In 2017, I set the goal for myself of publishing two Bridgeton Park Cemetery books in one year. This may not sound like a huge accomplishment compared to the most productive writers I know and know of: Stephen King, Megg Jensen, Mark Dawson, my own good friend Terri Reid. But for me that was a huge, huge accomplishment, seeing as how it used to take me about three years to finish one book. I know, I know; prolific is not my middle name.
So I did it. I wrote and released two books in 2017. And in 2018, I found myself to be completely wordless. As in, the reservoir was temporarily empty. I am blown away by writers who can put work out as rapidly as they do. I am not among their number. After I finish a novel, I normally need some time to recover. “Some time” can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. I just need that much time to recharge. I guess it takes that long to replenish the part of me that goes into writing the book because I do use up some of me with every book I write. I wish it was as easily replaced as electrolytes, but whatever it is, it isn’t. Easily replaced, that is.
Thus, my BPC entry for 2018 was mondo late. There is no other way to put it. Originally I meant to have it out in May because then I figured I’d get that second book out in October, just like in 2017. Not so much. Then I thought I’d make it by July. Nope. And then I began to realize, this thing won’t be ready until Halloween and if I make that, it’ll be a small miracle. I was lucky: I got my miracle, and She Weeps saw the light of day in October.
Maybe what helped was co-authoring a book with Terri. Our little tome, Ghosts, Graves, and Groves went live in September and I think having a book out with my name on it, even though it wouldn’t have happened without Terri, took some of the pressure off me. It let me relax just a little bit and once that happened, writing the last third of She Weeps came a bit easier. Because while the writing can come very easily, there are also times when putting down each word is like extracting my own teeth with a pair of pliers: great effort and a lot of pain.
So now I am looking into the open expanse of 2019 and wondering what that will bring. I have the beginnings of Cassie’s and Michael’s next adventure. I also have the beginnings for another book, one I’ve had in my head for a long time (read: years) and am beginning to wonder if I should actually commit to writing. If I do that, this would be another two-book year. But with two different sets of characters. I wonder if that will make the process different for me. Maybe less taxing? Maybe more so? I guess I won’t know about that unless I try.
So in the meantime, I need to clear my office, clear my head, and find more writing music. Because January is about to hit and when it does, I hope to look at that blank screen and find the opening words for my next written offering.