Summer Status Update

July 26, 2020

It’s been a while since I’ve updated here, hasn’t it? How have all of you been holding up? 2020 has been… quite a year. I think today’s Wizard of Id strip summarizes it quite well:

Wizard of Id by Parker and Hart, July 26, 2020

(Also, speaking of comics, alert: Cathy is back. This is not a drill, Cathy is back. Or, as she put it, b-aack!)

Anyway.

I have alluded to this to a certain degree over on Dreamwidth, but after seeming like I was handling things okay for the first part of the pandemic, around mid-May I started… not handling things very well. I have struggled for a long time with stress management, as stress is a major trigger for my health problems. However, the stress of 2020 has been so significant that it started causing other problems that I didn’t even realize I had. I have done some things to try to improve the situation, such as deleting my Twitter account, which has been a huge help. (Seriously, if you struggle with anxiety or depression, get off Twitter. Just get off it. You might think it will be too hard. You might think it will damage your career. It won’t. Just get off it. You will feel so much better.) But I also just needed some time to work through everything and decompress in order to get my brain back in working order.

TL;DR—I’ve been really sick for the last two-and-a-half/three months. And you know what it means when I come on this blog and tell you I’ve been sick.

So, the bad news: One World will not be coming out this year. Technically, I probably could still get it out this year, but it would be so late in the year that I think it would be a bad idea. I released Fourth World at the end of December and I really, really wish I hadn’t. If I’d waited just another month, even another week, I would have opened up so many more opportunities than what I wound up having by releasing on December 29, at the absolute end of the year. So for the sake of the series, I really think it’s important to wait until 2021.

I am not committing to a new release date yet, for obvious reasons. But I will say that the wait won’t be that much longer, and I’m really excited to share the ending of the Iamos Trilogy with you.

Now, for the good news:

  1. During the two-and-a-half/three months that I was sick, I wasn’t completely checked out. Even though I didn’t get much actual writing done during this time, I did a lot of thinking. I thought maybe if I couldn’t concentrate on Iamos, maybe I could concentrate on something else. And I thought maybe a lightweight, positive story might be what everyone needs now. So, after three years of waffling on whether or not I actually wanted to do it, I can confirm that a sequel to Cheerleaders from Planet X is coming! I now have a plot, an outline, a blurb, and even a cover. I will be revealing those soon, and the first people to get it will, of course, be my patrons on Patreon. So if you’re excited for the Cheerleaders sequel, I hope you’ll consider becoming a patron.
  2. After being stuck for so long, I did finally have a writing breakthrough this week and wrote almost 20,000 words in three days! The fact that I was able to overcome my block is something that I think will be really beneficial to my mental health. I’m really glad to be back on track.

 

Also, this year won’t be totally void of new Lyssa content. A month or two ago, I was contacted by my good friends Jon Garett and Richard Walsh (whom you may remember from my first anthology, Perchance to Dream) about participating in a hopepunk scifi anthology, to be released this fall. I was able to contribute a story to the book, and I’m so excited to share it with you. “Being Tamika” is a quietly optimistic, small-stakes story that was inspired by my most recent neurosurgery combined with a flashback dream to Meg Cabot’s Airhead series, brought together in a solarpunk setting. I’m really proud of the story, and I can’t wait to give you more information about the anthology later this year.

I also have a story in another upcoming anthology that was originally scheduled for release this year, but was pushed back to 2021 due to the pandemic. This one is a fantasy story set in ancient times, and was inspired by one of my all-time favorite video games, an indie WiiWare game called NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits. I’m looking forward to sharing that with you when Sing, Goddess!, a YA anthology of Greek myth retellings, releases next spring.

So, see? More good news than bad, haha. Thank you all for your patience as we struggle through this cruddy year together.

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