News, Publishing, Shifting Isles

When the Grass Isn’t As Green As You Imagined

It’s strange to look back at this post from eight months ago and recall how starry-eyed I was at the time. Back then, just two months into my experiment at being a full-time writer, I thought I was truly living the dream: no alarm clocks, no bosses, no desk to be chained to and customers to satisfy for ten hours a day, six days a week. I was free to write and do whatever else I wanted, all on my own schedule. I relaxed. I read a lot. My chiropractor marveled at the improvement in my back now that my shoulders weren’t constantly up in my ears from the stress of the day job. And, of course, I got a lot of writing done. It was the kind of life that every writer talks about wanting if they haven’t achieved already. And I wanted it. I wanted it for years, but never took the leap until I managed to find a way to make it a financially-viable lifestyle, even if only temporarily. I took the leap, and for a while, I couldn’t be happier.

Now? Heh. Different story.

I’m not saying I regret taking the opportunity. Not by a longshot! It was the best decision I ever made. It gave me the final push to leave the day job where I’d worked for 17 years, something I’d been chickening out of for way too long. It gave me the chance to start transitioning with hormone therapy away from the prying eyes of customers, coworkers, and vendors who had known me for nearly two decades (which, as it turns out, was not nearly as big a concern as I imagined, but, you know, hindsight and all that). Overall, it forced me to take the biggest, scariest risk of my life. Not have a job? Was I mad?!?! Sure, selling my house gave me plenty of savings to live off of, but there’s just something comforting about having a regular paycheck coming in, no matter how much of a cushion you have.

Mostly, it gave me the opportunity to write without having to steal moments in and around the day job. Granted, the whole point of leaving the day job was so I’d actually have time to market my books in addition to writing them, and I wound up doing very little marketing. Still, I got a lot more writing done than ever before. I thought I’d finally get my series release dates back on schedule.

So what’s the problem? I am SO FUCKING BORED.

I never get bored. Never. I’ve always wondered at people who complain they’re bored, because that has never been a problem for me. Until now. Even writing has become boring, which is the last thing I want. Writing was my passion. It was the thing I stumbled upon in my darkest moments, and out of trauma came this beautiful, perfect thing, this sense of purpose, this meaning for living. I’d envied people who knew what they wanted to do with their lives. I never had that until I fell into writing.

So the last thing I wanted was for my passion to start feeling like a job.

Now, you’d think that would have been a given. Writing full-time? That makes it a job. But it didn’t feel like that. It felt like an adventure, an escape from the trap of a 9-5 (rather, a 7:30 to 5:30), a chance to play at being retired, in a way, while also pursuing the thing I loved. Except…writing was my passion because it was also my escape from reality. It gave me an outlet to deal with my trauma, but it also gave me a place to disappear to at the end of the day. My little fantasy world was my safe, happy place where I could go on adventures and meet new people and experience new and exciting things, all without having to leave the house. After dealing with the harsh realities of providing customer service to the general public (ugh) all day, my writing was a necessary relief.

And now it’s lost that element. It’s no longer an escape since it’s now my entire life. My whole day revolves around writing, so it’s turning my passion into work, my escape into a job. It’s no longer magical and exciting. I find myself desperately grasping for new project ideas just for the sake of keeping the passion alive when I’ve already got fifteen other projects stacked up behind me, needing to get done but going ignored because they now feel like work rather than a mystery to uncover.

Now I find myself facing the prospect of having to go out and get a part-time job, just for the sake of having something else to do, some reason to leave the house, some grounding sense of reality in hopes that writing can become a beloved escape again.

I honestly don’t know how some people do it. While still working full-time, I thought there was nothing that could beat this kind of lifestyle. No alarm clocks? No bosses or customers to please? Sounds like a deal! But now that I’ve gotten to experience it, going fully unemployed to pursue a dream leaves some things to be desired. To the writers who can do this full-time for years on end without losing their spark, I salute you. I don’t know how you do it, and though I thought this would be the perfect lifestyle for an introvert such as myself, I’m not sure I envy you any longer. Guess I’m just not cut out for being unemployed. I need to be active. I need to be useful.

But not back to my old day job. If I ever have to sit at a desk and answer phones all day again, I’m going to go insane.

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News, Publishing

Going Galt (Sort Of)

Well, it only took me ten years, but I’ve finally done it. I’ve finally started the ball rolling that will get me away from my day job so that I can be…

Yep. A FULL TIME WRITER.

Oh my gods. Holy shit. This is officially the scariest thing I’ve ever done, you just don’t even know. But will it be worth it? Abso-fucking-lutely.

See, I’m one of those people who is so comfortable in the familiar that it becomes a ball and chain, stopping me from going after what I really want because it would mean saying goodbye to safety and familiarity and embracing risk. That’s why I’ve been at my day job for over 16 years now, and spent the past 10 years trying to find the balls to leave, but wound up chickening out each time I tried.

At first, before I had writing, I couldn’t make myself leave because it would mean trying to get another job. That’s something I’ve never had to do. How pathetic is that? Both jobs I’ve ever had were handed to me. The first was a case of: “Hey, you’re 17 now, time for some life experience. Go work part-time for the family business.” Aaaaaand 16 years later, I’m still here. The other job was simply: “Hey, you’re a good, reliable worker. Come work for us.” That job only lasted a year, and I was still at my other job the whole time, as well, but it didn’t teach me anything about how to get a job.

Thirty-three years old and I have no idea how to apply for a job, how to interview, how to submit a resume. I’ve just never had to do it.

But once I had writing to give me the sort of life fulfillment that my day job never did, I kept thinking it would be wonderful to get to the point that I was selling enough books every year to cover my expenses so I could afford to leave my job. I’m nowhere near that, and may never be, so I thought I was stuck here. Forever.

Not that it’s a bad job, per se. It’s a familiar place, with good people, and the conditions are nice, but…

Oh, but.

I’m a major introvert, and have a high sensitivity to sensory input, so working 10 hours straight, 6 days a week, in an environment where there is lots of noise and people’s voices and phones ringing and so much busyness that it’s often hard to get a bathroom or lunch break…

Let’s just say: major brain overload.

After dealing with that all day — and especially now, when the general public think it’s acceptable to treat customer service people like slaves — I’d get home and just do NOTHING because I was completely out of batteries. I’d lock the door, close the curtains, shut off my phone, and pretend the world didn’t exist for a couple hours.

It wasn’t enough.

It’s finally gotten to the point that I’m having a hard time being pleasant to customers. I caught myself almost mouthing off to one, which was so not cool. I finally hit the breaking point that made me realize I simply can’t do this job anymore. Besides that, I want my father to be my father and not my boss. I feel like I’ve lost my father in a way because he’s my boss for so many hours during the week that I have no energy left on the weekend to interact with him, let alone the rest of my family.

And when I really started thinking about it, I realized: if I were to die tomorrow, I’d feel like my life was a waste.

Going along, day after day, in a job I hate, and only staying because it’s safe and familiar…what kind of life is that?

So, after a whole lot of brainstorming, I figured out how to finally afford to leave my day job. It may be temporary, and I may completely fail, but I have to try. There’s no two ways about it. I have to try, just to say I tried. I have to at least attempt to pursue my dream of a writing career, and not having to be at the office every day will certainly go a long way to helping that.

Not having to get up at 5 every morning? Not having to sit at a desk all day and be bombarded with ringing phones and chatty people? Not having to miss meals and skip bathroom breaks because the phones won’t stop ringing and people insist on me dropping everything to research a repair estimate for them right this minute? Not having to go home each night exhausted to the point that I have no social life and never get to have free time to do anything other than chores on the weekends?

WHERE. DO. I. SIGN. UP.

So, *knock on wood*, plans are in place. Between selling my house and training a replacement for my job, I’ve got my work cut out for me over the next few (?) months, which means I’m getting no writing done in the meantime, but once it’s all said and done? Once I’ve got a financial buffer under me and no office hours to keep?

Writing all day? Being able to have a life? Being technically unemployed yet able to call myself (for a little while, at least) a full-time writer? HELL. YES.

Hat-Tips, Links, and Shout-Outs, News, Publishing, Shifting Isles

What Matters Most

So, a funny thing happened on the way to this post. I was all geared up to go into some serious ranting. So much ranting. All the ranting. I had a whole list of people who needed to be eviscerated in print and I was ready to rip into them.

From the guy who got pissed at me because I couldn’t tell him why another business across town wasn’t answering their phones (Seriously? Am I fucking omniscient?) to the SJW morons who don’t know a thing about economics (Hello? Supply and Demand is called a law for a reason, and do you know what happens when you mess with natural laws? That’s right. Bad stuff.), from the woman who let her children run rampant around my office while I was trying to answer the phones and couldn’t hear a damned thing (Discipline, anyone?) to images.duckduckgo.comthe people who get pissed at me for not wanting to work late or on the weekend even after I’ve told them I’ve already been stuck in the office over 60 hours this week and I’m exhausted and can no longer think straight (Apparently I’m supposed to be a robot just because I work in customer service?), from the guy who threw a fit because we charged him for a service he agreed to, signed for, and we performed while he proceeded to tell us we were thieves and must be raking in the dough (What part of “We actually lose money on this service” did he honestly not understand?) to the guy at the parts store who had no fucking clue how to do his job and I wound up doing it for him over the phone (Seriously, what are they teaching kids these days? Nothing?), from the people who assume I’m a Democrat just because I’m trans to the people who assume I’m a Republican just because I shootback gadsend flagpractically run a small business in a conservative town (Actually, if you want to know, I’m neither. I’m anarcho-capitalist, the best of both worlds. I’m more economically conservative than the conservatives and more socially liberal than the liberals.), from…

Well, you get the idea.

Lots of people. So many people. I had a whole list of people who were two second away from getting punched in the dick. Possibly even myself (even though I don’t have one…yet) because all the noise and stupidity of the day had gone well beyond the limits of my high sensitivity (yes, apparently, it’s a thing – complete mental overload, and boy have I got it) and I was quickly turning into an asshole. Hence, the desire to punch dicks.

So violent, right? Like, so much violence. All the violence. There was going to be blood. So much blood. All the blood.

Alright, so maybe I’ve been reading a bit too much TJ Klune lately…

Anyway, moving along.

So I was in a fully misanthropic state of mind, ready to go on a rage-blind rant, because my life, when I got a phone call.

Let me back up a bit, first.

A few months ago, the outside sales rep for one of our suppliers came in for one of his usual visits. He brought along a representative from one of their manufacturers. This representative (read: Completely Stereotypical Salesman) proceeded to give his little presentation, all the while spewing obligatory compliments and flashing cheesy grins like any Completely Stereotypical Salesman would do. Since I have a little ad propped up on the counter for my first book, BookCoverImageThe Prisoner, he of course had to filter into his sales pitch some gushing remarks about how wonderful it was that I was a writer and self-published and how proud I ought to be of myself. I’ve had lots of salesmen behave exactly like this when they come into the shop, and it always falls flat. No matter how much they gush, it’s obvious they don’t mean a word of it. So I did the polite smile-and-nod thing like I always do in this situation, just knowing he was spewing bullshit (shows what I know), and the conversation went on.

At the end, just as he’s about to walk out the door, he turns back and pulls out his wallet, saying he wants to support a budding author and buy my book.

Now, I was pretty sure he wasn’t actually going to read it, but…hells, a sale is a sale, so I sold him a book and he left.

Then, yesterday, completely out of the blue, I get a phone call.

You probably don’t remember me, but I was in there with Larry…bought your book…finally got a chance to read it…”

I was just starting to get a vague memory of who the guy was when he completely bowled me over.

I just…wow. This book … It’s absolutely amazing. Like, I couldn’t put it down. I just totally got all the relationships between the characters and the tragedy of the guy feeling like he failed his son and how the woman died and it all just worked and…”

Jaw, meet floor.

Please tell me there’s another book out because I have to have more.”

Jaw now permanently married to floor.

The phone call left me giddy and grinning and, quite frankly, a little bit stunned.

And it made me realize a few things.

One, I did exactly what I accuse so many other people of doing: categorizing a person into a particular box just because of a particular trait. I should have known better, and I was wrong.

Two, all that ranting stuff, in the long run, doesn’t really matter. Yeah, stupidity and ignorance and rudeness pisses me off, but life is too damned short to be angry. Why let myself get sucked into those moments when I’ve got moments like this to revel in? Why let myself get mired in despair over the fact that this country is never going to be free and people as a whole are never going to understand how things work (though I keep trying to educate them even when I know better), when I could be enjoying what life I have while I have it? Why dwell on all the negative when I’ve got so much beauty in my life because of fiction?

Three, it made me remember just how great a story The Prisoner is. Not trying to be an egomaniac when I say that, but just reflecting the reactions to it that I’ve gotten over the past year since its release. The response to it, though small so far, has been overwhelming in its intensity. People who read the story call me at work to tell me how much the book meant to them, how great the story was, how much they want more. And it reminds me just how much I loved that story, how much I enjoyed writing it, how many emotions it invoked as I wrote it. The Prisoner is a great story, and I’d forgotten that.

I think I’ve pushed myself so intently on always getting to the next step, the next book, that I’ve lost track of the depth of feeling I originally experienced when I started the series. I got that back somewhat with the Matchmakers trilogy, even if those books did get me completely off-track, but when I try to think of continuing the Shifting Isles series, I get bored, to be honest. I’d lost my love of the series because I’d lost track of the beauty of the stories that I first clung to when the series started.

MatchmakersThat probably has a lot to do with why I got so far off my writing schedule when the idea for Matchmakers came along. The stories in Matchmakers just called to me in a way that the main Shifting Isles series no longer was, because I’d lost touch with the feeling that The Prisoner gave me, the feeling that carried me through to S.P.I.R.I.T. Division (S.I. Book 2) and Return to Tanas (S.I. Book 3), but started to slip away with Broken (S.I. Book 4) and The Five-Hour Wife (S.I. Book 5).

Clearly, I need to dive back into The Prisoner, reconnect with it, and get that feeling back. No wonder I didn’t feel as excited about books 4 and 5 as I did with the first three, nor as excited as I felt about Matchmakers (hells, those three novels went from Idea to Published in just about five months, so if that doesn’t scream passion and excitement, I don’t know what does). Outside of Matchmakers, I lost track of the emotion, the story, the experience. I need to reacquaint myself with those stories and those characters, or the next books are going to suffer, and neither I nor my readers will be happy.

So the next book, Betrayal (Shifting Isles, Book 6) will probably be even later coming out than planned, even though I’ve already pushed back the release date, but I’m not going to rush it. I’m going to dive back into the world, and instead of rushed and forced, it’s going to be good. It’s going to get to people the way The Prisoner does.

Because The Prisoner is a great fucking story. And I need to remember that.

Inspiration, News

And then people happened…

Working in customer service has its ups and downs. Well, alright, maybe a few ups and a whole lot of downs, especially for an introvert like myself. On the positive side, it provides a lot of material with which to work when it comes to creating characters. On the downside, though…

Well, even after fifteen years of working as a service consultant in the independent automotive repair industry, there are some things about people that I still don’t understand:

1) People and their spending priorities

I see people spend thousands of dollars modifying their cars — paint jobs, rims, lighting, exhaust systems, stereos, spoilers, body kits, etc. — but they won’t spend $1000 in maintenance to keep their engines from blowing up. I just don’t get it.

2) And more spending contradictions

It’s amazing to me how often we’ll get a vehicle in, perform a general inspection, tell the customer the car needs $1000 worth of maintenance and it’ll be as good as new, and the customer replies, “Nope, I can’t afford $1000. I’ll just go trade it in and buy a new car instead.”

Alright … hold on … let me process that …

So you can’t afford $1000 one time, but you can afford $500 a month for the next six years, plus higher taxes, plus higher insurance, plus higher registration fees?

Did I miss something here?

3) People who self-diagnose wrong, and are shocked when we’re right

This happens all the time, but my favorite example comes from several years back. A man called and made an appointment to bring in his truck for an engine noise. When he arrived a few hours later, I could tell he was coming because I could hear his “engine knock” from over a block away. He pulled into the parking lot, lifted the hood, scratched his chin, and finally came inside to check in the vehicle for service, though he claimed he already knew the problem.

His diagnosis? A faulty air polluter valve.

All I could do was look at him and blink.

“I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing called an air polluter valve,” I said.

“Oh yeah,” he said with great confidence. “It’s an air polluter valve. Back of the engine. Looks just like a spark plug.”

At this point, I kept my mouth shut and just nodded along agreeably, but all the while, I thought, “Well, if it looks like a spark plug, don’t you think it just might actually be a spark plug?”

So, customer leaves, we diagnose the problem. Are you sitting down? It was a spark plug! Shocking! The vehicle had something over 100k miles and had never had a tune up, so we recommended a complete tune up and some other related repairs to get the vehicle caught up on its maintenance. The customer said he didn’t believe we were right but authorized the repair anyway.

When he comes to pick up his truck, before even coming into the office, he goes out to the parking lot, lifts the hood, starts up the truck, and is absolutely shocked that it’s running so smoothly. He came in and told me he couldn’t believe it. He was shocked. Speechless. It made no sense.

I just smiled and told him to have a nice day.

Stuff like this happens. All. The. Time.

4) People who’ve forgotten how to communicate properly

This one … oh, this one just gets me all riled up, because it happens almost daily.

Customer, delivery driver, salesman, or person passing through asking for directions — all of them come up to the door, and start asking me a question…

Before they even have the door all the way open.

Before they’ve even stopped to make sure I’m not busy with a customer or on the phone.

Before they’ve even bothered to see if they have my attention.

So they stand there, letting out the A/C or the heat, while I tear my mind away from whatever it was I was working on, and ask them to repeat the question, since I didn’t hear it.

Then they get mad at having to repeat themselves.

Really?

I mean, did I miss something in Life Etiquette 101, or Basic Common Sense? Why do people do this? The mind boggles.

5) People who do the above … but repeatedly

Yes, repeatedly. As in, over and over, but they still don’t catch on.

Someone will be standing at the counter in my office, and ask me a question. I don’t know the answer, so I start down the hallway toward the shop so I can find someone with an answer.

I’m halfway down the hall when I hear the person (customer / delivery driver / passerby / salesman / etc) ask another question, but because of the acoustics of the office and the hallway, I can’t make out anything other than noise.

I walk back into the office, trying to remember their first question, and ask them to repeat what they just said.

And — surprise, surprise! — they get mad at having to repeat themselves.

But, they repeat the question, I add it to my mental list of things to find out, and tell them I’ll be right back with an answer.

Guess what? They do it again.

So I go back to the office. Again. Ask them to repeat. Again. They get mad at having to repeat. Again. But they repeat, I again say I’ll find out, and head back toward the hall.

I had this happen six times in a row once, with one person, who kept asking me questions about his vehicle (which I couldn’t answer because the diagnostic hadn’t been completed yet so I had to go pester the technician [read: waste his time] by asking him before he was ready with his diagnostic notes). Even after six times, the man didn’t catch on, and it was all I could to hold my tongue.

Face, meet palm. Head, meet desk.

6) People who make contradictory demands

This comes in a lot of forms, but the most frustrating one is when a customer seems to assume that, just because I’m female-bodied, I must automatically be gifted with the ability to do twenty-seven things at once.

Well, I’m not. I can’t multitask so save my life, unless it’s a very, very good day. And the most difficult multitasking for me involves talking about one thing while typing up another. I just can’t do it.

Yet, somehow, people expect I can.

They’ll be rambling on at the counter, asking me questions, looking miffed when I don’t immediately answer, and all the while, they punctuate their mindless conversation with, “Don’t you have my invoice finished yet?”

Well, I might if you’d shut the hell up for two seconds so I can focus!

No, I don’t say that. But I certainly think it.

Then there are the people who come in and say they’re in a hurry, need their estimates written up fast so they can get to work. So, I scramble. I can whip out a new estimate quick when I need to. But then they start throwing a wrench into things.

“How come you haven’t made any coffee yet?” they ask as they stand by the coffee machine, looking personally offended that there isn’t any brewing.

“I’ll get to it as soon as I get a moment,” I say as politely as I can.

“Oh, and can you find out how soon they’ll look at my car?” they ask as I run toward the front door to get identification information off the car. To answer their question, I’d have to go out the opposite door and cross the entire length of the shop, which isn’t exactly conducive to getting their estimates prepared in a hurry.

“Oh, and I’ll need a ride to work,” they say, as though I could simply drop everything else I’m doing, besides trying to attend to all their needs, and leave other customers hanging.

Or, even worse, in an office full of people waiting to be helped: “I planned to have my neighbor come pick me up and take me to work, but that fell through, so can you run me over real quick? We have to leave right now or I’ll be late.”

All I can do is look around my crowded office and resist the urge to bang my head against the wall.

Salesmen are even worse in that situation. They’ll walk into my office, where I’ve got five people waiting to be helped, and look completely put out that I can’t ignore those five people and the phones ringing off the hook just to listen to their sales pitch.

“I only need ten minutes of your time.”

Yeah, well, in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s not my time you’re about to waste here. It’s my customers‘ time, and that’s unpardonable. I’m not going to make them sit and wait while you try to sell me something I don’t need. Please, for the love of all that is holy, get out of my office and don’t come back.

Then there are the people who arrive before we open, sit in the parking lot, waiting for us to arrive, and before I’ve even had a chance to get the door unlocked to go inside, they start pelting me with questions.

“Can you take a smog right now? How much would a tune up cost? How soon could you get a particular part if you order it today?”

More blinking dumbly on my end.

Did you really not notice that I just got here? And haven’t even stepped inside yet? And have a locked door between me and my schedule book, between me and my parts catalogues, between me and the phone? How could I possibly answer your questions?!?!

Alright. Deep breath. Moving along.

7) People who expect magic

Scene: Small town, independent repair shop, Saturday afternoon, one hour until closing time.

Action:

Customer calls, telling me they’re on a tow truck and on the way to our facility (the only one open on Saturdays in this town, and almost in the county) with a 1995 Saab, and they need a fuel pump.

“I’m traveling through on vacation. I have to get back on the road today. You have one of those in stock, right?”

I blink dumbly, trying to get my mind to wrap around this question.

There are probably all of two Saabs in this entire county. No parts store in the area will stock parts for vehicles like that. Now, a late-model Chevy truck? Different story. Fuel pumps fail on those all the time, and everyone and his brother around here drives a Chevy truck, so every parts store stocks them. But a Saab?

And besides that, we’re not a parts store. We’re a repair shop. We work on all makes and models. We couldn’t possible even begin to stock something like that, when we don’t even have space to stock every possible oil filter for every possible vehicle. That’s what the parts stores are for.

“What do you mean you don’t have it in stock?” the customer asks in shock. “Back home in LA–”

Ah, yes. LA. Where everything is open 24/7 and Saabs are at least a tad more popular than they are here.

Should’a’ stayed in LA.

8) People who expect crystal balls and foretelling

Customers and vendors are definitely guilty of this, but the people who really take the cake are telemarketers.

I hate telemarketers. Loathe them. Despise them.

I’m going to say it again just because the very thought of them makes my blood boil.

I. HATE. TELEMARKETERS.

They call, they ask for the boss, who is always unavailable (even if he isn’t, I say he is, because, really, he doesn’t need his time wasted with sales pitches for things he doesn’t need — and yes, I’m allowed to do this, because he hates talking to them more than I do, and since I help him run the business and handle most of the finances, I almost know more than he does what products and services the business needs).

“I’m sorry, he’s busy with a customer right now,” I say as politely as I can muster. “Can I help you with something?”

“No, I need to speak to him, since he’s the owner…”

And then comes the inevitable question. I’ve yet to have a single telemarketer not follow up with:

“…Can you tell me exactly what time he’ll be available to chat? I’ll only need fifteen minutes of his time.”

Hmmm. Let’s see. Can I foresee a particular block of time when the boss won’t have customers to talk to, parts to order, technicians to supervise, estimates to calculate? Can I foresee a particular block of time when he’ll have absolutely nothing to do and be able to take your call?

I wish I could. Wouldn’t that be a neat trick? See the future. Hmmm….

Oh, sorry, I was daydreaming.

But, just like I don’t have a magic wand to make fuel pumps for 1995 Saabs appear out of thin air, neither can I predict the future.

It’s gotten to the point that I tell them that. “Sorry, I can’t see the future. I don’t know exactly when he’ll have no other responsibilities to address so that he’s free to take your call.”

Sometimes I’m tempted to say, “Yes, he’ll be free from precisely 1:03 to 1:07 in the afternoon on the 15th of March, twelve years from now. Why don’t you call back then, hmmm? Have a nice day.” Click.

Tempting. Someday I might just do it.

 

So, after days when all these things happen, I thank every god known to man for the ability to escape into my stories. Because, otherwise, I’d probably go insane.

Then again, there’s so much good material here.

Perhaps I ought to write a book…

Hmmm.

Maybe someday. Right now I’m elbow-deep in working on the next series. I’m so excited with where it’s going, and I just can’t seem to stop. I very nearly have complete first drafts for the first three books. One of these days I’ll have to pause writing so I can go back and start editing Book 1. That’s hard to do, though, because I’m enjoying writing them so much, and editing is such a chore. But, in the meantime…

Oh, there’s the phone ringing. Back to work, I go.

Please don’t be a telemarketer. Please don’t be a telemarketer.

Can you believe they’re calling on Saturdays now? Sheesh.

Counting down to closing time so I can go home and get some more writing done.

Did I mention I’m excited about this next series? 😀