That’s my current lot in life. Worry.
There are dreams I had when younger, looking into a murky future, one with little skills beyond teaching, writing, remembering pop culture moments like a wizard, a trivia king, things that are seldom well paid. This is not a complaint. I make my own bed, tend to my own garden, create my own future, whatever that will be. I’m bobbing along in a stream of downbeat life moments, one on top of another, yet, I’m an optimist. The grass is always greener . . . these moments began almost eight years ago with unforeseen stresses placed on my home and livelihood. Writing became an escape even more. Here: this book is ready to publish! Let’s do it. Why don’t I work without compensation for a start-up company snakily stating that in two years time compensation will be wonderful. I wrote for that company for two years time and didn’t see a penny. This in the background of publishing my own books, which I still love to do. Then, a few publishers came calling. I didn’t search them out; I didn’t have the time. I felt this was a good sign. Nope. Both publishers are strangely absent from my life at this current phase, and for varying reasons. The first didn’t back who I was as an author, where my books were heading as sales diminished, and the second was recently compared to a Ponzi scheme by voyeurs outside the inner circle, a happy folly, the publisher asleep at the wheel while the authors and author teams needed to hang onto a flotation device at all times. I published four books with them, and these books remain my property. I will publish them again with all new book covers, and corrected content, the typos being found over the years. I am thankful there are less than ten of these scattered within the texts of all four titles. Ten errors to be fixed. That’s a good thing in the mess of an afterparty on the delusion deck.
I worry. Like anyone else. Writing and creating tales others will read and enjoy is an ambitious dream. Focus is diverted. Angst is a constant background presence. What should I be working on? The next horror book, a collection of four dark literary novellas, most in the Robert Bloch area of the pond. I have to get the old books back in publishing condition, create an LLC, perhaps, work on a new design for the covers incorporating this new publishing company, my own. And this will all be under my own control, back where I began in 2012, when stress became an unspoken apparition silkily hovering over my shoulder. When I turned quick enough I could catch a glimpse of this horror. I kept going. Stay ahead of the crash.
I make sure the pets are taken care of first. Zippy, Kipling, Ajax and Eartha Kitt’n have needs greater than my own: hunger. They must be fed, the mutts twice a day. These are my unconditional fans. Meals of my own must be planned. I do most of the dining preparation in my home, and I’m not a horrible chef. I love to experiment in the kitchen, use the slow cooker with finesse. Daily. This is my day. Worry about others. Worrying about myself wasn’t something I ever did before. I don’t go out much. I used to see a movie a week. I can’t bring myself to the theater much. Not when there is easier access at home and a pause button. I have to sell how many copies of my books to equal a trip to Starbucks, a night at a nicer restaurant? These things make me laugh when I actually sit down and work out the math.
I spend my day working away, writing, planning, fixing my writing blog, staring at social media memes, checking in on other friends who happen to be in the same writing boat. Cheering their successes, and feeling the same pain of frustrations about the craft, the process, the complex publishing setbacks and boosts. I wish I had answers. I don’t live in the past or the future. The present is all that matters. Lost time away from writing fades. Write. Write, don’t worry. I’m going to try to do this more. What’s the alternative?
Friends. Real friends, on or offline, the ones who make you laugh with a remembered blunder shared. These friends I try to remember every single day. They help boost spirits, and I try to return this in kind.
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