Monday, August 10, 2009

Halley's comet filled my sky

It's Monday so it's time to talk about exorcisms, garlic, wolf's bane and promotions. What? You don't think they have a connection? They do . . . at least in my mind. I have a tendency to make unusual connections, but that's how most of my writing begins -- unusual connections.

Demon possession, vampires and werewolves are not the only links between the above. I can exorcise a negative influence, or someone who takes me for granted. Garlic is great with almost everything, especially for making fresh tzatziki to go with fresh falafel, and wolf's bane blooms at night and has beautiful flowers with an exotic scent. It's all in how you look at things. So, what do promotions have to do with all of that? How about promoting a live Q&A with a published author whose work touches on those subjects -- or doesn't? Curious? Good. An announcement is coming that will change the way you think about nonfiction, fiction and promoting books that will thrill the hearts of all the writers out there. I know because mine is quite excited. Nothing like giving something back to the industry. Until the announcement, that will have to do, but if you don't have a Facebook account, you have about a week to get one set up and let me know about it or you will surely miss out.

I have been having strange dreams and most of them center around men. Yes, there is sex involved (it's summer and there's always sex involved), but that's not the common theme. The common theme seems to be acceptance and desire for my company.

There are times when I long for a full time companion. Most of the time, however, I am glad I'm single, especially now when I have to put so much energy into promoting my writing and my new, light on the romance novel. I don't think I could deal with anyone else's needs when the book takes most of my time and energy -- when I'm not earning a living and taking time out for food and rest, and the frequent occasional cold shower. It's summer and I get hot and sweaty; cold showers help keep me from boiling over, especially after a long night of dreaming. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

In short, I don't have time for anything or anyone that pulls my focus from the task at hand, so I've made a list of people and things to put on a shelf until I have the time to give the kind of attention needed. This is why I don't have pets.

It seems a cut throat and cold way of handling things, but I prefer to think of it as honest. If something or someone is more of a hindrance than a help and require me to expend too much energy that could be used better elsewhere, it's kinder to cut them loose for a while. Think of it like Halley's comet.

For a while, Halley's comet with its long white tail streaking behind it in its spectacular progress across the sky both night and day is all we can see when we look up. The familiar stars are still there, but we know they will be there when Halley's comet is gone. It is, for most people, a once in a lifetime occurrence that must be experienced fully. It is a story to hand down to children and grandchildren and memorialized in prose, poetry and music. Attention must be paid.

I saw Halley's comet several years ago, wandering out into the street to gaze up with breathless awe during the day and standing outside at night for hours marveling at this miracle that was once considered the harbinger of death, destruction and evil. I remembered Mark Twain at those moments because he was born when Halley's comet passed over his home and died when the comet returned, his life marked by that spectacle like book ends to his life.

Mark Twain loved his family and his idyllic splendor, preferring the round of social visits and writing in the gazebo on his spacious lawn to the lecture circuits that made him famous or the business of publishing his own books. He would have preferred to spend his days with his family writing and entertaining, but writing is a business and to succeed sacrifices must be made. He sacrificed the company of family and friends to do what he hated most, lecture on his books and stories. It is the same for any writer wanting to make his work a success. Whatever takes away from the primary goal of making a novel a success must be sacrificed. That doesn't mean dropping out of sight and ignoring everyone, just those who do not contribute some positive influence.

After the dream I had last night, I realize that is what I must do today, cut away negative influences, black holes, that suck away my energy and time and give nothing in return. The transition will be instantaneous for me and probably go unremarked by those so influenced. That's the way of life. We are often so caught up in our own needs and the demands of work, family and personal pleasure that we forget about everything and everyone else. I get that. Now, it's my turn to make new friends, forge links with other writers and authors and move on with the business of success. I will still be available for some people, but others will find me conspicuously absent for a while. If you, like the stars I so love to watch and ignored when Halley's comet passed this way, are still there when I have time again, I'll be glad to see you. If not, well, some people and things were never meant to last. People come and opportunities go and the important ones make themselves known.

That is all. Disperse.

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