Bumpy Roads

Summer 2022 is almost here, and I didn’t know, back in the quiet, rain-drenched, fall…that a bumpy road was ahead!

Thus far, my writing journey has taken a back seat to nail-biting. For starters, the second book in the series, The Rising, was two entire weeks late (forever in launch terms) due to Amazon holding it up. And as a nice caveat, they wouldn’t tell my publisher WHY it was held up. Censoring? Supply chain issues? This was a head-scratcher. Next, my order of my own personal stash of books has been delayed, another mystery. Without a stash of books, I cannot do as many author events. I have Book One, but people are gnashing their teeth to get Book Two, and so far…nothing has shown up at my front door! Shipping problems? Who knows. All I know is…tomorrow I have a very cool event in Port Royal, SC, with 40 vendors, and I have plenty of The Deadening, but only three advance review copies of The Rising which I will sell at a discount, because the only thing different about an ARC is a cover that has not been finalized. I am holding out hope that a box of fresh-off-the-press copies of The Rising will appear on my doorstep before tomorrow! In the meantime, the fabulous bookstore owners where my events are held this summer are being nice enough to order the books for me. My stash will show up sooner or later.

But that’s just the beginning of the bumpy road…

My daughter’s family came to visit over the Easter weekend, and I was SO delighted because I hadn’t seen them in a while…and the night they arrived, I had a severe vertigo attack at 3AM. I don’t know if you guys are familiar with this condition, but ohmigosh, I’ve never endured such a thing. Hellish torment are the words that come to mind. I couldn’t get out of bed for a couple of days, and when I did, the whole world spun around me, even though it really wasn’t spinning. I could only sleep in one position: on my back as still and straight as a board. A friend suggested the Epley Maneuver…which I pooh-poohed because I tried it myself and thought I was going to die right there on the spot. However, after six days of spinning crazily I relented and went to a chiropractor. Poof. All better. After three treatments, I am back among the living. But wow. Just…wow. I don’t know if I have ever felt that helpless in my life. SO humbling, how finite and ethereal our health is.

After two weeks of dealing with vertigo, I’m in a mental state of limbo. I’ve tried to let go of expectations, because…let’s face it. Aren’t they usually way too ambitious? Being flat on my back and unable to lift a finger has given me an interesting perspective. I’ve returned to being grateful for the small, uninteresting, non-intimidating things, like standing up without my head exploding. Or turning my head to see something without my eyes rolling around in my head like marbles. Kneeling down and picking up a stray bit of debris on the floor without becoming so dizzy I fall over. Things like that make my day now. Doing laundry or fixing dinner is rather miraculous, too.

Isn’t it funny how the unexpected twists in life help us understand how finite and transitory we are? I don’t mean to get all philosophical or anything, but these issues – and we all have our own unique bumpy roads – can’t help but reset us. Our expectations. Our priorities. Our commitments. Our relationships.

I know that I will get back to normal, and the irritating barnacles of life will start calcifying my outlook again. But I certainly hope…that when I think about the helplessness and panic I endured for two weeks…that I will peel off those barnacles sooner than later.

Now.

Where are those darn books?