I was going to write a post-mortem to my Horror Con visit from a few weeks ago, but I decided to move on to other topics.
First, I heard this morning that Maya Angelou had passed away at the age of 86. I read her autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings when I was in college and was impressed; that while I have no way of experiencing what she experienced as a black female growing up in the segregated South, I felt a sort of kinship because the story wasn’t just about her experience, but decried any type of bigotry. Anyone who has ever been discriminated against for any reason, whether for they way they looked or just bullied in general would find solace that they weren’t alone. Maya overcame amazing odds to give us poetry and leadership in a subtle and brilliant manner. Her poems were literary gems and stated the realities of life with grace.
We could all learn from her.
I began to look back over the past few months and realized I’ve grown lazy. “Not you!” You say? Yes, me. I’ve let outside pressures get in the way of my writing. I haven’t updated my blog in a while. I’ve completed a couple of short stories just in the past couple weeks, but as far as any meaningful progress on anything new, I’ve just fallen down on the job. I’ve focused on Darwin’s Sword and nothing else. That must change and I know it.
I’ve been trying to work on two novels at once, which has precluded me from making progress on either work. I’ve written about a third of Into The Darkness and only three chapters of Shadow Watchers. In the midst of this drought, I also began rewriting my next novel White Death, which I’m not making quick progress on. Sorry for spending time verbally slapping myself, but I can’t help it.
Now, I have had somewhat good reasons for my lapses. I’ve spent a good deal of time promoting Darwin’s Sword, especially in the last few weeks. But it’s still no excuse, so I must get back to work.
Returning to our loss of Maya Angelou. I don’t know if she would have read Darwin’s Sword, or if she had whether she would have liked it, but hers is a mark we all strive for. Whether you write poetry or short and long fiction, originality and message should always be a part of your focus. I also don’t think she would have accepted excuses for not writing. I think she might have smiled and said, “get your butt to work.” I didn’t know her, but I have a feeling that I’m right about that.
If you haven’t yet done so, pick up Darwin’s Sword at Amazon.com, contact Lerue Press or if you happen to live in or come to the Truckee Meadows, get it at Grassroots Books on Grove Street. Make sure you support writers as much as you can. Read lots because gems are out there. Sometimes, something you wouldn’t have normally read might make an impression on you that will never fade.