It’s the merry month of May! After some really horrific weather in April, the warmth is finally here in the Toronto area. We’ve definitely been seeing some warmer temperatures and some more sun. I’m looking forward to the longer days of summer.
April Round Up
Let’s start by reflecting on what was. April was an up-and-down month for me. I knew the last two weeks were going to be busy, and they were. I’ve had a professional project dragging along for an extra month now, and all the frustrations that inevitably go along with that.
I also managed to fall down a flight of stairs at a hockey game, but that’s a tale for another time. That seriously did in my ability to exercise like I normally do, however, and I think that may have contributed to both my fatigue and my lack of motivation. Yes, working out can make you tired, but it can also motivate you, make you feel more powerful, and generally give you “good vibes.”
April’s weather was also crap, which doesn’t help me. We had a freak ice storm mid-month, which is unusual. Canadians have a running joke about not planting gardens or anything until about the 24th of May (we have a holiday, called the May 2-4, which falls on the weekend on or before May 24). Until then, it is fair game to get snow, but it’s not usual.
We also had rain for about two weeks solid. Not seeing the sun can do a number on you. I don’t know how the British survive, to be perfectly honest.
The other thing that ate into my schedule was me being a bit of a social butterfly. I’m not normally, but I had an engagement virtually every weekend in April. A friend visited over the Easter weekend. Then I had a number of family functions, including birthday parties, followed by taking my parents to their first hockey game. There was a week where I ate a restaurant at least once a day, which was ridiculous.
This picked back up during the last two weeks of April, with another friend visit. This friend is one of my best friends; we’ve known each other and been friends since kindergarten. Unfortunately, between my job and how far away she lives, we don’t see each other very much any more. So when she visits, it’s usually a bonanza. For a few days, we have lengthy visits, and then she returns home.
This time, she stayed for almost two weeks. Our visits didn’t get any shorter, and we still visited almost every single day. It was wonderful, yet exhausting.
Health, Finance, Etc.
I’d already mentioned my tumble down the stairs limiting my physical activity, the impact that had on my mood, and the foul weather all but finishing my productivity off. My health was clearly a bit of a concern for me during the month of April.
An ongoing issue has also come to a head. I’m heading in for more tests over the next two months. While we’re not sure what it is just yet or exactly how it will impact me, I’m both upset and relieved. On the one hand, I’m relieved to know there’s maybe a reason I’ve been experiencing pain, low mood, and more, now for months on end. On the other hand, this could be a chronic or potentially serious medical issue, so it does have me a bit worried.
Finance also became a major stressor in April. Taxes are never pleasant, and I wasn’t entirely surprised by the massive tax bill I racked up—nor was I totally prepared for it.
Moving Forward into May
My partner returned home after three months away, so I’m now getting a helping hand around the house as well. This is relieving some of the stress of doing everything (cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping) myself, in addition to working maybe 50 hours a week, plus trying to write and stay in shape. (And … have a social life? Ugh.)
With the financial situation devolving after tax season, I’ve had to turn my attentions to that. One thing I’m doing is increasing paid work or attempting to. In turn, that will leave me with less time for writing.
My health is obviously a concern as well, and I can’t say for sure how things are going to go. I don’t know what I’m dealing with just yet. This is also a financial concern, since I’m self-employed. Getting some money ahead is a good idea, so my energies are very focused on this area of my life right now.
Beyond that, I do know the sunshine and warmth are having a positive effect. I’m tired still, but I have been out for a couple of bike rides and runs already, so things are beginning to look up.
A Stranger Sort of Fairy Tale
Okay, now for the stuff you actually care about. A Stranger Sort of Fairy Tale was originally scheduled for an early May release, but that’s not happening now. The book went to my editor at the end of March. About mid-April, we had some conversations about the story and characters, ultimately leading to the conclusion it was in need of major rewrites. It’s been back with me for those rewrites for about two or three weeks now.
I’m about halfway through the rewrites now, but it still needs some work. Then it has to go back to the editor and beta readers. From there, it needs to be typeset and proofread.
The big problem right now is I don’t know how much time I have for it. I originally wanted to get through the rewrites for the end of this week, and get them back to my editor for next week. That’s … not happening.
So, the book is coming with me to Hawaii this week. I’ve reduced my workload somewhat, although I’m still not taking a full vacation. In turn, I’d hoped to have time to work on manuscript projects, but I’m taking more work with me than anticipated. Fairy Tale is probably my No.1 writing priority right now, so with some luck, it will be ready to turn over to the editor.
The question then is how quickly she can turn it around, and then how quickly I can turn it around with the typesetting and proofreading. Right now, the aim is a June release date. But we’ll see.
My intent was to get back to publishing new chapters on a regular basis, but between everything else going on and Fairy Tale boomeranging back to me, I haven’t had time and Slapshot! has fallen by the wayside again.
I’ll be trying to get back to it, possibly even before Fairy Tale is off my desk. I had a lot of fun writing Chapter 50. I’d needed a break from the characters, but I’m definitely ready to get back to them.
Oceans, Other Projects, Etc.
Because of Fairy Tale, Oceans between Us, the next installment in the Something in the Water series is also backed up right now. I’ve got the manuscript started, and I don’t think there’s going to be an issue with the plot. I don’t think I’m going to need to scrap it like I had to with Submerged, and I don’t think rewrites are going to happen a la Fairy Tale.
I do have another book in the works; I’m hesitating about sending it to my editor as it stands or doing some serious expansion work to it. Of course, any writing work is delayed right now.
What about other stuff going on around here? Well, as you noted, the blog went dark again last week, so it’s obviously been a struggle for me to keep up with even just that. I’m working on getting content ahead. Again, hoping to get quite a bit accomplished while I’m on “working vacay.” (What’s that saying about writers never taking vacation? It’s true.)
What Should You Expect?
More of the same. Until this venture becomes my primary income, it’s always going to have to take a backseat to everything else. Once I get Fairy Tale straightened around, I’m hoping to have some more good news on keeping the lights on over here, but … we’ll see.
Once again, I can’t make promises. I want to, but I always end up breaking them. I’m learning to feel less guilty about this, because sometimes, I just can’t. As much as I want to write, as much as I want to make this my priority, I can’t do everything. I get pulled in all directions, and I sometimes have to be more flexible.
So. No promises. Thank you, as always, for sticking with me as I try to make it through my mess of a life.