means absolutely nothing. Zero. Zilch. Hell, it's way down on the negative ranks.

Nowadays, I can look at something I've owned for a long time and shrug at it, knowing that I won't regret leaving it behind when the time came for me to go. A bit of a morbid turn here, but that's the change in perspective I've been experiencing, and I'm feeling pretty cool about it.

So my point here is that I want to spend more time with the family and with life in general and not experience it through a computer screen. Or even an e-reader screen. The most vulnerable of my family (my pets) are already reminding me of their mortality, and it's going to be hell, going through loss again.

On that note, I'm also planning to limit my time on social media so that I won't need to have a Twitter account someday. And it'll be back to basic blogging for me, which I've already linked to both Goodreads and Amazon. So the sites that I feel matter the most when it comes to books and reading will continue to show updates from me.

It's just too bad Blogger doesn't have an automatic link to other social media sites built into their system. Wordpress does, but they've taken on ads that users have to pay to remove (the fee having increased as well).

At this day and age, social media's overrun by politics no matter where you turn, and I've already deleted my previous account over at Twitter for that reason. It's not that I'm apolitical. I'm not. I'm just not actively participating in different discussions, debates, arguments, what have you, about issues that affect everyone.

I'm firmly on the left side of the political spectrum, and the older I get, the more entrenched I become, even edging farther and farther left of the middle. That said, I'm a writer first and foremost when it comes down to that, and I want nothing more than peace and quiet when I'm online.

So, yeah. Eventually I'll be giving up my Twitter account, though as to when that'll happen, I can't say.I know I'll be there for another year, so maybe it's going to be another one of those wait-and-see situations. The more I slow down and ease up on the writing and publishing, the less reason for me to hang around the internet for a certain length of time. I'm just glad I don't need book sales to keep me afloat when it comes to bills and food.

Looking back at the past ten years, however, I do feel absolutely grateful for being able to do something I've always been passionate about: write stories I want to read.

I started out with nothing but short stories on free online literary journals, and then I moved on to paid efforts for small e-presses. Gay YA was my forte before and then moved to gay New Adult when I finally decided to go hybrid, publishing some of my books with a small press and self-publishing others.

It wasn't till about three years ago when I took the plunge into the deep end of the self-publishing pool and focused strictly on indie publishing. I loved the presses I worked with in the past, and while all but one had folded, I never had any regrets in my decision to experience that side of publishing first before taking the road I'm now on.

Only the seven books in my Masks gay YA superhero series remains with my previous publisher, and I'll be taking them all back eventually and relaunching them as self-published books like the others. But for now I'm happy with where they are, and I'm looking well into the future and seeing a pretty toned down but nicely and gently paced writing and publishing schedule for myself.

The Dolores series will be updated whenever the inspiration hits. I know the Curiosities series will most likely stay a two-book series unless something really dire forces me to write a third installment. The newest book I'm writing, whose series title I've yet to figure out, is the one I'd like to focus on for an indefinite period of time. I find the epistolary form a refreshing change of pace, and as a narrative device, I'm really forced to keep things pared down, which means a more realistic chance at finishing with a long novella.

Incidentally, though the novella is a dark comedy, I'm taking a lot of structural lessons from Dracula, what with the mix of journal entries, letters, and even newspaper articles. And I'm having a lot of fun with this story, which is the most important thing of all as far as I'm concerned, because that'll most certainly show in the quality of the finished work. Fingers crossed, anyway.

Onward and upward, folks. Onward and upward.

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