Goodbye Porpoise Spit AKA Later Seattle, it’s been weird

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Knihkupectvi Academia Bookstore, Prague

I have lived all the cliches. I am one merit badge away from unlocking an unholy rom-com achievement sash. Teenage girl on a Greyhound bus to New York City with nothing but a dream? Check. Driven, career-focused woman making a u-turn for love on the cusp of 30? Check. Carefree divorcee leaving it all  behind to wander the globe? Well, 2 houses, 2 hotels and 3 countries in the last week later, check. Checkfuckingmate.

The change my life has been through in the last year is breathtaking. Yes, I learned a whole new language. Yes, I lost 78 pounds. Yes, I plotted and executed things most people only ever talk about doing.  Factor in the two years before that, and I get full on vertigo and vapors. Yes, I wrote and published a novel (and have nursed 2 other novels along but that’s another matter).  Yes, I disposed an industrial tonnage of fuckery in the form of people and patterns that no longer worked for me.

I spent 10 years in Seattle. That is most of my adult life, far longer than any of the cities I flitted through in my early 20s, and about 5 years longer than I saw myself being there. That’s a long time to wait for your life to begin. Processing my fervent desire to leave the city when I thought I was stuck gave me Girl Out of Water, and Tabitha’s whole universe. Translating that desire into action gave me total access to superpowers I’ve only ever dreamed of. I am an actual badass. I’ve crossed that threshold of hoping to be acknowledged to owning every ray of my glory.

After months of blog radio silence, grueling overtime shifts, and still no new book, I have made my great escape. The endless work of my emotional life has been accepting, acknowledging, and letting go. I know this is only the first leg of a really long journey, but I am ready to lay down the burdens of other people’s expectations and my fear. My joy is incalculable. I can exhale, take my victory lap, and look forward. For the next while I won’t be wandering the globe as much as setting up shop and looking for my niche in a very targeted area.

If you’re looking for quirky, complicated, protagonists and the universes they inhabit, we’ll all be in Norway (except for those weeks we’re in the Czech Republic, or the UK, or hvor som helst), skating through brand new challenges, forgetting the exchange rate and paying way too much for stuff, and living our best friluftsliv.

W

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Actual size, OK not really, but much smaller than anticipated

Superpowers & Secret Identities

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Seattle Public Library, well done

Seattle Public Library, well done

I’d long suspected that my superpower was talking for hours without ever stopping to breathe, or maybe having just the right piece of unexpected trivia to sprinkle into a conversation because I am promiscuously curious about absolutely everything. Turns out, it wasn’t these things at all. It would appear that my gift is giving the outward appearance of calm and confident determination 97% of the time.

I  suspect the perception percentage varies on how well you know me, but for the sake of accuracy I’d like to correct that average to 56.6~. That contains a confounding factor of  +/- 12% relative to how clueless I am about what I’m facing. Everyone is confident when they don’t know their parachute is empty right?

It’s been a year since I pulled the plug on the release of Broken Wave the second in the Crytpid Coterie series, and in that time I’ve been functioning as though I did not choke and that I will write dozens of novels any day now. I’ve traveled a lot. I’ve blogged some, and I’ve gone back to my paranormal Seattle universe again and again, hoping to see it clearly. Some days, I would consider a single sentence a success, and others I would cut a whole chapter and sigh with relief because it needed to be done. And all that time, I was still a writer.

I am once again stepping up to the plate with Broken Wave, and putting Girl Out of Water on sale today in the meantime. What I’ve learned in the last year, through my own experiences and reading other authors, is that the tortured Writer Pain of “I suck, I don’t know what I’m doing, and I am a terrible fraud” never goes away for anyone.  OK maybe a few people, but nobody likes them. The rest of us are humming along, secure in the knowledge that we’re fucked but making a go of it.

When I started writing novels  (working on my third at the moment), I thought the woman at the keyboard was my alter ego. I believed she was my juicy secret that made me interesting. The more comfortable I’ve gotten with creating and owning my identity as an artist, I figured out that I’d bought my own cover story. The rule-abiding goddess of multi-tasking efficiency who works too much and runs my life? She’s the real secret identity.

Theres a danger in believing your own facade. Just as those who know me perceive my perfectionist streak as the real me, when I believed it too, I limited my growing process as a writer and took the setback of a missed deadline way too hard. Writer me wants to give that Winifred a cookie, a cup of coffee, and a very short pep talk: “Writers write.”

That’s it. That’s the whole thing. If you’re doing that, at whatever pace, you’re a real writer, no matter what you tell yourself on a bad day.

This writer will be celebrating her second book release with a meme worthy video post, and merchandise you can use to express your love for Tabitha, her friends, and her nightmares. There’ll also be an exclusive free download of the story of Minnie Gagle Yesler. Subscribe already yeah?