It’s very still here.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s almost always quiet in my world. I write full-time, usually to the muffled sounds of rain and thunderstorms on a continuous track. I’m accompanied in my home office by two spoiled and beloved felines, one of whom can surprisingly make a lot of noise.
But that’s it.
Until Monsieur Faitour returns home in the evenings, this place is all my own. All in all, it’s a very quiet lifestyle.
This is good. I need near silence to hear all those characters milling about in my head. And so I can write the stories they want me to tell.
Speaking of which–in case you missed it–I’ve just published the fifth and final book in my London Calling series. It’s called Angeline’s Return and finishes the story of John and Angeline Sinclair that was introduced in the second book of the series, Losing Angeline.
Now it’s time to decompress and re-evaluate the whirlwind that has been the past fifteen months since I published my first book.
Without a doubt, completing what I set out to do brings an entire host of emotions, not least among them satisfaction, pride, and more than a twinge of melancholy.
I’ll miss the characters. And even though it sounds weird, it’s hard to say goodbye. Luckily, I have it on good authority (being an insider and all) that they’ll live out their days very happily ever after.
But life is all about change. So it’s time to move on.
I have another five book series planned that I will begin publishing in March of next year. Right now, the ideas are still steeping and fermenting, but within a couple of weeks, I’ll be hard at work on the first book.
I’ll continue to work on my craft as both writer and businesswoman. And for this round, I plan on making some tweaks and adjustments to how I continue to cope and thrive in this new life that I’m carving out for myself.
I’d be kidding you if I didn’t say I’m emphatically in love with what I do. It’s unique and thrilling to be able to make up stories for a living. And I find the solitude suits me very well. Maybe I talk a little too much to the cats, but I forgive myself. <wink>
I’m continually reminded there is no ‘finish line’. We are all works in progress, every single one of us, whether we realize it or not.
And I think it’s always better to realize it. I wish to live as consciously as I am capable. To continue to examine and test myself, always learning.
When I finished my latest book, I came out from beneath my layers of fog and reclusiveness to find the world in chaos. Here in the United States, the election took a costly toll on friendships, family, and even individual peace of mind.
Like many, I made some adjustments. I’ve cut back on my use of social media. While I want to be available to my readers, my hope is that they find me on my website. And to use my email as a direct means of communication with me rather than shouting into the ether of the internet and various social media sites.
Okay, maybe shouting isn’t the right word. But it sure seems like there was–and still is–a lot of broadcasting from soapboxes where true conversations are unlikely at best, impossible at worst.
As a creative, I find all the emotion and hyperbole very distressing. It drains me until I’m unable to create my work.
In the spirit of living an examined life, I’ve made a pact with myself to actively avoid the things which do not fill me up. I spill emotion on the pages of my books. It makes sense that I need to refill the well now and then. And refilling it with angry rants, fake news, and marketing disguised as personality quizzes does not satisfy my soul.
I want to be able to measure and remember the seasons and moments of my life. Just a few days ago, Monsieur Faitour and I visited the city for a late afternoon meal. All around us were couples, friends, and families sitting at tables set with charming votives and small flower arrangements. It was a bustling, hip place where the constant chatter of servers and bartenders combined to create a low hum underlying the clinking sounds of glassware and cutlery.
Observing other diners, I realized some tables–quite a few, in fact–were silent. Because the friends, lovers, and families at many of these tables were busy glued to their phones, skimming and swiping messages. Now and then someone would hold up their phone for someone else to see a photo, a text, or whatever.
I remember that day with my husband. That meal. Even the servers who bustled between the tightly spaced tables and booths. And maybe those other diners remember that day as well as I do. I don’t know.
What I do know is that I’ve been guilty of the same behaviors. And when I’ve been busy on mobile devices, I don’t remember the meal. Or the conversation. I didn’t taste my food as fully. I didn’t appreciate the atmosphere. And there was no way I was fully engaged with the person in front of me.
I adore technology. I really do. But I want it to serve me. It should make my life better, not become a tool for lost time and forgotten hours. I no longer wish to be a servant to status checks, new emails, texts, and all kinds of various notifications.
I’m taking that time back. I hope that friends and family will understand that I might not be as instantly available all the time. I know that social media enriches many lives and can give some people a powerful sense of connection with others. And that’s wonderful.
It’s my wish that everyone can find what works best for them and their lives. As for me, I’m liking this state of less distraction. I find myself relearning how to wait quietly without reaching for the nearest device to fill every spare moment. It gives me time to think. To observe. And to listen.
It’s stillness that enriches me and leaves me with a powerful sense of connection. To others, yes. But also to the most intimate and important relationship I have.