As you know, I was working on The Freed Christmases, Enthrall and I’m positive that I hit a WALL long before I tried writing the first word. Then recently I announced I was not going to write that story and started another; it only took a few stabs at it to hit the same wall. That’s when I realized my issue was bigger than any story.
So this weekend I traveled to North Carolina for a work party. When I returned home yesterday, I slept for fourteen hours straight, and I’m still tired. I arrived in NC on Thursday, and after an hour of being in the humidity, I was spent. It was as if I was constantly swimming through warm water. My body and brain rejected the moisture. But the experience made me realize something. I’ve been that exhausted, physically, and mentally for at least a month and a half. I’ve already written two books this year, and now I’m pressuring myself to write three more. I’m not one of those sorts of writers, who don’t have to think deeply before putting out a story. I have to feel the world, the characters, and the conflict deep in my bones. I have to know how to take them through on a three-dimensional basis if that makes sense. For the past month and a half, I hadn’t been able to go down deep enough to reach that sweet spot. So it was as if this weekend was like a stress chamber. From the moment I landed in North Carolina, the humidity grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go. Just sitting, I was sweating. And the party was so damn involved. The weather and activities nearly took me out. On Saturday night I had blurred vision, a headache and called it when Zuleika (that’s me) said to herself, “sorry sister but you’re not co-dependent so stop acting like it. It’s time for you to take care of ME. Go to the hotel room, decompress, and get ready for a long flight home.” And that’s what I did.
After I woke up from those fourteen hours, I realized something else. I had been codependent with my career. I hadn’t been taking care of me in order to produce more books. And all that’s good and necessary but not at the expense of sacrificing the quality of my work, my mental state most importantly, the overall enjoyment that comes with creating fiction. The last three days in North Carolina was like a microcosm of the last month and a half. I believe it was divine intervention.
So, I’ve been thinking about Spencer Christmas on my downtime. It’s not like me to run from the challenge of evolving him. I don’t believe once a creep, have to remain a creep. I also know for a fact no one is born a creep. A creep is made by nurture not nature. I mean, Spener could stay a creep but that’s if he chooses to ignore the call to evolve, learn, grow and get help when life throws him another curveball. I believe what he learned about his family at the end of The Dark Christmases would have a profound effect on him. Will Spencer Christmas be brave enough to take the call of life by the hand and be guided to his destiny? The more rest I get the more excited I become about answering that question.
I need REAL REST. I’ll be spending the next week doing just that. If need another week, I’ll take it. After that, I’ll see which story rises out of the ashes. I hope it’s Spencer Christmas’.
Okay. Time to continue resting. Good night!
Z.L. Arkadie is an indie author of romance fiction. So far she has published 33 books--and there will be many more! Z.L.'s stories are addictive, smart and always sexy.