THE NOT-NEWS RAMBLE
It’s a long one…you can skim all this nonsense and get to the good stuff below if you’d like. There are some teasers for The Son & His Hope (that I shared on FB but you might not have seen), a blog sign up link for The Son & His Hope, and release date information.
If you’re going to read this short novel, it correlates to the Burn Out post I did a few months ago. I wanted to share the frustration at finding I wasn’t indeed superwoman with an ever-ready battery that never needed recharging and explain how I’d been forced to stop for a while for my sanity. I know so many of us deal with anxiety and stress in everyday life so I’m not unusual, but wanted to give a heads-up on my progress back to normalcy (if there is such a thing). 🙂
But first, wow, I can’t believe how fast 2018 is flying past. Like literally, who stole this year? Fess up because I swear it was January just yesterday.
I have to admit, I had a lot planned for this year. My release schedule was massive when I sat down in December 2017 and plotted out each month, ensuring I had every day accounted for, word count goals, release dates, and lofty aspirations.
That was before Ren and Della popped into my head and screwed up my entire release plan, then my brain decided it had worked for long enough without a break and demanded one—rather rudely. It demanded so loud in fact, this time, I wasn’t able to ignore it.
I’ve been lucky enough to be a ‘published’ author for over five years now. I put ‘publish’ in quotations because I’ve been an author all my life. From writing single page tales when I was younger, to penning sheets and sheets of terrible creations as I learned how to craft a better story. When my work became noticed, I was so honoured that people wanted to read what I had to say, that I forgot about balance. I told myself I was having a day off here and there. I made myself believe I was living in the now rather than the next release and the next deadline and the next project.
But I was lying.
Bit by bit, piece by piece, I lost myself to my passion. I wasn’t happy unless I was writing. I wasn’t calm unless I was typing. The descent into workaholicism wasn’t quick. It was slow and steady and silent. I stopped paying attention to the scenery because I was in my head solving a plot hole. I stopped watching movies because even though my eyes were on the TV my mind was formulating Facebook ads and conjuring taglines. I stopped wanting to go anywhere or do anything other than write as that layered anxiety and stress because my goals would be delayed. Even when horse riding, I’d be thinking about what I should be doing work wise rather than be connected with my horse.
I felt that panic steadily building. That craving for more but not knowing what it was that I’d lost. And through every day that I spent saying no to friends and every evening wasted not spending it wholeheartedly with my hubby, I never noticed how much I was stealing from myself. How much I was missing out on. How much life had passed me by.
Until my brain literally said…no more.
I tried to fight it. I did a blog post about burning out and how I’d turned to Yoga and zen-like things. And they helped. I still do them. But I was still writing. Still working. Still plotting, marketing, emailing, messaging, daydreaming, stressing, obsessing. I knew in myself I wasn’t doing what I needed to do and made up my mind to fully be ‘present’ when hubby and I took off in our caravan for a trip away. We had no date on when we’d be back. No timeline or destination. Normally, that would drive me crazy. I’d be doing my best to formulate a new diary, new deadlines, new projections.
But this time, I couldn’t.
It truly was make or break.
However, even as we packed the caravan, I took two laptops (in case one died or I couldn’t charge) two phones in case one had better battery, and two sim cards in case I ran out of data on the road. I was telling myself I was being sensible and smart. In reality, I was feeding that workaholic that wouldn’t leave me alone.
It took six weeks.
Six weeks of being VERY strict with myself to remember how to look at a sky and focus on clouds and not characters. Six weeks of sitting by a river without my notebook, phone, or laptop. Six weeks of getting up in the morning and doing NOTHING instead of reaching for my inbox and diving into work. It wasn’t easy. I was like an addict craving a fix. My system would literally go into panic mode if I didn’t check my reports or respond to emails. Heart palpitations…shakes, you name it.
But…slowly, piece by piece, I claimed my life back. I found the magic in just walking in nature and not stressing that I should be at home working. I remembered how freeing it was to EAT FOOD without being on my phone or jotting down a to-do list. I made myself live each second in their entirety and not waste them on worry about what I should or shouldn’t be doing.
And you know what?
The world became magical again. The sun was brighter, the grass greener, I was EXCITED about things outside of work rather than just going through the motions. Food tasted better, days stretched joyously not demandingly, and having no agenda or plan filled me with possibility instead of panic.
And now I’m in a MUCH better space.
I can take time out for me without worry. I can go to a Yoga class and be present and not be wishing I had a pen and paper to note an idea down. I can take the day off to go and ride my lovely horses if the weather is too nice to be indoors without physically shaking with guilt for not working.
I’m telling you all of this so I can beg your forgiveness. This has been officially the longest time I’ve gone without a release. I haven’t had pure days off in forever. I’ve evolved as a person and I’m not going to feel guilty for taking the time I needed—just like you shouldn’t feel guilty to take the time YOU need.
Because you know what? If I’d kept on the trajectory I was on…I would’ve done more than just burned out. I would’ve broken myself and ruined, not just my life, but my work too because I had nothing left to give. I wouldn’t have been able to write. I wouldn’t have the strength to transmit feelings from my characters onto paper.
Now, I have endless energy and if I’m honest I have a small amount of fear that once I go back to work full time I’ll forget how to stay in the now. I’ll start slipping into the panic attacks and the workaholicism that has ruled my life so successfully, so I’ll be keeping a very close and honest eye on myself to keep that magic and balance in my life.
I’m back to writing but I’m not pulling the crazy days that I was before. I’m back to creating but I’m not letting it take over my life. I’m full to the brim with ideas and stories but I have to live my own life while fabricating others.
So, as much as I wanted to be able to tell you a release date today for THE SON & HIS HOPE and THE BODY PAINTER, I can’t.
Until they’re on paper, I’m not announcing a date so I don’t let myself or you down. What I CAN say is THE SON & HIS HOPE will be FIRST. Purely because I’m still in that world, Jacob is getting impatient, and it will be good to finish that series so I can move on with a clear head to THE BODY PAINTER. (I have been writing that one too though so it’s coming along nicely).
This wasn’t the type of message I wanted to say. I wanted to come back with a bang, not mention my ascent back into being present or human as if it’s some great achievement just to remember how to LIVE but it kind of is. I feel like I’ve woken up from a fugue.
I want to apologise for still not having a release date, but I’ve always been honest with you guys and this is yet more truth.
So, with that confession out of the way, here are a few pics of our caravan trip away where I forced myself to open my eyes to the world again. If you’re going through the same pressures and lost the joy of just sitting in a patch of sun reading, or if food doesn’t taste as vibrant, take the time you need to remember. Life is WAY too short not to live it properly.
I read a blogpost online when I first reached burn out about a guy who gave a very honest rendition of what he went through. He said it took him six months to come alive again. I’m lucky it only took six weeks. I’m not saying those tendencies aren’t still there. That the workaholic isn’t still raging at me to stop this nonsense and get back to work, but I’ve remembered how to enjoy life again and I’m not giving that up.
Right, picture time!
A lovely spot by the river.
The prettiness of nature
Bunny on the beach
My two favourite boys
One very happy, well travelled rabbit
TEASERS YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE SEEN FOR THE SON & HIS HOPE
Here are a few teasers I shared on my Facebook post while I was away. If you didn’t see them, they’re all nice and convenient in one spot 🙂
<3 <3 <3
Della Wild’s note in The Son and His Hope
“My Dear Wonderful Reader,
You’ve read our story, but now, it’s time to read Jacob’s with very little interference from me. But don’t worry, I have no warnings to give you this time. No caution or ominous foreshadowing. You don’t have to read mine and Ren’s tale, you don’t need to know our history. You don’t need anything to fall in love with my son.
He truly is remarkable.
Like his father.
So, so much like his father.”
<3 <3 <3
An excerpt from Jacob’s tale…
“What do you want from life?” I asked, keeping my eyes from hers and on the stars above. Stupid question but I was bored with silence for once.
She wriggled in the grass beside me, her thoughts loud enough to hear but in a totally different language to the one I spoke. “Everything that everyone else wants, I guess.”
“And what exactly is that?”
“I dunno…family. Someone you can love. A best friend to hang out with. A house.” She squirmed again as if embarrassed. “Those kind of things. Love kinda things.”
Yes, that did seem to be the general consensus of what people wanted.
I sighed into the darkness wondering, not for the first time, why I was so afraid of family when I’d been blessed with the best one in the world. Death shouldn’t have scarred me this permanently. I kept waiting for the pain to go, for the fear of loss to vanish, to be brave enough to care.
But it never did.
“Don’t worry though,” she whispered, her thirteen year old voice hesitant but full of courage. “I don’t expect those things with you.”
“You know? Family and love and stuff.”
“Why not?” I shouldn’t have asked that. “I mean…not that I want those things with you, either. I don’t want those things with anyone.”
“I know.” She nodded firmly, her hair tangling with grass. “I feel it.”
“That you will never love me.”
<3 <3 <3
A teaser from Hope’s tale…
“You’re very brave to love him, you know.”
I flinched as my eyes shot upright.
Della stood over me where I kneeled in the meadow, indulging in my tears caused by her damn son. Wiping my cheeks, I squared my shoulders and made to stand but she crouched beside me instead.
“He’s too like his father,” she murmured, almost to herself rather than to me. “And I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry he’s hurting you.”
I sighed, plucking a piece of grass and crushing it in my fingers. “He doesn’t mean to hurt me. He’s just…”
“Stubborn.” Della smiled sadly.
“Yeah.” I nodded, sighing again and letting my tears dry up. “He won’t open his eyes. He refuses to see me.”
“And he won’t.” Della sat beside me, staring at the sunset painting the world in glittery gold and burnt tangerine.
My heart sank to the dirt below. “Ever?”
She shrugged, never taking her eyes off the horizon. “Depends.”
“On how much pain you’re willing to go through until he does.”
<3 <3 <3
Another from Jacob...
“Promise me, Wild One.”
I couldn’t reply. Words clutched brutal, bruising fingers around my throat, preventing me from speech. Preventing me from curses. Preventing me from pleading for today to work out differently.
Anything but this.
“Jacob…” Mom’s eyes glowed blue with fierceness even as they glossed with sadness. “Promise me.”
“Anything.” I forced with gruff bite. “Whatever it is. I’ll do it.”
Regrets. Wishes. Pain. All of it squashed my heart, killing me.
She smiled, relieved and grateful. I was the ever frustrating son, driving her mad until her dying day. “You are so like him. Sometimes too like him.”
For once, I didn’t want to talk about my father, but she continued as I bowed my head, breaking eye contact.
“So like him.” Her breath caught before she added, “You have a wanderer’s heart, too. Don’t ignore it.”
“I don’t need to wander to know I’m happy here.”
“Happy yes, but missing something.”
“Yes.” Her fingers curled tighter over mine, a sudden burst of strength. “Go wander, Wild One. Explore, visit, learn, but don’t just be like Ren and travel the forests. Travel the oceans. Cross the seas. Walk the continents. Find peace.”
“Peace is here.”
“No.” She shook her head. “Torment is.”
I hated that she was right.
I hated that she knew me.
I hated that after today, I’d have no choice but to leave.
And it would take the final sane pieces of me and destroy everything.
<3 <3 <3
More from Hope…
Four years of knowing him.
Multiple moments of kinship.
A few indescribable days of friendship.
Numerous seconds of heartbreak.
And one awful knowledge that Jacob Wild would never love me.
Add The Son & His Hope on Goodreads!
Release date to be confirmed but will be 2018
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Or at least…I hope! (see what I did there…Hope?) Guess you’ll be the judge lol 🙂
BLOGGER SIGN UP LINK: http://bit.ly/2O0FVf3
And that’s it for now.
I hope you have a fabulous rest of your day and thanks so much for reading and your amazing patience xxx