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Almost five years ago, I had a ton of anxiety. I don’t remember if it was before or after the breaking-my-face issue or if it was triggered by the Ebola virus coming to Dallas, but I started reading prepper blogs. I listened to prepper podcasts and tried to prepare by purchasing shelf stable food.

At some point, though, I convinced myself that I was being silly. Maybe it was because Spreadsheet Guy wasn’t worried or because I finally got on anxiety (I’ve been off them almost a year now) and antidepressant medications (due to the breaking-the-face issue) and leveled out my brain. Whatever the reason, I now regret not being prepared for this.

We’re not in a terrible situation. I mean, we have some food, some toilet paper, some cleaning supplies, and I have one Mountain House bucket that I purchased back in 2016 that will last another twenty years or so, but we were at Copper Mountain for Spring Break last week, so I wasn’t able to buy things like water, rice, bread, etc. when we returned. Not a big deal right now, but it could be a big deal next week.
We’re also very fortunate that I can stay home with the kids. Very, very fortunate.

I’m holing my breath, hoping this blows over quickly. When/if it does, I’m bringing back my 2016 paranoia.

So, it stinks that this is what I’m blogging about when I haven’t blogged in months. I’m still working on Shades of Allegiance, of course. I’m always still working on it. It’s going well. I’m making progress, but it’s slow progress. I must be defying the laws of writing physics because it seems impossible that the book wouldn’t be done after how long I’ve been working on it. I’ve learned to accept it, though, and that’s a huge deal.

I read a book by the amazing Becca Syme—I think it was Dear Author, You’re Doing it Wrong—and in a chapter, she went into how the market demands that authors publish books every month and it’s all about speed, speed, speed (this is my summary; the reasoning is way more fleshed out in her book) and that it is incredibly hard and incredibly rare for a writer to make a living publishing one book a year. I’m, uh, way below that one book a year threshold at the moment, lol. So, unless I was EXTREMELY lucky, I really don’t have a chance, not unless I want to REALLY hustle, sacrifice my sanity, push out 12+ books a year (an impossibility for me even if I wrote shitty books), do all the promotion, etc.

I don’t want to do that. I just want to read my characters’ stories. That’s why I haven’t been able to give up on Shades of Allegiance even though I know I should. I really should! I know I’ll be able to go back to a book-a-year schedule once this book is published. When I tried to ignore it about a year ago, I finished the first book in a new urban fantasy series. That book needs a heavy revision, but I wrote it at a normal-for-me pace.

Not sure how much time I’ll squeeze in to write this week. The kids will be home, and I’m planning to see what it’s like to home school <insert me screaming>.
I dunno. Maybe it’ll be a good experiment. Maybe I can nurture my kids’ interests better than the schools are able to. Maybe it’s not as hard as I imagine. Maybe it’ll be good for all of us.

I hope you guys are doing okay. I know the coronavirus will pass. It’s just a matter of how long it will take and how much damage it does while it’s kicking around the world. Read lots of books. Hug your kids. Play video games and real games like Settlers and Dominion and all the other awesome games at BoardGameGeek.com (we finished playing Dungeon Lords with the boys). And after this thing is done, don’t be like 2016 me and talk yourself out of being prepared. Lets all be prepared for this next time.