Those two gorgeous words
I finally wrote those words recently, at the end of an arduous journey to complete the fourth novel in my series, "The Caliban Cycle." What they meant is difficult for me to explain to someone who isn't a writer, who has never taken on that quest from blank page to 70,000-plus words. If you've tried it but never go there, keep going. Remember the words of Winston Churchill: "If you're going through hell, keep going."
Otherwise, guess where you stay?
I've battled hurricane PTSD, COVID-19 illness and long-hauler symptoms, brain fog, grief, and ongoing trials of dealing with my elderly father's needs and arguing with my insurance carrier about repairs to my home post-Category 5 storm. There are lots of things that got in the way.
But I got there. With the encouragement of friends and family, and a bit of spite toward the arc of the hateful universe, yes, but we made it.
Now comes the really hard part: Editing and rewriting, polishing that mishapen lump until it shines.
The book will be called "Behold the Storm." It all takes place in a single 24-hour period (with room for some flashbacks, of course). And it deals with Tom Caliban, our hero, trying to recover his memories of a lost period of his life, figure out what happened to drain him of his years and vitality, and find a way to exorcise a demon that has burrowed deep into his soul and is about to spawn. All while a hurricane batters New Orleans and he's beset by a vampire coven led by a skinwalker.
Yes, that's a lot to juggle. Add to it the introduction of new characters that I borrowed from my friend Jayson Kretzer (Dominic and Mia from his "Adventures in the Arcane" short stories and larger "Descendent" arc). It's a lot. But it has been wrestled into shape, and it will be published later this year.
Meanwhile, I've faced another health scare. As I waited to have some heart stents placed last week I also thought about the meaning of "The End," including the very egocentric idea that my stories will end when I do. I still have lots of stories to tell, and I want to live long enough to tell them.
Here's to the future, friends. Take care of yourselves out there. Live long enough to tell the stories you have to tell — and then some.