This is also kind of how it feels to realize that you haven't blogged in a solid six months. But so much has been happening that I do actually have a few good excuses for my internet absence. Besides, it's not as if there are two hundred thousand eager fans out there, waiting to see when I'm going to return to the blog ...okay actually there aren't even two fans out there. In any case, my absence has a lot to do with the shock of attempting to readjust to life in the South after living in sunny California and with the 2016 flood that sort of washed our house away this past September. I'll briefly explain ...
Leaving California wasn't difficult. Not because I didn't want to, but because I love change. Even bad change kind of excites me. That's probably very strange. But I guess I'm a strange person. So, there I was incredibly sick and sleeping in a friend's guest room in Rancho Cucamonga, CA when my brother came to help me drive back to Louisiana. The first thing he said when he saw me was, "You look sick and your breath smells." I laughed to cover my embarrassment and then we drove to Louisiana. It wasn't until we crossed the Louisiana State Line that a deep-seated dread wrapped its tentacles around my belly. It hit me that I was returning to the very place I'd run away from- a "home" where my attempts at creativity had always been either ignored or mocked and where I'd found very few people with artistic interests who actually consider me worthy of their company. And then I inwardly shrugged and was like, "Oh well. It'll be different this time. California made me more confident."
This was true, I did learn confidence during my brief stint in California. But being a woman of color and living in Baton Rouge is ... it's draining. It's as if Baton Rouge life literally drains your confidence- it siphons a half a cup one day, an entire cup the next, two cups the next day, and on and on until you're so drained that you feel like a half a person- like a ghost. ...so, from February to August, this is what was happening. I was, one day at a time, losing more and more of the confidence I'd gained during my brief respite in California. And then the flood happened.
The 2016 Flood
I'd returned to Baton Rouge to live with my parents, which is-as much as I love and appreciate my M&D- not fun at all. They were kind enough to give me my childhood room back and not nag me too much as I attempted to recover from the illness that sent me packing back to Baton Rouge. And then, one of the random rainstorms that we frequently experience in Baton Rouge turned into a never-ending saga that left our house with over five feet of water in it. Our friends and neighbors had the same issue, some of them having to be rescued by helicopter and boat. We were fortunate, we got out early. I stayed with a really sweet friend who let me live in her guest room for an entire three months and my parents took shelter with a very nice older couple around their age. At first, when the flood happened I was like, "Cool. This is something I've never experienced before." I stayed that way for about a month and a half, even when we went into our flooded house to begin working on it. And then it hit me that I'd lost a lot of memories in that flood. The first stories I'd written as a child, some of my camera equipment, important tax/banking information, clothes, shoes, cherished notes from friends- all of it was gone. Also, there was the looming question of will we even be able to rebuild our house? That question is still up in the air.
So, now- where am I? I'm in a temporary house with my parents. I work at a part-time job that I don't particularly enjoy and I write, which I love. Lately, I've been sending my work to literary agents, outlining a new story, and continuing to edit the remaining books that will complete the YA series I've been publishing on amazon. Honestly, I still feel really sad. Irreparably sad. I'm not sure that I will ever be happy again. Well, that's not completely true. For me, happiness=peace and when I'm writing I feel unbelievably peaceful.
What I hope to do soon, is to delve into that peace by completely focusing on my writing. Since moving back here I've been having to focus on it in bits and spurts, but no more. On this blog, I think I'm going to set up mini-writing classes to share the few things I've learned about writing. And I'm really excited about working on the outlines for the new stories I've just come up with.
If you're reading this, I hope you'll enjoy the upcoming adventures as much as I think I will! Also, I don't like sounding so dreary in these blog posts, but I'm trying to be honest and ...right now I am honestly a bit down in the dumps. Hopefully, though, this feeling will pass : )