In looking back, I realize I’ve spent most of the summer mostly-offline. Last year the thought of unplugging for so long would have seemed…farfetched, at best. But I have to say, I haven’t regretted it. Nor have I really missed the internet. Maybe that’s because I’ve still been popping in with the occasional tweet and to answer FB questions. But really I think it’s because the internet became a very stressful place for me a few months ago, and after my 2-week total break, I felt no real need to get back into the blogging/tweeting routine because frankly, even with deadlines, real life is much less stressful for me now than the tightrope walking act that my online presence had become. Second-guessing every thought I posted, for fear of it being misinterpreted, misconstrued, or causing actual unintentional offense is exhausting. Being called names and threatened with boycott for the “crime” of defending my copyright is insulting, infuriating, and incredibly frustrating. And being told that because I’m an author, my only option is to grin and bear it…well, there were days when that just felt like the straw that broke the writer’s back.
Some people may think of authors as minor celebrities or “public figures,” but I don’t personally know any authors who think of themselves as anything other than regular people. Maybe that’s because I don’t personally know King, or Rowling, or Meyer, or Patterson, or Roberts, or any of the actual author-celebrities. But I suspect it’s because authors are, in fact, regular people. Most of us are NEVER recognized on the street or in public, unless we’re at an official author-function. Most of us are not wealthy. Most of us are proud and grateful to be able to do what we love for a living (even those who can’t afford to write full-time) and honored that so many people have given so much of their personal time and disposable income to read what we write.
That said, there are authors who give authors a bad name. There are bloggers who give bloggers a bad name. And there are e-pirates who… well, pirates are breaking the law, so I guess they’ve earned their bad name. But I can’t change any of that. I can’t make the general public tell the truth, and own their words, and stop stealing.
So instead of continuing to beat my forehead against the brick wall of crazy that is the internet, this summer I replaced most of my online time with personal time, family time, and hard-at-work time. I saw a lot of this:
And I played a lot of this:
And I tried to get out of the house at least a couple of times a week.
But this is the last week of summer, around here. Soon NYC publishing will be done with half-day Fridays until next June. Next week, the kids in my neighborhood will go back to school. Sea World and Six Flags will be closing their water parks/summer attractions. (Until FrightFest!!!) And eventually (around December) San Antonio will start to cool off.
Revisions for With All My Soul are waiting in my inbox. Oath Bound revisions will join them very, very soon. This fall promises to be a stressful one for me, both personally and professionally. This spring, I’ll be ending both the Soul Screamers and the Unbound series, within a month of each other. And between those…I’ll be in Australia. Just thinking about all that makes me both tired and nervous. So you can imagine how excited I was to get to attend a work function with No. 1 yesterday at Sea World! Our last visit of the season.
After the picnic, No 1 practically dared me to get a picture with Shamu. I believe I was the first adult to do that. Several others followed.
I even managed to convince No 1 to get in a shot with me. He’s not usually willing to put his picture on the internet, but he said I could post this one. Because we’re kind of adorable together, right?
Then we saw the dolphins. (Above.)
And watched them feed the sting rays in the aquarium.
Then we checked out the new Aquatica water park for the first and last time this season. It was awesome. I love to swim and I love water rides, and this time I actually remembered to put my phone in my locker.
No 1, however, was brave enough to try out his new Lifeproof phone case underwater, and he got some awesome footage! I would share it, but…well…I’m in a swimsuit. Really, I’m doing you a favor by preserving the illusion of my own professionalism.
So, anyway, now that summer is over, look for the weekly giveaways and regular blogging to resume next week, as I dive into edits.
I hope you’ve all had as wonderful a summer as I have.