A little over a week ago, my husband and I lost a close friend of ours.
To be honest, I keep getting stuck there. I’ve been running on autopilot–working, interacting, swapping the normal bullshit, and hell, I’ve even been able to laugh. Don’t get me wrong, there were the breakdowns and the tears too, but they’re random and hit all of a sudden. Usually over the weirdest stuff too. We held a sweet, small sort of memorial on Saturday at midnight, where the old cinema used to be where he and my husband did Rocky Horror for so long. It was a sad but wonderful way to honor him and I thought it had given me closure. I’ll be honest, I’m pretty new to this close loss thing, so I’m kind of just stumbling forward and blindly groping ahead.
Tonight I realized it still has me in its grips in a very real way. I’ve got wonderful friends and amazing family, but I just feel so detached right now. My emotions have been flayed and the reality is that attaching again is work that I’m just not capable of right now. Maybe I’ve been ignoring or jumping over thoughts of the loss because it’s easier, but even though it’s not someone we saw every day, he was still a dear friend. And even though I thought I was okay, loss leaves marks.
Which leads to the living part of things–that neverending battle I call my writing career. Don’t get wrong, I’m still writing, editing, and submitting. That’s my job and to be honest, I can still plunge back in. However, I wasn’t prepared for the hurdles right now. Slowness. Lack of sales. Rejections. And worse? This month has been the herald of indie presses closing. Friends of mine had announced that Three Worlds Press was closing, and then one of the big whammies hit for other friends, Samhain Publishing closing. I didn’t have anything with either of those presses, but then the inevitable came–Jupiter Gardens Press announced that they’ll be shutting down as well, and they had published my YA dystopian, Snatched.
‘No worries,’ I said. ‘I’ll just re-publish it on my own. It’ll be great!’ And genuinely, I guess I was feeling hopeful, or just choking on my own bravado. It wasn’t until a day later when the reality sucker punched me. It’s not that I can’t do something with it–it’s the loss of a publisher who believed in me enough to publish my book. It’s the way I feel about all of my publishers who took a chance on me. There’s a power in that advocacy that might not be omnipresent in my mind, but times like these I really understand how much it means to have someone in your corner.
Despite my detachment and despite the numb, I haven’t lost my gratitude. That’s something I fight to keep evident in my life. So today, I’m number one most grateful for my husband who’s beyond amazing. I’m grateful for the support that I have in friends and family, and for my readers who bring me so much joy and keep me in this writing game. And I’m grateful for my publishers and editors, those who chose to take a chance on me in the first place. Love all of you, so damn much.