THE DOG DAYS OF AUGUST
I am not a fan of August. It’s the heat and humidity drenched month for my region, and also a time when hurricane activity must be carefully monitored. It’s just a month that’s miserable to be outside and generally serves no good purpose. I believe people should hibernate during August.
But life does go on, and some good things happen in August. Rebecca Barrett’s book in the Trouble Legacy was published August 14. It’s a wonderful romantic mystery, TROUBLE IN DIXIE. And soon Claire Matturro’s TROUBLE IN TALLAHASSEE will be out. This has been a wild and wonderful adventure working with my writer friends to create these feline adventures. And more will be coming. Susan Y. Tanner has TROUBLE AT SUMMER VALLEY RANCH for October. We have a lot planned for this winter and 2018.
I’ve finished writing CHARMED BONES for May, 2018, and I put the finishing touches on the next Pluto’s Snitch book for 2018, A SPECTER OF SEDUCTION. And now I’m turning my hand to a special project—a next year’s Christmas book featuring Sarah Booth and the Zinnia gang (TWO Bones books in 2018!). I’m excited to see what those characters get up to during the holiday season. And the next Trouble book will feature the Zinnia characters in cameo roles as the feline detective solves a case right under Sarah Booth’s nose! Fun, fun, fun!
2018 is going to be a crazy busy year, just like 2017. Time is such an elastic substance. For the past two years, it’s been compressed and speeding away from me. I’ve heard this is part and parcel of getting older, that time begins to speed away. Maybe. I think it has more to do with publishing THREE re-issues, and THREE new books of my own this past year. And also publishing THREE more books in the Familiar Legacy series. I can tell you have I never worked so hard on my writing in my whole life, possibly because I’ve been split with a day job and now I’m not. But I do think that all things come in time.
For example, had I not been on the verge of desperation as a young woman, I may never have developed the discipline to work an eight-hour day-job, and then go home and write far into the night. So at last, when I left the day job, the discipline is instilled and just part of who I am. Which brings me to my latest theory. (I have a lot of nutty theories.) People only have a certain amount of focus and discipline available to them. It varies for each person, but it isn’t limitless for anyone. I’m crazily disciplined about my writing and caring for the animals. Those are non-negotiable in my day. I’m fair at exercise. I can generally set a goal (but it has to be reasonable) and achieve that on a daily basis. But that’s it. Everything else happens haphazardly. Hair, clothes, sweeping the house, diet, etc. etc. I just don’t have the focus or discipline to put too much into those things. I’ve accepted this about me. I no longer think I have to be excellent at everything, and that, my good friends, is a true benefit of age. So remember, the things you really care about have to go at the top of the list if you want to be able to focus on them and achieve. No one can be excellent at everything.
I’m going to buy a new car tag today. I finally broke down and got a Prius. Bright red. And I’m having real difficulty because I feel unfaithful to my Murano, which I also love. But I want to be part of the people helping the planet, and this car will do it. It’s a little thing, but if we each do a little thing, it will make a big difference. I am so my father’s daughter in this endeavor. Back in the 1960s he talked to me about the limited resources of a planet that would soon bear the burden of an overgrowth of human beings. Unfettered consumerism was a sin in his eyes. Using more than I needed in any resource was a sign of moral weakness. Always use the smallest amount of anything to get the job done. Amazing how the things that irritated the snot out of me when I was in my teens have now become who I am. Karma has a wicked sense of humor in my life.
As the peak of hurricane season arrives, keep a good thought for us along the coastline. I’m thirty-eight miles away from water, but that is no distance to a storm like Katrina, which destroyed the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Mobile Bay. Climate change, where the Gulf notches up in temperatures higher than ever before, will create more monster storms. I can’t leave, because of the animals, or I would hightail it to Tennessee and hide in a cave! So send us good thoughts for no big storms, and good weather for all.
Keep up with my daily foolishness at these locations:
Tell your friends about my newsletter, and if you’ve read a good book, please, please write a review. This is more and more important to authors. It impacts the kind of advertising we can buy. And I want to give a shout out to all the wonderful BETA readers who have helped me with my books, and also helped all of the Familiar Legacy writers. Thank goodness there are people who see typos and errors and don’t mind reading for them.
I’m giving away two e-books of FAMILIAR TROUBLE this month, so be sure to enter my August Contest!
Until the winds of fall blow over Casa Carolyn, adieu—from me and the Critters.
P.S. Check out this wonderful song by Nat King Cole: The Autumn Leaves.