Last year, I confessed that I’d been struggling to develop a process for writing. Since then, I’ve had ups and downs (more downs than ups), trying things that never really stuck. I was looking for a gimmick. A quick fix. A magic bullet.
Of course, there isn’t one. As it turns out, no one can change until they identify the true problem, and then nothing will get better unless they truly want to change. And so I struggled along, trying to be a “real writer,” beating myself up for not being a real writer, and spiraling into frustration and self-loathing.
One night, after I had sat down to write but was totally not doing it because I was surfing Reddit instead, I found a couple of subreddits for getting disciplined. It led me to a highly rated comment that changed my life.
“I don’t know about this.” Jack bent at the waist, looking at the thin, silver spacesuit he had wrestled on. He thought he looked like a cheesy extra from Planet of the Apes. “Is this going to protect me from space cooties?”
Jack made a complete turn inside the small, square vestibule and faced Henry, who sat at a console on the other side of a thick pane of protective glass.
“I was kidding about the cooties,” Jack said.
Henry glanced up. “Well I’m not, Jack. Space Cooties are highly contagious.”
The door to Cafe Diem swung open, ringing the little silver bell hanging from the doorframe. Everyone paused to glance at the uniformed man strolling through the door. He wandered through the collection of round tables scattered around the storefront and sat down at the counter. A plump, curly haired man in an apron materialized—literally, in a dazzling spectacle of lights and smoke—from behind the espresso machine. With one hand he waved away the smoke pouring from his curly hair and with the other he smoothed his apron. As he turned, he noticed the uniformed man staring at him.
“Oh! Hi, Sheriff.”
Vincent hustled over to the counter. “I’m so sorry. Have you been waiting long? I was in my infinite pantry getting some voatsiperifery for today’s special.”
Jack Carter stared at Vincent for a long moment, wondering if “voatsiperifery” was actually a food or if Vincent was just toying with him. In the end, he decided not to ask. Jack’s idea of adventurous cuisine was adding hot sauce to his grilled cheese and he didn’t need fancy words jumbling up his go-to menu.
“No problem; I just got here.” He scanned the cafe and nodded at the safe and orderly scene with satisfaction. “Can I get the usual?”
Disdain flickered over Vincent’s face. Jack Carter liked drip coffee. From the local grocery store. Pre-ground beans.
He sighed. “Sure. You want it in a To-Go cup?”
“No, thanks. It’s such a quiet day today. We don’t get a lot of that here in Eureka, so I thought I’d take a little break—”
Before he could finish, a boom filled the air, followed by the grinding of metal and shattering glass.
Jack reconsidered his order. “Actually, a To-Go cup would be great.”
You know how it goes: you tell yourself you can skip a week of blogging, then another week goes by. And then the next, and the next… Before you know it, over three months have passed since the last time you said anything.
The scope of blogging for authors has changed anyway, I reasoned. Probably no one’s reading this blog. The first book came out over a year ago, and everyone’s forgotten about it. Right?
And then, on a whim, I popped over to my Amazon author page and realized I had seven comments of people saying they were checking religiously for a new Kari Hunter book, and when is the next one coming out?
And those were just the comments. Who knows how many others are just popping by to check?
So for those of you who are looking for the next Kari Hunter book, here’s the news. (I’ll make this the abbreviated version. Those of you who are curious about the personal and writerly details can check back later.)