Getting Through Life

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life." -PrinceWe lost another great one this week; Prince figured regularly in the soundtrack of my teen and young adult years. My hubs, when he was a professional journalist and music critic, even got to interview him and review his concert in Milwaukee–which one of his hometown papers cited this week as part of its memorial. While, yes, many of his lyrics were frankly sexual, what sticks with me are the many times he was profound. He was the kind of prolific artist and generous talent others can only aspire to. And the BBC ran an article this week that confirms 2016 has truly sucked from the perspective of losing great artists.

It’s sucked in other ways, too. On the home front, we’ve been having to do the adulting thing of installing new docs now that my brain has finally caught up with the fact that we’re coming up on two years out from relocating almost 800 miles. This week that meant an MRI for me on Tuesday and eyes being dilated on Wednesday–both of which contributed, among other things, to that background sense of headache until I finally got to sleep it out yesterday. They also meant our tenuous walking habit back-slid. My phone estimates the low average for the week at 1,100 steps per day.

Then there was the series of adulting articles: Changes to how trad pubs are handling copyrights (read: rights grabs galore), an assessment of who’s most likely to get divorced (hint: the American rate is actually less than 50%), and finally, the financial insecurity most Americans face. That last hit close to home for me; I would imagine it does for most of the people I know–and especially for all those who’ve chosen some form of the writer’s path. Some of the realizations that author had contributed to my reasoning about not remaining a journalist a year after my newly minted bachelor’s degree was completed. Even so, starting from a liberal arts background has made ending up where I am now (still by no means financially secure) a challenging journey that has included stints of a rice-and-beans existence.

Yet I’m happy with the choices I’ve made. I’m really happy I still get to write–even if it’s not my full-time career or income at this point. This week I sold my 250th copy of my books and celebrated the fourth anniversary of publishing my first book. I’m making progress. I was able to add 1,371 words to The Builders, crossing the 47K word threshold. Not quite to goal, but given everything else going on, a decent enough effort. I’m considering a different path to release on this one. The Kindle Scout program was hotly debated over at The Passive Voice this week, and it sounds like, for those accepted into the program, there are quite a few upsides. The agreement (as opposed to the one outlined by Kristine Kathryn Rusch above) even allows for easy rights reversions. I’m not sure how much I want to push friends and followers to vote/nominate/generate the noise to make me attractive to the folks who run that show, but it would offer another possibility of raising awareness for my fiction should I choose that path. If any of my author friends have any experience that direction… chime in and let me know how it went.

Ultimately, I recognize happiness as a choice. One I’m invited to make daily, when I look at my hubs and our three furbabies. Everybody faces challenges and sadness at some point, and I’ve made the conscious decision to focus on the moments I’m able to share with those I love as opposed to anything else.

So I’ll be back to pursuing my more regular pace of life this week, hoping that means I will get back on track with walking goals as well as pushing past done on this latest book. In the meantime, I’ll be checking in on my ROW80 compadres, and recommend you do as well.

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