On Monday I spoke of synchronicity. I wrote that the universe seemed to be leading me in exciting new directions. Later that day, I sat down in MLWR (my little writing room) and wrote a the set-up for a scene from The Sheriff Wore Skirts. In that scene, the main character, Caleb Bryant, ponders a fact of life:
Caleb leaned against the old willow tree and watched the waters of the nearby creek gurgling past. Not really much of a creek these days, although it had once been deep enough to swim in. Now it would barely come to the top of his boots if he stepped in.
Funny how things in life changed that way.
He shifted his gaze westward toward the glittering peaks of the Rockies, raising a hand to shield his eyes from the late afternoon sunlight. Some folks said even the mighty mountains would one day be gone, eroded away by the ravages of weather and time.
Caleb couldn’t imagine it. He’d once attended a fancy lecture in Denver and had heard some esteemed scholar with a string of letters attached to his name provide a scientific explanation. Water, the professor said, seeped into the cracks, froze, expanded, and broke the rocks down. Gravity then took over to carry the pieces down the slope.
When the spring rains came, more rocks were swept away. Some were even dissolved by the steady forces of nature.
The human eye might not see the changes happening, but they were going on all the same.
Changes were always going on in life, too. No matter how a man might wish things could stay the same once he got himself to a comfortable place, life didn’t work that way.
Caleb’s got it right. Changes are always happening in life.
Yesterday, I learned that my publisher — Secret Cravings — will be closing. What this means is that all Secret Cravings and Sweet Cravings titles are coming down from Amazon and other booksellers, and rights to my stories — including those under contract for 2016 publication — will revert to me. I can choose whether or not to re-publish the current titles and whether or not to release the upcoming additions to “The Sunset Series”.
In many ways, I think I was prepared for this. The writing/publishing industry has changed drastically in the last few years. Although I was quite comfortable as an SCP author and hoped to publish many more stories through their imprint, I often found myself exhausted by efforts to keep up with marketing and promotional events and maintain a rigorous writing schedule in order to meet all deadlines.
At times, over the past year, I’ve considered other possibilities for my writing. Times are changing, and authors have to change, too. Accordingly, I choose to view this ending as a fortuitous beginning for my future.
What happens now?
My immediate plans are to take care of the business at hand — purchasing my cover art, putting files in order for possible re-publication, and making sure all legal issues are addressed.
I have many decisions to make involving not only the question of re-publishing my books but also questions involving this blog, my author page on Facebook, and my newly-formed “street team”.
What I don’t have yet is a definite plan…only a vague idea of where I want to go and how I’ll choose to get there. With a lot going on in my personal life, I’m choosing now to take a break from writing and publishing. I will continue to post to this blog but not on a daily basis. I will also maintain my official author page at Facebook — Christina Cole’s Love Notes — and I will most like make daily posts there.
Of course, I will be keeping up with my friends and readers, although I will be “disbanding” Christina’s Corner. I want to thank each street team member for the love and kindness you’ve shown in the short time the group has been together.
At this time, I’m also choosing to set aside The Sheriff Wore Skirts. The book was scheduled for January release with Secret Cravings. That, of course, won’t happen now. Instead of completing and publishing the book now, I will be exploring other avenues in my life.
I’m adopting the willow tree now as my symbol for the future. Willows bend; they don’t break. Endings bring opportunities to begin anew, and I’m looking forward to seeing where life leads me now.