Ithani comes out tomorrow, the culmination of three years of work and the conclusion to the Oberon Cycle trilogy.
I am so not ready.
It should be a triumphant moment for me, and I should have been deep in pre promo and preparation these last three days.
Instead, I have been on the phone to Apple Care for the last three days almost non-stop, trying to fix Mark’s email app, which has suddenly swirled down into chaos and stubborn non-functionality.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a driven person, one who fills his days with IMPORTANT things to be done, and lists and schedules to keep track of it all. Some of them even suspect I’m a little OCD.
But things like this force me to throw all of that out the window, and severly test my ability to roll with the punches.
A few words come to mind to describe my current state of mind:
And, strangely given that I am not actually British despite the name and my six-generations-back ancestors, bollocks.
It’s at these times when I have learned that I need to step back and look for the good things in my life, however big or small, that can get me through these rough waters. And there are a few.
We’re attending a workshop on Sunday nights, and I really like and respect the moderators, but they have both seemed a little distant in the past in our interactions. Last night, one of them SAW me. Connected with what I was saying, and actually saw me. It was electric, and it made me feel really good.
Then this morning, I got advance notice of a review coming in for Ithani from one of my longtime reviewer friends, and they absolutely loved it, like five-star PLUS loved it.
And the support rep I got this morning from Apple actually seemed to know what she was doing, and even gave me her direct email so I could reach her more easily. A small thing to be sure, but in the context of what we are dealing with, a welcome one.
One more: more than thirty authors raised their hands when I asked for help getting the word out about Ithani. You know who you are, and you have all made things a little easier for me.
With the whirlwind of the “Ithani” book release meeting the thunderstorm of our tech support nightmare head-on, I have to remind myself to take care of myself, to just sit back and breathe. To allow myself to see the good things that are happening amidst the bad. And to give myself the permission to scream and cry about the chaos all for a few minutes, and then find the strength to pick myself up and carry on.
Each of those beautiful things amidst the madness helps.
In the wider world, we are riding the chaos sown by the President and other right wing leaders and movements. We are seeing first-hand the real consequences of climate change, including fires and floods, population extinctions and other dire signs.
But did you know they just found a previously undiscovered colony of monarch butterflies in Mexico?
Or that there’s a teenager who came up with an idea to clean the plastics out of the ocean (and yeah, it’s not working perfectly yet, but they are already testing out a prototype).
There are patches of hope and bits of beauty all around us in the world, if we just look for them.
So I am staring into the face of chaos this morning, but I am holding tight to grace and beauty and love, like a winter coat that will keep me warm until the morning comes and the storm abates.
I will find a way to do all that I have to do, and try to put a little love and beauty of my own out into the world to help others who are in similar positions.
And I will continue to write.
What are you dealing with right now, and what small things bring you solace and support?
And what can you do to be one of those small pieces of love and beauty for your friends who are facing chaos?