Back to the Front

I’m going to apologize up front for my lack of posts these past few weeks. The holidays and life in general sort of took their toll.

Last year was a year of stark contrasts from start to finish. It was at once the best and worst year of my life. Losing my mother and one of my brothers so close together was…staggering. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about them both and miss them dearly. They say time heals all wounds, but even a healed wound can still cause some pain. In my imperfect way, I have been coping and doing my best to work through the mourning process.

This loss has been terrible for our family, but it has also spurred a great deal of positive change in our lives. Our remaining family has become closer than we have been in many years. Old tensions have faded and we are happy to just have each other around and spend more time together. Differences in beliefs and opinion have dissolved and we remember that most of that stuff just doesn’t matter when you love someone. Differences don’t have to lead to strife and they can even be celebrated.

The loss has also caused me and my wife to take a long, hard look at our own physical health. Immediately after these losses, we came to realize that we wanted to be proactive to ensure that we would have as much time together as possible. We came to the stinging conclusion that we are simply too smart to not be taking care of our bodies. Our desire for change was so strong that we took immediate, drastic action to improve our health. The results have been hard won, but they have also been nothing short of astounding. It is truly amazing what being mindful about health and nutrition can do for your overall well-being. Months of change and hard work have likely added years and possibly decades to our lives and we have no intentions of stopping.

Through all of this, I have fought hard to continue my writing. My output in 2016 was by far the most of any year of my life. I completed and later began revising the first draft of my novella (decided to keep it tight and cut it down from novel length). I have worked on this blog to keep myself sharp and keep ideas flowing. I hope that all of you have found it interesting.

Up until the start of the holiday season, I was on a roll and staying quite productive. Unfortunately, as the holidays arrive, so too does a sharp reminder that loved ones are missing. Mix in a heaping helping of seasonal affective disorder and production slows. In my case, it ground to a halt. That is not to say that the holidays were a bad time. They were actually wonderful and some of the best I have had in years, but they still carried that painful reminder of loss.

Getting myself back on track has been a herculean undertaking. Inertia is a very real thing when it comes to my work and getting going from zero takes a hell of a lot of effort. But movement is movement and I aim to rebuild my momentum. My biggest focus at the moment is “getting my house in order”. I leave that in quotes because it’s a common idiom, but in my case, it’s also a literal truth. I have been working with my wife these past few weeks to optimize our living and working spaces. After seeing a quote by Stephen King about writing rooms needing to be a personal space pop up in a few places, I decided I had to make some changes to my own writing room.

We only have a single extra room to act as an office for the two of us, so space is at a premium. Fortunately, I am married to someone who supports and believes in me even when I sometimes stop believing in myself. She has given me the go ahead to do what I need to in order to make the room entirely mine so that I can have that personal space to do my best work. It’s taking some time to get everything how I need it, but I sense that it will yield terrific results. The change will do wonders.

All that being said, I am working on some good stuff of this year and hope to get some of it posted soon. I intend to continue with my flash fiction pieces, but I am also working on possibly serializing some of the more interesting ones. There have been a few ideas that I have come up with in these flash pieces that I really want explore further and I think serializing them while I work on other things will be the way to go. I aim to finish revising my novella in the coming months with the hopes of querying agents soon after. When that is all finished, I have another piece that I will be getting started on. An idea with a much larger scope and something I was sort of in the middle of developing when I decided to take a break from it and write the novella.

Thank you all for reading my blog. Stay tuned for more this year.

-W R

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