I got this message on reddit recently.
I haven’t seen you post anything on reddit for awhile. I hope the medical issues haven’t flared up and kept you down.
I love you people.
Seriously. You’re amazing.
To answer: yes, still here.
Woman, where the hell have you been??
Calm down, sugarcube. Let me explain.
I know I’ve been quiet for a while. I haven’t told you why, or where I’ve gone, or what happened. I’ve been waiting to record this as a video so that I can talk to you directly, but there haven’t been many days when I can get my shit together long enough to do it.
No point in making you wait longer.
Thus: journal entry.
The short of it is this: These past 6 months have been the worst months of my life.
The fucked-up highlights:
- I had heart surgery
- I nearly died in the hospital
- I ended up hemorrhaging in the ER shortly afterward
- I was diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression (turns out it’s been a several-year thing, yay)
- A brutal family tragedy sent me into a downward spiral that has been excruciating to claw my way back from
- I have PTSD from the tragedy, and that’s a heaping pile of fucking delight to deal with every day.
I usually hate sharing personal stuff like this. I don’t want pity. Hate it, honestly, and I’m not trying to milk this. I’m sharing because I’m in the process of recovery & finally feel well enough to talk about it. Frankly, all of this broke me. Just straight-up shattered my soul. It upended everything I thought I knew about my life and made me re-examine every fucking thing I believe.
My life inverted, flipped, and fractured. All this time, I’ve simply had nothing to give.
So that’s some context for the hellstorm I’ve been dealing with.
It’s been rough.
Yeah, pretty much.
I’m slowly coming back now, which feels good. I still have bad days but I’m getting back on track, thank god, and I’m finally able to work again.
Have you been writing?
Yes, but the mental blocks around my published works have been truly gruesome. I’ll touch on that below.
It got so bad that at one point, I would just stare at the screen every time I tried to sit down and write Wraithblade 4. I knew what to write. I knew what was going to happen…. I just couldn’t do it. It takes the wall of awful concept to a new level, and it was more like a “holy fucking shit is this quicksand” feeling.
But as I stared blankly at the screen each day, another story started singing to me. After a while, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do anything else until I wrote it.
So, I listened.
To heal, I wrote a parable about my journey. (I guess that’s not too surprising, given what I do for a living.) A parable is a story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, and mine has stretched into a multi-chapter novella.
It’s called a winter of the soul.
I wrote it for me, which isn’t something I normally do. I usually keep you in mind while I write, in my effort to ensure you’re given riveting and heartfelt stories, but this one is diving deep into my soul. It’s helping me work through the worst of my pain, and I’ve found it intensely cathartic. I built something of a framework, I suppose, to traverse life’s darker moments, and I designed it to guide me through future injury as well as this one.
And you, if it suits you.
I shared this with my close circle as I wrote, and to my surprise, every single person identified with it. One of my closest friends even said it healed something in her she didn’t know was wounded, and I have to admit, that made my heart happy.
That’s why I do this, after all. To spark something within those who read what I write. That’s magic, to me, and it’s special.
Find out more about winter in this post.
Right now, it’s only available on my patreon. Maybe I’ll publish it someday. Maybe I won’t. If you get a chance to read it, I hope you find something meaningful in this work. I hope it touches a part of your soul that might need a bit of healing, or love, or care.
What are you working on now?
Loads, thank goodness. It’s a good distraction. When I’m at the office, I can’t think about the bullshit going on outside. I get to focus on magic, mayhem, and escapism.
Is that healthy?
Do I care?
Here’s what I’ve been working on:
- I started publishing new stories on Royal Road (for free)
- I started releasing a new dark fantasy series called Angels of Death (read more here)
- I started a litRPG I’ll be releasing soon, but more on that later (sign up to get email alerts when I’m ready to launch it)
- I finished a winter of the soul
- I’m narrating the audiobook for a winter of the soul, which has been a treat
- I’m also designing a companion workbook for a winter of the soul, to help others process the symbolism and apply it to whatever they’re going through
Silly little hobbies I’ve started to heal/distract myself:
- making stickers
- making gold foil stickers (they’re so funnnnnnnn!)
- diamond painting
When will you release Wraithblade 4?
…so, about that…
Alright, I need to be real with you here.
Connor as a character is tied to a very important member of my family, and—due to the family tragedy I mentioned earlier, coupled with that goddam PTSD—writing anything in the Wraithblade world is bringing up nonstop painful memories. Whenever I sit down to write about Connor, I relive the trauma I’m trying to heal from. Whenever I try to even design a new part of the story, I feel that devastating pain come back. I keep hitting wall after wall every time I try.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to finish Wraithblade 4. I will. I can assure you of that. I just don’t know when it will happen.
Time heals all wounds, and I hope that this will be no different. I’m trying to write a little bit at a time, but it’s sloooooow.
You will see me publishing other things, in the meantime, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about Wraithblade.
Quite the opposite, in fact. Getting back into writing has been a crucial part of my healing. Getting back into my stories, my characters, the magic of these worlds… it’s what I need to get back in the saddle.
I ask for patience, compassion, and understanding around the currently unknown Wraithblade 4 release date. You don’t have to give it, obviously, but I’ll ask for it anyway.
Do you have a support system to help you right now?
You truly are a darling. Thank you for asking.
Yes. My inner circle is incredible, and I honestly would not have been able to make it through this without them. They’ve endured a lot to scrape me up off the floor, and I’m blessed to have the friends & family who love me. I’m definitely a lucky ducky.
I also want to thank my publisher. He has been so gracious, kind, and understanding through all of this. Delaying my deadlines made my recovery possible, and I will be forever grateful.
How can I support you right now?
Love on yourself today & spread some sunshine to others.
- Find ways to be happy.
- Look for the little things in life that add sunshine to your world.
- Read a great book. (Doesn’t have to be any of mine, but I won’t be mad if it is.)
- Be gentle with yourself.
- Treat yourself to something nice today.
- Drink your water.
- Take your meds.
- Tell someone how much you love them. Tell them what they mean to you, and why they make your life better. Cherish them & hold them tight. Like, really tight. Make it hurt a little. Their ribs can take it.
- And most of all, be you. ‘Cuz fuck anyone who doesn’t like you as you are. You don’t owe anyone anything.
I’m so gorram grateful to have you on my writing journey with me.
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