About two weeks ago, my wife went in for surgery. It was a fairly minor procedure, and not the one that we had been waiting for since last year. The surgery went well, and she came home the same day, but after a few days we noticed that she did not seem to be recovering as quickly as she should have been. In fact, it soon became apparent that she was actually getting worse, not better.
We ended up in the emergency room on Friday, and after nine hours and a couple of ultrasounds that found nothing, they sent us home with some more pain meds and instructions to wait a little longer for her to heal. Then on Sunday night/Monday morning, the pain became excruciating and she began showing signs of liver failure (turning yellow, the whole nine yards), so we rushed back to the emergency room at 3:00am.
After another twelve hours in the ER, they did another emergency surgery on Monday afternoon and finally fixed the issue. It's two days later now and she's finally on the mend, and should be coming home today.
So the good news is that everything seems to have worked out, but the bad news it's been an incredibly stressful couple of weeks (and especially the last few days). And this was just one event in my wife's ongoing health and chronic pain issues. On top of that, both of my kids have recently been seeing a lot of doctors for various health issues, not to mention all the other everyday regular stresses like the water heater dying last week, the cat getting sick and needing to go to the vet, the car making weird noises and threatening to break down any minute, etc, etc, etc. And did I also mention that my boss asked me on Friday (before we had to rush to the ER) if I was interested in a promotion? It's the same job I did temporarily last year, which is more money but also A LOT more work.
So with all that in mind, I have to ask: When the fuck am I supposed to have time to write?
I want to, I really do. In addition to several releases I've got a number of other stories and a manuscript out on submission, plus a couple of other stories about ready to go out. I've got two novels I'm finally making progress on and feeling excited about, plus a dozen other things I'm itching to start working on.
And yet I'm considering just giving it all up.
It's too stressful. I've got so much already going on with my life, that adding writing and all of its related tasks is just too much. I'm excited and I want to work on my projects, but I'm constantly disappointed when I don't get to them. And worrying about them while dealing with all the other worries in life just compounds the stress.
I don't know. Writing is very important to me, and I feel like I need some kind of creative outlet in my life, but I don't know if I can cut back. If I write something, I'm going to want to put it out, so I'm going to need to do the submissions or the self-publishing and the social media and everything that relates to it. And then I'm going to think of other projects I want to work on. Part of me thinks the only way to do it would be quit writing cold turkey, and just step away from it for now. But that's just scary to even consider, so I don't know what to do.
Anyway. That's enough complaining for today. On to the good stuff.
Most of you should be familiar with the release of the latest Dancing Lemur Press / IWSG anthology, MASQUERADE: ODDLY SUITED. You're going to see it talked about plenty I'm sure as you visit sites on the IWSG blog hop today. Welp, in case you didn't know, Masquerade features a short story by little old me, and you can buy it RIGHT HERE.
I just wanted to thank all my fellow contributors to this anthology, some of whom have been absolutely working their butts off promoting and organizing this book launch (you know who you are). I was not always able to give as much attention to the build up as I would have liked due to outside factors going on in my life, so it was great to have so many talented, dedicated people taking good care of our shared project.
While you may be familiar with Masquerade, you may have missed the OTHER anthology that just came out from Mystery & Horror, LLC, which also features a story by yours truly: STRANGELY FUNNY VI!
Buy this guy RIGHT HERE
This is the third year in a row my work has been featured in Strangely Funny. It's a series of comic horror and supernatural tales, and the stories are both creepy and hilarious. It's exactly my cup of tea. Here's the blurb:
"My name’s not Clarence, and this ain’t Bedford Falls. I’m more like a pixie on probation and you’re my punishment.” – Dial M for Marvin by Robert Allen Lupton
Welcome to the seventh book (yes, seventh) in the Strangely Funny series. Tales of paranormal comedy await you. Meet one vampire who has found a unique method of sheltering from the sunlight, and another one seeking a tan. See what they’re serving at the Devil’s table below. Discover a new definition for ‘dream lover’. And if you can’t figure out what a ‘Skunknado’ is, we’ll show you.
STRANGELY FUNNY is currently available for Amazon Kindle, but the paperback will be out any day now. Pick your copy right here.
Finally, to help celebrate all the new book goodies, I'm also giving away one of my old stories FREE on Amazon Kindle as well. WEREBEAR VS. LANDOPUS book 1: TENTACLES UNDER A FULL MOON is free on Amazon until Saturday, May 4th, so go check it out right now! It's a creepy, funny, disturbing little story, and if you like there are two more available in the series with more (hopefully) to come.
This is a serious story.
A serious, grimly dark short story of hilarious misery.
SUGGESTED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES: Contains coarse language, violence and candid descriptions of the genitalia of various fantasy races.
In a peaceful land of lush prosperity, an ancient eight-tentacled evil has risen to wreck unfathomable havoc. A simple, unassuming warrior named Huckle gathers together the bravest and most dysfunctional band of heroes in the kingdom to battle the beast, but they are fated only for the direst of suffering and failure.
The only way to defeat a monster of this magnitude is with an even more horrifying monster...
Huckle goes to hell and back and back again in this tragic tale of terrestrial cephalopods, ursine lycanthropes and explosive volcano drake diarrhea.
Dark fantasy will never be the same.
With a forward by R.S. Matheny and Philip Overby, hosts of the Grim Tidings Podcast
Hope everyone has a great Wednesday!
Hugs and kisses,
The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/.
Congrats on all your amazing writing news! But I'm so sorry about how stressful your life has been lately. When you feel that way, it's natural to think that something's gotta give.ReplyDelete
Maybe there's a space for writing on a more casual basis, just until life calms down? Or you could take a break for a bit. I can't see you wanting to quit entirely (but if that's what is best for you, do it and don't look back).
Big hugs for you and get-well wishes for your wife and your kitty.
So glad your wife is doing better. And I can completely relate to your challenges to write. My late husband had chronic health issues and was often sick and sometimes hospitalized. I had a hectic job as an attorney and was an almost single mom. I didn't write much but I enjoyed it when I did. Even now living alone, I do not have the time I'd like to write regularly. But I love it when I do it and that's okay with me. Some people do finish books and get published by writing on lunch hours and a few hours on the weekend. Don't give up. When you retire someday, you'll be glad.ReplyDelete
So sorry about your wife! Good to hear they finally fixed it and she's on the mend. Pray everything else and everyone else also heals.ReplyDelete
Take a break. The moment you say you quit, a great idea will hit you anyway.
I can honestly say that I know what hell all that stress is. I feel for you. I hope everything improves, even though that's a slow process.ReplyDelete
Hello, C.D. Seems to me there's a world of difference between giving up a creative pursuit and putting it on hold until life becomes less insane. FWIW, I'd vote for the latter. When family matters throw a handful of crazy in my face, I try to sneak in just a few paragraphs worth of progress on a project most days--enough to keep it simmering in the back of my brain. I'm glad to hear your wife is on the road to recovery--sounds like a terrifying time.ReplyDelete
Glad to hear that your wife is on the mend, C.D.ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry to read about the challenges you face. Weigh up the pros and cons of taking a short break and take it from there.
Put things on hold. Family first. Never quit. I have done almost zero writing (okay, that's not true, but it feels like it!!!) this past year with my new job. Ugh. I love my job, but between it and my family, I'm on hold in the writing department. I'm so glad your wife finally got the care/help she needed. Those times can be super scary!ReplyDelete
I hope your family's health is on the upswing.ReplyDelete
Congrats on the short story successes! Writing can be such a balancing act, but maybe the short form is a good compromise for now?
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyDelete
Congrats on the anthologies -- and BTW, I think that is exactly the motivation you need to write even if you don't always have the time to promote/publish.ReplyDelete
I'm sorry to hear about your family's health issues: it's something that always stresses me out enough not to be able to write.
Ronel visiting for #IWSG day: Help Me, Please!
Geez. You guys are getting more than your share of hard times! Hope that the health issues stabilize (for wife, kids, and cat, and that you somehow manage to keep healthy AND sane). As for writing... there are times when it just can't happen in the midst of the rest of life. Seems like when time is pinched sometimes the best you can do is write short stories, shoot them out into the ether, and forget about them while you put out the next fire.ReplyDelete
I am so sorry to hear about your wife. What a fun ordeal that all must've been! Thank God she's fine now but again, sorry you both had to go through that. :( In regards to writing, don't give it up. Just write for you until you find the time in your schedule again - and you will. I have definitely felt this (feeling it today actually!) but like you said: you need that creative outlet. So keep writing, even if you have to scale it back a bit.ReplyDelete
Glad to hear your wife is on the mend.ReplyDelete
I have no answers for you, but you're doing the right thing by asking that hard question of "Do I want to keep writing?" Take the time to think on it and you'll figure out what to do.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyDelete