Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Desert that this Blog has become....

November 30th, 2015. Holy Cow. It's been a while since I've contributed to my own blog. I guess it is kind of fitting, given the general focus of the blog -- my writing journey. The journey itself has been a little stalled, and so it follows that the blog that accompanies it would be.

What happened?


For one, I started working as a consultant, teaching leadership in policing for a prominent non-profit organization. Since starting in early 2014 (I went to training in the latter quarter of 2013), I've taught about one week a month, all over North America: Pittsburgh, Albuquerque, Norfolk, Sarasota, Miami Beach, St. Louis, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, London (Ontario). It's an intense, deep course full of behavioral science, as well as newer research. It's been a time commitment to learn and begin to master the material, to travel and to teach it, and to do the deeper, source readings. I love it, because it has been an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to a profession that not only needs, but deserves, the very best of leadership. So in that sense, it has been extraordinarily gratifying, and continues to be.

The down side is, this two years of teaching seemed to either correspond with or have some impact on my creative process. More to the point, my "drive" to explore those writing worlds. Not that I didn't write, or that I didn't love it, but I wrote less, and I felt less driven at times. That's why much of my output over the past two years has been collaborations, I think. In those projects, someone else was counting on me, so I put my butt in the seat and wrote. However, where my solo work was concerned, if I wasn't "feeling it", I had the latitude to just not write. And so I didn't.

If I'm being honest, I haven't even been that great about collaborations. One writer and I have done a little prep work on a zombie novel/series, but that has remained at a standstill with a lot of my solo work. I just wasn't feeling it.

The strange thing is, event though I've felt that way intermittently over the past two years, I could always tell it was a transitory thing. In other words, I knew I was feeling that way at the time, but that it would change. And that it would eventually change back to where I've been most of my life, which is, frankly, rabid about writing.

The good news for me, and for my seven remaining fans, is that I feel like that time is returning. That sense of excitement about my own ideas is there again, and the irrepressible urge to get those stories and characters out onto the page is building.

The timing is good. My second Bricks and Cam Job novel with Eric Beetner, The Short List, is coming out on August 1. I have another book, The Last Collar with Larry Kelter, due in January 2017. But outside of that, there is nothing finished or ready.

I am working on a stand alone right now, tentatively titled In the Cut. It's a bit of crime fiction against the back drop of an outlaw motorcycle gang. After I've finished with that (and I'm about 1/3 through it), I am planning a return to River City for the fifth installment in my flagship series.

What else is on the horizon? Lots.

Because I'm feeling it again.