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

Sophomore Shuffle

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“Drowning Salvation” by Matt Dangler

I am just winding up the engine that will launch Broken Wave, the second installment of the Cryptid Coterie series, available in ebook and paperback on June 24, 2014. A cover reveal is around the corner, I’m composing a timeline of all the good things, many of which I bungled during the release of Girl Out of Water. That release resembled juggling chainsaws with my feet, to casual observers. It was a pleasurable and terrifying experiment. I’ve learned a little bit. I’m the better-late-than-never indie author I’ve always wanted to be, and I’m giving it another go.

Naturally this would be the exact time my world yo-yoed with my daily routine to the point of vertigo.

In 72 hours I went from “I suppose I live in Seattle forever and always but it sure would be nice to leave.” to “I have three days to get on a plane to England to interview for a few really cool jobs.” to “Oh, I can only be sponsored for a visa if the position is on this list of jobs I’m not applying for?” It might have been easy for a normal person to maintain the flow of prep for a new novel in the face of an adventure deadline plus intriguing immigration but, I, am not of that kind.

I’ve never been the sort of person who had a home in the traditional sense. I spent all of my twenties wandering the United States, looking for someplace that felt right but I never found it. There were a few good attempts, but they each fizzled or exploded depending on how much dynamite I had on hand at the time. Like most people struggling against themselves, I didn’t make lasting progress until I committed to something that mattered to me in a way that nothing else could. For some it’s parenting, religion, or advocacy. For me it’s expressing myself via writing. Writing novels created that place I’d been looking for, the place where when I showed up, it had to let me in. Home.

Perspective and other diversions of the last few weeks make me think if I had gone off on this grand adventure of becoming an expat my production as an author would have suffered. Not because the new life would have been incompatible with a writing career, but because it would have shifted my focus of home away from the worlds I create for myself on the page, to an external location dependent upon bureaucracy, and establishing my credentials as someone who belongs.

My expat dreams shelved for the moment, but I continue to build. That home I searched for is here, and it wants to be burnished into a second novel. Stay tuned.