Maybe it’s the pandemic, maybe it’s the season or the era or something else entirely, but it’s been hard to write lately. I haven’t been the only writer having a long dry spell. I simply haven’t been able to get myself motivated. However, the contract with my publisher recently ended so he’s stopped supporting my book which means it has been listed on Amazon as out of print. That means I either had to find another publisher or self publish. I haven’t self published before, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I did a bit of editing (there was a continuity error that needed fixing and a couple of other things I wanted to add or change) and suddenly the second edition of Beloved Lives is on line and available as an e-book or paperback.
Mind you, I have been writing a tiny bit over the past months. Story ideas come in the night and poke me until I wake up enough to work them out and/or write them down. In the morning I’ll get a draft together, let it sit a while, then do serious editing after a decent interval. Then it needs to rest a bit more. It’s kind of like making bread with time between steps to allow the yeast to work and the loaf to rise. One story has gone off to be published eventually in an anthology. Anthologies are notoriously slow, so no telling when that will be in print, but there is nothing like getting an acceptance letter to get the juices flowing. And I have a couple of other new stories that are trying to find homes as well. When I’m sure of the publication dates or see actual contracts, I’ll let you know where and when these things might appear.
I have to admit, the process of reviewing and editing Beloved Lives got me in the mood to revisit The Gingerbread House, a mystery that wasn’t quite mysterious enough and needed a couple of red herrings thrown in. Over the past year it has been really hard to get back to it, but lately I’m having a lot of fun working on it. Revisiting my characters is being a real treat. I hadn’t planned to finalize and publish it until 2022, but Jonathan, my beloved spouse, thinks I ought to try to have it done in time for Christmas. If I work hard over November, that is a real possibility. Once all those things are done, perhaps I can finally get back to The Iliad in Space (working title, of course). That one has been in process for a very long time.
I do enjoy my stories, and I love my characters. It’s good to be back in the saddle, riding along with them into the publishing sunset.
Image: Fort Leavenworth Fox Hunt at Mulvane Ranch in the Flint Hills. By Jonathan Hutchins.