I’ve gone and depressed myself again by looking at one of those ‘uplifting’ posts on Kindleboards about people who’ve had an e-book out for half as long as I have and are making a gazillion times more money. Sod it, just making any money. Maybe you just have to be American to earn a living selling e-books. I dunno. Or maybe you just have to have time. Lots of time. And maybe it’s something that you just can’t do in tiny slices of time, slowly, over years, like I’d hoped.
You know I am basically a happy bunny, I am surrounded by sweet people, I’m happy, I’m cherished, I cherish others… I’m blessed with a very happy family. I also live in a lovely house and drive a car that, as an incurable petrol head, I still can’t quite believe I own. There’s really nothing wrong with my life except that not everyone in that cherished, loved support group around me is as they should be. I’m not one to spill my guts over the internet but let’s just say this. There’s something they don’t tell you about heart disease. A lot of it gives you brain damage. Because a lot of heart disease causes a lack of blood to the head. Over time, this gives similar symptoms similar to those of exposure only they come on very, very slowly. Every day you get a little more fuzzy. Every day another little piece of you, the essence of you, is carried away. Slowly but surely, inevitably, you lose your mind. Add a succession of really hard winters, because heaven forfend that fucking sod might pull any punches and you’re in the poop. Big time.
So, one of my cherished people is in the doo doo and those years and years of bitty, incremental damage are beginning to show. And I can’t do a fucking thing. And I’m miles away from them when I should be there. When the simplest thing becomes a marathon slog for them, I’m not there to help or reassure when all my life, I believed I would be. I’m not there to fix the computer when it freaks, or go through the paperwork or deal with the admin that escapes; things like tax returns or driving license applications. I’m trapped here at the end of the phone and all I can do is listen. And it feels shit. Because to watch the people I love suffer from a long way away and not help; people who have given me everything and made me who I am, people I look up to. That makes me feel like a special kind of bastard.
So the wheels have fallen off my writing a bit. I can’t stop, I’m addicted, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be hitting any deadlines, and I probably won’t be very professional about it either. In short, if K’Barthan 3 is ready by next Christmas I’ll be surprised. But in my defence, although I can’t name names and be straight about it here, there is a good reason. Real life has painfully, comprehensively, trodden on my hands.
I feel a bit like this. As Arnold the Prophet says in K’Barthan Three.
“Life is a gift, reach out and take it with both hands.”
And The Pan of Hamgee says.
“That’s all all very well for you to say but the gift I’m being offered looks suspiciously like a dog turd in a paper bag, to me.”
It isn’t all pants and it’s a lot worse for them than me but there’s a very, very sad bit and I have to accept that I can’t fix it. And that rankles. Big time.