I know it is WAY past time for an update on what is happening with me and, more importantly, the status of Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future. All of your queries on Facebook, my website, and via email have not gone unnoticed, trust me. The enthusiasm is marvelous and SO appreciated. I have hesitated in responding, however, because I don’t have great news to share and the reasons are largely personal.
The short answer is that I do not yet have Hope of the Future completed. Nor can I say definitively when I will have it finished, edited, and published. I am aware that this is bad news, and will disappoint all of you, maybe anger some, and I am truly very sorry about this. I pray everyone will understand and continue to be patient with me.
When A Season of Courtship was released in March of this year I fully intended to carry on and have Part #2 written within a couple of months, the release by mid-summer at the latest. I promise this was the plan! Unfortunately life, as they say, throws curve balls. The truth is that I have written in spurts, and accomplished little. I do hope to finish before the end of the year, but in all honesty cannot make that promise.
I really want to leave it at that, but also feel a bit more explanation might be beneficial, and deserved by my loyal fans. I’ll keep it brief, try to avoid any “woe is me” whining, and if anyone is content with the basic information I’ve given, then by all means stop reading here!
The longer version is that, in part, I have been battling health issues. The worst is severe pain and limited range-of-motion in my left shoulder, and pain in my neck and right arm. As imagined, the combo has made typing a chore, and wore me down physically and emotionally. It started with bursitis that flared-up way back in August of 2013 during the big relocation to Kentucky extravaganza, augmented negatively by an old whiplash injury and arthritis. Triple whammy! It has taken months of varied medications, therapies, and tests to figure it out. Improvement has been gradual and far from complete. The good news is the MRI was clear of anything major (just had that a week ago), so now my chiropractor and physical therapist can step up the pace with hope of a full recovery. Still crossing my fingers on that!
Aside from the blasted shoulder, the other medical issues are ongoing, minor problems. Most are merely the joys of getting older (YeeHaw!) and a few are small chronic complaints. Nothing big time, but again the compounding of it all leads to days of feeling bleech.
And, I must confess that some of the delay in writing Hope of the Future was due to the arrival of spring and summer to our new home in Kentucky paradise! Indeed the hubby and I were busy with yard work, planting lawn seeds and bushes, trimming and weeding, painting the deck, and other outside chores. This was fun and rewarding, but also rough and not helpful to already damaged upper extremities. We also took a few day trips and mini-holidays to investigate this gorgeous countryside and visit our daughter. Some days it was just too beautiful to sit inside staring at the computer when the fine weather and greenery of our backyard was calling to us!
All that said, the biggest reason for my slump, if you will, has been emotional. Health concerns, as I mentioned, brought me down. Additionally there have been a few other private concerns and disappointments. The main catalyst, however, were the events surrounding the demise of Austen Authors. The massive betrayal, lies, and desertion from nearly everyone I once considered friends hit me harder than a ton of bricks. Three plus years of my life, energy, selfless giving, time, money, friendship, and heart meant nothing as it turned out. Worse than that, my kindness and innocent trust was used against me. While focused on the publication of A Season of Courtship I was able to shove it deep down inside (sort of). Without that immediate point of concentration, everything bubbled to the surface. I honestly can’t articulate how affected I have been. Call it writer’s block or something more serious, but creating became impossible. Fortunately I have an amazingly supportive husband, family, and real friends. They know the truth of what happened and sincerely love me. Between their concern and constancy, God lending His strength, time to grieve, and LOTS of reflection, I am finally writing again. The wounds are healing, but I continue to struggle with immersing myself into the world of my characters and story without instantly being flooded with horrible memories, sadness, and anger.
Lately I have realized I need to stop forcing it and work on renewing my creativity in another direction. I have several ideas for Regency romances and a couple contemporary romances that I have wanted to write. My hope and prayer is that the change of scenery, so to speak, will ignite the fire within. Once kindled and flaming strong, I will revisit the Darcys.
So that is the State of the Author at this point in time. I will keep everyone posted on my progress with Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future and anything else I write. I deeply appreciate those who have stayed true. Thank you, a million times, thank you!