It has been a rough two weeks. I worked a gazillion hours; and, I had to do the initial rewrites for Teachings of the Santerían Gods. None of the rewrites focused on the stories. My managing editor, Laura, said those were brilliant. I had to write 12 brief essays about why I chose those stories for each chapter; and, I had to take apart, reassemble, and rewrite my introduction. None of the work was hard. What was hard was this – I had only 2 weeks to complete the writing.
Of course, the bulk of that book was written in 2 weeks’ time. I spent 12 hours a day for 14 days writing 72 short stories (the book has over 100). But it came on the heels of swine flu, the death of an ex lover, Clayton Keck to me and Shloma Rosenberg to the rest of you, NaNoWriMo, and the death rattle of what has been the absolute five worst months of my life. Since 2003, when I did ocha, my life was one peaceful, yet productive moment after another, and I thought my life would always be this way as long as I listened to my itá and kept trying to do good work in my life, and the lives of others. Of course, I forgot a few of the warnings in my itá and let a few things slide . . . and when things started going crazy around these parts, I did not think I was going to make it through it all. There was a point I thought I would simply go to sleep and not wake up from the exhaustion – death.
Thankfully, that didn’t happen. I’m alive. And Laura said that my work was not only professional, but the “bomb diggity!” That made me happy!
As it turns out, in spite of myself I have a wonderfully warm support group. There are Ron and Ashara, who put up with all my self-doubting crap and remind me that I can do anything I put my mind to. There is Rebecca, whose work as a psychologist gives her wonderful insights into my often-troubled mind. There is Sandy, and Jason, and Vivienne, and Katelan. In addition, of course, there is Mandy – my little girl who left all this to become an atheist. Still, I cannot stop loving her, and I still refer to her as my lost goddaughter. Like the father with the prodigal son, I pray she finds her way back home to all of this, where the orishas love her like a daughter.
They never turn their backs on us; it is always us who do that to them. What can I say? I love you Mrs. Campbell.
I’m also feeling the loss of John in all this. He was my best friend for almost 12 years, and he was one of my two longtime friends who never did anything to hurt me. Well, hurt me he did – and I doubt he will ever come clean about the real reasons behind it. I still love him a lot, but until he simply comes clean and tells the truth, I’ll have to love him from afar. Very far.
And, of course, there is Kelvin. Y’all know about him already and the things he does for (to) me, so we won’t go there.
Now that all the drama and hard work are over, where do I go from here?
I have a huge stack of galley proofs from my publisher in desperate needs of reviews. Tomorrow, I’ll finish reading the first book, making notes, and I’ll write up that review to send in to ITI. I will post it here on my blog, on my website litdotorg, and on amazon’s page devoted to that book. Some of the stuff coming out of Inner Traditions International is so incredible that only a fool would refuse to read it. They’re growing, reaching out to the masters of so many traditions to write their spiritual teachings that it’s fantastic. Everyone should go to their webpage and read their catalogue.
And while I’m doing that, I’ll be working on one short story a week for my next book, to be released by Knickerbocker Circus. Plus – I’ll be working on the literary magazine for litdotorg.
Please, Obatalá, just don’t let anymore houses fall on my head. I’ve got too much work to do!