Updates: Moving, Depression, and Failing to Write
As a pessimist, I’ll start with the bad first.
Some of you may know from previous posts, and if you follow me on social media, that I recently underwent a major move. I moved from my hometown of Vacaville, CA to Auburn, Washington. I’ve rarely left the State of California for vacation. The farthest I lived from Vacaville was about 5 years in Folsom, CA about an hour away. So needless to say moving two states away was a big move, and a little bit scary of one too.
To top it off, I’ve gone from a four bedroom house to a three bedroom apartment. This is another big adjustment. I am not used to neighbors walking around above me. Or having to walk forever to the trash. Or even the smaller size of an apartment. My family has had to adjust to the smaller spaces and the lack of a yard, or other things we are used to having in a house.
Family is another thing that has changed a bit. This move was originally planned for the middle of June. When the kids would be out of school and there would be time for my wife to transfer her job. But my landlord told us we needed to move right before the holidays. I had already been fired from my job. So after a long talk with my wife, we decided that it was practical to move twice. Once locally and then again six months later in June. So we had to accelerate the plans.
So Amy and I drove all our belonging up to Washington. Amy flew back to California and I was left up here alone. I got really sick (I had already been fighting a cold). And in the end I didn’t get anything done in the first week. Things like getting a job didn’t happen. Then Amy brought our kids up after they finished out the schooling and started winter break. Then Amy went back to California. She has to keep working down there until her job transfers, a date that hasn’t been set yet. So I spent Christmas with the boys. This is the first Christmas Amy and I haven’t had together in over 10 years. Even thought one of us always seemed to have to work, we saw each other.
So it has been hard. I have been suffering form a bit of depression and though I know that is normal, I can’t really slip past it. I find myself sleeping late, moping around the house. I force myself to go out, but it isn’t as much fun as it should be. And the main thing that has suffered is my writing. I haven’t written anything in almost a month. I haven’t even opened any of my projects to review.
There have been a lot of delays to add to a already depressed Richard. For example, I had planned to have responses from beta readers on Broken Trust by December 1. All but one reader bailed out on me and hasn’t even bothered to respond. So now I am looking for a new set of readers to look over this. If you beta read for me, I’ll send you a signed paperback copy of the book when it is released as a Thank You gift (US Residents). Contact me if you are interested.
The fixes on Dissolution of Peace are still delayed by the editor. She is doing the absolute best she can, but delays keep jumping up all over the place. Hopefully the second edition can be released in January, but I can’t make any more promises on that.
The sequel to Dissolution of Peace is slow going. Perhaps I should explain why. Aside from the depression and busy life I’ve had, I am not sure I like how the sequel is progressing. Originally I wrote the manuscripts for three novels. The first is now Dissolution of Peace. The second occurred after a lot of time had passed since the end of the first. I made a decision that I owed the readers the story that occurred during this time lapse. So I decided that was what I would write as the sequel. The problem is, it isn’t progressing the way I thought it would. I think part of this is my own self being critical of my work. Depression and a lack of interest in writing anything is probably a huge factor too.
What I really needed to to was to break the slump in my lack of writing. With all this free time on my hands, I should be writing more not less. And I should be writing for my own sanity. Since most of my books are still packed, I need this escape. As I have mentioned several times over writing is my stress relief. But honestly, it seems to be the first thing I am distracted from when I get upset.
I’ve wanted to move to Washington for over four years. I’m finally here. That part I am thrilled about. This is very beautiful country. I love the rain, the evergreens, the natural beauty, and the state parks. Yesterday I discovered Flaming Geyser State Park which is only about 20 minutes from me. I think I could spend a long time sitting there writing while listening to the rivers and streams. And I’ll be exploring some more of the State Parks later this week. My own apartment complex is nestled in the hills surrounded by trees and it is a beautiful setting. I’ve posted a few pictures here.
The downsizing has also been good. I’ve managed to purge a lot of stuff I probably should have thrown out years ago. I made a lot of charitable donations before I left Vacaville with the stuff my family no longer needed. It has also allowed me to better organize myself since my office has to be shared with my bedroom. And when Amy does move up here, she won’t want my office clutter everywhere. There are a few pluses to living in an apartment too. Things like no yard to maintain, no trash or water bills, and generally lower electric costs. The lower rent also helps. Unlike Vacaville, the apartment rents in Auburn are cheaper than the house rents. And the saved money will be going into our “buy a house” fund. Something that is on my two years goal list.
There is good news from Broken Trust. I have cover art for the novel ready. Mallory Rock, a great cover artist, did this cover for me. I had a lot of trouble with this cover. I really wanted to see certain things from it. But I couldn’t hit the mark. Mallory managed to hit the mark with this one. Even thought it didn’t hit all the check boxes I wanted, it did give me what I needed. A cover that was amazing and reflects the feel of the novel. Don’t forget, you can get a free signed copy by being a beta reader for this book. Read an early copy of this book, give me your thoughts and suggestions, and not only will you help shape the book. I’ll send you a free copy, signed by me.
Dissolution of Peace got a very nice shout out on Twitter from @CWVanderReyden. His rave reviews of my book led to another person buying the book. This is the first time that I have known of a direct recommendation resulting in the buying of my book. And it was a simple word of mouth review. I appreciate those types of reviews and praise a lot. In many cases they can be more valuable that the professional reviewer. So please leave a review of my books on Amazon and Goodreads. And tell a friend. They can really make my day when I find out about them.
I forced myself to blog today. That means I finally wrote something. I’m hoping that means that when I am done here (and done making my kids lunch), I’ll start writing again on the next novel. I need to crank that out and get it going for release in 2014. I had a lofty goal of releasing three novels in 2014. I think it can be done with how far along Broken Trust is. But it will be a challenge just the same. But the only way it will be done it to write.
And though my wife is not here with me, I do have the advantages of Google+ hangout to see her. And she will be flying up to see us to the end of January. And we will just keep our fingers crossed that her job transfer comes quickly and we won’t have to wait out too much longer. There are a lot of couples who have to spend countless time apart, and I just have to remain optimistic that this will all work out in the long run.
And that about summarizes this move for me. We moved to Washington to make a change that we couldn’t do in California. And now that we have made the move, I have to remain optimistic that this was the right choice and that it will all fall into place soon enough.
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