I am sure that more than one of you is wondering just that.
I am known for my disappearing acts…and unfinished stories. Perhaps disappointing readers.
But the truth is that we all need breaks. Holidays. Vacations. That even doing something you love, like writing, can become a chore. And even being with your true-mate, you still need your own space.
So, it has been with me. I have pushed myself to write. Blogs about preparedness and sustainability. New chapters of those unfinished stories. And a couple of new things that have been fomenting in my mind for years.
And I did it at an astounding pace. Two thousand words per day. Almost every day.
Yes, there is something to be said for that. For creating a writing habit, a schedule, and daily word goals.
But when that begins to enslave you, when writing becomes a chore, and you lose the passion…
It is time to take a break.
And so I have.
I have worked in my garden. I have my first tiny mater and close to a dozen inch-long cucumbers. We are eating from our urban farm and homestead almost every day now. Mostly lettuce, spinach, kale, and herbs, but it is a start. While it is impossible for anyone to actually be self-sufficient, I hope to put a major dent in our dependence on the machinery of convenience and greed that has enslaved us all.
Along those lines, I have begun to sew my own clothes. Something that I have shunned for years. Yes, it is actually more expensive and time-consuming than buying them, but there are loads of other good reasons for making them myself.
And I have struggled – as I always do – with the world in which we live. With the ‘modernity’ which I decry in Ægir’s trilogy. Like Rachel and Kirsty, I could so easily see myself embracing that simple and solitary life…with the right person/s, of course.
Except the people that are ‘right’ for me don’t feel the same. They enjoy living in a small city. My daughter, @PanKwake, is even an extroverted autistic. Besides, in terms of sustainability, cities, especially small ones, make more sense. Our lifestyle here is more environmentally-friendly than if we lived in the country and had to drive.
But for a misanthrope like me, that is not always easy.
Right now, during self-isolation, the street outside my study window is quiet. All I hear is bird song. But I know that won’t last much longer. And that frightens me. Going back to that ‘normal,’ which everyone else longs, for terrifies me.
Then again that is why I write.
Because in my mind and the pages of my stories, I can create a world that I want to live in. Peopled with characters who are honest, caring, and look out for one another.
The truth is that this crisis has stripped away the illusion of invincibility that modernity is built upon. Governments cannot save us. Doctors cannot cure every disease. Heck, grocery stores cannot even be relied upon to feed us.
When all is said and done, it comes down to this…
The only person we can rely upon is ourselves…
And one another.
It is something that we have lost. In this modernity. But during these challenges, it has been the lifesaver. We have seen its reemergence so many places…
On the balconies of Italy as whole neighborhoods sang together.
On my street as we stood united, clapping for the nurses, doctors, and carers who battled so valiantly.
In the neighbors and friends who reached out to ensure that the vulnerable were cared for, asking if we needed shopping.
In parents who came to know their children, spending time with them as they had not for years.
In the small, local hardware store that delivered compost to my back gate when all the bigger stores were closed.
As we come out of ‘lockdown’ we have choices to make. As individuals, families, and communities. When all else, all that modernity was stripped away, what was left? What was truly important to us?
I’ll be honest (aren’t I always?).
This ain’t over yet, folks.
Whether it is headlines that announce the WHO (World Health Organization) declares the biggest jump in cases so far or the head of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) predicts “a global recession we have not seen in our lifetimes,” it is anything but clear sailing from here.
I have found solace in the words of ancient stoic philosopher Epictetus:
“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.”
And while I may be focusing on that inner tranquility, I am sure that as my readers you are more concerned with that outer effectiveness.
What will that look like in the days, weeks, months, and years to come?
None of us know.
What I do hope and plan is to finish up Night Walker’s Woman this month. I will then begin to release chapters of the follow-up stories, Tight Fittin’ Jeans and One Night Stand.
I have not abandoned No Strings Attached either. Hopefully that will be June’s finished product.
Of course, I want to continue other of my babies too: Goddess Chronicles, 2nd Best, and my apocalypse stories too.
Writing is my solace. It centers me. But it also allows me to express my innermost hopes and fears for this world. To extol and encourage you to make the right choices for you, our planet, and this world.
If that seems lofty ideals for erotica, it should not. Sex is the most powerful form of communication and communion with one another and the goddess. Yes, I actually believe that bullshit. That, too, is why I write.
So, whether it is Sergeant Mike or Kirsty and her guys or Rhea’s goddess or any of the other strong but flawed people about whom I write, I will always preach the same message:
Love is the only that makes it worth living.
Great sex is the best way to show that love.
Nothing done in love can ever be wrong. (Consenting adults.)
I believe that too.