Wow. It's been months since my last post. My poor brain has been locked up tight and all that creativity purged for the past however long ... many months? (A very long time in my estimation.)
Do you ever try to keep going no matter what? Life, work, writing, activities? Maybe all at once? Guess what? Sometimes you can't keep pushing that rock up the endless hill.
But I'm stubborn. Tough. Right? A physical and mental endurance specialist. You're talking to the person who will run for 6 hours on a trail and who takes call for 2-3 weeks at a time. From the outside, it looks like I'll never stop.
Until I do.
Giddiyup cowpokes, because Hell's Valley, my paranormal western romance series (think: sexy, psychic cowboys) set in the mountains of Wyoming is FINALLY here! Hot ranchers, chilly nights, and steamy ways of staving off hypothermia...
Click on the pictures for links to start reading now!
Honesty isn't always the best policy when you're a human lie-detector in book #1: Legacy of Lies
In book #2: Legacy Lost, when we ask our partner "what are you thinking"...do we really want to know all of it?
Hey, everyone! I recently fielded a question from a reader regarding my Hell's Valley books not being available and wanted to clarify for you all. (And as a plug -- if you subscribed to my newsletter, you would already know the status update on the books...)
So here's the deal. As you may know, I had my first series, Hell to Pay, published by Crimson Romance/Simon & Schuster. I then began my second series, Hell's Valley (psychic cowboys -- yippie ki-yay), with Crimson/S&S as well. However, In March of last year, S&S shut down Crimson Romance, and my Hell's Valley series took a bit of a break as I (and many of the Crimson authors) regrouped after the sudden swerve/pivot/change in direction. (Parenthetically, I've always heard that publishing is a rapidly-changing business, but hadn't truly experienced just how rapidly it could change until last March... I still have whiplash...)
As you may know, I've recently released Hell's Valley book #3, Legacy of Danger. And I'll release the final book, Legacy Found, in early 2019. (yahoo! -- wait 'til you read it -- I pulled out all the stops!)
However, in the meantime as I publish Hell's Valley #3 and #4, I've been working behind the scenes on rights reversion for Hell's Valley #1 and #2. I finally got my rights back for Legacy of Lies and Legacy Lost and am in the process of republishing them myself. Expect to see these two books back up for purchase in the next month.
So if you're looking for Legacy of Lies and Legacy Lost, hang in there. They'll be back up on all the major retailers soon. The timing was less than optimal, but I think you'll be happy with the final product of the entire series!
It took over a year, but the final two books of my Hell's Valley series are here! (Well, book #3 will release on 10/16/18 and book #4 a month or so later. So technically not completely done but the finish line is in sight!)
As you may recall, Hell's Valley is my paranormal western series. Think: Big Valley meets Alphas or Bonanza plus the X-Men. I hope you enjoy this latest installment of this exciting story!
Here's the blurb:
Prodigal son and MMA fighter Vaughn Taggart fled his family's ranch when his burgeoning psychic abilities and disastrous decisions destroyed his brother's marriage. But his sister's urgent plea for help prior to her being brutally attached by a demonic monster and the escalating threats from the rival Brand ranch in a ploy to obtain Taggart land, have lured Vaughn back to Copper River, Wyoming—but only long enough to get his family back on track. Nothing could make him stay where he no longer fits in.
There’s something about airports that gets me in the writing mood. It’s probably because any time I’m in the airport, by default it means that I’m not on call/working at the Day Job. (Okay, that’s kind of a fib. I totally just logged off the EMR where I was putting out a few fires right before this plane boards. Anyway.)
There’s a saying in medicine: “You want care that is Good, Fast, and Cheap? Just know that you can’t have all three – you have to pick two.” Yes, there might be some public health folks who disagree, but just go with me on this one, because in broad brushstrokes, it’s true.
You know what else is true? I can’t have Medicine, Manuscripts, and Mayhem all at the same time. I have to pick two to focus on at any given time. As writers, we’re always picking two out of the three things. Or sometimes we’re choosing two out of four or more aspects of our lives for our focs! We’re making that seesaw balance, back and forth, all the time.
We’ve heard so much about burnout. There are articles in my medical journals about physician burnout, Posts about burnout for writers, and articles about physical burnout in my trail running magazines. In each of these documents, the guidance is clear: take time for yourself. That’s cool.
But what happens when you don’t have the time to take?
What happens when everything fries at once?
So, quick update for those of you who don’t know me yet. I’m a family doc who does deliveries (FP/Ob) near The End Of The Earth. It’s rural, and no we don’t have specialists. FP’s do most stuff. In my clinic, I’m it for Ob – we don’t have another FP/Ob on site for my group, so I workity-work as long as I think I can go, then get a locums doctor to come in and cover for a few weeks while I try to recharge. Only this time, nothing is recharging. I pushed beyond what was prudent over the past three months and it caught up to me in a nasty hurry.
Is your writing in a routine or a rut? How do we get our brains in “writing mode” when it’s time to put proverbial pen to paper? Here are some of my techniques from the doctor/writer perspective.
#1) Breakfast. Always breakfast first. I cannot create on an empty tummy. I don’t see how you are able to write a chapter while still fasting.
#2) Caffeine substance of your choice. My favorite is diet Dr. Pepper. Yes, I understand about chemicals and aspartame, but lordie help me, this is literally my only vice in the whole wide world. Let me have it. It makes my brain go!
Well, that’s not a potentially hot-button title at all, is it?
Disclaimer: In general, I kind of hate politics. But when it comes to healthcare and advocating for my patients and family, then yes, I have opinions. My position is pretty much if a politician is a bastard to human beings, then I don’t support that behavior. That’s quite cursory. I have other opinions, but voting based on whether the politician actually has a soul seems like a good place to start.
So, here’s the situation that got me thinking. I was at a writing conference last year, chatting with a nice woman who sat next to me for dinner one evening. We were discussing how the most recent governmental cruel and cold decisions would likely hurt many of my patients and family members. You know – the usual kind of conversation a preoccupied doctor might have in a time of political upheaval. (At least – I hope that most doctors feel outrage about how patients are potentially being hurt by current decision-making.)
Anyway, our conversation then turned to the usual conference discussions about what kind of books we wrote and enjoyed reading. She wrote historicals based in Scotland, which I think is pretty cool. (Because … kilts!) I then mentioned that I had a paranormal western series that had started earlier in the year.
Man, I hate to call them “resolutions” because the word sounds so formal, so big, and so insurmountable. But for the first time in a long time, I feel the need to make a list about the upcoming year, if only to bring focus to the next 365 days. Also, it’s scary to write these things down for all to see – but it’s important to keep doing stuff that scares me. So here goes…
#1) Get better at saying “no” to more call/more duties/more meetings and not feel any guilt when saying “no”.
#2) Complete a 4-year longitudinal leadership course to create future non-clinical opportunities.
#3) Cease being afraid/too modest to describe my experience, background, and strengths.
#4) Focus on patient care, and try to ignore all other BS. If it’s not about patient care, I’m not spending time/energy on it.
#5) Seek out leadership opportunities.
#6) Champion development of a resident training program at my hospital.
This Thanksgiving season, I’m thankful for the opportunity to write books and share them with readers. (And they hopefully enjoy them, too!) Recently, I’ve been thinking about the (dumb) luck that got me to point. Maybe if I remind myself of these mistakes, I can go even further.
#1) Submitted too early. Didn’t know the book wasn’t ready.
#2) Submitted too late. Didn’t know when to stop editing and missed an opportunity regarding a timely topic.
#3) Queried in bunches of 30. Yes, 30. And yes, that’s embarrassing and thankfully was a long, long time ago with a book that shall never see the light of day. Spoiler alert/no surprise: I did not succeed with this book.
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.
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