Somehow it has gotten to be December (how the hell?) and one of my editors and I have been commiserating about how really freaking glad we both are that this year is drawing to a close. Even if the world does end (or start over) in 2012, it’s just got to be better than this year. Doesn’t it?
Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I’m not one for the in-depth online personal disclosures. Authors live a little in the spotlight, if just a minor one, and that’s fine, it’s not that I’m shy– but let’s face it, there are some strange people out there and you never know who’s reading.
So without getting too detailed about it, on the personal level this has been an enormously hard year for me. A lot of loss, as in death. Within six months: my father, a beloved aunt, and my cat of 19 years. My father from Alzheimer’s, and all I can say about that is – Don’t get it. And I hope to God someone figures out prevention and cure to end that scourge.
All of this was coming down while I was not long out of and certainly not recovered from a devastating and permanent split from my significant other.
While here in New Agey California people are liable to say cheery and optimistic things like “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and “God (the Goddess, the Universe) never gives us more than we can handle,” I’m not so sure about that. I think lots of people get more than they can handle. Just take a look at all the crime and illness and tragedy in the world. People snap all the time. Does that mean they could have handled it and they just didn’t? Well, yeah, sometimes, but some, I think, really do get more than anyone could handle.
Anyway, I’m handling it, I guess, but I’m also very aware that I’ve been pretty effectively shut down for most of the year, enough so that sometimes I’ve wondered if I’d ever really be coming back from it. Surviving is not the same as thriving.
On the other hand, I’d have to be the biggest narcissist on the planet not to know that I have it a lot better than a lot of people, especially in this economic climate. I’m making a comfortable living at the thing I most love to do (although I admit, sometimes that love looks a lot like—something not so loving.). E books are a godsend, and I have a lineup of book contracts that sometimes gives me panic attacks, but after a really rough patch there after Dad died, I have been managing my deadlines and doing a book on the side, too, as well as getting some of my backlist formatted for e-release. In fact it’s kind of amazing how much I got out there this year:
– I finished the first book in a paranormal trilogy for Harlequin: Twist of Fate.
– I finished a draft of and am now rewriting a new crime thriller than I’m writing on spec (about which I will say very little because I’m superstitious that way).
– The Unseen came out in the UK.
– I wrote a short story, In Atlantis, for Thriller 3, Stories to Keep You Up at Night, coming out in June 2012.
– I am about 100 pages into Night Shift, my second book in the continuing paranormal series The Keepers, that I’m writing with two of my best friends and favorite authors, Heather Graham and Harley Jane Kozak.
It’s absolutely amazing, really, for me to look at that list, which doesn’t even include the workshops I taught this year, when I feel like all I did sleep and once in a while shuffle around the house running into furniture like some kind of undead thing. And I wanted to put it all on paper (or whatever this is) to prove to myself that I’m haven’t checked out of life completely, no matter how I feel sometimes.
In fact I am actually starting to love writing Night Shift, which is not something I say very often about my writing; finishing is so infinitely superior to the actual process.
And it’s great to be full time in the Hotel California again, except for time on the road, of course… Both of the books I’m working on now, and my last, The Space Between, are set in California and it’s taken me a while to come around to it, but there aren’t many people more qualified than I am to write about this state. (I know it’s a terrible thing to say but I LOVED those violent winds last week; that was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.) I’m finally far enough out of the Hollywood trauma to write about that, too, and I am truly loving using the movie business as a backdrop to this paranormal thriller. It’s so easy, in a way; I don’t have to think, I can just have fun. I can set a scene on Catalina if I want and I don’t have to research it, I don’t have to take a field trip (although I could).
Maybe writing could be this way all the time.
And I may not know where I’m going to live next in any permanent way, but I am starting to have at least the beginning of faith that I will find a direction. Eventually.
Maybe I’ll find the rest of it, too. Eventually.
So, everyone – how was YOUR year?
If you’re interested, please e mail me at alex AT AlexandraSokoloff DOT com and I’ll get you a copy of your choice.