Category Archives: breakthrough novel award

Back–and as Always, in Black

I departed sunny Florida on Sunday, the fourth, leaving behind a huge, four-bedroom house, a hot tub, fully functional indoor climate control, and some of the prettiest, sunniest days I have ever witnessed. I arrived back on the good ol’ Eastern Shore fifteen hours later, and haven’t seen the sun since. It’s been rainy, drizzly and cold. The wind blew so hard while we were gone that bits of our exposed insulation popped out of the studs. Currently, the rain is pinging against the vent pipe of the pellet stove, reminding me with every drop that I’m not in Oz, anymore. Still, I’m happy. My low ceilings feel cozy and snug compared to the soaring ten, twelve foot ceilings in my brother-in-law’s house. My trailer-width living room glows softly with the combined ambiance of the firelight and red-lighted Christmas tree–no, I haven’t taken it down, yet. My books, stacked up in piles as they are, are a welcome sight after spending a week in a house where the only books to be found were on a tiny kids’ shelf, and another private collection consisting of only James Patterson novels.

Don’t get me wrong. I had fun down there. There was horseback riding–something I haven’t done for nearly twenty years. I scuffed the crap out of my combat boots climbing an orange tree to reach a handful of huge, perfectly ripe fruits. I took photographs as my extended family raised a cloud of dust chasing chickens in a vain attempt to get my mother-in-law’s rooster some company. I raided a cigar shop for boxes and came out loaded with many containers which have since solved my desktop organizational issues–one even holds my beloved index cards. On New Year’s Eve I tasted some white lightening, got in the hot tub, and then bore witness to a drunken old man (who, despite my evil inclinations to do otherwise, shall not be named) stripping down to his ultra brief-briefs and climbing in to join me. I think I might be a little mentally scarred from that one, though.

Now I’m back, mercifully without a trace of suntan, and am ready to hit this year full force. I’ll be putting Resonance in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest this February. I’m not expecting much to come of it, but one never knows which way the winds might blow. I’ll also be hitting up some more agents in the next few weeks and moving forward with my next two novels. The insane asylum which was my computer room is now much more conducive to creativity–mostly thanks to the Architect, who finished insulation in the attic/loft, so I could move some shit around and make space for more clutter storage.

Despite the persistent gloom outside my windows, I’m in a pretty optimistic mood. My favorite sore point, Captain Jackass, has his days numbered at thirteen, and then we’ll have a brand new sheriff in town. For being such a pessimistic stick-in-the-mud, I’m surprisingly giddy/hopeful about our new administration. Of course, the economy is the big nasty hiding under the bed for all of us, but, the way I figure, even if jobs go away and my house is taken back and everything material goes in the shitter, it’s still just stuff. As long as I have the Architect and my kitties, everything else is just stuff. And I’m pretty sure I can get more of that somewhere along the way.

Yeah. I’m ready to move forward, and I don’t mind sayin’ I’m feelin’ pretty groovy.