According to my 2015 production schedule, Black Dawn, my work in progress, should have been published by now. But, here we are in May, 2016, and it still isn’t done. But, thank God, it’s awfully close. I have finally completed my multiple edits and rewrites and am just about to cut it loose to my editor. Of course after that, there will be at least another three editing passes, not to mention cover design and the actual publishing process. Realistically it is a month to two away from being published. But that’s the nature of the beast. It’s the sometimes lonely, sometimes rewarding nature of being a writer.
What can I say about the delay? I offer no excuses, but on my recent research and adventure trip to the Dominican Republic (DR), life got in the way. Big-time. I had a few health scares. Without going into too much detail, one terrifying incident saw my friends rushing me to the hospital bleeding like a stuck pig. The problem was the bleeding lasted for about thirty-six hours. It wouldn’t stop. I thought for sure I wouldn’t make it. Was positive I would die in the DR. I felt like death warmed over. I had lost a lot of blood. My apartment looked like a macabre crime scene; ironically like one of the gruesome murder scenes in Black Dawn or practically any of my other novels.
When the blood finally did stop, I realized a few things. The most obvious being that life is short and can be snatched away unexpectedly any time. Might sound like a corny and overused cliche, but when you live it, it sure as hell doesn’t. This caused some reflection. What was I doing cooped up in my apartment doing revision? Shouldn’t I be out enjoying my life, especially now, since I came so close to face-time with the Grim Reaper? The answer of course is obviously yes. So I started spending more time with the people who matter to me, going out of my way to spend quality time with them.
I put Black Dawn in the back seat, on the shelf. I started enjoying myself, especially enjoying my time with those dear to me. And before I knew it five and half months had passed and I had done only token edits and rewrites. Now, sitting in my home office on Prince Edward Island, staring out the window, watching wind-whipped tree branches sway in the distance, I wonder if I have any regrets. The answer of course is a resounding no. Maybe this is a familiar theme in my writing–the power of friendship and love versus perhaps more self-serving pursuits. I don’t know. But, I doubt the tight and intimate bonds I forged with the people who matter to me can be replaced by any written words my imagination might summon up.
So, during that time of reflection and introspection, I abandoned my personal projects in favor of sharing my happiness and joy, touching others in a positive way that I might bring more joy and happiness into their lives. Reminds me of some quotes:
“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” -William Penn
“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” -Dalai Lama
And, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, when all is said and done, we will not be measured by how many projects we completed, how many toys we accumulated, or how much money we made. No. We will be measured and remembered by the depth of love we showed to the people we managed to touch on our journey.
Remember that. And enjoy your life. And enjoy and make time for the people who matter. You only have one shot at it. Thanks for stopping by. Take time out of your busy schedule to touch someone in a positive way today. You won’t regret it. I promise.