Friday, January 3, 2014

o death won't you spare me over another year

+ What's on: O Death, Jen Titus (Supernatural)

First off: Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. I'm a bit late on both, I know. Thank you for the lovely comments and your unending patience and for all still being here.

2014 already, hm? Wow.

The good news is there's only one and a half chapters left of the King's Men rewrite. The bad news is, of course, that I am now over three months behind schedule. For a while there I was feeling optimistic -- for a while edits were good and everything was working out. Then a fatal flaw meant ripping out half of the story and rewriting it from scratch. Then life happened, but that's going behind a cut further down because .. I don't know. I guess it feels TMI? My life, my problems. Not trying to make excuses or anything. I partly feel like I owe you an explanation and partly just need to write it down somewhere.

I'm still writing every moment I can, but everything I manage gets erased and rewritten. Stress has blown these critical final scenes into over-dramatic cliches and pointless confrontations and I've completely lost touch with the characters. Doing what I can and taking it slow, but thank god for betas. I need them now more than ever.

Let's talk about 2013 and how glad I am to see it gone. A little disappointing it was such a sour year, because 13 is my lucky number. Not all of it was bad, of course. I got some major work done book-wise and I've met so many lovely people here. But the last half of the year got almost out of control. I can't list everything that's gone wrong without bogging down the blog or depressing myself, but the two major---setbacks? problems? tragedies?---are work and death.

I've taken over the entirety of the household bills, which means I'm scrabbling for OT where I can get it and putting anything I can on my credit card to worry about later. (Not the most mature route, but hey.) Going to run out of room soon but hopefully I'll find a second job before that happens. My chances of getting a promotion at work are looking good, but the chances of that new position making less money than I am now are even better.

The more recent world-stopper is that in the last two months my best friend had a cancer scare (false alarm, thank goodness) and three others were diagnosed. One is a colleague I went through training with who discovered the tumor by chance--they were scanning her in the wake of an auto accident and found a it in her lymph nodes. The other is a family friend who we thought had successfully battled her way to safety.

The third was my aunt, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer and initially put on the backburner because she had no health insurance. I don't know how they finally got her onto an operating table, but she didn't wake up again. My mother was in town for Christmas when we got the call saying they were taking Aunt K off life support. It was the last call any of us expected to get and I thought the shock would kill Mom on the spot. They put the phone to K's ear so Mom could say a few last words to her. How do you say goodbye to someone like that? What do you say? I'm proud of you, I love you, I'll miss you, don't be afraid?

Something about this family and Christmas, I guess--my aunt's funeral was one year to the day after my grandmother died from kidney failure. Mom thinks our family should run away for Christmas next year. Tempting thought.

I spent the last two months of 2013 in a little shell. I wished exactly 4 people a Merry Christmas: the people of my immediate family. It didn't occur to me to reach out to friends or coworkers until days later. 2014 is the year for putting everything back together again - personal life, work life, writing, etc. I've said it before, but hey. Try, try again, right? No matter what.

Quasi-related, I've decided to forego resolutions this year. Instead I'm making a bucket list. Anyone else have one and want to tell us about their dreams?


lime-yay said...

Aw, Mami :(

I'm sorry about everything. I am actually going through something similar on the money front. I was living with my sister when she got hit by a car. She's alive, but the head injury meant she was out of work and struggling with medical issues and I was suddenly paying double the rent, double the utilities, and it's honestly more than I can afford.

I can't imagine dealing with a death on top of that, on top of the holidays. :( That really sucks, I'm sorry.

Anyway, I hope things are better for you in 2014. I know you have many impatient fans, but I've been following you long enough to know that you'll deliver in time and it'll be more than worth the wait.


Carrie Clay said...

The holidays are hard for everyone, and it seems to make everything already going on in your life worse. So I hope that things calm down for you going forward into the new year.

You mentioned that you lost touch with the characters. If you don't mind a suggestion; reread Foxhole Court and Raven King. If you can put yourself back into their lives, (because that's ultimately what reading does, it gives an escape from reality), I'm positive that you'll fall in love with the foxes all over again.

In the meantime, good luck and have faith in yourself. Keep us posted, not just on TKM, but also on yourself.


Mewenn M said...

That's a lot to go through. I hope it gets better on the money front and that you and the people around you either stay healthy or regain their health. And I have an email to write you because I found out last month that The Raven King was out and I read it in two days and have been procrastinating ever since on writing to you how much I liked it. So I'm not going to half-ass it here and take the proper time to do that at some point. I wish you the best for 2014 and I'm so looking forward to read the last book. However long it takes.

marynoel said...

lime-yay/Emily: Oh no!! Is she doing better? Is she all right? Any idea how long it'll take her to recover?

I was suddenly paying double the rent, double the utilities, and it's honestly more than I can afford

And it's so frightening, isn't it? Because you can't stop thinking about it and micro-managing pennies even when there's nothing you can do about it, even when you're between checks or temporarily caught up you just keep worrying.

♥♥♥ Here's hoping we both survive whatever 2014 throws at us...

marynoel said...

Carrie Clay: Sorry it took me so long to respond. I signed into my email occasionally to check for job responses or whatnot and I'd see you'd posted trying to check in on things, but then I was just depressed that I had nothing new to say and I kind of retreated instead of answering back.

I think you're right; I need to just start over and read from bk1 ch1. So many things get wrapped up in book 3 (including that impossible relationship) and I need to make sure everything & everyone unfolds correctly.

Thank you so much for your support ♥

marynoel said...

Mewenn M: Thank you so much for reading Raven King! I'm really glad you liked it. And thank you for the well wishes. I'm trying to break the current problems down into manageable pieces ... too hard to solve things when they look like a mountain, right? ♥

a8c354a4-7257-11e3-b88a-000f20980440 said...

I hope 2014 dramatically improves for you. It's amazing how things can go south in ways you never imagined and when you least expect it. It can leave you dumbfounded.
We can't do anything dramatic to improve your circumstances, aside from wishing really hard, but we can offer encouragement. I found your series and devoured it. Devoured! I was so excited to see that another was coming--then disappointed by the delay. But you know what? The books are great because of who you are, and who you are is someone who is having some setbacks right now, so we all just need to be patient and helpful.
I think the suggestion to reread the books is a good one if you can get the time. After I read the books in quick succession, I went to right something unrelated and realized the character had gone somewhat Andrew on me. It was enjoyable, but not what he was supposed to be doing. I had to delete it and give myself a couple days between your books and my writing. Point is, just enveloping yourself in the Foxes' world again will have you writing like the first and second books instead of resorting to other authors' cliches.
On a selfish note: I'm so excited for the next book, especially when I know how much care that you're putting into making sure everything is right. I was pretty sure the books' excellence wasn't just happenstance, but it's nice to have it confirmed. You're a good writer and you work hard at it. You're bringing something good into other peoples' lives; I hope life brings some good into yours.

delfeus said...

Don't worry about how long it's going to take. Take the time you need and work on the book as long as you feel you need to, in order to release something you are content with. Don't rush it just because you feel that it should have been out already.

I'm sorry to hear about the bad things going on in your life. I've often wondered what's going on with you, but haven't gotten around to contacting you. I thought that you are probably busy with work, but I didn't imagine something like this.

Take care and try to hang on. If you feel like you need a break, take a few days or a couple of weeks away from working on the book and do something you enjoy. The book will still be waiting for you when you get back to it and you may have a fresher view of it when you've taken some distance to it. <3

Jessi Nguyen said...

I am glad to hear that the third book is coming around and really hope to read it soon.

I may not know you personally but I am so sorry to hear that you had a rough end of the year and I wish for you and the family the best and I'll keep you in my thoughts.

Keep you head high and continue to look forward!

Best wishes!!

Lea said...

Uh wow this is really late; I meant to comment before now, but ugh work. Sorry to hear about everything. 2013 was a bad year all around, I hear, including for me. >.< I hope this year will at least be better than that for everyone.

stenfam said...

Hope things are going better for you. Really looking forward All the Kings Men.

ginia said...

Hi mary! i hope things are better for you this february. Btw, gurl, reading your post makes me just wanna crawl under my bed covers and cry for you... at the same time, be thankful for the better circumstances i'm in.

During stressful times, i find it comforting to pig out or go to the junkyard and smash items until i get tired. I don't know if things like that works for people but it does for me, just to vent out anger. LOL.

Anyway, without intending to be a dick, I just wanna ask if you already have in mind the release date/month for Book 3?

Is it at least 50% done or yeah...can we at least hope a month from now (that would be end of March) it'd be up for purchase?

BTW, since this is the last part of the book, I think it's only right that you raise the price. Just the fact that I didn't see typos in book 1 and 2 already means you're anal with your work, which in return, made me a damn happy reader since I didn't suffer while reading. hahaha.

If you feel uncomfortable with the idea, making a poll for the amount to be increased here in your blog would be fine as well. I'm certain none of your readers would really react unpleasantly if you do so, but just to settle your mind, I think you can do the polling/voting.

After missing for a few weeks in your own blog, I hope you can leave us a message here to tell us how you're doing now. we might be selfishly messaging you here a lot, but it is true that we do care about you. LOL.

bye mary. ^_^

Jeremy Keele said...

Hey Mary,
I hope things have gotten better for you this year! I can't wait for Number 3!!

Unknown said...

You haven't posted in awhile. Any news?

PsiRista said...

I'm looking forward to reading book 3. Hope everything is going okay for you.

Tabbygray said...

I've just finished The Foxhole Court and - OMG. I'm exhilarated, exhausted and I loved it. Have just bought The Raven King.
I'm so sorry to hear you're having such a bad time and I really hope things improve. You are a terrific writer, you shouldn't despair about losing touch with your characters for a while considering what's going on, they'll come back - particularly Andrew. Do you think he'll be content to sit back and let you ignore him for long? ;-)
(hope I don't sound too weird! :-) ) Sending you sympathy and best wishes. And thanks for the Palmetto State Foxes.

Tabbygray said...

Just finished The Raven King. Thank you thank you. That was even better than The Foxhole Court. I had to keep stopping to absorb what was happening. Terrific, scary and outstanding.

Solare said...

2013 seems like it was just bound to be an unlucky year from the start. But a 13 in something and it all goes downhill. Pretty sure that means 2014 has to be awesome to make up for it. I found Foxhole Court for free on amazon and picked it up mostly because it was free and the description unique enough to catch my interest. I would have paid a lot more than $0.99 for the next book, and you might think of putting another dollar or three or five on the next one. I can tell all of your commenters would be willing to support you and heavens knows I've paid more for books that ended up being mediocre at best and horrible at worst. It probably wouldn't magically solve your money problems, but it might give you a little more breathing room? Just a suggestion from a fan who checks almost daily to see if you might have patted an update. :)

Carrie Clay said...

Hi! I miss reading your blog. Please let your adoring fans know how you're doing. I know you've had a lot of struggles already this year and I know from experience that all the stress can wear you down. So, check in. You have a support group here. :)